A foodie's quest to turn up the heat through strength and conditioning with whole food and a hungry mind.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Roasted Veggies: Tasty Cold or Hot

Do you ever wonder what that odd looking vegetable in your produce department tastes like, but don’t know what to do with it? When in doubt, just roast it! Roasting veggies is easy and a great way to try new things.

On your next shopping trip, make it a point to purchase one or two types of veggies you have never tried before along with some you know you like. Most people have tried carrots and potatoes; pick those up (if you like them) along with your new veggies of choice. Depending on what you get, you may need to wash and peel. I leave potato skins on unless they are really grungy since the skins offer a lot of nutrition, but carrots will get peeled before I eat them raw or cooked.  Try choosing different kinds of produce that are related to experience different types all at once.  For example, summer squash like zucchini and patty pan mixed with winter squash like acorn and butternut squash hits across a wide spectrum of squash to experience.

Take your new and familiar veggies and (after peeling if necessary) cut everything into similar sizes. Toss into a large bowl; add a light drizzle of olive or coconut oil, a few splashes of vinegar (I like balsamic), herbs and spices of your choice, and mix it all together. If I have some garlic lying around, I’ll usually add several cloves to the mix to help boost flavor and nutrition. Come on, have fun, use your (clean) hands to really mix it up!

Roasted Veggies and a Dollop of Goat Cheese Makes for Happiness on a Plate.
Spread the mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet making sure everything is evenly distributed. Place on the center rack of an oven that’s been pre-heated to 375 degrees and roast for 45 to 50 minutes. Use a metal spatula to sift everything once or twice to allow even baking. Depending on the herbs and spices used, you’ll have a wonderful aroma fill your home with the scent of awesome goodness (it’s a scent, I swear).
Pull from the oven and try to resist the urge until slightly cool to avoid burning your taste buds off. Once cooled down a bit, enjoy your familiar veggies along with the new ones alone or as a side dish to a variety of meals. Roasting is such an easy way to try new things since it doesn’t take much thought but yields great flavor.

I try to find a new produce item to roast every week or two on my grocery trips. Paired with other staple veggies, I will roast a big batch that lasts almost all week. I use these as a way to add bulk and flavor to salads that can be put together in a flash after a long day at work.

This is a great way to get kids started on veggies because roasting carmelized their sugars making for a sweeter taste. Try roasting a red bell pepper for a super sweet treat your kids will love.

If you’re not a fan of brussel sprouts, this picture should help tempt you…..at least a little bit.

The options are limitless

If you are unsure or just hesitant to grab some new produce and roast it, here are a few good recipes to get you started.

Good and easy with one of my favorite items….Butternut Squash

Another recipe worth using.  I hardly ever use the amount of oil called for as it just hides the flavor of each veggie and adds unnecessary calories - http://www.cookingnook.com/roasted-vegetable-recipes.html

Here's a great recipe for roasted veggies with Quinoa.

Don't forget to pick up some new produce next time you are at the store and roast something tasty the whole family or friends can enjoy.  If you like it with a little kick....Just Add Cayenne!!

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