They say first impressions are of the highest importance. Within seconds of meeting, your new acquaintance has already formed a near-permanent judgement of you. If a first impressions goes awry, reversing it is an uphill battle. As someone who has encountered many flawed first impression (on both sides of the coin), I am a firm believer in second impressions.
Sure, first impressions are useful. However, on some days we wake up not quite feeling like ourselves. During some moments in life the weight of the world is bearing down on us. And some people just need extra time before they are ready to reveal their true selves. I experience all of these and I bet you have too. We all deserve the grace of a second impression.
For one reason or another, some vegetables make lousy first impressions too. Today I am here to champion for three of these veggies that deserve a second chance: potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and beets.
We’ll start with America’s most popular vegetable: white potatoes. Poor white potatoes bear the dark mark of the evil “white food” category that pretty much every popular diet agrees should be illegal. Nonsense. The potato is a healthful, nourishing vegetable, keeps well in the pantry, and serves as a comforting foundation for any plant-based dinner in a hurry. Just avoid defaming it by drowning it in a deep-fryer. Next, Brussels sprouts and beets. This duo is equated to the worst of punishments that parents enforce upon children. If the only B. sprouts and beets you’ve ever eaten were the canned and boiled versions you were forced to eat in childhood, it’s time to give them a second chance. When done wrong, these two can be oh. so. wrong. But when done right, you will actually crave them. Roasting is the easiest way to lure crave-worthy flavors out of veggies. Much like some people, these veggies need the gift of time to warm up and soften and sweeten.
Find it in your heart to grace all three of these misunderstood beauties with a clean slate. A creamy dipping sauce makes this second encounter even better.
Roasted Vegetables with Maple-Mustard Cashew Cream Sauce
- 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
- 1 lb. fingering potatoes
- 1 lb. beets
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
Maple-Mustard Dipping Sauce
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1.5 tablespoons dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- dash of cayenne (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Prepare Brussels sprouts: wash, cut in half.
Prepare potatoes: wash, cut into quarters.
Prepare beets: wash, remove stem base and root “tail”, peel with vegetable peeler, slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.
Toss prepared vegetables in olive oil, salt and pepper.
Roast on sheet pan for 50-60 min. until tender.
Maple-Mustard Dipping Sauce
Soak cashews in water for 2 hours.
Combine cashews/soaking water and all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Serve alongside roasted vegetables as a dip or drizzle over vegetables.