When I first ventured off to college, I was excited to experiment with cooking for the first time outside my parents’ house. Having been curious to learn and try to replicate some of my mom’s recipes (none of which is written down or involves any measuring whatsoever), I was eager to begin my own journey in the kitchen. I cooked for my dorm-mates when we had potlucks in the communal kitchen, and I was always willing to try anything I could dream up — as long as it was cooked on the stove top.
The oven was off-limits back then. Very scary. The words “roast” and “bake” conjured anxiety of burnt poultry or ruined pork parts. There’s no stirring, no mid-course correcting, no way to know what’s going on in there without opening the door compulsively, which I was told not to do. Casseroles freaked me out. With the exception of those green beans I mentioned last week, I didn’t want anything to do with the oven until much later in my cooking escapades. Years later.
And now, I have to say that even though we have a very old, very inefficient, somewhat temperamental oven that literally heats up the entire kitchen when we use it, I couldn’t live without it. I am so eager to throw something in the oven and walk away to get something else done while my dinner cooks. Or at least I’ll work on another part of dinner while something happens inside that magical oven.
Today we’re going to talk about the simplest, most delicious way to prepare just about any non-leafy vegetable: Roasting. I love roasted veggies. They’re so simple, and the process is all but fool-proof, even for a beginner in the kitchen. You can roast just about anything using an extremely simple formula that will pretty much guarantee deliciousness every time. With this formula, you can stick your veggies in the oven and move on to making another part of your meal. It’s a great tool for multitasking in the kitchen and getting a lot of delicious food on your plate at each meal without spending all day in the kitchen.
Here’s the formula:
cookie sheet or baking pan (not the flat kind, you want a lip) + veggies of your choice + olive oil, avocado oil, melted coconut oil, or ghee + salt and pepper + (optional) balsamic vinegar. Spray oil works great in roasting so you can coat things well without totally overdoing the oil.
Here are some veggies that are great for roasting:
- asparagus (chop the white ends off, roast the rest whole)
- zucchini/squash (better with balsamic and sliced very thin!)
- broccoli (chop into bite size pieces)
- cauliflower (chop into bite size pieces)
- eggplant (better with balsamic and sliced very thin!)
- bell peppers (slice thin or roast in halves or quarters)
- onions (sliced or quartered, both work great)
- sweet potatoes (diced or sliced – leave skin on)
- beets (diced, pealing is optional – I never peel them)
- celery root (diced)
- sunchokes (diced)
- pearl or fingerling potatoes (whole or cut in half)
- pumpkin (quartered or sliced, don’t bother peeling until afterwards)
- Preheat the oven to 375F for non-starchy veggies and 400 for the root/starchy veggies
- Rinse your veggies and chop or slice accordingly
- Lay the veggies flat on a cookie sheet avoiding any overlapping
- Drizzle or spray with oil of your choices (I use this avocado spray or you can use a Misto Sprayer – affiliate links)
- (optional) drizzle a small amount of balsamic vinegar
- Sprinkle salt and pepper (skip the pepper for the sweet potatoes and beets)
- Roast non-starchy veggies for 10 to 15 minutes, starchy veggies could take up to 40 minutes, depending on the root
- For starchy veggies, shake them up on the pan after an initial 20 minutes, then check back every 5-10 minutes after until they’re done
With this tool in your tool belt, eating veggies every day will be a snap! Enjoy your delicious roasted vegetables with your favorite cut of meat and a nice big salad if you’re working on a low-carb lifestyle. (Find out why you should make your own salad dressing.)
Now it’s your turn!
What’s your favorite veggie to roast? What do you add to your roasted veggies to make them delicious?
FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive monetary compensation if you click and purchase it. I only link to products that I USE and LOVE. All opinions are my own.