Wednesday, 20 June 2012 - , , , , , , 4 comments

SOMETHING FOR NOTHING : Roasted Vegetables and Butternut Squash 'Chips'


This is one of those 'magic' dishes where it is hard to believe that something so delicious can possibly be ZERO propoints!

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Roasted vegetables are a robust, filling and tasty accompaniment to any grilled meat or fish. They are also a great base ingredient for recipes such as an open vegetarian lasagne, or as a salad mixed with cous-cous and a little balsamic vinegar. (I'll feature these recipes at a later date).
Because they are roasted like this, the natural flavours of the ingredients become intensified and concentrated, so you need very little seasoning - certainly no salt. They look absolutely stunning and vibrant on the plate. 

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Even though I am at my goal weight and maintaining successfully, I still have those inherent traits I used to have when I was overweight - namely a lust for food and a natural greediness. I like to feel really full up after I've eaten, so these are the perfect zero propoint comfort food for me. I can have a large portion of roasted vegetables without worrying about having to 'charge' for them. This, combined with the rich, caramelised flavours, gives my brain the signal that I have eaten something so special and delicious, that it is finally satisfied. Then my brain can let my stomach know too!

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These veggies are really easy to make, just a little time-consuming on preparation - lots of chopping up....but well worth the effort. Remember to prepare more than you think you will need, as they shrink down quite a bit when you cook them.


Obviously, you can use the vegetables you like best - I'm suggesting my favourites, so substitute where you wish and experiment for yourselves....As long as you use zero-pointed vegetables, they will be 0pp per portion. For calorie counters, you will have to calculate according to type and quantity. My recipe works out to approx.250kcal per portion.

You will need:(For 2 servings)

1 aubergine
2 red onions
20 cherry tomatoes
6 mini red, orange and yellow peppers
6 peeled cloves garlic
Half a butternut squash
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Frylight sunflower oil
Dried mixed Italian herbs
Black pepper
2 tablespoons low salt soy sauce or Teriyaki marinade
*
A large mixing bowl
1 large heavy baking tray
(Or preferably, the oven shelf if suitable)

*


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Chop the aubergines into chunky pieces. Pop into the mixing bowl and spray with Frylight oil. Sprinkle the soy sauce or teriyaki marinade over the aubergine. This helps to stop it drying out when cooking, and gives it tremendous flavour. Peel and chop the onions into quarters. It is really important to leave the vegetables in chunky pieces, because we don't have the luxury of lashings of olive oil. This stops them from shrivelling up to nothing and burning when roasted. Add the onion and tomatoes to the mixing bowl and a few more sprays of Frylight oil, herbs and black pepper.


I'm in love with these baby peppers at the moment. If you use regular peppers, cut them into quarters leaving them chunky. The reason I love these little ones so much is because when you cut the top off and remove the seeds, they become the perfect vessel for a whole, peeled clove of garlic.


Spray the outside of the peppers and one spray of Frylight oil inside each garlic-clove-stuffed pepper. When they roast, the garlic infuses and flavours the pepper, becoming a soft and creamy filling....sublime!


Peel the butternut squash then chop into chunky 'chips'. You can add them to the bowl with the other prepared vegetables and spray with Frylight oil, but I like to keep and cook them separately so that they become another side dish. Just spray and season them exactly like the other vegetables.
The finished result is not like a conventional crispy potato chip, but makes a delicious alternative... Soft, earthy-centred with a hardened, toasted shell.


Mix all the vegetables well so that they are evenly coated with Frylight oil and seasoning.
Spread them evenly in one layer on the hot baking tray or oven shelf. If you are doing the butternut squash 'chips' separately, spread them out on another baking tray. You can spray a little Frylight oil on the baking tray first, but if you have evenly coated the veggies with Frylight oil, they should be fine. The beauty of pre-spraying and seasoning the vegetables in a bowl is that they should not need turning at all during the cooking process....do keep an eye on them, though.


Pop into the oven and roast for 40-50 minutes, until soft, sticky and turning brown in areas. The tomatoes shrink down, almost making a caramelised relish.


Serve with a few freshly torn basil leaves and your chosen grilled meat or fish.

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It's another mind game but it works for me! I see grilled meat, 'chips' and a heap of roasted veggies on my plate, and I am one happy bunny!

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4 comments:

seenthelight 21 June 2012 at 18:01

Worked much better this time and did not miss the lashings of oil for once!

Good tip about the small peppers too!

Janey 21 June 2012 at 18:36

Pleased to hear they were a success-that's what I like! x

Half Egg 24 June 2012 at 12:34

A simply divine meal of roast vegetables. Your excellent instructions meant that even I was able to produce a perfect dish for which my husband marked me 12/10. - Mushroom soup next.

Janey 24 June 2012 at 19:06

Wow -that's a great score! So pleased they were a success HalfEgg- congratulations! Let me know how the soup works out too x

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