Autumn Roasted Vegetables

butternut squash (1)

Fall has finally arrived. It is a love/hate relationship that I have with this time of year. I love the beautiful colors of Fall, the cool crisp air, warm drinks, bonfires and Boots!! But, I do not love saying goodbye to Summer and the longer sunny days, backyard barbeques, outdoor dining and activities. Those days will soon be replaced by rainy, grey days that seem never-ending.

I do love the bounty of fall fruits and vegetables, though. Squash, apples, pears, warm spices, hot cider, roasted nuts and an occasional hot buttered rum. Yum!

One of my favorite ways to cook vegetables (besides grilling) is oven roasted. I toss them with a bit of olive oil and fresh minced garlic and then season with salt and pepper. Super simple and so delicious!

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I like to roast up a huge batch and then incorporate them into my meals throughout the week. Their roasted, caramelized, yummy goodness goes with everything from roasted pork loin to store bought rotisserie chicken.

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You can also add them to your pasta or rice dishes, puree them into a soup, add them to curries, make roasted veggie pizzas, toss them in a salad, the possibilities are endless.

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Having these on hand make weeknight meal prep a breeze and are so yummy!

Autumn Roasted Vegetables:

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 6-8 mini sweet peppers in various colors, remove stems and seeds and cut into chunks
  • 2 small yellow onions, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper

Place chopped veggies and garlic in a bowl. Toss with enough olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Lay veggies out on a sheet pan in a single layer. Do not crowd them or vegetables will not brown properly (you will need to cook them in batches). Roast veggies in a pre-heated oven at 425 degrees for 35-40 minutes until tender and nicely browned.

Let veggies cool before storing in the refrigerator or freezer.

Enjoy!

 

Asian BBQ Chicken Bahn Mi Sliders

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As of late, I have become a bit obsessed with Bahn Mi sandwiches .  I just love the fresh crisp veggies and herbs, flavorful meats, and that bread! Yum!

Bahn Mi is the Vietnamese word for bread, referring to the French Baguette. Baguettes were introduced to Vietnam during the colonial period. The Vietnamese Baguettes are a bit lighter and airier the the traditional French Baguette and have a bit crispier crust.

Bahn Mi Baguettes are made with a combination of rice and wheat flours which attribute to their lightness, making them the perfect vessel for sandwich making.

The baguettes are typically spread with mayonnaise, toasted and then topped with meats, marinated vegetables, fresh cilantro or other herbs and fresh sliced jalapeno peppers.

I made a sriracha/garlic/lime mayonnaise for mine. I did not toast the bread but you can if you like. Then topped it with Asian BBQ Chicken.

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Then a kale/cabbage mixture (I buy mine at Trader Joes) that I tossed with a little of my sweet and sour pickling marinade, shredded carrots also tossed with marinade, pickled watermelon radish and finished off with a few fresh cilantro sprigs.

 

To make the Asian BBQ Chicken:

Marinate 6 large boneless skinless chicken thighs in the following:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola, olive or vegetable oil)

Marinate the chicken for at least 4-6 hours or overnight. Grill chicken until cooked through ( internal temperature of 165 degrees ).

For the Sriracha Mayonnaise:

  • 1/2 cup good quality mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, very finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a bowl whisk together all ingredients. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for about an hour for flavors to marry.

For the pickled vegetables:

See my previous post sweet and sour pickled vegetables

For the Baguettes: I buy mine at the local Vietnamese Bakery/Sandwich shop (Best Baguette) If you cannot find any in your town here is a recipe that I found to make at home. Baguette Recipe

Once you have made all of the components, then assemble sandwiches as shown above.

For those of you who are gluten free. Try a Bahn Mi rice bowl instead

Enjoy!

Simple Sweet and Sour Quick Pickled Vegetables

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It was on a recent stop at the produce stand that I found these beautiful Watermelon Radishes. I had never had a Watermelon Radish before, so I decided to grab a couple and give them a try.

I was pleasantly surprised. They are not as harsh as a regular radish, they only have a slight peppery note to them and a nice crisp sweetness.

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I decided to thinly slice them on the mandoline and then do a sweet and sour pickle. I ended up using them on the Bahn Mi sandwich sliders that I made for a catering event. The bright pink radishes added a brilliant pop of color and their crisp sweet and sour deliciousness were the perfect compliment to the sandwiches (recipe for the Bahn Mi sliders coming soon).

These Pickled Watermelon Radishes are so simple to make and a great addition to sandwiches, salads, vegetable trays and more. They are simply delicious on their own as well.

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Quick Pickled Sweet and Sour Vegetables:

  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 1 cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and cut in half
  • 1/2 inch piece of  fresh ginger, peeled and cut into slices
  • Vegetables of your choice ( watermelon radish, carrots, cucumbers, cabbage, sweet peppers, etc..)

Place sugar, vinegar, water, salt, garlic and ginger in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir, then remove from heat. Let pickling mixture cool completely.

Place sliced vegetables of your choice in a glass bowl or jar and pour cooled liquid through strainer over vegetables. Toss to coat, then cover and let stand in the refrigerator for about an hour. Keep pickles stored in the refrigerator up to a week. But they probably won’t last that long!

Enjoy!