Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Roasted Fall Vegetables

Hi everyone, so today I thought I would share with you my recipe for roasted fall vegetables.  Now since I have had my gastric bypass surgery, I have come to find what my trigger foods are.  You know those little cravings that bug you either in the middle of the day or middle of the night.  Well for me I love sweet, salty and spicy together, and I thought what if I kept with the same flavors I so enjoy but what I have them with.  Instead of potato chips or something else equally unhealthy.  I came up with this and I was amazed how each ingredient played a huge role and in texture and flavor and they all worked so wonderfully together.  I thought I had to share this with you, if you are looking for something healthy but doesn't taste healthy, and hits the same flavors that I enjoy too, then keep reading.  


1 small squash peeled, seeded and cubed
3 sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
1/2 pound of Brussel sprouts 
1/2 cup of roughly chopped pecans
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 packet of truvia 
1 heavy lid
Salt and pepper to season as you go


Preheat your oven to 375.  While the oven is doing its thing, start cutting up your squash and sweet potatoes.  Drizzle about half of the extra virgin olive oil over the veggies and coat them very well with the oil.  Sprinkle some salt and black pepper over them and let them roast for about 20 minutes or until the veggies are soft.  While the squash and sweet potatoes are in the oven, grab a dry skillet and add in the pecans.  We are just going to warm them up and toast them lightly we dont want to fully toast them and you will know why in a minute.  Put the pecans in a small bowl when done and put the skillet back on the stove.  While the pan is still hot add the rest of the extra virgin olive oil and add in the cubed brussels.  Keep shaking them around in the pan until they turn golden brown and hit them with a little salt and pepper.  Its all about layering flavors.  Now when you see that golden brown on your brussels add in the balsamic vinegar and water. Put a lid over the top of the pan and turn off the heat.  Let the brussels steam for about 15 minutes or until soft.  Next drain the brussels you don't want them soggy just cooked through.  It should be time to check on the squash and sweet potatoes, so haul them out of the oven and if they are soft add the brussels and pecans.  From here add the truvia, salt and cayenne pepper, just add as much or as little as you prefer.  Stir them all around until all the veggies are coated and back into the oven for about 5 minutes or until all the flavors marry up.  Once they are done plate em up and serve with either Thanksgiving dinner or alone like I did for lunch.  You will be amazed at the flavors and texture.  

Live, Laugh and Love.   Heather

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New England Boiled Dinner, In a Crock Pot

Long time no see, I am happy to report that I am back.  I have a lot of ideas to keep you all entertained for a long time.  I will get into why the long absence in another post.  Today I am going to talk about how to make a traditional New England boiled Dinner and we are going to simplify it.  Before I get into the recipe though I want to talk about something, I think we shouldn't be afraid to cook outside the box.  No one says you cannot make a boiled dinner in crock pot and honestly it comes out a lot more flavorful and what makes this even better, you can turn on your crock pot with all the ingredients and let it go all day.  No babysitting required!  

Ingredients:  You can adjust these ingredients to how many people you are feeding, this feeds a family of 4

1 small onion
3 carrots make them chunky 
3 potatoes
1/2 head of cabbage
2 pound bone in picnic ham
4 tablespoons of peppercorns ground coarsely
4 tablespoons of old bay seasoning, please don't get caught up old bay in only seafood trap, it is wonderful in soups, stews, gravies, boiled dinners and just about anything.  Dont box yourself in.
approx. 6 cups of water, after you add your ingredients to the slow cooker just fill the crock pot up with water just leaving about an inch from the top of the slow cooker.

Your Veggies should look like these:


Cut up all your veggies and cube up your cabbage.  Put them aside in a bowl.  Next rinse and dry your ham and coat the ham generously with the old bay and peppercorns about 2 tablespoons each.  Now its all about layering the ingredients you want to start with the potatoes, carrots and onions first.  Then add in the ham and finally the cabbage on top.  Once you have all that add the remaining 2 tablespoons of seasonings each to the water, stir it up and pour it over the cabbage.  Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it go for about 8 hours on low, 6 if you put it on high.  Serve it with a little butter, salt,  pepper and some vinegar.  Welcome to New England in the fall!  

More Pictures:

The finished product:  


Live, Laugh and Love