For my mental health & because I like vegetables and you should too!

I am supposed to be studying right now. Haven’t even begun classes and I already have homework due. Sigh, welcome to grad school. But for my own mental health, I’m taking a short break to make a quick post about a delicious appetizer I made last week for Easter – Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Ham…and my new go-to side dish, roasted vegetables. I imagine I have a photo somewhere of both of these, but I can’t seem to find it at the moment. Will add if I do come across it at some point. Warning, these are rather decadent and probably shouldn’t even count as a vegetable dish with the amount of cheese involved. But I claim ignorant bliss when I make these :]

Roasted Asparagus Wrapped in Ham

Recipe by Me

1 package thinly sliced/deli shaved ham (I personally like honey roasted)
15 asparagus stalks, blanched (Chop off the tough ends of the stalks. Then toss the remainder of the stalk in a pot of boiling water for about 2 – 3 minutes or until bright green, then put them in pre-prepared ice bath for 2-3 minutes. Strain and set aside for a few minutes.)
1 8oz package of cream cheese
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Black Pepper
Parmesan Cheese
(just use whatever you happen to have, I had the Kraft grated kind which was perfect)
Dipping Sauce Recommendation: Marie’s Poppy Seed Dressing
(these honestly don’t really need a dipping sauce, but I had picked this up earlier in the week and thought it might pair well – it absolutely did, but really the sauce is just going over the top. But for a sauce lover like myself, I had to add it in!)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet (or two) with foil. Take your blanched asparagus and chop into thirds (or halves if the asparagus is short). Also take your ham and cut each slice in half – this can be somewhat difficult as the ham is quite thing, but because you will be rolling the ham up, it doesn’t matter if it tears a bit.

Place a slice of ham down on your work space (I just did this right on the foil-lined baking sheet to save room..and dishes), spread cream cheese along one edge of the slice. Cream cheese does not spread all that well on thin ham that wishes to tear at every touch, so what I actually did was put some cream cheese on a butter knife and pull off little pea size bits and place about 2 – 3 cream cheese “chunks” on the edge of the ham slice.

Then take one of your asparagus pieces, push into the cream cheese and roll until the ham is entirely surrounding the asparagus. Repeat until all the ham and asparagus is used up. Once complete and lined up nicely on the baking sheet, drizzle olive oil across the top, just one or two quick drizzles – no need to cover all the pieces. Do a quick but generous sprinkling of garlic salt, black pepper, and parmesan cheese over the top. Don’t douse the entire sheet, but make sure each piece was a hit a bit with the seasonings.

Place the baking sheet in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes, or until the cream cheese is starting to bubble out of the ham.

Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. Serve immediately (though they’re also delicious once they’ve cooled down). If desired, serve with the poppy seed dressing on the side, or you can also drizzle the dressing over the top.

Roasted Zucchini & Cauliflower + Roasted Tomatoes That Taste Like Mini Pizzas!

Recipe by Me :]

10 Campari Tomatoes, fresh & rinsed clean
2 Zucchini, rinsed clean
1/2 or a whole head of Cauliflower
Olive Oil
Garlic Salt
Black Pepper
Parmesan
Cheddar Cheese (or some kind of shredded cheese – I had a pre-shredded cheddar/jack mix)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (my oven gets very hot, so 375 is plenty hot enough for me, but you may need to increase the temperature to 400 degrees F). Prepare a baking sheet (or two) by lining with foil.

Rinse your veggies and begin to chop. For the tomatoes, slice them in half. For the cauliflower, chop into smaller pieces (I like to have them be two-bite sized, so a bit of stalk and a bit of the head). For the zucchini, thin slices. If you don’t have much patience for slicing, you may want to use a mandolin. I just sliced them as thinly as I could by hand.

Line all the veggies on your prepared baking sheet (you may need two, depending on how large your baking sheets are). Feel free to smash them all in there close together, the only thing is to not have them layered on top of each other, but they can be touching.

Drizzle the entire thing with olive oil, giving an especially heavy hand to the tomatoes (meaning make sure each tomato has olive oil on it). Sprinkle liberally with garlic salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. For the tomatoes, top with a small heap of shredded cheddar cheese.

Place the baking sheet in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are beginning to brown and the cheese on the tomatoes is bubbling.

Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes. The tomatoes will be juicy, and the juice will be hot, so you may want to give them a bit longer to cool. Or warn guests to cut the bite sized pizza flavored tomatoes in half before consuming, giving the juice a chance to escape and cool.

Serve immediately.

Warning: the zucchini will stick to the foil if it becomes too brown and is too thin. You may want to do a drizzle of olive oil on the foil in the area where you put the zucchini. Or just try to make all your zucchini uniform in size, about the thickness of a nickel.

This came about because I had an assortment of vegetables in my fridge but not enough of any to actually make a full side dish with.

I would suggest serving the tomatoes with a crusty bread to soak up the tomato juice.

Enjoy!

xx

-C

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