Until about 4 years ago I didn’t eat vegetables. Period. I was convinced that vegetables didn’t taste good. Now I love vegetables. Just this afternoon I had brussels sprouts as an afternoon snack. Delicious!
So what changed?
I learned how to cook vegetables so that they taste good!
Keep reading for the basic method of roasting vegetables that changed my life. I roasted vegetables for my picky husband and my dad, and now they enjoy eating vegetables too.
They key to making vegetables that taste good is the use of fat. Not only does the fat make the vegetables taste delicious, it is good for you. Check out this article that explains how eating vegetables with fat enables your body to better absorb the fat soluble vitamins. Patients often tell me about their bland boiled or steamed vegetables, and I remind them not to be afraid of fat.
Simple and Delicious Roasted Vegetables
- Vegetable(s) of choice – our favorites include broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, asparagus and sweet potato. You can also try eggplant, acorn squash, butternut squash, fennel, beets, onions, turnips, parsnips, and more!
- 1-2 tbsp of fat of choice – coconut oil, butter, ghee, or animal fat (e.g. lard, beef tallow)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 425. Spoon fat onto 9x13 glass pan or cookie sheet with rimmed edges. Place pan in the oven to melt fat.
- Cut vegetables into uniform pieces (i.e. florets, match sticks, cubes etc).
- Mix vegetables in the melted fat and season with salt and pepper. Make sure vegetables are in a single layer on pan.
- Roast vegetables in oven. Cooking time varies based on the vegetable. For heartier vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and sweet potatoes cook for 25-30 minutes. Asparagus is 15-20 depending on the thickness. Look for the vegetables to soften (tender when forked) and start to brown on the edges.
- Remove pan from oven and let veggies rest for 5-10 minutes in hot pan. This helps them to crisp up a bit. If you want to make it really tasty, and you tolerate dairy well, serve with butter.
- This technique can be used with frozen vegetables. However, in my opinion the texture is not quite as good.
- Mix 2 types of veggies that cook the same length of time (e.g. carrots and cauliflower or broccoli).
- Once you start to enjoy vegetables, it becomes easy to substitute grilled or roasted vegetables for the fries in a restaurant. Soon you will realize that the vegetables have more flavor than the fries.
- Experiment with seasonings. For example, give the vegetables "kick" by dusting with chili power and cumin, and adding a shake of cinnamon and red pepper before you mix the vegetables with the fat.
- For particularly picky eaters, if they tolerate cheese, grate some over the veggies when you remove them from the oven.
Your Challenge: Try roasting a new vegetable this week.
We’d love to hear from you. What did you try? Do you have other easy ways to prepare vegetables that taste good?
Article by: Joelle Kurczodyna, NTP