As you may recall, I like to use November to focus on eating extra nutritiously, especially after an indulgent October (looking at you, Thanksgiving, Pumpkin Spice Latte season, and Halloween). It feels like the right time to reset my family’s diet before December arrives and we spend four weeks feasting our way through the holidays.
Once again I’ve gently suggested to my husband that we give up wine for the next four weeks, and once again he’s met this suggestion with the same level of enthusiasm he has about the return of the Gilmore Girls (23 days, friends!). However, he is on board with filling our tummies with heart-warming soups, seasonal salads, and once-a-week only sweet treats.
My secret weapon to making this type of eating a delicious success is to keep loads of roasted vegetables on hand. I serve them along with whatever protein I’m cooking, use them as a base ingredient in my beloved sheet-pan suppers, and turn them into roasted vegetable soup by adding a few cups to a pot of sautéed onions, covering with chicken stock and puréeing until smooth.
Making roasted vegetables is practically foolproof. Here’s how I cook mine:
Almost all fall vegetables do well at 425°F. Toss with olive oil and salt, and place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until cooked through and the edges are crispy with little blistered bits, typically 25-60 minutes, depending on the veggies you use and the size of each piece. My favourites to cook this way are: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, potatoes, winter squash, red onions, and parsnips. Once cooked, season with pepper, fresh herbs, lemon, balsamic vinegar, etc. if desired.
Also, since I’m going to the trouble to turn the oven on already, I always add a few heads of garlic to the baking sheet as well, and keep the roasted garlic around to use over the course of a few days (smear on bread, add to soups, etc.).
As a work-from-home mom, I try to incorporate roasted vegetables into my lunch almost daily because this is the only way I’m guaranteed to get a good lunch into myself. Three of my favourite ways to use them include:
- Warm vegetables in a pan, push to the side of the skillet, fry an egg and place on top of veggies. Top with crumbled feta, hot sauce, fresh herbs, or all of the above.
- Heat vegetables and spoon over toasted bread smeared with roasted garlic and goat cheese.
- Add roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips and squashes to a favourite fall and winter salad.
Here’s an extra tip: I like to add roasted carrots (minus the salt) to a blender with some thawed frozen peaches and steamed apples and/or pears and make a fruit puree for my toddler. He LOVES it on its own, or stirred into oatmeal, and it’s a great way to get an extra serving of vegetables into him each day.
Tell us, what are some of your favourite ways to serve roasted vegetables?