Sometimes you don’t need a big fancy recipe to make something delicious. Sometimes you just need a few simple ingredients and the right cooking method to turn out something everyone will love.
That is what is so great about roasted veggies. It is a simple preparation that can be done to almost any vegetable. It can be a S, E, FP or XO side dish depending on the type of veggie and the amount of fat you use. Roasting the veggies brings out the natural sweetness in them and can change your least favorite veggie into one you crave. Think you don’t like asparagus or brussel sprouts? Have you tried them roasted? If you haven’t then you can’t answer that honestly just yet.
So what do you need to know about roasting veggies? Temperature, location and size, that’s it!
You want a nice hot oven so set it at a minimum of 425 degrees for most veggies. Root veggies can handle a temperature of 450 degrees.
Place the oven rack in the lowest position. Having the veggies roasting on the lowest position allows a better caramelization to occur.
Whatever size you choose, it needs to be uniform. When you are chopping your veggies you want them all to be pretty much the same size. (Shape does not matter.) If you have some large chunks and some tiny pieces the veggies won’t all finish at the same time. The size of your pieces will play into how long your veggies need to cook. The bigger the pieces the longer the cook time.
What veggies should you use?
Well, what kind of meal are you preparing? Is it an FP or an S? Then choose whatever non-starchy you’d like! Broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, brussel sprouts, asparagus, cabbage, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans, even onions and tomatoes in moderation.
For an FP meal you want to chop your veggies into whatever size you like. Then you have two choices. You can either lightly spray the pan and veggies with cooking spray and sprinkle on your seasonings, or you can place your cut veggies in a Ziploc bag and add no more than 1 tsp of melted oil or butter per serving. You can toss the veggies around in the bag to make sure they are fully coated with oil then add your seasonings to the bag, moving everything around to be sure everything is evenly seasoned.
For an S meal you can do things exactly the same as above except be more liberal with the oil.
For an E meal you can add the starchier veggies. E meals are where I like to get my root veggies in. While some root veggies can be used in small amounts in other meal types, I like to have more of them when I am having them roasted, so I keep my roasted root veggies to E where I can really enjoy them. Sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, beets, turnips, butternut or acorn squash. Cut your veggies into even pieces, apply oil and spices as you would for your FP meals above.
What oil and seasonings should you use?
Coconut oil, Red Palm oil, butter or olive oil are all good choices. As far as seasonings go I always use salt, pepper and nutritional yeast. Beyond that it is really up to your personal preference.
Your cooking method is the same for all, even though your temperature will vary. Preheat your oven to 425 for non-starchies and 450 for the root veggies. Spread prepared veggies into an even layer on a lightly greased, rimmed sheet pan. Place the pan on the bottom rack of the oven. Check on the veggies and stir them around every 10 minutes. Cooking time will vary depending on the veggies and the size of cut you used. The cooking time will most likely take at least 20 minutes but could take 30 – 35.
Try different varieties, different combinations, different seasonings. The variations are endless! I hope you will give some new veggies a try with this method!