Not your mother’s broccoli and carrots

Something that truly baffles and saddens me is the lack of vegetable variety in our diets in America.  Meat. Potatoes. Corn. Green beans. Carrots. Broccoli if we’re feeling exotic.  That’s pretty much what all we eat.  What baffles me even more is why, when we do eat vegetables, they’re prepared the same way every time: steamed from fresh, boiled, or warmed up from a can with a little salt and pepper thrown on top.  The saddest part of all is that people think they don’t like vegetables.  Um, yeah, I wouldn’t like them either if that’s how I cooked them!  Branch out.  Pick up something unfamiliar and figure out what to do with it.  It’s just food, it doesn’t bite or hurt people.  You might even find something new to love.
Here’s to yummy roasted veggies.

Sweet and spicy roasted broccolini
Serves 2

12 broccolini spears (you can use regular broccoli sliced into long spears)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp honey
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced
3 Tbsp slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Wash your broccolini and mix together the olive oil, honey, pepper, and minced garlic to make your dressing.  Toss the broccolini in the dressing to coat the spears well, and spread them out on a baking sheet.  Roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until cooked but still crisp. 
About 8 minutes in, put your slivered almonds into the oven on a separate pan to toast.  This only takes a few minutes, and they’ll burn, so watch them closely! 
Serve your delicious, non-steamed, non-salted, non-boring broccolini topped with the slivered almonds and enjoy.  Savor the flavors, and not in front of a TV.  Bam.

Roasted maple ginger carrots
Serves 2

4 large carrots
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp maple extract
¾ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (if you’re making the broccolini too, you’re set!).  Wash the carrots and lightly peel them.  Combine the olive oil, maple extract, ginger, and lemon juice together and coat the peeled carrots with the mixture.  Be generous so the carrots don’t dry out too much in the oven! 
Roast the carrots in the oven for 10-15 minutes, just to take the raw off.  Don’t overcook these!  They should still be crunchy, carroty goodness

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