Monday, May 30, 2011

Sara's Mediterranean Vegetables

Picture it: Marshall, Texas, 1994. Two young girls who share a similar sense of humor find each other on their very first day of college and forge a lasting friendship while sitting on the floor of the bookstore reading aloud from Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy. Yes, that's just how my friendship with Sara began, and since that day she has been one of my dearest friends in the entire world. Although she and her family now live thousands of miles away in Istanbul, Turkey, we still keep in touch and do our best to connect on the rare occasions when they are stateside.

Sara shares my passion for whole food, and has agreed to share a couple of recipes with us via guest post. I know you're going to love her cost-effective, nutrient-dense recipe for Mediterranean vegetables (pictured above). Stay tuned for another post from Sara, featuring her recipe for Chinese Style Vegetables. You don't want to miss it, because it is a simple and delicious way to prepare just about any vegetable. Please welcome my friend, Sara, to Nourished on a Budget *golf clap*!

"So we all know (or probably know) that we need to be consuming more veggies, right? Sadly, our American diet tends to revolve around meat. Frankly, we eat more meat than we should as a culture. I was told by a doctor that the key to losing weight and being fit is making sure your diet is made up of more vegetables and fruit than animal products. In searching for more ways to add veggies to our diet, we found a really yummy Mediterranean vegetable recipe. Throw in some cubed or sliced chicken (such as fajita meat), serve on top of some rice, and you've got an entire meal where the meat/vegetable ratio is perfectly balanced. It's good, it's easy, and I really hope you will try it and let me know what you think!

Herb-Roasted Mediterranean Vegetables with Chicken
  1. 8 cups assorted vegetable pieces (such as sliced eggplant, zucchini, onion, carrots, mushrooms, tomatos and coarsely chopped peppers, remembering that the goal is 5 different colors of fruit and veggies every day--the more colors the better. Just choose your favorite veggies, and slice until you have 8 cups, but be sure to always include at least 1 large onion.)
  2. 2 cubed or sliced boneless, skinless, raw chicken breasts or 3 cubed or sliced boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  3. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed is really the only way it's actually healthy for you... and the cloudier the better.)

  4. 2 cloves garlic, minced, crushed, or pressed (I use my garlic press for at least 75% of the meals I cook, and I love it.)

  5. 2 tsp rosemary

  6. 1 tsp sea salt

  7. 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese (Use less if you want or none at all; it's not a necessary ingredient.) 

Combine oil, garlic, rosemary, and salt. Drizzle over vegetables and toss. Place in a deep, large baking dish (if you are adding chicken, place it on the bottom of the baking dish and top it with veggies after you have tossed them with the oil mixture). Bake at 375°F for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with the cheese.

Special Notes:
I can't help but wonder if I could do this in a crock pot with a whole chicken... That may be my next experiment with it, but I'll bet it would be great. I would use a very small chicken, rub some olive oil on the skin, salt and pepper it, maybe add some extra garlic and rosemary, then after tossing the oil mixture over the veggies, add them in.

Also, just a side note for you: mushrooms are divine in this one. I probably put 3 cups of them alone in there... Definitely my favorite part of this dish. So if you try it, don't forget the 'shrooms!!!!"

1 comment:

  1. I'm making this tonight, and I decided to take Sara's idea and try it in the crockpot. I'll let you know how it turns out!