If grilling vegetables is to summer, roasting vegetables is to fall and winter but you don’t really have to wait months for you to enjoy the delicious and smoky taste of roasted vegetables.
Why roast vegetables? Roasting certain vegetables increases its nutrient bioavailability and the nutrients will have an active effect in the body once consumed. Example: you get more carotenoids from roasted carrots versus steamed carrots. Let’s all face it, a fraction of the nutrients go down the drain whenever we cook them but with roasting, fewer nutrients are lost since we don’t use water as opposed to boiling. Roasting is very easy and it makes vegetables taste better! Plus, you can elevate the taste by adding your favorite herbs and spices with good quality oil!
Who Started Roasting Vegetables?
If you go to restaurants, roasting seems to be the default way of cooking vegetables but you’ll be surprised to know that roasting vegetables isn’t a thing not too long ago. Aside from food, origins of things most people wouldn’t care about is an obsession of mine (you probably can tell by the way I wrote “The Elvis Sandwich” and “Bacon and Egg Cups”) so I had to tell this. Cue in flashback music!
Let’s go back to the year was when Cable News Network (CNN) was launched, when Robert Redford’s “Ordinary People” premiered, the year when Voyager 1 confirmed the existence of a moon around Saturn and when Cleopatra became Queen of Egypt at age 14. All of these events happened in the year 1980 except for the last one. An Italian restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island named “Johanne Killeen and George Germon’s Al Forno” owned by the people stated in the restaurant’s name (imagine if it was owned by 5 people lol), popularized vegetable roasting. By the way, “forno” in Italian means oven. A 1991 feature article in a newspaper reads: “…the kitchen boasted only one cooking appliance [in the beginning] – an oven…” According to Johanne Killeen, they roasted vegetables out of necessity.
The 2 restaurant owners probably were not the only people responsible for the roasting craze but they surely did a good job in spreading the word! Their 1991 cookbook entitled “Cucina Simpatica” contained a lot of advice on roasting vegetables and soon, roasting vegetables was widely done by chefs in restaurants and home cooks as well!
What you need: (Basically, I’m gonna be listing Paleo friendly veggies, take your pick! The world is your oyster!)
- artichoke hearts
- brussels sprouts
- green onions
- peppers (all kinds)
- Preheat your oven to 200C. Cut your veggies into bite-sized pieces.
- From here you have 2 options: 1- dress your veggies with olive oil and herbs (rosemary, thyme, dill, parsley, etc.) or 2 -if you want to keep the calorie count down, have them plain (will still taste great, believe me).
- Layer a pan with foil. If you chose option 2, coat the foil with a thin layer of cooking spray or olive oil. Otherwise arrange your veggies in a single layer on top of the foil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Different vegetables require different cooking times so be sure to check your pan after 20-25 minutes. If the edges are turning golden brown to dark brown, it’s cooked.
Some vegetables are starchy and if you are true-blue Paleo dieter, avoid these: butternut and acorn squash, yam, potatoes and beets.
Paleo Friendly Pepper Cashew Dip
What you need:
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (lime can also be used)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Soak cashews in cold water for 4 hours.
- Drain and combine with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender until smooth. Add water if the blend is too thick for you.
- Adjust the flavor with salt, pepper and lemon.
Here’s a picture of the finished product:
Surprised? Cashews can be blended into a creamy white consistency after being soaked for a few hours. Looks like dairy but it’s not. Add red peppers for a little bit of a kick or add nutritional yeast for that nutty and cheese-like flavor! This dip is a must-try!
I used to hate vegetables when I was a kid. My dad would usually sit in front of me when I eat just to watch and make sure I swallow them vegetables. This recipe is a great way to introduce vegetables to kids as a delicious and nutritious food. What are your thoughts about this recipe? I want to hear them in the comments section below! Eat well, be well, farewell!