I love vegetables. Love them. Plants are the bulk of my diet every day (volume wise, not energy wise) not only because they are nutritious and vital to health, but because all my favorite foods happen to be veggies! Ever since I was little I’ve loved the crunch of sugar snap peas, the sweetness of carrots, and the creaminess of avocados. Not everyone is as big a fan of veg as I am (I’m a pretty hardcore veggie fanatic- brussels sprouts for breakfast is a common occurrence), but I’ve found that even the most dedicated veggie-abstainers will eat, and even enjoy, them roasted.
Roasting involved cooking at a high, dry temperature in order to produce a tender, cooked inside and a crispy and browned outside. You can roast almost any vegetable- from bell peppers to roots/tubers to mushrooms to crucifers. Roasting enhances the natural sweetness of the veg and is easy peasy to do. It’s a great method to batch cook for big families or busy weeks, and can help you clean out the fridge in one fell swoop. It’s also a great way to save money- roasting saves veggies that are about to go bad, and allows you to keep them a few days longer.
I like to store my veggies in glass containers. I got these at Costco, but they can be found at almost any grocery or kitchen supply store. You can even find discounted ones at stores like TJ Maxx or Ross. I don’t recommend storing warm foods in plastic containers, not only for taste reasons, but because they can leak potentially dangerous chemicals into your food. It’s also better for the environment, and makes you feel like a responsible adult seeing rows of pretty glass containers in your fridge.
Basic Roasted Veggies
1/ Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2/ Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
3/ Prep your veggies by peeling and chopping.
4/ Toss with melted fat of your choice (about 2 TBSP per pound of veg). Sprinkle with salt and add any seasonings you desire (fresh herbs like dill or thyme work well).
5/ Lay in a single layer on your baking sheet and roast for 20 min-1 hour, depending on the vegetable (broccoli won’t take too long, but whole sweet potatoes might take awhile).
6/ Check often and rotate the veggies until evenly browned and cooked through.
When choosing your fat, I wouldn’t recommend highly processed oils such as vegetable or canola oil, as I’ve previously discussed. I also wouldn’t recommend olive oil, as it will go rancid at such a high heat (olive oil is best used as a drizzle over already cooked foods or over cold dishes like salads, as it doesn’t have a very desirable smoke point). I like to use coconut oil, but ghee, grassfed butter, or avocado oil would work well. If you have access to it, fat such as tallow or lard from local animals would be a very good option.
(Yes, I said lard. I’ll talk more on that later.)
Curried Cauliflower Steaks
These make a great side dish, and could even be grilled at a summer barbecue!
1/ Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2/ Thickly slice a head of cauliflower into large steaks, using a long, serrated knife (bread knife).
3/ Arrange the steaks on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet, and brush with melted fat of your choice.
4/ Liberally and evenly sprinkle the veggies in curry power (I like yellow) and salt.
5/ Bake for about 25 minutes or until fork-tender and crispy on the edges.