Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Veggie Roasting for Dummies

I LOVE roasted veggies. You can't deny the beauty of an oven stuffed with veggies! This was what I did last night (still raw in pic) - eggplant, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, plus tomatoes and chicken (not shown).

My favorite things to roast include: broccoli, kale, sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, asparagus, eggplant, spaghetti squash, acorn squash, butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, yellow squash, beets, peppers (sweet), onions (sweet or red), and others I am probably forgetting.

I also like chick peas, tomatoes, mushrooms, and pineapple.

Sometimes I will share on Facebook some yummy roasted whatever photo and I will be asked for the "recipe" when in fact what I love is there is no recipe. The recipe is heat x time. My basic process is this:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 (carefully chosen because that is the default)
  2. Wash and cut veggies. If it's some kind of squash I halve it and seed it. Put on baking sheet
  3. Optional: apply salt, and/or drizzle or spray of olive oil, and/or Cajun seasoning (for kale and chickpeas), and/or Mrs Dash random composite of who-knows-what herbs and things (for eggplant, squash, etc)
  4. Put in oven for 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on other multitasking needs, keeping in mind that time and temperature are inversely proportional, while the product of time and temperature should be directly proportional to the mass of the veggie chunks. (engineer, what can I say). Translation - turn the temp down if you need to leave it in longer, and bigger stuff takes longer.
It's a forgiving process, low maintenance, and hard to screw up. Yesterday I threw it all in the oven then hopped on the bike trainer for 70 minutes including 3 x 12 min @ tempo! I did have to stop briefly in a rest interval to turn the oven down. I could have sent a kid but it allowed me to return with a bit of sweet potato to enjoy! Bike trainers do offer certain advantages, like fine aerobar dining!

Then afterward I had a proper dinner that had been cooking up while I pedaled away! I don't do a lot of breads and pastas in general, but rather try to get carbs through fruits and vegetables. Veggies do the best job of filling me up!

If you are not a big fan of veggies, I would highly recommend you try roasting them. It produces a rich flavor and appealing texture. Yummmm.