Oven-Baked Vegetables

These oven-baked veggies are another one of my favorite dishes. It is easy to prepare in advance and quite versatile. We usually eat it as a full meal in itself, sometimes with a bit of rice or pasta, but it is also a great side dish when you have a group of people over for dinner. In any case, it is a healthy, delicious, and filling meal that works any time of the year. 🙂

Great as a full vegetarian meal.

Ingredients

(enough for 4 people as a full meal)

  • 6-8 potatoes
  • 8-10 carrots
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 2 (red) bell peppers
  • 1 zucchini
  • 4 cloves of garlic (if you are a big garlic fan, by all means, use more)
  • 1 red onion
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, pot herbs
  • (if you like: 250 g mozzarella)

How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 200 ° C.
  • Wash the potatoes and cut them into bite-sized chunks. Then peel the carrots and cut them into bite-sized chunks as well.
  • Take a bowl and mix the potato and carrot pieces with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, and pot herbs.
  • Pour the potato and carrot pieces onto the baking tray and put it into the oven for 15 minutes.
  • In the meantime, wash and cut the rest of the vegetables (i.e. the mushrooms, the bell peppers, and the zucchini). You want to cut them all into bite-sized chunks of similar size.
  • Dice the cloves of garlic and the onion.
  • Mix everything in a big bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper, and pot herbs.
  • Take out the baking tray and pour the veggies on top. It all goes back into the oven for another 20-25 minutes. Make sure to stir the contents of the baking tray every 10 minutes or so to make sure it all is baked evenly.
  • If you like, you can cut up some mozzarella and sprinkle the pieces on top of the veggies for the last 5-7 minutes of baking.

Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish vegetable soup mostly eaten during summer because it is served cold. This soup does not require cooking, you just need to have a decent blender and you are good to go. The result is a fresh and refreshing soup and perfect for hot summer days. Just make sure you let it get properly cold before serving it. 🙂

Ingredients

(makes about 5 liters; if you filter it, you end up with about 2.5 to 3 liters)

For the Gazpacho
  • 2 kg tomatoes (roughly 16 pieces)
  • 1½ cucumbers
  • 2 green, 1 red, 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 slices of toast
  • olive oil, salt, pepper, balsamic vinegar, “crema de balsamico”, potherbs, oregano
For the Toppings
  • ½ cucumber
  • 1 green and 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3-4 slices of toast

How to Make It

  • Wash the tomatoes and cut out the stalks. Take a sharp knife and make a big “X” at the bottom of the tomato.
  • Take a pot and heat up enough water to submerge the tomatoes in it. Once the water is hot, put the tomatoes in it and wait until the skin starts to come off. This usually takes no more than 30 seconds. Then take the tomatoes out of the water and let them cool off.
  • Cut the tomatoes into chunks and put them into the blender.
  • Wash and peel the cucumbers. Dice them and put the pieces into the blender.
  • Peel the cloves of garlic, cut them into slices, and add them to the rest of the ingredients in the blender.
  • Take the slices of toast and cut off the crust. Put the crust to the side; you can use it for the toppings later. Soak the bread for 10-15 minutes in cold water, then carefully squeeze out the water and put the bread into the blender.
  • Blend all your ingredients thoroughly in the blender.
  • Add at least 2 teaspoons of salt and freshly ground pepper each, 8 tablespoons of olive oil, 6 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons of “crema de balsamico”, and 2 teaspoons of oregano. Add potherbs as you see fit (I am a big fan, so I add 4-5 tablespoons easily). Blend again.
  • Take a food mill and sieve the blended soup. Let it sit for 30 minutes, taste it, and adjust the seasoning.
  • Refrigerate for at least 6 hours. When serving, the gazpacho must be very cold.
  • Before serving, prepare the toppings.
  • Wash the bell peppers and dice them.
  • Wash the cucumber, peel, and dice it.
  • Wash and dice the tomatoes.
  • Cut the slices of toast into pieces. Take the leftover crusts from the toast for the gazpacho and cut them into pieces as well. Take out a small pan and heat up 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil. Fry the pieces of toast in the oil until they are golden brown. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Sprinkle the toppings on the gazpacho and serve it. Enjoy cold!

Veal with Oven Veggies – Our Anniversary Dinner

Last week, the husband and I celebrated a major relationship milestone – 10 years together, 2 of them married – and decided that we would celebrate, Corona be damned. So, we cooked together and opened a bottle of our wedding wine. It was a wonderful way to spend some meaningful time together and honor our relationship.

What are your anniversary traditions? Is there a must-have food you absolutely need to have because it is tied to a special memory?

Ingredients

(For 2 people)

  • 500 g veal (250 g per person)
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 2 bunches of asparagus
  • 1 large sweet potato/yam
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 mid-sized onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg; garden herbs, if you like (we used thyme and rosemary)

How to Make It

  • Preheat the oven to 180° C.
  • Peel the yam and cut it into pieces. Put the pieces in a bowl, season them with salt, pepper, and nutmeg and pour 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over them. Stir everything to make sure that the yam pieces are properly covered in oil and spices. Pour the yam pieces onto a baking tray.
  • Wash the asparagus spears and peel the lower third. Cut off the dry ends. Put the asparagus on the baking tray as well, season them carefully.
  • Put the baking tray in the oven and let the yam and the asparagus cook for 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, clean the mushrooms and cut them into pieces. Wash the eggplant and cut it into pieces.
  • As you did with the yams, put the mushroom and eggplant pieces in a bowl, season them with salt and pepper and add a bit of olive oil (2-3 tablespoons). Stir to make sure the pieces are properly seasoned.
  • Take the baking tray out of the oven. Pour the mushroom and eggplant pieces onto it, stir it all, and put the tray back into the oven. Let the veggies cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on how soft you like them.
  • Take the meat out of the fridge and, on a separate plate, season it with salt, pepper, and any other herbs you like. We used a mix of thyme and rosemary.
  • Peel the onion and the clvoes of garlic and chop both into pieces.
  • About 5-10 minutes before the veggies are done, heat up a pan and pour a bit of olive oil in it. Sauté the onion and the garlic, take them out, put them aside, and keep them warm.
  • Then fry the meat from both sides, making sure that it stays soft and juicy on the insides.
  • Serve the veggies and the meat on a plate. Garnish the meat with the onion and garlic. We also recommend candles, a nice red wine, and some romantic music for atmosphere. 🙂