A Typical Dinner

Roasted vegetables are my go to for dinner.  They are delicious, healthy, work with almost any vegetable, and take under 30 minutes.  I find vegetable chopping relaxing and always a good way to start a meal.  Furthermore, the smell when the vegetables start roasting fills the house.  I have been roasting vegetables for years and still find them so satisfying.  For me, roasted vegetables are here to stay.

How exactly do I do that?   I start dinner by chopping vegetables including onions and almost anything else (current favorite is zucchini), throw them into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and a couple pinches of salt before spreading them unto a rimmed baking pan covered with cooking spray.

 Now here is a trick I have found quite helpful.  I place the pan on the very bottom of my oven, which is closer to the heating element, and have cut the roasting time considerably.  This will work if the bottom of your oven is closed and does not have an exposed heating element.  I set the timer for 10 minutes and then give them a stir and they usually take another 10 minutes or so before they are roasted to perfection.  I sometimes add a sprinkle of lemon juice or fresh greens or parmesan, but usually we just gobble them up.  Roasting vegetables is very easy.

The oven temperature can be a bit complex.  I set the temperature at 450 degreesright before I begin chopping vegetables and use the convection roast setting.  The oven is not preheated completely when I put the pan in the oven, but I don’t wait.  In addition, ovens are notoriously off what the temperature dial says and, in fact, I measured mine to be 25 degrees low.  So there is that.  Despite oven temperatures being complex, you will get to know your own oven and learn how to get it to do what you want.

So, what else do we have for dinner?  I prepare a fresh salad of some green such as romaine or green or red lettuce.  I use the whole head and chop it myself and wash it in my OXO salad spinner.  I find the bags of green available at the supermarket often have wilted leaves or wilt so soon after opening them, that they are too disappointing.  I can put many heads of romaine lettuce in my refrigerator and they will keep beautifully up to a couple weeks! 

So, to the greens I add something with color such as tomatoes or carrots.  Marlo, my husband, loves sunflower seeds in his salad so I often add those.  His list of preferred vegetables is quite a bit shorter than mine, so here, I personalize the salads.

To complete the dinner, I prepare potatoes, rice, bread, corn or something like that for Marlo and a fish entrée for both of us.  Our favorite is salmon but we like lots of other fish as well.  Marlo likes to eat his salad first and then have the rest.  I put the roasted vegetables and the fish on the fresh leaves and add olive oil and balsamic glaze. 

That is our most typical dinner.  We have many variations on that basic plan and sometimes something nothing like that at all.  You know how that goes.

Let me know what you think and I am happy to answer any questions.  I mean any.