Over the weekend the weather was incredible and made me want to get out the grill. After going to the grocery and buying a ton of awesome fresh veggies, it started to snow. So, a grilled vegetable salad turned into a roasted vegetable salad. Roasted vegetables are very versatile. I thought about doing a roasted vegetable quinoa dish, or adding some chicken to a vegetable salad as well.
Tonight I decided to just go with a plain roasted vegetable salad, with balsamic dressing and goat cheese. After eating, I think adding a nut like walnuts would have been delicious too. Plus, nuts would add omega 3 fatty acids which help with inflammation. And since I roasted so many vegetables, I can certainly make quinoa tomorrow. Vegetables are like the holy grail of health food. There isn’t one that is bad for you, they’re all delicious, the more you eat the better and they’re chock full of phytochemicals and antioxidants.
Phytochemicals: These are chemicals found naturally in fruits and vegetables that protect plants against bacteria and viruses, and in turn, decrease our risk of developing diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other nasty diseases that we can help to prevent. Some examples of phytochemicals are lycopene (tomatoes), allicin (garlic and onion), bioflavinoids (citrus fruits), carotenoids (green leafy veggies) and lutein (green leafy veggies).
The more colors you eat in your diet, the better. And I’m not talking about things like jelly beans, I’m talking about fruits and vegetables. Phytochemicals are also found in whole grains (lignans and phenolics).
Antioxidants: These are protective agents and inhibit oxidation in our body. Oxidation, or free radicals attack our healthy cells and are thought to contribute to diseases like cancer.
The same thing applies to antioxidants as it does to phytochemicals. The more colors you eat, the healthier you are going to be. Examples of antioxidants are Vitamin C (citrus fruit) and beta carotene (green leafy veggies). So, if you combine the vegetables that I roasted, and place them on top of spinach, kale, romaine lettuce you’ve just a meal chock full of good carbs, phytochemicals, antioxidants, and a bit of fat and protein with balsamic dressing and goat cheese.
Roasted Vegetable Salad (4 servings)
- 2 yellow squash, chopped
- 2 zucchini, chopped
- 1 bunch of asparagus chopped into 3 inch pieces
- 1 red onion chopped into chunks
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 2 cups of mushrooms, chopped
- Olive oil
- Spices-pepper, salt, italian spices
- Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, romaine
- Feta Cheese/Goat cheese
- Balsamic dressing
- Heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil
- Chop vegetables and place into a bowl (except mushrooms)
- Sprinkle in olive oil, salt, pepper and added spices and stir. Dump onto the baking sheet.
- Roast for 15 to 20 min
- Add mushrooms and stir. Roast an additional 15-20 min until vegetables are tender, but not too mushy.
- Place a large heap of greens onto your plate. Place a large cup of veggies on top of the greens. Sprinkle on goat cheese and sprinkle with balsamic dressing.
- 17g carbohydrate
- 15g fat
- 12g protein
- 5g fiber