You know how I feel about eating Clean & Colorful to boost the quality of your diet and consequently, your health and happiness, right? And I’m not talking about a bag of skittles, we’re talking about nature’s finest treats from the earth: fresh fruits and veggies.
Simple roasted veggies are just about my favorite way to cram in a ton of color (fiber, vitamins, minerals and potent phytochemical too!) in a very simple fashion. When you dive into roasting veggies, you quickly learn that it’s much more of an art than a science. For that reason, I’ve got some guidelines for you to consider, more so than a recipe to follow, as you learn to create your perfect colorful dishes.
My Favorite Simple Roasted Veggies
When roasting veggies, you want to think not only of the color, but the density. Root vegetables tend to be harder, hence they will take longer to cook. The smaller you cut the up, the quicker they will cook. Other naturally softer veggies don’t take quite as long, but that does not mean you can’t include them in the same process.
Harder, slower cooking veggies:
- Red: Red potatoes
- Orange: Sweet potatoes, Golden beets, Butternut Squash, Carrots
- Yellow: Parsnips, Cauliflower, Garlic
- Green: Brussles sprouts, Broccoli
- Indgo: Turnip, Beets
Softer, quicker cooking veggies:
- Red: Red peppers, Tomatoes
- Orange: Orange peppers
- Yellow: Yellow peppers, Summer Squash, Onions, Mushrooms
- Green: Zucchini
- Indgo: Eggplant, Red onion
How to Simply Roast Your Veggies
This is the best part. It’s so easy! Just a little time and love to prepping your goodies and you’re set. Now, you’re the artist, so you pick your veggies and go from there. The magic number is somewhere around 3-4, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a mean single veggie dish either! You get to make the call here.
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Chop up your selected veggies into 1/2-1″ pieces. Remember, the smaller they are, the faster they will cook.
- Toss them in olive oil (about 1 tsp to 1 cup veggies), salt and pepper and any other herbs or spices you like.
- Pop the harder veggies in and cook for about 10 minutes. Add any softer veggies and cook for an additional 10-15. It will depend mostly on the size of your veggies and your and how crunchy you like them.
- Now, voila. You are a colorful, vegan chef!
Simple Ways to Use Roasted Veggies
Now that you know what and how to cook them, how do you use them? Instantly we might think of a pile of roasted vegetables as a side dish. Which is indeed, and awesome way to use them! But it’s not the only way. Learning to use your roasted vegetables in more ways than one will allow you to maximize your time in the kitchen and get a better ROI (return on investment) on your effort. Using veggies is my favorite way to create low calorie, high energy, easy and cheap sides, snacks and meals!
In addition to a simple side dish to an entree, use your roasted veggies to:
- Add color to your healthy salad, roasted veggies are a great way to improve your “nutrition to treat ratio.”
- Store in single serve containers for quick go to snacks. Even when they are cold they can be delicious.
- Slice thinly and add to a sandwich (think Summer squash, eggplant, peppers). You can cover with a bit of cheese and bake it for a gooey and oh so yummy toasted sandwich.
- Coat a tortilla with cream cheese and/or hummus, toss in some spinach and your veggies on it then top with a tiny bit of your favorite salad dressing. Roll it up and enjoy the world’s easiest lunch time vegetable wrap.
- Toss in the skillet with some eggs to create a colorful breakfast scramble or omelet. and if you you cook in your microwave, this can be a one dish meal!
- Toss in with some vegetable or chicken stock to create a super fast veggie soup to fill you up up before a large meal for fewer calories. Or if roasting tomatoes, just toss them in the blender for the seemingly creamiest soup of all.
- Toss in a bowl with black beans and cooked quinoa and/or farrow and top with chunky salsa and avocado for a tasty, hearty bowl as an entree. Hands down, my favorite Fat Furnace meal.
- Toss onto of a bed of boiled pasta with simple tomato sauce and create your perfect garden marina meal. Or Layer into lasagna sheets and make a delicious veggie lasagna.
- Chop up into smaller bites and fill up a small tortilla. Top with chunky salsa, a tiny bit of cheese, avocado and sour cream (or NF Greek Yogurt) and have a veggie taco night.
- Chop up into smaller bites and to skillet with pan fried hash browns for a colorful, hearty and healthy breakfast hash.
- Dice super small chunks and mix with your favorite vinegar, oil and maybe a little sweetener like honey and use as a chutney to top your favorite protein. Think: pork chop, salmon steak, chicken breast, grilled tofu.
- Get a pizza crust, layer on some marina or garlic and olive oil, top with your veggies and a bit of cheese and serve up a veggie supreme pizza for dinner.
Pssst: I just pulled all these images from my Instagram account, yes, I do in fact practice what I preach 😉
Looking for more helpful information on how to eat more color?
Be sure to check out my Simple Secrets program, which includes my full Clean and Colorful Cooking guide with 131 easy, delicious and simple recipes and six months of digital health coaching videos.
What is your favorite way to use roasted veggies?