These chilly winter days have me wanting to curl up in front of the Winter Olympics in the evenings with a hearty and nourishing dinner.
As someone who craves veggie-heavy, warm dishes, I usually find myself in a bit of a winter soup rut - it's my lazy go-to when I'm tired and can't seem to think of any other options. But when a recent winter veggie promo caught my eye, my mind instantly dreamed up this dish. What I love about it is that it's packed full of all the seasonal goodness our bodies are craving during the winter months - cancer-fighting cruciferous cauliflower, sulphur-rich mushrooms, garlic, and eggs to support our mitochondria, and colorful, phytonutrient-packed squash. (Source)
And then there's the ghee (!!), aka clarified butter, whose flavor is slightly richer and nuttier than regular butter. I'm obsessed with ghee for a couple reasons - it is lactose-free and, when you buy the quality stuff from grass-fed cows, has a myriad of health benefits. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties and, when you eat heart-healthy fats like ghee, not only does it contain vitamins, but it also helps improves the bio-availability of fat-soluble vitamins (like A, E, D, and K) that you are eating with it (Source). The result is that your body is able to access all the benefits of the foods you are eating.
Ghee has been used in Indian cuisine and Ayurvedic practices for hundreds of years, and is known for promoting digestion and weight-loss. Thankfully it has, more recently, made its way into grocery stores and health food markets in the U.S. You should be able to find in the oil isle - near the coconut and olive oils oils. It will last for months in your cupboard and doesn't need to be refrigerated!
As the veggies began to roast in the oven and the ghee warmed up on the stove, I added the thyme and garlic and the comforting aromas wafted up towards my nose. There is a satisfying feeling to this dish, as the timing of it works very well. As I composed the veggies in a tidy pile on my plate, I cracked the farm-fresh egg into the already-warm and greased skillet. The egg went on top and was fresh and hot and the veggies had cooled to the perfect, ready-to-eat temperature just in time for a fine sprinkle of Maldon salt crystals, which added an unexpected crunch. The runny yolk provided an additional sauce and creaminess that played perfectly with the curry flavors of the roasted veggies.
My mouth is watering just thinking about this dish - I will no doubt be making it again soon. ;-)
THYME, GARLIC & GHEE AUTUMN VEGGIES
(makes 1 serving - easy to multiply for more!)
- 1/4 head of cauliflower, sliced lengthwise in 1/2-inch cross-section strips
- ~6 1/2-inch slices of winter squash (any variety - acorn, delicata, butternut, pumpkin)
- 1 tsp. avocado oil (or just enough to lightly coat cauliflower and squash)
- 1 tsp. curry powder
- ~6 oyster mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp. Ghee Butter (from organic, grass-fed cows)
- Fresh thyme, leaves from 3 sprigs
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg (from organic, pasture-raised hen if possible)
- Maldon salt to taste
To roast cauliflower and squash - heat oven to 425 degrees F, preheating baking pan in oven. Toss to coat cauliflower and squash in avocado oil and curry powder. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes, flipping mid-way through, until cooked through and browning.
Meanwhile, heat ghee over medium-low heat, adding thyme and garlic. Let simmer for several minutes to infuse flavors, being careful not to burn the garlic (reduce heat if needed). Add oyster mushrooms, increasing the heat just slightly to give them a nice light brown, cover. Cook for several minutes, turning mushrooms to brown evenly, and checking to make sure garlic isn't burning. Set aside mushrooms and butter sauce, leaving a little butter in the pan to cook the egg.
Cook egg as desired in the same pan as you cooked the mushrooms. I like sunnyside up and runny yolks (which adds extra yumminess and sauciness to the dish).
Assemble roasted veggies, top with mushroom and drizzle remaining thyme and garlic ghee sauce over everything. Finish with the egg. Garnish with a sprinkle of Maldon salt.
Dig in immediately!
I hope you enjoy!!!