Roasted Root Vegetable Soup

Fall is a great time for getting a few meals out of a roasted chicken …. the house smells great 2 days in a row.

Roasted Root Vegetable Soup
 

In a roasting dish combine:

beets – quartered

turnips (optional!) – quartered

onion – halved and cut into wedges

carrots – thick slices

squash – peeled and cut into wedges

leeks – cut into pieces

garlic cloves – whole

Season everything with olive oil, crumbled dry basil, oregano and parsley.  Toss well and season with salt and pepper.

Place cut pieces of chicken into a bowl, along with the same herb blend, salt, pepper, olive oil, juice of 1 lemon and 1 tbsp of dijon mustard – this can be pretty versatile so if you prefer feel free to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts, or if you would rather use a vegetable stock for the soup just roast vegetables on their own.  

Roast in a moderate oven (375) until all vegetables are fork tender and ready for dinner, and the chicken is cooked through.  

This is a great fall or winter weather dish – fill up your roasting pan with as many fresh vegetables as you can find and roast away.  It does take quite a while for the vegetables to soften, so just keep testing them.

For a complete dinner, whip up some mashed potatoes and you are good to go!

The next day, take all the leftover vegetables (of which I hope there are lots) and simmer in either chicken or vegetable stock.  Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.  If you want a little more flavour in there, simmer a parmesan cheese rind or drop in a little tomato sauce.

Pulverize everything with an immersion blender, or a standing blender.  If using a standing blender, PLEASE MAKE SURE TO HAVE A SPACE FOR THE STEAM TO VENT – OTHERWISE YOU RUN THE RISK OF BURNING YOURSELF AND MAKING A DISASTER OF YOUR KITCHEN!!!.  

Taste again and adjust for salt and pepper.  Serve with some freshly baked biscuits for a great fall dinner.

Quinoa Feta Salad

Quinoa

This one is for you Shae – hope you have fun making it!  xo

1/2 cup white quinoa

You can use either all white or red quinoa, but I love the look of the combination!

1/2 cup red quinoa

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups water (or chicken stock if you are so inclined!)

Rinse quinoa well, then combine all ingredients in pot – bring to a boil with the lid off, then turn down to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes undisturbed.  Remove lid, fluff with a fork, and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes to allow some of the steam to release.

Set aside to cool slightly.

1/2 cup feta, broken or cut into little pieces

1/2 cup colored peppers, diced

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, minced

1/3 cup black olives, sliced

1/4 cup red onion, finely diced

generous amount of fresh basil, chopped

optional:  1 cob of corn – kernels removed

I only use the corn when it is in season, and a great way to use up that extra cob you cooked!  If corn is in season … then tomatoes are too so use fresh garden tomatoes, chopped up in place of the sun dried tomatoes.

DRESSING

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp dry mustard powder

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2-2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine dressing ingredients, blend well and set aside

Combine the prepared vegetables with the cooked quinoa.  The flavours really come together well if you do this when the quinoa is still slightly warm.  Pour enough dressing over to coat, and give it a good toss.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Always remember to keep tasting – sometimes just that little extra bit of salt and pepper make the difference you are looking for.

Looking for a full meal deal?  Add some cubed extra firm tofu and black beans – you will have such a delicious satisfying dinner in one bowl.

Coconut Chili Vegetables

This recipe was created spur of the moment, when I needed another dish to round out dinner – Chinese Grilled Pork and Fried Rice … even with all the chopped vegetables in the rice dish, we needed more greens.  This was so simple, and could easily be turned into a full meal by adding any protein you were inclined to add.  The best thing is the simplicity – throw it all in a pot!

1 cup coconut milk                               

1 tbsp sambal oelek

1 tbsp minced garlic

bok choy

chinese mushrooms

red onion

Heat coconut milk, garlic and sambal oelek just until boiling point – add onions.  When slightly tender stir in the rest of your vegetables and allow to simmer just until cooked through – being careful not to overcook them or they will lose their vibrancy and wilt.