My husband and I just finished week 1 of the Whole Living Challenge.  During the next 21 days, we can’t have alcohol, caffeine, sugar, processed foods, gluten, or dairy.  During week 1, we could only eat fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats (oils, nuts, and seeds).  I discovered that the best way to make a vegetable taste meatier and more satisfying is to roast it.  I’ve known this for awhile; but, this knowledge really came in handy this week.  I made a variety of salads with roasted vegetables and a lot of kale chips.

I made this beautiful and delicious salad by roasting some peppers, corn, and tomatoes.

I just chopped the peppers; then, threw the rest of the vegetables on a tray.  I sprinkled olive oil on them and a bit of salt.  They roasted in a 400 degree oven for about 40 minutes.

I put the vegetables on a bed of mixed spring greens and drizzled extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it.  Then, added a bit of salt and pepper.  I also sliced up some avocado and put that on top.  The avocado added a nice creamy texture and richness to the salad.

Later on, I had some kale chips for a snack.  Ok, they are not potato chips; but, they have a nice crunch and saltiness and make a good, healthy snack.  I bought a bag of pre-chopped kale from Trader Joe’s.  You can buy regular kale and chop the leaves off the stem and then slice the leaves if you don’t want to use pre-chopped kale.  During this week of non-stop chopping and preparing of vegetables it was nice to have something that was already chopped that I could just throw in the oven and roast.

I put the kale on a pan, drizzled some olive oil on it, and added some salt.  It roasted in the oven for 12 minutes at 400 degrees.  Do you see a pattern?  Basically, any vegetable can be drizzled with olive oil, salted, and roasted in the oven at 400 degrees.  Broccoli & cauliflower take about 8 minutes and also taste great roasted.  So, the basic idea it roast some vegetables, put on a bed of lettuce, add an avocado and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and some type of vinegar.  Add salt and pepper and eat. You will be surprised at the endless combinations you can put together.  And, you will be surprised at how good your salad will taste.  This is especially good if you eat it while the vegetables are still warm.

Roasted Vegetable Salad

1-2 ears of corn

1 container of cherry tomatoes

6-7 red, orange, or yellow pepper (chopped into quarters, seeds and membranes removed)

salad greens

1 avocado (pit removed, sliced)

extra virgin olive oil

balsamic vinegar (or red wine vinegar or whatever you like)

salt & pepper

1.  Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  Place vegetables on roasting pans.  Sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast for 40 minutes or until vegetables are done to your liking.

2.  Put roasted vegetables on a bed of greens.  Add sliced avocado.  Drizzle with oil and vinegar and salt and pepper.

Kale Chips

1 bunch of kale (stem removed, leaves sliced) or 1/2 bag of pre-chopped kale

olive oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place kale on a baking sheet.  Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle salt to taste.  Roast for 12 minutes.  Add more salt when chips come out of the oven if desired.