Roasted vegetables are delicious, as you either know or should know. My first foray into roasted vegetables came with a Marcella Hazan recipe: put potatoes, onions, peppers and tomatoes in a roasting pan with some olive oil and salt. Out comes a wonderful side dish, or, if you're like me, meal.
There is another level of roasted vegetable cooking, perfect for lazy people like me. I had an overabundance of onions, so I roasted them and stuck them in a bag in the freezer. Then ditto for bell peppers.
With these two frozen treasures, my cooking life got ridiculously simple.
1. African peanut soup. Onions and peppers, plus some chicken broth, a can of tomatoes, and--if you want--chicken. Stir in peanut butter to taste. Proportions are flexible. Don't forget the pepper flakes. Serve with rice.
2. Shrimp and corn soup. Onions and peppers. Add some flour and brown. Add can of tomatoes, water, regular corn, and creamed corn (if you have it). Then add some frozen shrimp. This is not the BEST, but a pretty good version of my daughter's beloved soup. Serve with rice.
3. Quesadillas with onions, peppers, and cheese. Add salsa.
4. Red beans and rice. Mix the roasted veggies with some cooked (even canned!) red beans. Add some sausage. Serve over rice with hot sauce.
5. Ye Olde Thai Curry. Start with the onions and peppers. Throw in whatever else you have that looks likely. Add coconut milk and curry paste.
Without the prep time for the onions and peppers, these are virtually instant meals. Plus the roasting adds a ton of flavor to whatever you're cooking.
Do you have any similar tricks?