It’s been a busy week around here. Spring has come ultra-early, and I am battling the weeds already! I did not accomplish much blog reading, cookbook reading, or experimenting this week.
I did take some classes at the YMCA over the weekend about basic exercise principles (11.5 hours worth!!!) I learned some good basic facts. One is that cool water is better absorbed by our bodies than room temperature water, as related to exercise. Makes sense of course that you want to cool down and colder water tastes really good. But I never knew cooler water was absorbed better. Yes, that would have come in handy! So I am making sure my water bottle has some ice cubes when I exercise. I learned about why a variety of forms of exercise are valuable…some for cardiovascular benefits, some for bone density, and in general our bodies adapt when we repeat the same things over and over. We benefit from changes in intensity and the combination of muscle groups we focus on. I also met some fun Zumba instructors. They assured me you don’t have to be coordinated to enjoy Zumba and get a workout. Although I have my doubts, I really do want to check out new forms of exercise, so I’m going to give it a shot. I am curious if anyone has any Zumba experiences?
Over the past few months I have experimented with roasting vegetables in the oven. I based my methods on what I read in the cookbook “Veganomicon”, which is a vegan cookbook with lots of good information, even if being vegan is not your goal. I ordered their book via Amazon and have enjoyed hours reading the sections on cooking grains, beans, and vegetables, terminology, stocking the pantry, etc. The authors say just about any veggie can be roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and garlic if desired.
I followed Veganomicon’s directions for the Brussel sprouts I made a couple of weeks ago. I just cut off the stems and sliced them in half lengthwise. I lightly brushed my cooking sheet with olive oil (I love my silicone brush!), laid them face down/flat side on the sheet, and brushed over them lightly with olive oil (you can drizzle if you prefer). My cooking sheet is a jelly roll type pan with sides…helpful with roasting your veggies. Sprinkle with salt and pepper or whatever you enjoy…I would think a salt-free mix could work also or maybe fresh or dry herbs. I baked for about 15 minutes at 400. They will brown a bit and that’s to be expected. The next day they were tasty also, eaten cold with a vinaigrette salad dressing.
The same basic method has worked well with bite sized bites of cauliflower also. That time I added fresh chopped rosemary by stirring the cauliflower in oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary before placing on the pan. They also took 15-20 minutes. Great stuff. I think the key is experimenting with how much oil you like. You need some for vegetables to maintain moisture, but too much oil detracts from the vegetables. I love this method because it is easy, tasty, and you don’t lose nutrients in water as you would with steaming and other methods.
We’ll be heading out of town for a little while. I hope to get some inspiration and ideas from another part of the country, northern Arizona. Plus we all need a vacation around here! I apologize for the formatting of this into one overwhelming paragraph. I keep adding space but it does not seem to be corrected. Hopefully I will figure it out along with adding pictures soon.