Roast Vegetables for Versatility and Flavor
With our gardens and farms in full production, and you may soon find yourself with more vegetables than you think you can eat or have time to prepare. I’ve found that roasted vegetables are easy to make, delicious and versatile. The dry heat of the oven caramelizes the natural sugars in vegetables, which brings about an amazing depth of flavor.
So, go ahead and roast several trays at a time. Keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days, or they can easily be frozen for later use.
While they make a tasty side dish, you may also add them to green salads, or use as an ingredient in a chef salad for a one-dish meal.
Roasted vegetables make a tasty wrap ingredient. Start with a spread, like cream cheese, hummus or ranch dip over a tortilla. Add some cheese, a protein, the vegetables, then fold.
Also, an excellent grain bowl ingredient, where you have your grain of choice such as rice, couscous, quinoa, the roasted vegetables and a protein. Serve with salsa or any dressing that you like. Here’s a recipe to get you started:
Roasted Veggie Grain Bowl
- Choose a grain, such as rice, couscous or quinoa and cook while veggies are roasting.
- Choose a cooked protein food, like beans, nuts, chicken, beef, pork or fish. Great way to use leftovers.
To roast vegetables:
- Preheat your oven to 400°
- Cut vegetables into ½- 1 inch pieces. Good to cut the pieces about the same size so they cook evenly. If you know that one type of veggie cooks faster than another, put the longer cooking in oven first and add the others later.
- In a large bowl, toss in canola or olive oil. Use around 1 tablespoon for 3 cups. Some vegetables soak up more, like mushrooms.
- Sprinkle with salt, if you like. You might want to add other favorite seasonings at this time, such as Italian seasoning, curry or chili powder.
- Spread one layer over a metal baking pan. You don’t want to crowd the pan. A sheet pan is best, as the curved sides of a baking dish will cause your vegetables to steam more than if they were on a flat surface with shallow sides.
- Place in oven and stir every 10 minutes or so. Cook until brown or desired consistency.
Time to assemble your bowl with the grain, protein and roasted vegetables. Drizzle with your favorite dressing or salsa, or try the lemon maple dressing.
Lemon Maple Dressing
°5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
°2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
°1 tablespoon brown or Dijon mustard
°1–2 tablespoons maple syrup, to taste
°Pinch of salt
°1/2 teaspoon dried dill (optional)
In a small mixing bowl or mason jar, whisk or shake the oil, lemon, mustard, maple syrup, salt and dill (if using) until smooth and consistent. Set aside.