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..Roast Vegetables in a Soy & Lemon dressing..

As you probably know, the Japanese diet is quite well regarded as being high in vegetables, both raw and cooked. The Japanese prepare their vegetable dishes in various ways - grilling, simmering, fermenting and so on. But one thing the Japanese don't traditionally do is roast their vegetables. There's a very simple reason why - most Japanese homes don't feature an oven. That is changing now but I would guess that the majority of homes in Japan still don't feature an oven in the kitchen set up. I live in the UK where - well, what would an English cook do without his/her oven? It's pretty much essential, especially in winter. One thing I particularly like to do in my oven is roast vegetables. Roasted vegetables in a good quality olive oil makes a meat free meal more fillling and satisfying than simmering can and even if you not vegetarian or vegan, it is still a good idea to eat a few main meals every week without any meat.

The one thing a dish of roast vegetables needs is a punchy flavouring and I think my soy and lemon dressing hits the spot in that respect - the ingredients are soy sauce, the juice of 2 lemons, some cloves of crushed garlic and a little honey, so you get a great combination of flavours - sweet, sour and salty, all in one hit.

Once you've got this basic recipe sorted, you can either enjoy it by itself, or, for a more filling meal, mix in some cooked pasta or beans. Once I had completed the batch above, I mixed in some haricot beans. It was really quite delicious as an evening main meal and uber healthy too!

If this is the sort of cooking you would like to try, you can find the Youtube tutorial by clicking Roast Vegetables in a Soy & Lemon dressing or just scroll to the bottom of the page. The written recipe is just below.

Happy roasting! Kurumi XXXX.



(makes 2 servings)

1 large aubergine/ eggplant

2 stalks of celery

1 courgette

1 medium onion

1 bell pepper

260g / 9oz sweet potato

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

for the soy lemon dressing:

juice of 2 lemons

4 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp honey

3 cloves of garlic

some toasted sesame seeds for garnishing

oven setting: 190 C / 375 F for 20 - 25 minutes


how to:

first, prep your vegetables.

cut the aubergine/ eggplant in half lengthways, then cut diagonally into bite sized pieces

put the pieces in a bowl and cover with cold water for 10 minutes. this will reduce the slightly bitter taste of the abergine / eggplant flesh

cut the celery stalks into bite sized pieces

cut the courgette diagonally into bite sized pieces

halve the onion and cut into chunks

halve and deseed the bell pepper, then cut into bite sized pieces

peel and cut the sweet potato into bite sized pieces

put all the vegetables in a large bowl. drain the aubergine / eggplant and add that as well. then, pour in 3 tbsp of olive oil. mix well to get all the vegetables coated in oil

heat your oven to 190 C / 374 F.

spread the vegetables over a large baking tray and roast for 20 - 25 minutes

in the meantime, make your dressing:

squeeze the juice of 2 lemons and pour in a small bowl

add the 4 tbsp of soy sauce, 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of honey

crush the garlic cloves and add to the bowl. stir together well

remove the vegetables from the oven. pour over the dressing and mix well so that all the evegtables get a good coating

garnish with some toasted sesame seeds and serve


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