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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Best Healthy Meals I Have Ever Tasted

It smells like hot chocolate and Christmas cookies everywhere I go.  It would be one thing if I only had Christmas cookies in my house but they are everywhere!  When I walk into the bank, at school, at friends homes… there really is no place to hide from the sweet smell of Christmas cookies.  This tradition has been in families for generations.  We make a large abundance of cookies and share them with others that in return give us more cookies and it goes on and on.  If only that loving gift didn’t show up later on our doctors report or on our backsides we would say thank you with a big smile on our faces.  The holidays last for almost 3 months out of the year… every year… and if we continue to carry that 1 or 2 pounds we get each year after 5 years we are looking back wonder what happened. 
I learned the hard way about how important my health is.  I lost my mom to breast cancer when she was only 45 years old.  Through that experience I learned that certain traditions no matter how comfortable and delicious they may be are not worth risking my health over.   The best healthy meals are the ones that are loaded with flavor and loaded with nutrients as well.  NOW WAIT a minute I am not talking about carrot sticks and celery here.  I am talking about the best healthy meals I have ever tasted!  I want to share my favorite holiday dish that will make you come back and beg for more! And it’s so simple…

Roasted Root Vegetables
3-4 medium carrots, peeled
3-4 medium parsnips, peeled
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
1 medium rutabaga, peeled
2-3 medium potatoes
1 large sweet onion, peeled
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped (1/2 tbsp dried)
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped (1/2 tsp dried)
1 tsp fresh parsley, chopped (1/2 tsp dried)
Reserve some fresh or dried herbs for garnish
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut all of the vegetables into 3/4 inch cubes or wedges so that they will all cook in the same amount of time. Place all of the vegetables in a large bowl. Add the olive oil, herbs, sea salt and black pepper, and toss to coat the vegetables evenly. Add contents to a large casserole dish or baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, caramelized and slightly crispy along the edges. Turn the mixture once throughout cooking time.  Remove from the oven and garnish with additional herbs before serving.
I don’t want to give all our secrets in one blog so enjoy!  This is one of the best healthy meals for the holidays or any day that I have ever had!

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