How to // Roast Frozen Veggies

>> Thursday, October 6, 2016

My sister-in-law is like the fittest, healthiest person I know. (She's also a Pilates instructor in LA -- so you know she's got some street cred!) We had a brief chat yesterday about health and stuff, and she really inspired me to get my act together.

I have this vision of myself that's sort of, well, incredibly outdated. I was in my twenties, running marathons, lifting weights, and eating clean basically all the time.

Fast forward a good six years later? I have two awesome girls, I still keep at the running, and my diet just never recovered. Overall, I do pretty well keeping active and incorporating good foods into my routine. But also overall, I have a lot I could improve upon that would make me feel a whole lot better.

I exercise like crazy because I love to move. I love running slow and long, fast and short, doing intervals, etc. I try to run 4-5 days a week. Usually 3-5 miles and then a long run. The one area I've neglected for so long is strength. I'm making up for it now with my kettlebell addiction. I have also started incorporating quick and intense workouts by Kayla Itsines into my routine. I try to do either these activities (or Barre3) 4 times a week.

Sometimes I get in a quality 30 minutes. Other times? The nap ends early and I get in a quick 10. But it's better than nothing and I think it's already helping my overall fitness. In other words: Exercise is covered.

The diet portion. Oh, man. Let's just say, I have gotten more than comfortable eating what I like, when I like, and as much as I like. Some of this is good. I don't like the idea of "bad" foods or having things off limits. And I need good sized portions to fuel workouts. That being said, I've needed to cool it with the carbs and sugar for a while. I need these things to support breastfeeding, but the lazy sleep-deprived mom in me just can't get my act together to cook and plan ahead so the healthier stuff can take over.

I mean, when I hear random people say they don't have time for exercise, I sort of definitely roll my eyes. We all have 10 minutes here and there throughout the day to do SOMEthing. Set the alarm earlier, carve out a quickie workout while watching TV, etc. Yet, here I am making a long list of excuses about not having time or motivation to eat well. Oh, the hypocrisy!


I'm trying to do better. Right now, I'm loosely following the Tone It Up 31-day eating challenge. Mostly, I'm using their 5-a-day meal pattern and recipe suggestions to guide myself into better eating. One of the things I learned from these ladies is that you can make a "tray dinner" where you roast a bunch of veggies and a protein all at the same time for a quick and easy meal.

Guess what! I looked up on The Kitchn that you can even roast FROZEN veggies. This is a huge game-changer. It's completely transformed my lunchtime routine. (Make ahead the night before or make it in the moment -- whatever works for you.)

Here's how you do it:
  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. 
  • Place a baking sheet inside that has a tablespoon or more oil on it to preheat.
  • Put on your frozen veggies when the oven is hot. Coat a bit in the oil.
  • Roast 30-45 minutes or so, until browned.
  • I like to add chickpeas or tofu to my mix and cook everything together.  
  • Oh, and I also don't stick to just traditional roasted veggies. I roast stir-fry mixes!
  • Then I like to drizzle on some Mirin, tamari, hot sauce, or whatever else makes sense.
Who's going to try this trick today!?

Also: Who has good protein powder recipes for energy balls, etc.? I tried one and, uh, it tastes like cardboard.

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