Roasting your Veggies

Vegetables are one of loveliest foods on the planet.

I love the colours of red, dark and light greens, purples, orange and yellow. Recently, I have moved away from the conventional and quick method of frying or boiling vegetables. I‘ve been experimenting with roasting and the results are truly outstanding.

Roasting does require more time (double in fact than boiling), but the benefits are worth it. A few facts:

* The vitamin C and B complex in the vegetables are not absorbed by the water when roasted.
   More of the nutrition is maintained and stays right where it should---in the vegetable. 
* The boiling water absorbs most of the good ‘stuff’ and is wasted when poured down the drain.  
* The flavour of roasted vegetables is far superior to boiled vegetables. 
* Vegetables maintain their rich colour and even deepen unlike boiled or fried veggies, which tend to  
   get ‘white-washed’.
* Less oil is used unlike fried vegetables. This lowers your intake of unnecessary fats.
* An array of spices can be sprinkled over the roasting vegetables, which adds another meaning to 
   the word ‘delicious’.

I’ve roasted squash, potatoes, beets, broccoli, carrots and mushrooms all together and the effect is terrific. However, when not dealing with vegetables of the same consistency (re: the roasting time may vary) you need to start off with the ‘tough’ guys first. For example, the order of roasting for this combo is: beets (1st), carrots & potatoes (2nd) and broccoli and mushrooms (3rd).

Other Tips:
* Set the over to 450F or 250C. When ready place the pan in the middle.  
* Use a good-sized pan and place one sheet of baking paper on the bottom.
* Cut the vegetables into medium to small wedges.
* Place in a single row. Don’t do a double –decker!  
* Cover or drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil.
* Sprinkle with ginger, fresh grounded cloves or another favorite spice.
* When cooking with more than one vegetable cook until about half soft, add the next vegetable and
   so on. This way each vegetable will be cooked to their consistency but not overdone.
* Add salt and pepper to your liking (or not).
* Check every 8-10 minutes and toss.
* Prick with a fork to check softness and toss again.
* The perfect roasted vegetable is somewhat soft but definitely not mushy.
* Cooking time varies between 25 to 40 minutes.
* Add walnuts, almonds or another nut to complete the dish. 

The Journey So Far

Life is an adventure and yoga is the greatest one of all. Here I share my love of Yoga, travel, practice and becoming a part-time cook. My life adventures have taken me from growing up in Toronto to living and working in South Korea to studying in India, marriage and finally closing my Yoga school of 15 years.

What I can say so far is that I truly believe that it is necessary in life to let go of one dream in order for another to be born. This might be painful to do so but it is the only way to move forward. We often believe that if our original plan does not succeed it is the recipe for failure. But what if it is the door to something new and great? The horizon is wide and life is not a straight line. This is the way I see it and my journey so far. Having also recently given birth to my first child and at 43, it is another new beginning.


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Heather Morton
is a perennial teacher and devoted student of yoga. Having made 18 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded and directed The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga programs and not drop-in classes. For 15 years, TYW was a part of the growing Toronto yoga community and supported many charities by offering karma classes. As a teacher she holds many academic degrees including a BFA (Fine Arts in Theatre) and a Masters of Education. With a published thesis on Yoga for Children in School, her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic project in the Indian school system. Heather has produced 2 dvds, meditation cds, a backbending manual and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the backbends of yoga. Heather has been featured in the Toronto Life magazine, The Globe & Mail, Yoga4Everybody and other on-line sources. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga in Japan and Elephant Journal. She writes to inspire and share her experiences with others on yoga as a life's practice.
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