We all know we should eat more vegetables. It is one of the few things upon which nutrition experts continue to agree. How do we get more vegetables, not just in the refrigerator or on the plate, but actually eaten?
We have to make vegetables cravable.
We have to make vegetables a dish that friends and family ask for again and again because they are delicious. The easiest way to make them cravable just happens to be the easiest- roasting. I have some experience with this with my extended family. It’s ten people, ranging in age from four to 85. One night for dinner I made a selection of roasted vegetables, five different vegetables using different spices. There was not a vegetable left. They now ask for roasted vegetables and even make suggestions as to what we should roast.
I roast a few vegetables each week and keep them in the refrigerator. They are great heated in the oven, cold in salads, or room temperature. They also make a wonderful addition to your lunch box. Roasting is super easy. Here is a step-by-step roasting guide with a few recipes to get you started.
- If you are choosing to make more than one vegetable, pick ones that have similar cooking times such as broccoli and cauliflower. Dense vegetables such as potatoes, winter squash, and other root vegetables have longer cooker times than vegetables higher in water such as summer squash, asparagus, or mushrooms.
- Cut the vegetables in bite-size uniform pieces, keeping in mind they will shrink during cooking.
- Toss the vegetables in a large bowl with a few tablespoons of olive oil and seasoning of your choice. It can be as simple as salt and pepper or a combination of spices. A favorite of my family is cumin, salt, and a dash of cayenne pepper. Make sure that each piece of vegetable is very slightly coated with oil, and the seasoning is will distributed.
- Place the vegetables on a sheet pan, lined with foil for easy clean-up. Have a thin layer of vegetables that are not overcrowded which would cause the vegetable to steam instead of roast.
- Roast at 375 degrees until tender. From 15 minutes for asparagus to an hour for dense vegetables such as winter squash. Roast until there are some pieces of charred bits which makes the vegetables super sweet and delicious.
Two of my favorite roasted vegetable recipes:
Spicy Roasted Cauliflower – This recipe calls for cauliflower, however, you can use any vegetable. Make extra of the spice mixture and keep it in the refrigerator or freezer for the next round of roasted vegetables.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts – This is an amazing vegetarian side dish. Add a small amount of turkey bacon for added flavor if you wish.