This delicious way of preparing vegetables is well worth the little extra time it takes!
“Eat more vegetables”!
We all know that eating generous servings of vegetables is an important way to boost our health. This can be as simple as adding a salad or zapping frozen broccoli in the microwave. When there is a bit more time though, try roasting fresh vegetables for a taste and texture experience that will inspire your family to come back for more!
Basic Roasted Vegetables
There is really no specific recipe to follow when it comes to preparing perfectly roasted vegetables. There are a few “rules of roasting” though to keep in mind:
1. Start with a pre-heated oven! Generally, 425 degrees is a good temperature to roast vegetables.
2. Different kinds of vegetables require longer (or shorter) cooking times. Root vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, beets, etc. take longer to cook than for example onions, peppers, zucchini and mushrooms. It will be necessary to start cooking the root vegetables first and then add the other veggies later on.
3. Avoid over-filling the baking pan! For optimal roasting, use a single layer of veggies with plenty of bare spaces on the pan. Otherwise, the vegetables will retain too much moisture and the result will not be the same.
4. Use enough olive oil (or other preferred oil) to completely coat all vegetables but without having a pool of oil in the bottom of the pan.
Fresh vegetables cut into medium chunks or slices (enough to cover the bottom of a baking pan (without over-crowding!).
2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil (or enough to completely coat all of the vegetables)
Salt and pepper to taste
Other seasonings if desired (garlic powder, Italian blend, basil, etc.)
Arrange vegetables onto large baking pan, leaving some spaces so that not all vegetables are touching. NOTE: If using a mixture of root vegetables and other types of vegetables, start with ONLY the root vegetables.
Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper until well coated.
Place into pre-heated 425 degree oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and stir gently.
Toss any additional veggies with olive oil, salt and pepper and add them to the root vegetables.
Return to oven and continue roasting until small charred areas appear (this may take 15 minutes OR up to an additional 30 minutes, depending on the veggies used).
Remove from oven and add any additional seasonings at this time.
Written by Jenny Favret, MS, RD, LDN
Nutritionist, Duke Pediatrics Healthy Lifestyles Program