Perfect Roasted Vegetables and 5 Ways to Use Them

Perfect Roasted Vegetables and 5 Ways to Use Them | Food & Nutrition | Stone Soup
Photo: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN

Can we stop and admire the beauty that is roasted vegetables for a minute? I think it’s pretty obvious by now that roasting is the no-fail way to prepare just about any vegetable on the planet.  This used to be a secret, but I feel like roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes are now mainstream.

This roasted blend has become such a staple in my house over the years that I almost forget that there’s actually a technique involved. And in addition to just sharing the recipe, the really cool thing about these is they they can be re-purposed in many different ways to keep things interesting without a whole lot of added effort. It’s basically one of those “cook once, eat three times” situations.

If you plan on roasting a variety of veggies on one sheet pan, it’s important to keep cook times in mind. Chop the hardiest vegetables in smaller pieces, and the quicker-cooking ones in slightly larger pieces. Something to note with Brussels sprouts — some will be bigger than others. I halve them if they are on the smaller side and quarter them if they are on the larger side.

You have many options with onions (slice into rings, chop into large chunks). I love halving an onion down the middle of the root end, then slicing each half into 3 to 4 wedges, leaving the root intact. I like doing it this way because it looks pretty and doesn’t tend to separate like it will if you chop it smaller.

A few more tips for the perfect roast:

  • If you only have smaller sheet pans, you’ll probably need to divide your veggies into two batches to prevent overcrowding and steaming of the vegetables. Decrease the amount of vegetables you use if you only have time for one batch.
  • Avoid messing with your vegetables too much while they are in the oven. If you want that nice browned edge, they need to hang out in one spot for awhile. Stir just once about two-thirds of the way through your cook time.
  • Use a high-heat, neutral cooking oil like grapeseed.

Of course the classic way to use roasted vegetables is in the form of a side dish and since this blend has both the starchy and non-starchy covered, all you really need is a protein and dinner is served. I also love that so much of the time involved is hands-off, so you can move on to something else while you wait for them to cook.

There are also several ways to re-purpose these so you aren’t eating the same dinner multiple nights in a row.

Here are a few of my go-to options:

  • Chop up the vegetables into small pieces and use them in a quiche
  • Layer them on a bed of arugula, add your favorite cheese, beans and mustard-y dressing for a really delicious salad
  • Use them on flatbread or pizza; finish with basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • Toss the vegetables with orzo, olives and goat cheese for a tasty pasta side dish
  • Top them with a cooked egg, diced avocado and hot sauce for a weekend brunch (or weeknight “breakfast for dinner”)

No matter how you serve these, I know you’ll make them again and again. Experiment with different combinations and spices to keep things interesting!

Perfect Roasted Vegetables

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red onion, cut into six wedges
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, hard ends chopped off, then halved (quarter the larger ones)
  • 1 pint white button mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Line a large sheet pan with foil and spray with cooking spray, then add the vegetables to the pan (working in batches if necessary to keep one layer and prevent overcrowding).
  3. Drizzle the vegetables with oil and toss to coat. Season with garlic powder, then salt and pepper to taste (along with any other seasonings you prefer).
  4. Roast for 20 minutes uninterrupted, then remove pan from the oven and stir the vegetables around. Return to the oven for 10 more minutes until you see browned and crispy edges.

If you don’t have grapeseed oil, canola or vegetable oil will work too.

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Leanne Ray
Leanne Ray, MS, RDN, is a virtual nutrition coach and the founder of
LeanneRay.com. Her blog is aimed at making cooking and nutrition
practical for busy people with an intuitive eating focus. Connect with
Leanne on her blog, Leanne Ray Nutrition, and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.