Roasted Vegetables (Weeknight Gourmet)

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Roasted beets, carrots, onions and purple cabbage over yamani brown rice

 

 

The oven is my favorite appliance in the kitchen. Not because of the type of oven I have (just a basic electric Whirlpool one), but because I love to cook using an oven. It’s so easy and the food comes out so good.

 

I have used all types of ovens over the years. From a beautiful, new, high-tech, fancy double oven, to simple gas models. At points I have had no oven (during house remodels, or sometimes while renting a place temporarily.) The ancient oven that came with the house we are currently living in in Argentina- before the remodel- was so old it didn’t even have a temperature readout. At one point I bought a little oven thermometer to put inside it, but it died after a month or two.

 

Interestingly, that oven turned out to be a great lesson in ‘cooking by feeling’. How hot is the oven?…. Well, it’s either, warm, hot, or very hot. And that’s really all you need to know to cook. Unless you are a precision baker, you don’t need to fret about whether it’s 350, or 375, or 400 degrees. It’s all good, and you’ll soon learn from experience what is ideal. Did it get dark brown too fast? Then the temperature was too high. Taking forever to cook and drying out? It’s set too low.

 

One of my favorite everyday meals to make is roasted vegetables. This is a dinner I can throw together and let cook in the background while I wind up my day. And it never tastes like 'fast food'. Our dinners are gourmet, delicious, healthy, and go great with many meal helpers... such as brown rice, pasta or bread (gluten-free for me!), potatoes, or sweet potatoes. You can get very creative here.

 

How to roast vegetables in the oven-

 

-Heat up the oven (I usually go with 400F / 200C)

-Wash & chop or slice the veggies

-Roast with salt and olive oil (try adding lemon juice too)

-Cook for about 30-45 minutes until tender (depending on the veggies)

 

Of course, that's just for starters. You can mix it up with with different sauces, the addition of other herbs or spices, or just keep it simple with more salt, olive oil and lemon juice at the end.

 

Roasting vegetables in the oven creates much more flavor-rich meals than sautéing on the cooktop. With many vegetables- like beets and carrots and onions, or eggplant and zucchini- the sugars caramelize and the flavors deepen and get richer in a way that you really can’t get by cooking with other methods.

 

To me the oven is the magic tool to make all vegetables delicious!

 

The following are some ideas for you to start creating your own healthy and satisfying meals. Many specific recipes will follow here at Begin Within The Kitchen. But you can start right now using whatever you have on hand.

 

I always cook a full pan, because it hardly takes any more work to make extra; and roast veggie leftovers are great cold, at room temperature for a ‘lunch bowl’ at work the next day, on sandwiches, or as reheated side dish to go with another meal later in the week. Most versions freeze well too.

 

You might notice that all of these dishes are vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and nut-free. However, you could, of course, serve roasted vegetables with a paleo meal (as a side for your meat, chicken, or fish- or try roasting the animal protein along with the veggies), with regular pasta (for wheat eaters), or with cheese on top (if you like dairy), or with accents of chopped nuts.

 

This is the type of meal that can fit into any eating plan and can meet the needs of a large group of diverse eaters with special diets.

See the food photo slide show above to get more ideas for roasting vegetables.  Click on a thumbnail to get started! ^

 

More ideas for taking roasted vegetables to the next level...

 

• Toss in fresh herbs at the very end, after the heat is off, but the veggies are still hot (basil, chopped italian parsley, cilantro)

 

• Add chopped cashews to curries, pine nuts to italian dishes, etc.

 

•Add beans or legumes. Every week I cook up a pot of something- pinto beans, black beans, chickpeas, lentils, white beans- to use in dishes throughout the week. (I often freeze a portion for emergency meals too.)

I also use this principle to make gluten-free lasagna by layering strips of roasted eggplant or zucchini with tomato sauce, ricotta, and fresh herbs.

 

•Or to roast whole bell peppers to stuff.

 

•Roast veggies in a pan and then add eggs to make a crustless quiche (try broccoli, potatoes and parsley, or kale)

 

 

Remember, this is to get you started. Specific recipes will be coming along here at beginwithin.kitchen. This is one meal I never get tired of :)

 

Now it’s your turn to get cookin’!

 

Besos,

 

Emily

 

 

Try these roasted vegetable recipes for easy everyday meals:

 

Oven-Roasted Eggplant & Basil Curry

Roasted Butternut Squash with Sage & Marjoram

Roasted Zapallitos (or Zucchini) with White Beans & Mint

Warm Roasted Beet & Plum Salad

No-Noodle Eggplant and Zucchini Lasagna

Oven-Roasted Vegetarian Fajitas

The Perfect Ratatouille Recipe

Cauliflower & Tomato Curry

Vegan Mac and Cheese (with Roasted Pumpkin and Cauliflower!)

Roast Pumpkin Wedges with Warm Pear and Spinach Quinoa (The Perfect Vegan Thanksgiving Dish)

Oven Roasted Asian Vegetable Stir Fry 'Wok' with Fried Eggs and/or Avocado

Eggplant 'Steaks' with Bay Leaves & Spiced Honey Glaze

 

 

 

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