Bring Your Own Lunch! This dish was inspired by a roasted root vegetable salad created by Chef Michelle Bernstein. I recently attended a nutrition oncology symposium in which she was the keynote speaker. If you are not familiar with her, she is a well-known Miami chef, restaurateur, television host, and celebrity in the foodie biosphere. Michelle’s objective was to demonstrate dishes rich in nutrients that would appeal to cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, as they are known to have little to no appetitive. Her dish was so beautiful and brimming with healthy deliciousness, I had to bring it home and put my own spin on it.
I am, and have always been, a sucker for roasted vegetables. Certain veggies that are cooked under high heat for an extended period of time become extremely rich and deep in flavor. The sugars caramelize and form a sweet crust that will send shivers down your spine. This is what I call true comfort food. I have created this dish as a lunch on its own or with a side salad, but feel free have it in smaller portions as a side dish. When roasting vegetables, it is important to remember to cut most of the vegetables the same size to ensure that they cook at the same rate.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Ingredients: Serves 5
3 Large Parsnips
2 Medium Sweet Potatoes
2 Large Heads of Cauliflower
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pepper
2 Tablespoons Rosemary, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Thyme, Chopped
5 Ounces Goat Cheese
10 Tablespoons Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (Pepitas)
I like the carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes sliced into sticks- not too thin and not too thick. The cauliflower cooks much faster than the other veggies, so cut into large chunks. Place cut vegetables in an extra large bowl (you may need two) and massage the olive oil, salt, pepper rosemary, and thyme into each piece. Place ingredients on roasting pans, and cook for 45-55 minutes, turning halfway through. As you can see in the photos, I roasted all the veggies together. However, the cauliflower was cooked perfectly about halfway through, so I would recommend roasting it separately and only for 25-30 minutes.
Allow the vegetables to cool completely before removing from pan. Because this was my lunch for a week, I portioned out the recipe into 5 servings prior to refrigeration. Do what works best for you. Top with 1 oz. of goat cheese and 2 tablespoons of roasted pepitas to add a protein punch and a crunchy topping. This recipe may be eaten hot, cold, or at room temperature, although I prefer it hot with cold goat cheese. Enjoy!