Roasting Veggies Makes All the Difference

Roasted vegetables have VIP status in my fridge. There’s nothing like them when I want to jazz up a meal with few carbs and lots of flavor.

When I remove a pan of roasted veggies from the oven, I always stand by the stovetop, burning my fingers as I take “just a couple” of onions or peppers. They just seem  so much sweeter than steamed or raw vegetables, and in fact, they are sweeter.  The reason: High, prolonged heat evaporates some of the water in the vegetables, allowing for their natural sugars to become more pronounced.

The Roasted Vegetable Challenge

Earlier this week I challenged myself to use a pan of roasted vegetables in as many meals as possible. (I chose red, yellow and green peppers, red and yellow onions and button mushrooms.)

Sunday night – pita pizza topped with roasted veggies and turkey pepperoni.

Monday breakfast –  one-bowl omelet stuffed with roasted veggies.

Monday dinner: Grilled chicken with a side of roasted veggies over polenta.

Tuesday lunch: A salad of tuna, white beans and roasted veggies with a squeeze of lemon and a little feta cheese.

Tuesday dinner: Whole wheat quesadilla filled with with leftover grilled chicken and roasted vegetables.

I ran out of roasted vegetables, ending the challenge.

Instead of a formal recipe for roasted vegetables, what follows is a technique. Unless you burn the vegetables, they are sure to taste great.

How to Make Roasted Vegetables

1. Preheat oven to 425 F (218 C)

2. Slice favorite raw veggies into (sort of) uniform pieces.

3. Make two piles, separating hard vegetables that will take a bit longer to roast (peppers, onions, broccoli)  from those than will take less (such as mushrooms and zucchini.)

4.  Toss vegetable pieces with olive oil, mix very well. I use about a tablespoon of oil for a full sheet pan of vegetables. I season only with salt and pepper, in order to use the vegetables in a wide variety of dishes. You can add anything that sounds good.

5. Line rimmed cookie sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray.

6. Scatter hard vegetables on cookie sheet, place sheet on top shelf of oven. Roast for about 10 minutes. Take out when vegetables are getting softer, but not brown.

7. After removing cookie sheet from oven, add softer vegetables. Stir well and return to oven.

8. Check vegetables in 10 minutes; if they look brown around the edges, remove from oven. If not, stir and roast another five minutes. Or, roast until they are deep brown if that’s your fancy.

9. Remove pan from oven and let cool in pan.

10. Be careful not to burn fingers when you sample vegetables.😎

11. After vegetables are cool, use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for at least three days.





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