How to roast vegetables

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I get asked frequently if I have a secret weapon for getting kids to eat vegetables. My answer is always "Roast them." Vegetables were never my favorite thing, growing up. I remember vegetables as bland in taste, either overcooked and soft or not cooked enough.

I vowed then that when I had my own family, I would find ways to make vegetables taste great or to their liking. After hundreds of tries, one day I bought broccoli and decided to roast it. To my surprise, nothing was left on their plates-they were completely empty. My family enjoyed roasted broccoli!

Kale, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, bell peppers, potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, and butternut squash are all great for roasting, a hit in my house. Of course, you can experiment with any vegetable of your choice. You can roast vegetables various ways-in the oven or the grill, over the stove, in a stockpot, in a baking dish, and even without oil. Here are a few of my favorite roasted vegetable dishes.

Roasted sweet potatoes

Ingredients:

1 or two large sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into small cubes)

1 or two carrots (peeled and cut into small pieces )

½ green bell pepper

Olive oil

½ tsp. kosher salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. paprika

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Peel and chop sweet potatoes and carrots. Put in a medium bowl.

Cut green bell pepper into small pieces and add to the potatoes and carrots.

In a baking dish, add the sweet potatoes, carrots and green peppers. Drizzle with olive oil and add salt and pepper as well as paprika. Mix well. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm. Great with barbecued chicken and steak.

Roasted broccoli

Ingredients:

1 cup of broccoli pieces

1/3 cup of olive oil

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

½ tsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut broccoli into small pieces. Put in medium or large bowl.

Add olive oil, salt, black pepper and lemon juice. Mix well.

Using a cookie sheet, spread out the broccoli and roast for 30 minutes or until golden.

Serve warm. Great with macaroni and cheese and chicken. Also great when added to mixed-greens salad.

Skillet roasted potatoes

Ingredients:

1 or two large potatoes (peeled and cut into small pieces)

1 tbsp. of butter

Onions (diced)

½ tbsp. black pepper

½ tsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

Peel potatoes and cut into small pieces.

In a skillet, heat the butter for 30 seconds and add the potatoes.

Add salt, pepper, onions and lemon juice and stir over medium heat. Allow the potatoes to cook for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from skillet and serve warm with any side dish. Great for breakfast with eggs.

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