Motto: Always be Roasting.


Seeing as it is both pi day (the mathematical equivalent of Christmas, in my opinion) AND registered dietitians day (who knew) I just had to do a post. It has been a long time since I have done one, and seeing as I have a whole lot of half finished drafts sitting on my computer, all it took was a little special occasion ambiance to kick it into gear.

One of the main reasons I have not been posting, is the commonly known, experienced, and discussed student burn out that just seems to accumulate throughout the year, and turn into a fiery descent into exhaustion that usually occurs between round one and round two of midterms. It is moments like this that call into question, as I have discussed before, my legitimacy in claiming my status as an adult. Because during this time period you find yourself thinking “Surely my parents and teachers and all the responsible citizens walking around don’t live like this”. By “this” I mean having TV marathons of Arrested Development because you have a headache from killing yourself studying, but which lead to staying up late and making said headache much worse in the long run. I mean doing laundry on a Sunday, and not putting it away until the Sunday afterwards. I mean forgetting that towels need to be washed, and instead wondering why they feel so rough and awful after showering. I mean fashioning a standing desk out of an old book shelf because you have convinced yourself that sitting and studying 12 hours a day is surely compressing your spine, and you will probably start shrinking in the next year or so. I mean googling at what point a human being will undergo “water toxicity” because you upped your tea intake to seven mega-cups a day, and you are not sure if you are damaging yourself. I mean going three days of eating eggs and rice for dinner, then suddenly deciding to make shallow-fried almond-flour-breaded cuttle fish with a homemade garlic, lemon, mayo sauce for Saturday breakfast. I mean arguing with strangers on the internet about electric potential when you are just trying to find the answer to a question worth less than 1% that you want to get right based on principle. I mean making the decision between staying up until 3am, then getting up at 6am, or going to bed at 1am, then getting up at 4am. When I daydreamed of being an adult, I don’t remember the part where you take a pair of your mom’s slippers home with you because the stuff on the floor gets stuck on your feet when you only sweep once a week and keep rodents for pets. I don’t recall a vision of scrap paper littering the floor and mad mathematical scrawling all over the sliding glass door, windows, and white board. The future of cheap-wine headaches and attempts of ambidexterity to curb writing cramps, was not really what I dreamed about.

In the midst of this relative disaster of calculus, physics, and sleeplessness, there are a few key cooking techniques that I grab a hold of to keep us well fed. One method is the “stovetop meal” which usually involved a steamer and a frying pan going at one time- steamer for the veggies, frying pan for sauteing whatever is going with the veggies. My favourite method, however, is the “put it in the oven and come back in a while” method. I use this for almost everything- cuts of meat, roasted root vegetables, baked squash, lightly baked fish, roasted broccoli, and most other foods. At the beginning of the week, it is particularly good to get all the roasting and baking of veggies and root veggies, because surprise surprise, it is much easier to snack on vegetables throughout the day, throw them in a breakfast scramble, and quickly reheat them for dinner. If you seem to spend as much time at your desk as I do, this is also fantastic because you put them on and can go right back to work without having to run over and check to see what could possibly be boiling over- you just leave it, come back in a bit, very easy.

To give you an idea of how much roasting and baking can add vegetables to your diet, I recorded how much veg Sebastien and I consume in one week. It’s a little ridiculous on paper, but it doesn’t even seem like we eat all the much. Okay, here it goes, 7 days for 2 people: 1 bag of carrots, 1/2 a bag of turnips, 1-2 sweet potatoes, 2 heads of broccoli, 1 head of cauliflower, 2 bundles of kale, 1 package of green beans, 1 butternut squash, 1 spaghetti squash, 1 bunch of lettuce, 2 zucchini, 2 bell peppers, 3 avocados, 1 bunch of spinach, and 1 package of mushrooms. So, if you ever have wanted to make a kind of crazy list and feel impressed by your ability to eat such an apparent volume of vegetables, apparently roasting is the way to get there.

Instead of giving out an exact recipe this time, I thought it would be useful to provide vegetable pairings. Things that go well with a certain kind of vegetable. This gives a little flexibility, plus the technique is pretty much the same in every case. Combine, place in dish, bake at 300F-400F until tender and delicious. If something has a lot of sugar in it, like fruit juice or honey, add close to the end of cooking to avoid burning. Otherwise, enjoy this lazy-(wo)man’s version of a recipe, and maybe it will give you a little inspiration for your next vegetable you want to throw in the oven!

Carrots:
fresh ginger OR cumin OR dill OR maple syrup, orange juice.
cilantro, lime.
tarragon, mustard.

Turnips:
thyme, butter.
potatoes, cream, roasted garlic.

Rutabagas:
green apples, maple syrup.
cheese, green apples, thyme.
lemon, garlic, thyme.

Sweet Potatoes/Yams
butter, nutmeg, brown sugar.
allspice, cinnamon, ginger.
apples and sage.
bacon, onions, rosemary.
kale, bacon.
chiles, lemon.

Onions
beer, cheese, nutmeg.
garlic, thyme.
balsamic vinegar, garlic.
bacon.

Leeks
bacon, cream.
mustard, chives.
white wine, garlic.

Fennel
honey, lemon, toasted almonds.
green apple, cheese.
lemon OR orange, mint.
lemon zest, chicken stock.


Beets

goat cheese, balsamic vinegar, walnuts.
mint, plain greek yogurt.
Orange, tarragon.
dill, sour cream.


Happy studies!

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