Vegetables seem to have taken a toll of my life lately. Even my family thinks I am becoming vegetarian due to my newest food habits. I say I am just having a healthy dosage of food. There are plenty of benefits into becoming a vegetarian, if I wanted I would become one. Being a vegetarian for me just would not be the right fit. I can handle a few days eating vegetables, but I do like a nice piece of meat.
A vegetarian lifestyle is not very popular in Angola, but it has become a trend for a small people in the last years. There are some options in the market such as eating cassava (mandioca), sweet potatoes (batata doce), plantain (banana-pão), cassava leaves (kizaca), potato leaves (rama de batata), beans leaves (folhas de feijão), sautee okra (quiabo estufado) and many others.
There is some information about a vegetarian / vegan diet in Angola, but check out Ana’s website, Cook the Beans. It is a vegan based blog in dual language, English and Portuguese, and it has a special post on Angola. Have a plant-based diet in Angola… is it possible? talks about my country, and from there you will have an idea on what to eat once you get here. Although most of the people in Angola are not vegetarian, there is always a chance to have a full, rich and healthy meal.
Eating is part of a significant portion in my life, and it is only fair if I am responsible with what I ingest at all times. It is important always to have balance in our life, physically, spiritually and psychologically. All of the consumed food has the ability to affect our health and even mental state. Indulging a nice piece of KFC / Raising Canes chicken strips is probably very close to bliss. Unfortunately, for most of us, the bliss provided by fried good is brief. The results, however, can be devastating.
Did you know that fried food can increase your risk of heart problems? The reason for that is the cholesterol level increases with the intake of fried food. Cholesterol together with fat and other substances in blood create plaques in the arteries, making difficult for the passage of blood. This action can cause atherosclerosis, which is one of the many consequences of high cholesterol.
Unfortunately the heart problems are not the only consequences of fried food, you have as well an increase risk of cancer and obesity. Like many things, there is light at the end of the tunnel with other alternatives. Assuming you are a bit reluctant to give up of fried food, you can always try oven frying. Although a good diet and new eating habits would provide you with better health results. It is very hard to change abruptly, so perhaps you can add a daily dosage of delicious oven baked vegetables instead of your french fries. This small step would definitely help you balance some of the unhealthy choices done through the day when paired with exercise.
The recipe for oven roasted vegetables will not specify the exact quantity of ingredients. It will work as a guide to any roasted, oven baked or grilled vegetables. I particularly love when my vegetables have a strong garlic and cilantro flavor. Garlic is a must in most of my seasonings; you already know that from Cooking Basics Lesson III: The Power of Garlic. But I am also aware that many people have an aversion for garlic and cilantro, for some strange reason. You can always substitute cilantro for another herb like rosemary or thyme. Make them delicious! 😀
Oven Roasted Vegetables
- Garlic, whole
- Garlic cloves, chopped
- Onions, diced
- Cilantro / Parsley, chopped
- French Onions, diced
- Black Pepper
- Red Pepper
- Olive oil
- White Wine
- Lemon juice
Wash the vegetables with cold water and place them in a bowl.
To the food processor or a blender, add all the ingredients from the seasoning. Ensure the fluids are put first to ease up the blending process, and by the end of the process all the ingredients are properly mixed.
To the vegetables, add the blended seasoning and distribute it well. Allow the seasoning to penetrate the vegetables for around 15 minutes.
Transfer the vegetables into a tray, and place it in a preheated oven at 180 °C (350 °F). Turn on both top and lower grill in order to toast both top and bottom of the vegetables.
The vegetables will be cooked once a knife can lightly pass through them. Remove the tray from the oven and let it cook before serving.
The recipe is delicious on its own, but you can always pair it with grilled / stewed meat, chicken, fish, seafood. It will be a great addition to your menu and your health. Enjoy it!
Until next time, Hungry People.