Roasted Comfort Salad – BYOL

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

5  Large Carrots IMG_2601

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!



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4 Comments on Roasted Comfort Salad – BYOL

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  2. John
    January 22, 2014 at 8:20 pm (4 years ago)

    “Oh, and Please Hold the Veggies”- was something that I had to read being that your husband is like-minded. (HTV) is my middle name. “If they are not in their raw state….to the garbage goes my plate….”

    But I am open to compromise. So maybe there is a slight degree of roasting that will trick my palate…roasting just enough to get the caramelized sugars out …raw enough to satisfy my need for the crunch.
    I guess …( I am no expert)…that is why I am enjoying talking directly to one)…that vegetable as a whole have a higher after-burn factor (the result of continued cooking after talking them off the heat)… than most proteins.

    Do raw vegetables hold a higher nutrition value than the (dreaded) cooked variety? Or is that just a myth?

    Great article!

    • Bryee Shepard, M.S., R.D.
      January 26, 2014 at 11:17 pm (4 years ago)

      Thank you for your comment, John! I think your jingle, “to the garbage goes your plate”… Is very clever! In your case, I would recommend roasting vegetables at an even higher heat for a shorter period of time. Maybe 450° for about 15 minutes. This will brown up the vegetables much quicker while allowing the centers to remain nearly raw.
      To address your question about whether or not veggies in the raw state maintain more nutrients than those that are cooked, the answer is yes and no. Raw vegetables maintain live active enzymes that aid in digestion. After these vegetables are cooked the enzymes die off. As you can imagine, cooked vegetables do not need as much to aid their digestion. However if the vegetable is roasted it will maintain many of its nutrients vitamins and minerals usually are preserved through the cooking process for the most part. Now if you boil the vegetable, many of the nutrients are lost in the boiling liquid. So either don’t boil the vegetable or drink that boiling liquid!

      Thank you again, for your comments and great questions!

  3. Jackie
    January 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm (4 years ago)

    Thank you Bryee!


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