This is another favorite recipe of mine from Weight Watchers. It’s a vegetable side dish but often it’s my main dish. I kind of feel all grown-up whenever I make it, you know, because it’s real food and it’s a visually pleasing dish because there are lots of colors going on. It just feels sophisticated. I read somewhere once that the healthiest dishes are the ones with the most color.
2 medium red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 4 panels
1 medium zucchini, cut on the diagonal into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium yellow squash, cut on the diagonal into 1/4 inch slices
1 medium vidalia onion, cut into wedges
1 pound thick asparagus, trimmed
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 freshly ground pepper
What to do with it all
Preheat oven to 450°F. Spray 2 baking sheets with nonstick spray and set aside. Cut each bell pepper panel on a diagonal into 2 triangles. In a large bowl add peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, asparagus, garlic, oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Toss well to evenly coat with seasoning. Divide the vegetables between the 2 baking sheets. Bake vegetables tossing occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.
Variations I made
Instead of using red peppers, I had a green and a yellow pepper. Also, I used crushed red peppers instead of ground pepper because I need to put a little hair on my chest and I love heat. I know with meats and chilis it’s preferrable to marinate for a few hours (or days) before cooking and I’ve gotten it into my head it should be the same with vegetables. I’ve now had this both ways: made and served immediately, made previously and served a few hours (or day) later. I prefer the “with time” option except you can’t add the zucchini and yellow squash until right before cooking or the oil and vinegar will make it soggy and no one likes a soggy zucc. Here’s what it looked like:
Comments on the dish from the food critics in my life
Although, it tastes just as good as it ever has, I was surprised at how much less satisfied I was given the lack of color. It was all greens and yellows and, quite frankly, that was a little boring. But I really loved the inclusion of the crushed red peppers. It gave it the heat I was looking for without requiring a glass of water or cool beer (I can’t drink anyway so thanks for bringing it up). Jason, however, needs more than a little hair on his chest because he still thought it was too hot.