But cooking takes time, and while I manage to find time (thanks meal prep!), I can still use a short-cut every now and then. That's why I'm super-stoked to discover Straight from the Root — sous vide-style cooked vegetables that are recipe-ready. They sent me some samples of their vegetables to review, and I've been working them into all sorts of fun, quick meals.
Sous vide cooking keeps all of the vegetables' vital nutrients intact, unlike traditional cooking methods, such as boiling or steaming, which typically cause nutrient loss of up to 30 percent (according to the Straight from the Root website). Plus, sous vide-style cooking really lends these veggies the perfect texture.
To prepare these, simply place the plastic bag into the microwave and heat for 90 seconds. They can also be enjoyed cold, straight out of the bag! By the way, here's the store locator on their site to see if they're available in your area (sadly, they're not in mine YET).
Last night, I used the Organic Baby Potatoes to make a Potato Salad. I didn't heat them, just opened the package and dumped them in a bowl with a couple tablespoons of vegan mayo, about a quarter of an onion (minced), one stalk of celery (minced), pickle relish, and a plop of Dijon. Perfect! These had the texture of al dente potatoes, exactly how I like mine for a potato salad. Served with BBQ Tempeh and Roasted Garlic Asparagus.
I especially love the Organic Butternut Squash because I DETEST cutting butternut squash. I hate it so much that I rarely ever cook with it, yet I love the flavor and texture. I know you can buy pre-cut squash, but my Kroger rarely carries it, so if I want the pre-cut stuff, I usually have to drive out to Whole Foods. I used the butternut squash in Gena's Black Bean Enchiladas (from Power Plates — see Sunday's review), which were stuffed with kale and butternut squash. Her recipe called for roasting a butternut squash, but I was able to skip that step! WINNING!
The Baby Carrots were a lot of fun. I don't typically eat cooked carrots unless they're in a recipe, but after enjoying these, I'm thinking I'll be eating them cooked more often. I love how cooking releases the sweetness of the carrot. Plus, these were so cute with their little tops (which I did not eat, by the way). I enjoyed these as a side dish to a quiche with some hummus for dipping.
The Organic Sweet Potatoes made perfect burrito filler! I stuffed some in a burrito with chickpeas, Daiya, baby spinach, and fire-roasted tomatoes — a use-up-what-I-have-in-the-fridge burrito.
The Organic Red Beets were really convenient. I love beets, but I don't love getting the red stuff all over my hands, clothes, and cutting board. These made a great side dish (Straight from the Root sent me two packages of each, so I've been trying them all kinds of ways), but my favorite use was in this Beet Hummus (recipe below!). I brought this to a full moon gathering, and it was so pretty and delicious. Look at that pink!
1 14-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 package (2 ounces) Straight from the Root Organic Red Beets
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp. water (or more depending on the texture you want)
If you want super-smooth hummus, place the chickpeas in a bowl and use your fingers to pop off the chickpea skins, one by one. Discard the skins. You can skip this step to save time, but your hummus won't be quite as silky smooth (I typically start this process and give up halfway through!).
Place the chickpeas and all other ingredients (except the water) into a food processor and process until smooth. Drizzle in the water, using as much as you need to assist the processor in making smooth hummus. Enjoy!