Thursday, May 7, 2009

Roast! (and I ain't talkin' Beef)

Sometimes the ugliest* fruit is the sweetest. Sometimes the simplest preparation of meals are the most delicious. And many times, the ugliest and simplest help make eating real food affordable and convenient.

Roasting is the easiest, simplest, quickest, and quite a tasty way to prepare vegetables. The method can be used on almost anything and it's pretty much the same:
  1. Cut up veggie into equal sizes.
  2. Drizzle on oil and toss to coat.
  3. Sprinkle on grey salt or sea salt.
  4. Lay it flat on a cookie sheet so they are not crowded.
  5. Roast at 375F for 10 - 30 minutes until done, usually until they begin to brown.
Variations have to do with what vegetable, oil, and temperature.
  • You can roast at a higher heat, 425F, for less time. I usually choose that method.
  • You can toss in olive, coconut , walnut, macadamia nut, or sunflower oils. Don't use corn or soybean oil or another GMO oil.
  • The big secret is not to overcrowd the pan, otherwise they will steam instead of roast.
  • Choice of vegetable or mix of vegetables is the biggest change.
Roasting enriches the flavor and deepens the color. It offers variety into our weekly menu and can be done for any seasonal vegetable. It is quick and easy, nutritious and delicious, and comprises of 3 ingredients and some heat.

Here is a combination of Purple and Yellow Cauliflower florets pre- and post-roasting:

NOTE: Roasting does shrink them some AND they are so delicious everyone, including the kids, will eat more so roast more!

Try Roasting:
  • Root Vegetables together - try a combination of Carrots, Turnips, Parsnips, Rutabaga, even some pieces of Fennel mixed in
  • Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes - cut in similar shapes but try different ones like squares, frie cut, big beefsteak fries, rounds
  • Cauliflower - see Cauli-power
  • Broccoli
  • Greens - take out the ribs and cut into equal sized "chips" and roast Kale or Collards. Check out this great blog with pictures and clear easy instructions and yes, even your kids will eat it!
  • Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts, Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes, just about any vegetable can be roasted.
The timing depends upon how big or small you cut them and how dense the vegetable is, so check it after 10 minutes, you are looking for the beginning of caramelization and browning on the vegetables. You may need to give them a turn with the spatula mid-way through. Enjoy your veggies - this method is quick and easy and very delicious.

This is part of the Simple & Nourishing Carnival on Keeping it Simple with meals.

* Sometimes the fruit that looks over the top is the sweetest and can be gotten for nothing since no one else wants it. Don't always judge a piece of produce by it's looks, like many things in life, it's what inside that counts.

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  1. I agree completely! Roasting is a great way to make vegetables really sing. Thanks for being part of the carnival! :-)

  2. My favorite roast veggie is asparagus! I do it just like you describe. Lightly coat in olive oil, then spread out on a baking sheet. I sprinkle salt, pepper and chopped garlic on top. I roast at 350 for 15 minutes, then pull it out and sprinkle balsamic vinegar over the asparagus... YUM!!!



  3. We love roasted asparagus too! I top it with lemon zest and shredded parm once out of the oven. I'll try balsamic next time - thanks!

  4. Annie- you really turned me on t this awhile back with your cauli power post- where did you find those fab colors of cauli?? too great for words!

  5. we get organic yellow and purple cauliflowers from our buying club - very festive! Roasted white cauli is still a fam fave


thanks for your comments! If you submitted a question or position on one of the points, I'll do my best to research that and respond promptly. Thank you for your part in creating a healthier world for us all.