Simple vegetarian dinner with roasted lemon garlic potatoes

Strolling through Trader Joe's has become a new hobby; it is SO wonderful having one close by! Since produce is the first section you see when entering the store, it's easy to prioritize that part of my shopping trip. *Thinking about fruits and vegetables as the centerpiece of a meal--rather than the protein or grain component--is a way to help you increase your consumption of them. Consider heading to the produce section first the next time you are in the grocery store!*

Historically, there has been quite a bit of lashback against starchy vegetables like potatoes. However, plain old white potatoes happen to have a lot of potassium, an essential mineral that is important in maintaining a healthy blood pressure, as well as a ton of other vitamins and minerals. As part of a balanced diet, they can be a healthy component (no, sorry... not in french fry or chip form :P ). For celiac patients, they are also a staple source of gluten free carbohydrates. The moral of the story: fear not the power of the potato!

When I stumbled upon these cute little red potatoes, I instantly had a craving for something roasted...

I decided to make some roasted potatoes as a part of my #MeatlessMonday dinner, along with steamed green beans and eggs. I started out by first setting my oven to 400 F, washing and then quartering the red potatoes (the bag I bought was 1 lb 8 oz), and peeling 4 cloves of fresh garlic.

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I absolutely LOVE roasted garlic, but it is definitely a potent flavor. You could always mince the garlic and spread it throughout the cookie sheet before roasting.

I then spread the potatoes and garlic evenly on a cookie sheet, drizzled about 1 T olive oil and 2 T lemon juice, gave them a generous shake (I'd say about 2 Tsp each) of oregano and ground black pepper, and sprinkled on just a dash of salt. I spread the mixture around with my hands a bit to ensure everything was coated evenly.

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At this point, the oven was heated up to 400 F. I slid the tray into the oven and set the timer for 25 minutes, and distracted myself with a mystery book for about 15 minutes.

While the potatoes were busy getting golden and crispy, I put some green beans on the stove to steam. Yep, those are frozen green beans! Frozen vegetables actually retain quite a bit of their nutrients, and they stay good for quite a while. They are a staple in my diet. Steaming vegetables vs boiling them also helps retain nutrients. Often I'll steam vegetables in the microwave (microwave safe container, 2 tsp water, frozen vegetables--> done in 5 min), but when I have the energy to watch the stove, I like being able to stop the veggies from cooking right when they are done. Here's how to steam them:

  1. Put about 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of a pot (make sure it will fit the steamer basket you will use) and put it over high heat to get the water to boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to low, place the steamer basket on top (it shouldn't be touching the water) and fill it with however many vegetables you would like to cook. I put about 2 handfuls of frozen green beans in mine.
  3. Cover with a lid and let steam. Check the vegetables at first at 5 minutes, but keep cooking them until you are satisfied with the texture. I prefer mine tender but still a little bit crunchy.
  4. Remove the pot from heat. With potholders, take the steamer basket off the top and place the vegetables in a serving dish. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.
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Once my green beans were all snug in the steamer, I heated up a small pan with 1 tsp olive oil on medium heat and set about frying 2 eggs. After about 5 minutes, I flipped the eggs to finish them off with a little crisp on both sides. I tried really hard to not break the yolk, but alas, my egg flipping skills are not quite on par. I still ended up with two eggs that had deliciously soft yolks.

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At that point, the potatoes were ready! They came out wonderfully golden brown and smelling awesome.

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So simple, so delicious. And even better, I had leftovers :)

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