Thursday, December 17, 2015

Roasted Garlic & Cracked Pepper Radishes and Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone

Have you ever crossed paths with someone who just instantly understood you, "gets" you and you just felt like, "yep! This person gets me. She's a game changer and she just gets my journey, gets it, gets the struggle, gets everything and now she's stuck with me forever"? That's how I felt when I finally got to work alongside a co-worker who advises students at a different campus. I'd met her in passing but hadn't really gotten to actually talk to her. In about 5 minutes, Lisa and I were talking about our weight loss journeys, the struggle of it, but more than that, the more I talked with her about products, food items and restaurants she's loving, the more notes I took on my trusty little sticky notes. There may have been 3 or 4 in a single conversation. If you know me at all, you know I love me a good sticky note pad and I go through them in about a nanosecond.. because of people like Lisa who are constantly changing my life with things to try, places to go, items on Amazon to check out, menus to look into. I'm a copious note taker and not even a little ashamed of it. Ha! 

The more I talked with her- I was lucky enough to work with her a hand full of evenings last month- the more support we offered each other and the more notes I took ferociously on my trusty post its. From the get-go, she just got me. And I, her. So often you come across people freely cramming carbs into their faces and drinking wine and fun, festive little cocktails and they're LOSING weight and their bodies are able to not blow up like mine (bless y'all.. I kinda want to be you).  It's not very often that in my real life I have people outside of my family who really get it. Like, live it. Every day, every meal, every snack, all. the. time. Over and over again. So on those nights when I worked with her, I felt like, for a few hours, it wasn't just me. It wasn't just my husband and I vs. every meal that we can't have. And it was empowering and encouraging and quite honestly, therapeutic, to have someone who just walked up to me, sat down next to me and pretty much told me my own story to my face. And said everything out loud that I've thought quietly to myself. That on top of the fact that she's wickedly sarcastic and a total riot just made me instantly adore her even more. So, Lisa, I know you're reading this.. and you're stuck with me. :)

So, when she asked me if I'd ever roasted radishes because they taste like little new potatoes, my ears perked up and my fingers starting scouring the internet for pictures and recipes. Is this really real life? Could radishes be transformed into potatoes?? And that's when I knew I'd be making a stop to the grocery store to pick up a few bundles of the vegetable I do NOT allow into my fridge. Because, well, it's a salad garnish. A topper. The bite to it is unmistakable and.. ew. I do not, as a rule, get excited about my daily salad. I'm fine with it, I manage it, I work through it, but a salad topper isn't what this blog is all about. Let's keep it real. But roasting them until they turn into magical little potatoes? I can get behind that! And I am now such a HUGE fan. 

This past weekend, I tried my hand at roasting those beloved radishes and what came out of the oven is nothing short of a delicious little Christmas miracle. I wouldn't say that they are truly potato-y because it doesn't have the same fluffiness and starch that a potato would offer.. obviously. But they are about as close to a new potato as I've had in almost a year, and hey.. I'll take it! Make these soon, you will adore them. 

Roasted Garlic & Cracked Pepper Radishes

3 bunches of radishes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt 
2 teaspoons fresh cracked pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Line baking pan with aluminum foil
Wash and dry all 3 bunches of radishes 
Trim tops of radishes and slice radishes in half 
Place trimmed and sliced radishes on baking pan and drizzle olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic on top and use your hands to evenly distribute and coat 
Place dish in the oven for 20-25 minutes until slightly caramelized, golden and perfectly roasted 
Let radishes cool for 5 minutes and place in a dish to serve, adding additional sat and pepper to taste 

Who knew that the veggie that I avoid 100% of the time I'm in the produce section would end up being chopped and roasted with garlic, salt and pepper in my kitchen? Like I said, Christmas miracle. 

The color on these babies: to die for. 

Trimming the tops and cutting the radishes in half 

Post radish massage of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper

Oh my word.. fresh out of the oven and they were perfectly tender and smelled incredible 

 I tend to like my roasted veggies reeeeaaally roasted #gobigorgohome 
And these were incredible and such a new household favorite! I served them with a garlic herb roasted chicken and a salad and there wasn't a radish in sight at the end of our meal. 

I'm already having visions of my next little roasted radish adventure that pairs these gorgeous little dudes with the same ingredients but adding lemon juice and a little Parmesan into the mix. I'm under the notion that Parmesan and lemon make anything better. It's just a fact of life, really. 

So, there you have it! I felt a little wild and crazy roasting a veggie that I'd never thought of doing anything with other than ingoring.. and I can't say enough how exciting it was to try something new and different. Because it's so easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to food. It gets so easy to reach for the same foods you know you like, you know are easy, and you know are on plan. 

But sometimes, sometimes.. live a little! And I'm taking my own advice here. They say that variety is the spice of life. Well, those people people probably aren't trying to live each day under 20g of net carbs and probably also don't have a list a mile long of foods they have to avoid and that are everywhere and in almost everything delicious. But I am determined to step out of my comfort zone and try new foods, new recipes and new ways of switching this up.. because I am in this for the long haul. 

This is the rest of my life and every day is a choice and every meal either gets me closer to my goals or further behind. And I've spent too many years being far behind. Wishing to not have this body. Wishing, waiting, hoping and not doing. This year has been a year to squash all of that and I'm all the better because of it. In a food rut I have definitely been a victim of being simply because I know what works for me and what's easy to throw together at the end of the day. This lifestyle does not have to mean boring chicken and broccoli 7 nights a week and sometimes, while I blog and post fun recipes and things to try, that's hard to remember.. especially when life gets busy. Which it most certainly has been! 

I hope that whether it's roasting a radish or taking a step out of your comfort zone in your job or a project.. or going to a new exercise class, that you truly seize the moment and just do it. You have today. This moment. Get out of that rut and just go for it. You've got this. 

What's something new you've been wanting to try? I'd love to hear from y'all. And happy Friday Eve everyone! We're almost to the weekend! 

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