Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Roasted Balsamic Vegetables

Part of the reason I haven't posted much lately is that I haven't had a lot of new recipes I've been trying, mostly because I enjoy cycling through a lot of what I've already posted (I'm also a creature of habit and tend to get into a rut). When I don't have much time to prepare dinner (which is most nights), I usually just steam up some veggies in my Pampered Chef microwave steamer. Easy and fast, even if it is boring.

However, I ran across this idea for balsamic roasted vegetables at Emily Bites and, given my recent falling in love with roasted cauliflower, decided to give it a try this last fall. This quickly became one of my regular rotations for vegetables throughout the fall/winter, and was what I brought to holiday family gatherings when I was asked to prepare some kind of veggie dish.

As Emily Bites points out, roasting vegetables brings out their flavors and, with some veggies, can carmelize them and intensify their sweetness. The balsamic vinegar and salt adds a nice contrast to these flavors. And, they look beautiful, too!

I did make a few changes from her recipe--I used baby carrots (easier and less chopping!) as well as white or sweet yellow onion (I don't like red onion). You could also toss in cherry tomatoes, slices of bell peppers, chopped turnips, or halved baby potatoes, I suppose (the potatoes would definitely add carbs, though).

Roasted Balsamic Vegetables (from Emily Bites)

4 oz raw broccoli florets (from about 1 small head)
7 oz raw cauliflower florets (half of one large head)
8 oz raw yellow Summer squash, chopped (about 1 small-medium squash)
8 oz raw zucchini, chopped (about 1 small-medium zucchini)
Baby carrots, I used about 1-2 handfuls.
5.5 oz raw white or sweet yellow onion, chopped large (about half a large onion)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T Balsamic vinegar
Kosher or Sea Salt, to taste

1.    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly mist a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside. (I like to line my baking sheet with aluminum foil first--easy clean up!)
2.    In a large bowl, combine all the vegetables and mix them together. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the vegetables and sprinkle on your desired amount of salt. Toss to coat. Pour vegetables onto the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until caramelized.

Photo from

Snow day . . . and stuff

So, as usual, getting back into the school year has consumed my life. One of my non-teacher friends even joked to me a couple months ago that she has so many teacher friends that her social life goes dormant once the school year starts.

Anyway, I've been a busy girl. I started a staff yoga program at my high school as part of our wellness program--so I was teaching yoga twice a week to teachers and staff. I've also continued teaching yoga twice a week to Bellevue Public School bus drivers as part of their wellness program. Add to that my own yoga practice, running (still doing that!), work, family, and trying to eat healthfully, and it's been pretty crazy around here.

Mamie loves snow days with me!
We did get a snow day today, though, so I thought I'd use this gift of time to write up a few blog posts. :)

First, a few more updates!

As I mentioned, I've been teaching a lot of yoga to adults. However, I've really been wanting to start a student yoga program. Through, I was able to get almost 20 yoga mats donated to my school. I'm planning on having our first informational meeting sometime in the next week or so, and then start teaching yoga after school to students once a week! I'm pretty excited about this--yoga has so many benefits, and I wish I'd had this opportunity when I was younger.

Ugly Sweater Run, with my friends Julie & Marie
On the running side--I had been running about 3 times a week since school started, but had to take a few weeks off in November. I still came back strong in time for the Ugly Sweater 5K Run in December, though. It was really cold that morning--but even more exciting/holiday-like when it started snowing toward the end of the run. :) And it only got better when we went out for a huge brunch afterwards and went home to enjoy hot showers and a food coma.

It was actually hard to find an ugly Christmas sweater for the run, since everyone in Omaha was also looking. Luckily, I found a co-worker who loaned me this atrocious Snoopy sweater--which was huge, but allowed for me to wear more layers under it. I also had just bought the cold-weather compression leggings that I'm wearing in the picture, so I could run outside more comfortably throughout the winter. They work great--I've even been running on 15 and 18 degree days. As my sister put it: "Wow, you've become one of THOSE people." I guess I have... and it's hard for me to believe, trust me.
RunnerID bracelet

Since I've been running outside so much, though, I also bought some new bling: a RunnerID bracelet. It's a rubbery bracelet with a metal plate with my name, year of birth, and emergency contacts. Don't get me wrong--I run pretty safely. I am always alert and looking around me, I don't always run on the same days/times, I switch up my route regularly, and I try to stay on a sidewalk/trail whenever there is one. But still...accidents can happen, and I wanted to make sure I'm as safe as can be.

And so, I'm off to finish shoveling the driveway and try to make it to a 12:30pm yoga class; then it's to the grocery store, and home to deep clean (I was sick last weekend, so nothing got done), write a few more posts, and get ready for tomorrow!

Look for some more posts in the next week or so-- roasted balsamic vegetables, mock spaghetti and meat sauce, and eating out are just a few things I plan to post about in the near future. :)

Stay warm today!