Roasting refers to proteins and vegetables cooked mostly at high temperatures in the oven. Baking uses a lower temperature to cook breads, baked goods, and casseroles.
Roasting makes any vegetable taste better. It brings out their flavor, caramelizes their natural sugars, and adds crunch. If your family doesn’t love certain vegetables like broccoli or Brussels sprouts, roasting is a great way to change their mind. Double what you’re roasting and then turn extra servings into quick meals later in the week. Cooking a little extra with one meal lets you make the most of value-sized packages of proteins and other store sales. With leftover already planned, you won’t need to lean on takeout.
Why we love to roast:
It’s Affordable! Inexpensive ingredients are tastiest when roasted. Root vegetables are browned and crisp, tomatoes and grapes are extra juicy and sweet, and tough cuts of beef are fall-apart tender. You also don’t need any special equipment to roast.
Roasting Is Healthful! Roasted foods need very little fat to cook compared to frying or sautéing. Roasting also intensifies flavors without added salt, sugar, or other ingredients.
It’s Easy! Roasted foods need little prep before they cook. And once the oven door closes, you can walk away. Fewer pans and utensils are needed, making cleanup easier too.
Essential Tools For Roasting:
Rimmed Sheet Pan: The rim keeps vegetables from falling off the sides and catches any juices from meats and fish.
Oven-Save Skillet: Go from stovetop to oven and back. Sear meats before roasting or make a pan sauce with the meat drippings after roasting.
Roasting Pan: Best for large roasts, hams, and turkeys. An inner rack lifts the meat so it can brown and crisp underneath.
Parchment Paper: Line pans to keep foods from burning and sticking, then toss for easy cleanup. If roasting at a higher temp or broiling use foil.
Metal Tongs: Flip and stir foods on a hot pan with ease. Look for tongs with a heat resistant grip.
Silicone Brush: Brush on a sticky glaze or baste foods with sauce. The silicone bristles are easy to clean.
Tips For Sheet Pan Roasting:
Jump Start Browning by preheating your sheet pan before adding vegetables.
Pat foods very dry with paper towels so the outside browns while the inside cooks through.
Cut foods to the same size and thickness so smaller pieces don’t burn.
Space out foods on the sheet pan so they have room to crisp and brown.
Let sheet pans cool before rinsing to keep the metal from warping.
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved
Cheesy baked pasta is even more fun when you can slice it into wedges.
Generally animal products are higher in fat than plant foods, but it’s not necessary to cut out all meat and dairy products to keep your fat intake reasonable. Low-fat dairy foods, lean and well trimmed meat, and skinless poultry provide the same amounts of vitamins and minerals as their fattier counterparts. Skinless poultry, fish, dry beans, and split peas are the “slimmest” foods in this category. By removing the skin from poultry, you reduce the fat by almost one half. Most seafood is low in fat and also contains beneficial omega-3 oils, which have been linked to lowering blood cholesterol. Dry beans also provide the body with fiber, which is necessary for digestion.
You can enjoy red meat if you choose lean cuts and trim away all the visible fat (marbled fat cannot be trimmed away). Here are some good choices:
*Beef eye round, top round, tenderloin, top sirloin, flank steak, top loin, and ground beef. Choose ground sirloin; it’s 90 to 93 percent lean.
*Veal cutlets (from the leg) and loin chops.
*Pork tenderloin, boneless top loin roast, loin chops, and boneless sirloin chops.
*Lamb, boneless leg (shank portions), loin roast, loin chops, and leg cubes for kabobs.
Here are some suggestions to make trimming excess fat from your diet easier:
*Choose lean cuts of meat and trim off all the visible fat before cooking. Remove skin from poultry before or after cooking.
*Broil meat on a rack so the fat can drop away.
*Substitute ground chicken or ground turkey for ground beef. Look for ground turkey breast or chicken breast; otherwise, it may contain skin and therefore have as much fat as ground beef.
*Substitute protein-packed dried legumes, like beans and lentils, for meat in casseroles.
*Chill soups and stews overnight so you can remove all the hardened fat from the surface.
*Be skimpy with fat. Use nonstick pans and nonstick cooking spray, or sauté in a small amount of broth or water. Don’t just pour oil into a skillet; it’s easy to add too much. Measure or use a pastry brush to coat pans with a thin layer of oil. When baking, coat pans with a spritz of nonstick cooking spray instead of oils or fats. Kitchenware shops carry oil sprayers you can fill with your favorite oil.
*Experiment with low fat or skim milk, low fat sour cream and cheese, and nonfat yogurt. They provide the same amounts of calcium and protein as the whole milk varieties, but with less fat or none at all.
*When making dips, substitute nonfat plain yogurt for sour cream.
*Use fresh herbs and zesty seasonings literally.
*Choose angel food cake instead of pound cake, especially when making cake-based desserts like trifle.
*To reduce fat and cholesterol, you can substitute 2 egg whites for 1 whole egg in recipes, but don’t substitute egg whites for all the whole eggs when baking. The dessert will have better texture and flavor if you retain a cold or two.
*Replace sour cream with buttermilk or yogurt in recipes for baked goods.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2017 All Rights Reserved
Red Split Lentils
The lentil is one of our oldest foods and a staple in many countries around the world. It originated in Asia and North Africa, and continues to be cultivated in those regions, as well as in France and Italy. Lentils are hard even when fresh, so they are always sold dried.
Lentils are a good source of complex carbohydrates and plant protein. They also contain a range of vitamins and essential minerals, including iron, selenium, folate, manganese, zinc, phosphorus and some B vitamins.
Orange-colored red split lentils, sometimes known as Egyptian lentils, are the most familiar variety. They cook relatively quickly, in just 20 to 30 minutes, eventually disintegrating into a wonderful thick, rich purée. They are ideal for thickening soups and casseroles. When cooked with spices, garlic, and onions they make a hot and delicious dhal, a richly flavored purée served as an accompaniment to meat or vegetable curries. In the Middle East, red or yellow lentils are cooked and mixed with spices and vegetables to form balls known as kofte, which are then fried.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved
Forget that horrible box stuff and make your own delicious Mac & Cheese. Here is a different spin on the usual cheddar cheese macaroni & cheese dish. Using the brie, cream cheese and mascarpone makes it nice and creamy. I used macaroni pasta here, but you can use pasta shells or farfalle pasta.
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
1/2 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
12 Ounces of Farfelle or Macaroni Pasta or Shells
7 Ounces Brie (Rind Removed) Cut Into Chunks
5 Ounces Cream Cheese Softened & Cubed
3 Large Eggs Lightly Beaten
1 Cup Mascarpone Cheese
1 Cup Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
3/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 Teaspoon Finely Grated Nutmeg
Heat your oven to 375º F. Butter a 2 quart gratin dish. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to al dente and then drain well. DO NOT rinse the pasta. Transfer the hot pasta to a large bowl and toss immediately with Brie and cream cheese until melted and smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, mascarpone and Parmigiano. Stir the egg mixture into pasta. Season with the kosher salt, pepper and nutmeg. Place the pasta into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. Serves 6