If you want to start cooking more frequently and healthily but don’t know where to start, roasted veggies are a fantastic option. Whenever I’m unsure of what I want to make for dinner or am too lazy to try something new, roasted veggies are always there for me. Reliable, delicious, and versatile, there’s no reason not to make this a staple meal.
First of all: all the positive things health gurus say about the convenience of preparing chopped veggies are true. I used to not do this. I used to cut up my veggies on a meal-to-meal basis, but I recently started doing all the chopping on Sundays and it is so helpful. It makes cooking during the week so much more enjoyable and stress-free, knowing that I have all the veggies ready to go for however I want to use them. Do it! It takes me an hour each weekend to wash, cut, and pack all the vegetables, and it’s so worth it.
Back to roasting: It took me a while to figure out the best technique, but the key to a great plate of roasted veggies is what you do before you put them in the oven. What you will need is a large mixing bowl (very important!), a baking sheet, aluminum foil, spices, and oil. It’ll take you around 30 minutes total if you already have the veggies cut.
Once you have your veggies ready:
1. Get a large bowl and fill it to the top with your vegetables of choice— my staple foods include onion, garlic (I cut each clove in half lengthwise), mushrooms, squash, cauliflower, and brussel sprouts.
2. Mix in your spices by adding a little at a time, shaking the bowl as you go. Add a little spice, shake it all around, add more, shake, and repeat until the vegetables are evenly covered with the spices (try to flip the veggies as you do this so all sides are covered). My spices usually include paprika, cumin, red cayenne pepper, turmeric, and sometimes curry powder.
3. Get a teaspoon or so of olive oil and drizzle it on the veggies a little at a time, tossing the bowl around as you do this so the oil is evenly distributed.
4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and pour the veggies onto it. I usually have two sheets worth of food. Try not to let the veggies touch one another— if touching, the moisture will cause them to steam more than roast, making them less crispy.
Pro tip: If you don’t want to use oil, but want to avoid having the veggies stick to the foil, lay them on parchment paper instead of aluminum foil.
5. Pop the pans in the oven at 400 degrees F for 20-25 minutes, checking on them regularly and flipping them over at least once. Once browned, take them out of the oven.
I like to include a leafy green with at least one meal a day, so I’ll sometimes steam broccoli or kale while the veggies are roasting.
Serve with a grain (rice, quinoa, couscous, etc) and a protein (beans, lentils, hummus, edamame, etc). I usually also make a sauce as the veggies are cooking– it is typically a combination of hot sauce (sriracha or gochujang), tahini, maybe some soy sauce or ponzu, lemon/lime juice, some water, or vinegar– and I’ll pour that over the cooked veggies as well.
If I feel like something raw that day I’ll also add some fresh tomatoes, cucumber, onion, or lettuce.
Last but never least, ADD THE AVOCADO! I eat avocado with almost every meal and it adds such a nice, creamy texture and I love it. I am also a cilantro lover so I garnish most of my meals with it.
There you have it! Trust me, I’ve never had a roasted veggie bowl I didn’t like. So much flavor, variety, and nourishing deliciousness, you really can’t go wrong.