Long day. This morning I talked about holiday cooking with nuts on the Global morning edition, having hotboxed myself in the car with this panful of roasted veg, which I pulled from the oven and threw on the back seat at around 7:30am. When I brought them into the studio everyone’s knees practically buckled, despite the fact that it was only a panful of roasted root veg and it was 8 in the morning. When I left they were all scarfing it down out of paper coffee cups with plastic forks. (The mixture of beets, sweet potatoes, fennel, turnip and carrots are tossed with oil and herbs with walnut halves added about 10 minutes from the end of the roasting time, and then drizzled with walnut vinaigrette.) Mike called it “dynamite” and suggested it would be perfect with turkey dinner – he said it seemed exactly like something that would go with stuffing. Look at him food pairing… I’m so proud. Snif.
Fast-forward: Traffic was nightmarish and exhausting to keep on top of (or try to) again this afternoon, and by the time I wrapped things up, delivered a package, and fought that same traffic to pick up W at my Mom’s, it was around 7:30. Although I knew there were leftover roasted vegetables in the fridge at home, I couldn’t even face reheating them and ordered Inglewood Pizza to pick up on the way. I did eat a few forkfuls of the leftover veg in an attempt to balance the pizza.
Good news: I have in my possession the light coconut fruitcake recipe courtesy of Mexbird. I picked up crushed pineapple. I have high hopes. It does recommend wrapping and storing it for awhile, but we obviously don’t have time for that, and I don’t want to wait for another 11 months to make it. I was going to post the recipe tonight, but I’d rather do it with photos tomorrow; I have a long list of things to make for our Christmas party tomorrow night, so tomorrow’s post will likely be late but long.
Roasted Vegetables with Walnut Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lb beets, peeled and cut into wedges
1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 lb turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 fennel bulb, sliced
1 medium red onion, cut into wedges
2 cups California walnut halves
1 tsp each coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp walnut (or olive or canola) oil
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp orange zest
2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
1/2 tsp each coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Position oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 425°F.
Whisk oil, thyme and rosemary in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, turnips, fennel and onions; toss to coat. Divide between two rimmed baking sheets. Roast vegetables until tender and brown in spots, turning occasionally, about 30 minutes. Add walnuts to vegetables and continue to roast for 10 minutes. Remove from oven; immediately sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk together walnut oil, vinegar, orange zest, orange juice, salt, pepper and parsley.
Arrange roasted vegetables on a large platter and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve hot or at room temperature. Makes 12 servings.
Per serving: about 240 cal, 5 g pro, 16 g fat (2 g sat. fat), 22 g carb, 6 g fibre, 0 mg chol, 390 mg sodium
Shortbread is a meticulous ratio of fat, flour and sugar, and you can’t mess with it without turning it into something that isn’t shortbread anymore. Because there are only 3 elements, there’s nowhere for other stuff to hide, and because it has to stand on its own, back in the 90s I preferred not to mess with it. In recent years though, I became determined to come up with a shortbread that was every bit as tender and buttery, but with healthier fats and a boost of fiber as well. My solution involves blending butter and olive or canola oil, then re-chilling it to firm it up (ever put a bottle of olive oil in the fridge, and it gets kinda cloudy and semi-solid?) before adding to the dry ingredients. It’s still high in fat, but mostly of the healthy kind that we want to include in our diets. Eat up!
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup mild (not extra-virgin) olive or canola oil
1/2 cup oats (old-fashioned or quick, but not instant)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup wheat bran, oat bran or ground flaxseed (or a combination of the three)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
In a medium bowl, stir together the butter and oil until well blended and smooth. Put in the fridge to chill for at least an hour, or for up to several days.
When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 300° F.
Place the oats in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they’re as coarsely or finely ground as you like. Add the flour, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, wheat bran, baking powder and salt and pulse to combine them.
Add the chilled butter-oil mixture (it should be solid, but not quite as hard as butter) and pulse until the mixture starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and resembles dough. Divide the dough in half and press each half into an 8” round cake pan. If you only have one pan, bake the shortbread in two batches, shape it into a free-form circle on an ungreased cookie sheet, or wrap the second half of dough and pop it in the fridge or freezer for another time.
Prick the dough a few times with a fork and press all around the edge of the dough with the tines of the fork to make a border. Bake the shortbread for 30-35 minutes, until it’s just barely golden around the edges. Cool it in the pan for 5 minutes before cutting each circle into 12 wedges.
Per wedge: 128 calories, 8.6 g total fat (3 g saturated fat, 4.5 g monounsaturated fat, 0.6 g polyunsaturated fat), 1.3 g protein, 12 g carbohydrate, 10.4 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber. 59% calories from fat
Walnut Praline Shortbread: Add 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans to the dough along with the flour mixture. Adds 1.5 g fat, but only the good kind.
Rosemary Shortbread: Add 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary to the dough along with the flour mixture.
Orange-Chocolate Chip Shortbread: Add the grated zest of an orange along with the butter mixture, and stir in about 1/2 cup chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips at the end.