Roasted Root Vegetables

The final dish I brought to brunch on Sunday was a simple pan of oven roasted root vegetables.   It couldn’t have been simpler to prepare.  I used acorn squash, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, onions, carrots, and parsnips.   I tossed all them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper.  I added a few springs of thyme from the garden and put them on a sheet pan and roasted them in the oven at 375 degrees for approximately 40 minutes.

blog post 11.9.14 012 roasted veggies

They turned out delicious!  What an easy side dish and it was also vegan and gluten-free.  It went perfectly with the frittata’s that Patti cooked up for us.  The colors were beautiful, so many different shades of white and orange, kinda makes me happy that fall has arrived, OK, maybe not happy, but more optimistic!  One note, I used whole springs of thyme, no need to pull the leaves off, they fall off while cooking, you only need to discard the stems and toss the vegetables to evenly distribute the herb before serving.  It is the same trick I use when roasting tomatoes in the summer.  Happy Autumn Sunday!

P.S. – don’t forget to save the seeds from the butternut and acorn squash, you can roast them off for a nice, healthy, crunchy snack!

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

My friend Patti, is gluten intolerant and has been trying to eat vegan for the last few weeks.  The poor girl has food allergies and she is trying to get a handle on what her triggers are, hence the limited diet right now.   I knew I wanted to make a dish for our Sunday brunch that she could eat, but that would also fill her up, taste good and have some protein in it.  I settled on a roasted butternut squash quinoa salad.

butternut squash

It really turned out better than I expected.  The flavors and colors were amazing!

Roasted Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad

1 Butternut Squash, Peeled and Diced

6 T Olive Oil, Divided

2 Cups Quinoa

4 Cups Vegetable Stock

6 T White Wine Vinegar

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1 Cup Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1 Cup Dried Cranberries

6 oz Baby Greens (I used kale, spinach, and chard)

Toss the butternut squash with 3 T olive oil, season with salt and pepper, transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time.   While this is cooking whisk together the remaining 3T oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper.  In a pan, cook quinoa according to package directions, using vegetable stock instead of water.

In a large bowl, combine greens and dressing, add pumpkin seeds and cranberries.   When quinoa and squash are cooked, add to the bowl, tossing to mix.  Serve warm or room temperature.

quinoa salad

I bought some crumbled goat cheese to add to the dish and ended up forgetting it in the fridge.  It really didn’t need any more flavor, I really liked how it turned out and it was such a healthy dish! This is a great dish to serve on Thanksgiving if you have any vegetarians and/or vegans for dinner.  Quinoa is considered a complete protein and with the addition of the greens, nuts, cranberries, and squash, you have everything you need in one dish AND it tastes great to boot!

Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls

On Sunday morning, we got together with a few friends for a lovely brunch.  It had been far too long since we had gotten together.  The day was beautiful, probably one of the last “warm” days we will be seeing for a while.  I wanted to make something sweet, something that screamed fall, and I came across this recipe for Caramel Apple Sweet Rolls from The Pioneer Woman.

The recipe came together very easily.  I started at 9am and we had hot, luscious rolls at 12:30pm for brunch.   It is a yeast dough, but it isn’t fussy and doesn’t require a lengthy rise time.

You start by scalding milk that has been mixed with vegetable oil and sugar.

scalded milk

Once you let that cool a bit, you add flour and yeast, put a lid on the pot and let it sit for an hour.  After the hour. you add a bit more flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.  You turn it out onto a floured surface and roll it out.

dough

I have an affinity for dough, it is something that I truly love to work with.  This time of year is especially fun, I find myself making all sorts of dough’s around the holiday season.   Anyway back to the rolls.  While the dough is rising in the pan, you make the caramel apple mixture.  It is a simple caramel, butter, sugar, and cream.  You saute some apples and add them to the caramel and let them cool.

After rolling the dough, you spread it with the apple mixture and roll it up tight.

spreading the apples caramel apple sweet rolls

You cut the roll, place it in pans and let it rise for another 25 minutes.   Once it has risen a second time, you bake and top with a caramel icing.  I didn’t take a picture of the final product, I loaded them into the car and drove over to my friend’s house where they were demolished in about 2.5 seconds.  It really was a very easy recipe and so tasty.  I will warn you, they are very good but really, really SWEET!  I couldn’t finish an entire roll, I had to share it with the hubby.   If you are looking for a recipe to make Thanksgiving morning, this would certainly fit the bill.   If you make them the day before, you can store them in the fridge, loosely covered and cook them Thanksgiving morning for a warm, filling treat before you put the Turkey in the oven.  Happy Fall Baking everyone!