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Roasting Makes all Vegetables Fun

Week two could not have come quick enough! I caught myself trying to ‘lighten’ the Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings recipe over the weekend but held off. To sum up week 1: I was STARVING. Just trying to gauge a ‘healthy’ portion of what I normally eat usually left me eating less than I should, and then splurging later because I needed the calories. Glad that is over.

Week two should be much more my speed. Healthy recipes, as dictated by others. My first stop is America’s Test Kitchen, which has just put out a lovely Light & Healthy 2011 magazine that I grabbed a few weeks back. It’s out until May, so grab it if you can.

 I absolutely love this publication because it’s written like a blog: they explain the process, then leave you with a finalized recipe. A word of warning. Read the recipe thoroughly before committing to dinner for the night. I thought I would make a pork loin, until I realized I should have marinated the meat yesterday. The magazine doesn’t do a great job at telling you the total time for any given recipe, so just be sure you read ahead first and are prepared.

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower

Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower
America’s Test Kitchen, Serves 6
Per 2-cup serving: 480 calories, 16 g. fat, 3.5 g. sat. fat, 18 g. protein, 70 g. carb, 7 g. fiber, 610 mg sodium

2 heads garlic
2 T. water
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
5 T. evoo
1 head cauliflower, cut into 8 wedges
salt and pepper
1/4 t. sugar
1 lb. fusilli, campanelle, or orecchiette
1/2 c. parmesan cheese, grated
1 T. minced fresh parsley

  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic heads off and place the heads, cut side up, on a sheet of foil. Drizzle 1 T. water on each, and then seal the foil and place in the oven on the top rack for about 30 minutes. Place a roasting dish in the oven to preheat for the cauliflower.
  2. Trim cauliflower, then coat with 1 T. oil, 1/2 t. salt, a pinch of pepper, and 1/4 t. sugar. Remove the roasting dish from the oven and add cauliflower, cut side down. Roast until well-browned, around 20-25 minutes. This should finish up at the same time, or just after the garlic is done.
  3. When garlic is done, remove from foil and let cool. Squeeze out the cloves and mash with a fork. Mix in lemon juice and red pepper. Slowly whisk in oil.
  4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add pasta and 1 T. salt. Once pasta is al dente, reserve 1 c. liquid, and drain. 
  5. Add in 1/4 c. liquid, cauliflower, garlic paste, 1/2 c. Parmesan, and parsley to the post and toss to combine with pasta. Add in more liquid as needed.

In terms of a healthy dish–this worked out pretty well. I actually cut the cheese in half, and still felt it was plenty. I also thought the recipe was heavy on the salt, so feel free to reduce that as needed.