Back to Basics: Roasted Vegetables
Crispy outside, soft and tender inside, a hint of spice and a whole load of flavour! What’s not to like? 🙂 In the UK the weather has most certainly turned Autumnal, several people have already fired up the central heating and the coats have come out of hiding! There is a definite chill in the air (at 7.45am when my sons friends knock on the door)! and it is sure to get colder as the weeks go on.
With the change in the weather comes some more delicious vegetables, this week we’ve had an onion squash, yellow courgettes, honeybear squash, coquina butternut squash, parsnips, celeriac, swede & Brussels sprouts too! We’ve mashed them, blended them, baked them and roasted them! 🙂
Autumnal vegetables are coming in – lots of tasty squashes! Don’t be afraid to try something new! 😀
Yesterday I was speaking to a group about food and nutrition when I realised that I should add a few more recipes to the back to basics series so that everyone can benefit from some delicious easy recipes! If you’ve missed the others, have a look at the Back to Basics Porridge, Crumble, Houmous, Pancakes and Green Smoothies. 🙂 If you were at the talk, sorry if I talked non-stop! 😛 and sorry for my singing! 😀 Just blame it on all the good company! 😛
While roasted vegetables may not seem like a recipe, if you’ve never tried cooking them, then there are a few things you need to consider! Of course everyone has their favourite way to roast vegetables (once you’ve tried them they’ll become a regular) and if you already do it a different way that’s great! When I was professionally taught to cook roasted vegetables, I was told that I could only cook one type of vegetable on one tray, and none of the pieces could touch the others! – whilst this gives you perfectly roasted vegetables it also takes up all your oven space…and most of your day! None of that here -this is meant as a guide to those who think it’s too complicated! Here’s a few snaps of some roasting that’s been going on this week in the Life Diet Health kitchen!
Chickpeas and vegetables ready for roasting
Spiced up vegetables – cajun style
Beetroot, courgette, chickpeas, mushrooms & some sneaky tofu too!
Back to Basics: Roasted Vegetables
- A mixture of any hard or semi-hard vegetables – carrots, parsnips, swede, celeriac, pumpkin or squash, sweet potatoes, courgettes, beetroot, corn on the cob.
- * optional onion and garlic
- A few softer vegetables – mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes.
- Some oil – I would suggest coconut oil, but use whatever you have.
- Seasonings – salt & pepper
- Herbs & Spices- this is where you can be adventurous. Use fresh woody herbs if you have them such as bay leaves, rosemary sprigs, thyme, oregano and sage. Or use dried mixed herbs if you prefer. Try chili, cinnamon, cumin seeds or Cajun spice – whatever you like, give it a try!
- *optional liquid sweetener such as maple syrup
- Wash all the veg and peel (or scrape) as necessary. Chop the hard vegetables into evenly sized bite size pieces. Chop the onions into chunks if using and peel some garlic cloves but leave whole. Leave the softer vegetables a bit bigger (mushrooms & cherry tomatoes can be whole, peppers in eighths, tomatoes in half).
- With the oven on a medium heat, heat some oil on a baking tray (you might need two trays as the vegetables all need to be touching the pan with some space around them).
- Carefully add the vegetables to the hot tray, grind (or sprinkle) over salt and pepper, then add your other herbs and spices. Using a spatula (or your hands if you’re careful), turn the vegetables until they are coated in oil and herbs.
- Roast on a medium heat and check after fifteen minutes – turning them as necessary if some are cooking quicker than others. Return to the oven and check back every so often. Depending on your oven, the size of the pieces, how many you’ve squeezed on the tray and whether you like them lightly cooked, or brown and crispy will depend on how long they need – but it could be anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.
- To make the vegetables caramelise, when they are almost cooked, drizzle over your liquid sweetener and return to the oven for 5-10 minutes.
Serve & Store
- Eat them straight from the oven with your favourite protein.
- Stir them through a grain such as rice or quinoa.
- Make a quick sauce or gravy to dress them with.
- Eat them cold on some leaves with some houmous and tahini.
- Blitz them up with some stock (or water) to make a tasty soup.
- Sprinkle some sesame seeds over just before serving.
- Add some drained chickpeas to the vegetables (make sure you adjust the seasonings)
- Store refrigerated for up to three days.
Roasted corn on the cob…delicious!
Chickpeas! and roast veg!
Roast everything together 🙂