Happy What I Ate Wednesday! Today I wanted to talk about vegetables. I know what you’re thinking, “But you eat paleo. Don’t you just stuff yourself with meat?”
False. I eat a ton of vegetables. And if I’m following my own advice correctly, I’m eating them at all three meals. In fact, I might even suggest that paleo people eat more vegetables than most vegetarians. Because think of it this way, when you cut out all grains and legumes (which vegetarians eat a lot of) and dairy, you’re left with basically vegetables and meat.
However, one of the questions I hear a lot is “what do I do if I hate vegetables?”
Does any of this sound familiar?
The truth is, to eat paleo, you have to eat vegetables. Really no matter what style of eating you choose, you just have to eat vegetables to be healthy. So what can you do if you hate vegetables? You roast them!
This week I’ve been a roasting fiend. I had this epiphany, if brussels sprouts are so darn good when roasted, maybe every vegetable is awesome roasted. Guess what? They are!
How to Roast Vegetables
Roasting vegetables is incredibly easy. It’s honestly really hard to screw up.
- Pre-heat your oven to anything between 350 degrees (F) – 450 degrees (F)
- Toss your vegetables lightly with a cooking oil (olive oil, coconut oil, etc) and spread out on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. If you want you can line the pan with aluminum foil to make it easier to clean up
- Season with salt and pepper (or other spices like chili powder)
- Roast for 20 to 30 minutes
That’s it. Now you might say “Rachel those instructions are really vague. 350 degrees is a lot different from 450 degrees.” And yes you are right. But I’ve now roasted vegetables at 350 degrees, 375, 400 and 425 and every single time they’ve still turned out great.
But I do have some tips:
- The higher the temperature, the more caramelized the vegetables will be. Lower temperatures are better for more delicate vegetables like kale, so that they don’t burn, or for root vegetables that will take longer to cook through.
- When coating your vegetables with oil, make sure it’s light but complete. If you don’t put enough oil your vegetables can dry out. If you put too much oil they will be soft and soggy. This will take some trial and error but the good news is your “errors” still taste great.
- Experiment with different seasonings. Salt and pepper are great. But try chili powder, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. Or what about balsamic vinegar, lemon juice or Worcestershire sauce.
- Experiment with different vegetables, including root vegetables. Go for the crazy one you’ve never tried. Because roasting is awesome.
But this is What I Ate Wednesday right? So what did I eat?
Roasted green beans. This one was awesome! I’ve always sautéed my green beans but this was the dish that started my roasting phase. I used Nom Nom Paleo’s recipe – roasted with coconut oil, fish sauce, black pepper and lemon juice.
After experimenting with roasted eggplant for my recipe, Indian-Style Eggplant and Sausage, Jake asked me to make roasted eggplant again but as a side dish. I followed the same instructions I used in my recipe and it turned out great.
I love grilling asparagus but since it’s currently below zero outside, that’s not going to happen. So I thought why not roast them. Yup! They’re good roasted too.
And of course, my favorite. Roasted brussels sprouts with red pepper flakes.
Roasted cauliflower. You can either cut them into bite size pieces before you roast or roast the whole cauliflower head as one unit. I used garam masala to season.
But the list doesn’t stop there. You can roast: kale, zucchini, onions, peppers (red, orange and yellow), broccoli, sweet potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, squash, carrots, fennel, beets, tomatoes, leeks, and parsnips.
This post was shared over at Peas and Crayons. Head over there for more meal ideas.