One of the easiest cooking methods in the kitchen also happens to be the tastiest and healthiest. We’re talking about roasting. Whether meat, fish, vegetables or tofu, a main course with minimal cleanup can be ready in under an hour.
Roasting locks in flavor, moisture and nutrition. Its dry, quick heat means your nutrients stay in the food, not washed down the drain (as can be the case with methods like boiling). Giving high output with relatively low input, this warming way to do dinner kicks things up a notch in the taste department without the need for extra ingredients.
Roasted Garlic, Lemon, Chicken and Kale Skillet Caesar
Try something new with roasted lemons and garlic. With whole lemons (you can eat the peel and the fruit in its entirety) and garlic, a high-temperature roast mellows out any harshness, so don’t fear the amount. You’ll be making this sophisticated, winterized take on Caesar salad every week thanks to its ease of preparation and cleanup.
1/2 whole chicken, skin and bones intact, cut into 4 portions (breast, thigh, leg and wing)
4 whole garlic cloves, skin intact
1 whole lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt, plus more to taste
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) ground black pepper
2 slices whole grain sourdough bread or gluten-free bread, roughly torn
1 bunch kale, stems removed, roughly torn
3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp (5 mL) Worcestershire sauce
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C). To large cast iron skillet or ovenproof high-sided skillet, add chicken, garlic and lemon slices. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, until juices run clear on chicken. Transfer chicken and garlic to plate; set aside and leave oven on.
To hot skillet with lemon, add bread and kale and toss together. Return to oven and roast until kale is wilted and dark green, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, for dressing, squish now-soft garlic out of its papers into small bowl and discard garlic paper. Whisk in oil, vinegar or lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce until combined. When kale mixture is out of oven, toss with roasted garlic dressing, taste and season with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
Add chicken pieces back to skillet and serve family style, or plate warm kale mixture with chicken on top.
Each serving contains: 341 calories; 22 g protein; 18 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 27 g total carbohydrates (1 g sugars, 4 g fiber); 373 mg sodium
Roasted Brown Butter and Bean Stuffed Acorn Squash with Crispy Sage
Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of squash in this vegetarian main course. It’s also perfect as a side dish for your Thanksgiving feast.
2 acorn squashes, halved and seeded
1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh sage leaves
2 cups (500 mL) cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed if using canned
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg
2 Tbsp (30 mL) apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup (80 mL) shaved or grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place squash cut side down on large parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until tender when pierced with a knife.
Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat until foamy. Continue to cook until nutty in aroma and light brown, about 1 to 2 minutes. Immediately add sage leaves and fry for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until crispy; transfer sage to small plate. To skillet, add chickpeas, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Transfer to another large baking sheet, then oven, and roast until chickpeas are heated through, about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove squash and chickpeas from oven. Stir vinegar into chickpeas and spoon into roasted squash. Serve topped with crispy sage and cheese.
Each serving contains: 361 calories; 12 g protein; 16 g total fat (9 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 46 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 10 g fiber); 432 mg sodium
Roasted Smoky Tomatoes with Swiss Chard and Eggs
Breakfast for dinner is made even easier when your oven does the work. Tomatoes become jammy and sweet when roasted, enhanced further with a touch of balsamic vinegar, all pairing well with the brightness of fresh Swiss chard. This flavor-loaded bed becomes a veggie-packed base for everyday eggs. To round out the meal, serve overtop soft polenta or warm brown rice.
4 cups (1 L) fresh grape or cherry tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
1 Tbsp (15 mL) balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp (2 mL) smoked paprika
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1 bunch Swiss chard, shredded
8 large eggs
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
To large cast iron skillet or 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) glass baking pan, add cherry tomatoes, red onion, oil, vinegar, smoked paprika and salt. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until tomatoes burst and onions are soft.
Remove from oven, mash tomatoes gently (be careful of hot splatters) and stir in chard. Add back to oven and roast until chard is wilted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from oven and crack eggs evenly over top. Roast until eggs are cooked to desired doneness, about 10 to 12 minutes for slightly runny yolks. Serve warm.
Each serving contains: 255 calories; 15 g protein; 17 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 12 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 3 g fiber); 410 mg sodium