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Roasted Vegetables: healthy & delicious

About roasted vegetables

Year round you can find tasty, budget-friendly produce that is ‘in season’, particularly in the autumn and winter months to prepare roasted vegetables. Roasted vegetables make a great crowd pleaser for parties or an everyday ordinary dinner with the family. If you’ve not tried them before, you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Roasting vegetables draws out their natural sugars, creating a crunchy, browned outside and a juicy, tender inside.

How-to prepare roasted vegetables

To begin your roasted vegetables dies, line a roasting pan with foil and spray it generously with non-stick cooking spray or simply choose an aluminum oven-ready pan. Slice/cube variety of seasonal root/winter veggies (that you have washed to remove dirt and debris) for your roasted vegetables side dish. Good choices include parsnips (peel them first), sweet, white, Yukon or baby new potatoes, carrots, onions (sweet onions work well and color), cauliflower, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and any other hearty veggies you enjoy. Be sure to slice/cut the vegetables in fairly uniform pieces for even cooking. Prepare more than you think you will need/be very generous with your ‘mound’ of cut-up veggies. Since vegetables have a very high percentage of water, dry cooking methods, such as roasting, removes much of the water and shrinks them. This concentrates the flavor though the volume decreases significantly. Post-roasting, you will end up with a smaller mound of roasted vegetables.

Drizzle the veggies generously with olive oil and add a sprinkle of your favorite dried herbs, such as rosemary, basil, oregano and thyme (fresh herbs will ‘burn’ in the hot 420-degree oven). Toss well with your hands to coat all of the veggies and spread in the pan in a fairly even, single layer (as best as possible). The last step is to add a pinch of sea salt and a generous grind of pepper. ‘Roast’ in a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes. Pair your delicious roasted vegetables with roasted chicken, pork tenderloin or any main meat.

Eating in-season this Summer…

Why eat foods that are in season (particularly produce)?

There are several reasons that eating in-season are a better opion, including cost, taste and freshness – and it’s better for the environment too! Europeans have been doing it for years. Our advanced technology, growth of the processed food industry and easy access have all made eating foods out of season all too convenient.

When you purchase local foods in-season, you eliminate the environmental damage caused by shipping foods thousands of miles, your food dollar goes directly to the farmer, and your family will be able to enjoy the health benefits of eating fresh, unprocessed fruits and vegetables. Buying seasonal produce also provides an opportunity to try new foods and to experiment with seasonal recipes. And, many say, seasonal foods simply taste better!

In summer, stick with light, cooling foods in the tradition of traditional Chinese medicine. These foods include fruits like strawberries, apple, pear, and plum; vegetables like summer squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and corn; and spices and seasonings like peppermint and cilantro.

Try this fresh blueberry parfait:

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients:
1 pint of fresh blueberries
4 oz low-fat vanilla yogurt, stirred
1 TBS chopped walnuts

Optional:
1 tsp diced crystallized ginger or 1 peppermint sprig

Layer yogurt and blueberries in 2 wine glasses. Top with chopped walnuts. Sprinkle diced crystallized ginger or peppermint sprig, if desired.