Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Roast for the Most

As far as prepping your vegetables to go into your soup there are at least four trains of thought…

You can either add them without cooking them first, boil or steam them, saute them, or roast them.

Roasting is perhaps your best opption because roasting caramelizes the vegetables’ natural sugars to bring out a delicious natural sweetness and helps emphasize the unique flavor of each vegetable.

Roasted vegetables can also be used as a flavorful side dish or meatless entree.

So which vegetables can you roast? And how do you do it?

Pretty much any and all vegetables can be roasted. There are no set rules as to which vegetables to roast. It’s more a matter of what you have on hand and what you discover that you like or don’t like.

Here are some of the most commonly roasted vegetables, as well as how to get the vegetables ready to be roasted and the time that you should roast them.

Always choose the best veggies for roasting that you can. The best raw veggies will obviously give you the best cooked veggies also.

Keep in mind that these may vary about five or ten minutes, depending on how small you cut your vegetables before roasting them.

Also keep in mind that green beans, broccoli, and other green-hued vegetables will turn an ugly olive green, and green beans tend to shrivel before becoming tender.

Flip the veggies half-way through baking time: Around the 20 minute mark of roasting these veggies, make sure to flip and stir the vegetables around a bit. This ensures an even roasting on ALL sides of ALL the veggies.



Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Roasting vegetables at such a high temperature helps caramelize on the outside. If the oven temperature is too low, the vegetables will overcook before achieving the desired browning.

Wash your vegetables and pat them as dry as possible. The drier the vegetable, the better it will roast…

Slice and dice your veggies into bite-sized pieces.

More on this later, but for now two things to keep in mind..

  1. Uniform pieces cook more evenly.
  2. Smaller pieces cook more quickly.
  • Asparagus:…Wash and break off woody bases where spears snap easily. Leave spears whole or cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • Baby leeks:…Trim and halve lengthwise. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towels. Roast at 450°F for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Beets, baby or regular:…Scrub and peel beets. Trim off stem and root ends. If desired, halve or quarter them.
  • Bell peppers:…For regular-size peppers, wash, seed, and cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips. For small peppers, if desired, roast whole, then remove stems and seeds.
  • Brussels Sprouts…Trim stems and remove any wilted outer leaves; wash. Cut any large sprouts in half lengthwise.
  • Carrots…Trim and peel or scrub baby carrots or regular carrots. Cut regular carrots into bite-size pieces or thin strips
  • Cauliflower:…Wash and remove leaves and woody stem. Break into florets
  • Eggplant:…Peel if desired. Quarter lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices.
  • Fennel:…Trim stalks and cut a thin slice from the bottom of the bulb. Cut the bulb into thin wedges.
  • Onions:…Remove papery outer layer. Cut into thin wedges.
  • Parsnips:…Trim and peel parsnips. Cut into bite-size pieces or thin strips.
  • Potatoes…Whole tiny potatoes, quartered, work especially well for roasting. For larger potatoes, cut them into bite-size pieces. Peeling is not necessary, but scrub well before using.
  • Squash:…Baby zucchini can be roasted whole. Larger zucchini should be cut into bite-size pieces or slices.
  • Sweet potatoes:,..Scrub and peel. Cut into bite-size pieces.
  • Tomatoes:…Wash and halve lengthwise.
  • Zucchini…Baby zucchini can be roasted whole. Larger zucchini should be cut into bite-size pieces or slices

Once you’ve cut your vegetables down into bite-sized pieces, toss them a tablespoon or two of oil—such as olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil. I normally do this in a huge Ziploc bag.

This will help the vegetables cook more evenly, make them crispier, and add a rich flavor.

Feel free to add whatever you want to your vegetables before you roast them. This is not necessary, but a few of the things that can be added to your veggies are…

  • balsamic vinegar
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • pomegranate syrup
  • spices—such as ginger, nutmeg, rosemary or sage

Rub the oil into the vegetables with your hands to make sure they’re evenly coated.

Spread the vegetables out on a foil-lined and sprayed rimmed baking sheet, in an oven-proof skillet, or in a baking dish. Make sure they are in a single layer with a little space in between. If they are too crowded, the vegetables will steam instead of roast.

Add more oil if the vegetables still look dry or don’t seem evenly coated.





Cooking times will vary depending on which vegetable or vegetables you are roasting. It is possible to roast different vegetables together, but you want to wait to add those that will require the least amount of cooking time so they won’t burn.

  • Stir the vegetables occasionally while they are cooking.
  • Cook until the vegetables are tender and brown on the edges.

10 to 15 minutes

  • asparagus
  • baby leeks
  • bell peppers
  • Brussels sprouts):
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • eggplant
  • green beans
  • summer squash
  • tomatoes
  • zucchini

30 to 40 minutes

  • acorn squash
  • beets
  • butternut squash
  • carrots
  • fennel
  • garlic
  • leeks
  • mushrooms
  • onions
  • parsnips
  • potatoes
  • shallots
  • sweet potatoes
  • turnips

Roast until the vegetables are tender enough to pierce with a fork and you see some charred bits on the edges. Those charred bits are what make roasted vegetables so good, so even if the vegetables are already tender and cooked through, keep roasting until you see the vegetables start to turn toasty around the tips and edges.

Once the vegetables have finished roasting, scrae them onto wire cooling racks to…what else, cool…

Once they have cooled, store them in airtight containers in your fridge. They will stay good for about five days.

Check and stir the vegetables every 10 to 15 minutes. Continue roasting until the vegetables are easily pierced with a fork or knife and they are showing crispy, charred bits at the tips and edges.

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


Getting Healthy

Eating for Health

Even the most expensive organic beauty products.
..with the very best ingredients…will end up doing hardly any good at all If your diet consists only of milkshakes and hamburgers.

Diet, life,and attitude also play an important role in how your skin looks and feels as you get older. (Just as before when I confessed that I was not some great makeup artist or fashion designer, I am not a nutritionist or dietitian).

However, I am a learner with a vested interest in learning as much as I can about living a simpler, healthier lifestyle…not only because this is the year that I have chosen to grab firmly to my goals of minimalism and simplicity…but also for personal reasons.

This last year my husband was diagnosed with diabetes. His blood sugar has often been over three hundred.

Also, two very good friends of mine, that are my age, have recently been diagnosed with colon cancer. Knowing that my dad died from pancreatic cancer when he was about the age that I am now, I have decided that it’s high time we get our Southern fried chicken-and-cool whip-desserts lifestyle under control.

Focusing on what we shouldn’t be eating can be so negative. So instead I have decided to learn what we should be eating, such as…
1. Iron…A diet low in iron can make you feel tired and have little or no energy. The RDA for iron is…

  • 13.7–15.1 mg/day in children aged 2–11 years…
  • 16.3 mg/day in children and teens aged 12–19 years
  • 19.3–20.5 mg/day in men
  • 17.0–18.9 mg/day in women older than 19

2. Kiwi and Citrus…Kiwi and citrus are excellent sources of the vitamin C needed to make the collagen that gives skin support and shape. The RDA for vitamin C is…

  • 90 mg/day in men
  • 75 mg/daily for women older than 18

3. Muesli…Muesli and other whole grains boost your intake of essential fats, B vitamins and the potent antioxidants. it is recommended that adults eat six ounces of grains each day.

4. Nuts…Nuts are packed with essential fats, vitamin E and B vitamins. A healthy daily intake of nuts is 30g (a small handful) or approximately: 20 almonds. 15 cashews. 20 hazelnuts. 15 macadamias. 15 pecans. 2 tablespoons of pine nuts. 30 pistachio kernels. 9 walnut kernels.

5. Orange, yellow, red and green foods supply beta-carotene and vitamin A. Beta-carotene gives carrots, pumpkin, mango and spinach their color and is converted to vitamin A.

6.  Protein…Proteins, such as keratin, collagen and elastin, are the building blocks of skin, hair and nails…Women need about 46 grams of protein per day…men, 56 grams.

7.  Seafood…Fish is a good source of the omega-3 fatty acids that the heart needs to prevent cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association recommends eating two 3.5oz servings of fish per week.


Getting Healthy

14 Cruelty-Free Blogs to Help Get Out from Lifestyle-Change Fogs

First deciding to make the change to a different lifestyle-–whether it be cruelty-free beauty, veganism or vegetarian, mndful living, or even a minimalistic lifestyle—can be a bit overwhelming.

If our goal is to actually change our way of living, and not simply claim to have picked up on such lifestyles because they just happen to be the “latest and greatest trend,” it is important to find like-minded people as you journey along the path.

Cruelty free blogs are one great source to find such like-minded people as you journey along the path to cruelty-free beauty. 

Not only will blogs allow you to connect with others making that same journey, but cruelty-free blogs will help you find out whether your favorite beauty brands test on animals, discover the latest cruelty-free product releases, and exchange cruelty-free beauty tips and inspirations.

More and more bloggers today focus on cruelty-free cosmetics, animal rights, vegan lifestyle, being mindful about the products you choose on a daily basis, and anything and everything else related to that topic.

Below is a list of such blogs that I have recently started following on a daily basis.

I hope you will also find those blogs useful and inspiring as we move slowly, step-by step, towards having a better quality of life–one individual at a time, one product at a time..


1.  A Life Cosmethic

Author…managed by two sisters – Carolyn and Sarah, and the story of their journey to find the best cruelty-free and ethical available “cosmethics”

……Combining “cosmetics” with “ethics” to create “cosmethics.”

…to provide information to help readers choose, find and buy great cruelty-free and ethical cosmetic brands and products.

Topics covered
…everything cruelty-free–from baby products, through fragrances and make up, to cleaning products


    2. Coffee and Heels 

    Author…Sascha Camilli, a “fashion-obsessed” vegan who currently lives in London in 2011. In 2013 she was selected for the Marie Claire UK Inspire & Mentor Scheme and mentored to launch Vilda, the world’s first online vegan fashion magazine.She also manages public relations for PETA UK.

    Mission Statement…
    “I don’t write only for the vegan crowd, but for everyone who’s curious towards a more compassionate lifestyle. And if you think about it…coffee and heels are two of the things that we new vegans have to “tweak” to adapt to our new lifestyle is, well, the coffee (that has to have soy milk instead of cow’s milk) and the heels (that have to be faux leather). So there’s a thought to that.”

    .”Compassion is a true source of happiness” – Dalai Lama

    Topics covered…
    a personal diary infused with vegan fashion, cruelty-free beauty, yummy recipes and other adventures, plus travel diaries and my thoughts on everything from vegan chocolate cake to following your dreams.

    3.  Cruelty Free Kitty


    …to provide a complete, honest, and trustworthy resource about cruelty free brands and products

    Topics covered..
    probably the most accurate and up to date information 

    4.  Je T’aime by Hotashi
    Author…Hotashi, a Canadian

      Topics covered...cruelty-free beauty products available in Canada, her personal experience with living cruelty-free, the difficulties she faces and how she overcomes them.  

         5.  Logical Harmony

        Author…Tashina Combs

        Mission…to show that you can be animal-friendly without giving up anything

        Topics covered…vegan beauty, product reviews, and the promotion of a healthy and animal-friendly lifestyle.

        6. Lovely Witches

        1. Author…GemIma from South Wales, UK
        2. Purpose…to provide positive and encouraging place to find  recommendations for cruelty-free beauty products
        3. Topics covered…cruelty-free cosmetics, skin care, hair care and vegan products…switching to cruelty-free products 


        7. My Beauty Bunny

        Author…award-winning, Los Angeles-based beauty blogger Jen Mathews

        Founded…April 2009

        Mission…to find the best in beauty from companies who do not test on animals

        Topics covered…the absolute latest and newest cruelty-free beauty, hair, makeup and skincare products


        8.  Paint + Tofu


        Topics covered…vegan recipes and DIY projects


          9.  Phyrra

          Author…Courtney, a writer and a beauty addict

          Topics covered...cruelty-free products and brands, honest reviews, how-to’s, lifestyle tips, pale girl beauty, hooded eye makeup, cruelty free beauty, and vegan fashion

          10.  The Little Foxes

          Author…Ashlee Piper

          Mission Statement…“I believe in living a conscious, compassionate, bold, passionate, fearless life with two primary goals: 1) Be happy and appreciative, and 2) Do things that help others (people, animals, this big spinning eco-system we live in) live better, rest easier, and flourish”

          Topics covered…vegan lifestyle blog featuring beauty, recipes, fashion, and cruelty-free beauty giveaways

          11.  The Vegan Chickpea


          Mission Statement...I’m going to make everything around me beautiful- that will be my life.”-Elsie de Wolfe

          Topics covered...vegan beauty and fashion advice, what’s hot or not in the vegan community, inspirational and helpful product reviews, conscious consumerism, cruelty-free beauty, living a minimalistic, vegan lifestyle, and maintaining a healthy, active existence.


          12. The Vegan Taff

          Author…Kelly, a beauty obsessed vegan from Wales

            Topics covered…budget-friendly cruelty-free beauty products, reviews arranged by alphabetical order so that you can quickly find the product which you’re looking for

            13. Vegan Beauty Review

            Author…Sunny, who has been living a cruelty-free lifestyle since the year 2000…co-author of The Compassionate Chick’s Guide to DIY Beauty which is filled with recipes for vegan, gluten-free and cruelty-free makeup, skin and hair products
            Founded…the first vegan beauty blogger to hit the internet in 2007 
            Topics covered...the latest scoop on cruelty-free beauty products, the “expert” in vegan and cruelty-free deodorants, mommy and baby vegan products, cruelty-free resources, reviews, and recipes  

              14.  Vegan Consultant
              Author…Jenn from Las Vegas, NV 

                Purpose…to help you make cruelty free, plant-powered, compassionate, healthier, and more sustainable choices…to build a community of understanding where each of us in our journey and help inspire positive change through leading by example

                Topics covered…resources, guidance, recipes, tips, tricks and inspiration to help you make these changes and to help make the choices easier for you

                    Creating a Home

                    10 Smart Ways to Hide Your Stash

                    Having and owning a good makeup organizer, where you can keep all your cosmetics, helps you find that one perfect eyeliner or lipstick that you want when you want it…and will save you lots of precious time as you get dressed each morning. 

                    Here is a list of ten of the best acrylic makeup organizers available…each guaranteed to make a minimalist neat freak like me as happy as a lark.

                      1.  Beautify Extra Large 8 Tier Clear Acrylic Cosmetic Makeup Cube Organizer with 7 Drawers .

                      • Design… eight tier design with seven smooth easy-slide drawers with handles…upper compartment with hinged flip top lid… two removable dividers
                      • Price…$110
                      • Size… 12″ x 12″ x 20″

                      2.  Cq acrylic Kardashian Large Beauty Cube 5 Tier Drawers Acrylic Cosmetic Organizer

                      1. Design…:1st draw- 4cm deep with 6 sections ,2nd draw- 4cm deep with 3 sections, 3rd draw- 4cm deep with 2 sections ,4th draw- 4cm deep open space ,5th draw- 7cm deep open space
                      2. Price: $79.99
                      3. Size…10″x10″x11″

                      3.  Home-it Clear Acrylic Makeup Organizer

                      • Design…3 large drawers for large accessories, a chest for jewelry, and an organizer at the top
                      • Price…$30
                      • Size…10″x 6″x 7.7”


                      4.  Ikee Design Luxury Cosmetic Makeup Acrylic Organizer With Two-Sided Mirror

                      • Design…compartments in a multitude of shapes and sizes…2-sided   detachable magnifying mirror 
                      • Price…$48
                      • Size…15″x 9″x 11.2″

                      5. InterDesign 3 Drawer Storage Organizer.

                      • Design…three pull-out drawers
                      • Price…$63.28
                      • Size… 6.5″x 6.5″x 6.5″  

                      6. Ohuhu, Acrylic Makeup Cosmetics Organizer

                      • Design…an organizer at the top and four drawers
                      • Price…$16
                      • Size…9.4″ x 7.4″ x 5.5” 

                      7.  Organizta Chic Box

                      • Design…several deep drawers that are stacked together
                      • Price…$65
                      • Size…7″x7″x10″

                      8.  Songmics Cosmetic/Makeup Organizer…

                      • Design…11 sections with multiple sections and 7 drawers 
                      • Price…$30
                      • Size.. 9 1/2″x 5 7/8″x 11 3/4″ 


                      9.  Sorbus Acrylic Cosmetics Makeup and Jewelry Storage Case

                      1. Design…four wide drawers and two small sized drawers 
                      2. Price…
                      3. Size…9.5″x 11.2″ x 6.2″


                      10.  US Acrylic LLC, 2-Pack Premium Quality Stackable Cosmetic Storage…

                      • Design…2-pack unit of stackable drawers 
                      • Price…$30
                      • Size… each drawer measures 6″x 7-7/8″x4-1/2″