I love vegetables. I love fresh herbs seasoning my vegetables. I love that vegetables are naturally gluten-free without me having to think about it. I love that there are so many kinds to choose from. My biggest love, my most favorite dish in the world, is roasted vegetables. BUT, and this is a huge BUT, I do not have the time or patience after coming home from work and picking kids up from their various locations, to then chop a bunch of veggies, remember to preheat the oven before the chopping, and then wait the 45 minutes for the vegetables to roast while my 4 year old is eating apple sauce, rice krispie treats and goldfish and basically ruining her dinner.
SO, my solution is that I only make roasted vegetables on the weekend. I usually make up a pan on Sunday – we eat half of the veggies with a protein on Sunday for dinner, and the other half of the veggies on Monday or Tuesday.
The lovely pan of vegetables in the photos below includes:
- 2 small red potatoes
- 1 large sweet potato
- 2 parsnips
- 4 carrots
- 1/2 of a small onion (not big onion fans)
- A drizzle of olive oil (to prevent burning in the oven)
- Seasonings: salt and pepper, garlic powder (a few garlic cloves would have been better but I was out) and a whole bunch of thyme. I usually just eyeball the amounts and things turn out just fine.
By the way, if you haven’t eaten parsnips before, they add an interesting peppery flavor to things. To be honest, next time I think I would use just one large parsnip and add a little more sweet potato. But, that is the beauty of roasted veggies – you can use all of your favorite kinds, in the amount that you prefer. The “before” is the pic on the left, the “after” is the pic on the right, after 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven.
A second delicious and vegetable-filled meal is healthy pasta primavera. My favorite part of this dish is that you can change out any of the veggies to suit your preferences. For instance, we are not too fond of asparagus in my house so I usually sub in broccoli. Same with sugar snap peas – I usually sub in regular frozen peas. After gathering my favorite veggies, I added to a bowl:
- 1 yellow squash (quartered, then cut into small pieces)
- 1 red pepper (chopped into small pieces)
- Some frozen green peas (maybe half a cup or so)
- A handful of fresh sliced carrot
- A few teaspoons of minced garlic
I sautéed the veggies with a few teaspoons of olive oil in a large skillet, while starting a pot of water to boil for my gluten-free pasta (I made about 10 ounces of spaghetti for this dish). Once the veggies were cooked but still crisp, I added in the “mushier” items that didn’t need as much time to cook. These included:
- 2 small tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 of a can of quartered artichoke hearts
- Broccoli that I had already steamed in the microwave (I only had frozen; if you had fresh you’d put it in with the crisper veggies)
The artichoke hearts were essential to this dish; they added a nice vinegary bite to the dish (kind of like olives), that went really well with the fresh veggies. I mean, look at the deliciousness:
After a few minutes, I ladled some of the starchy pasta water my gluten-free spaghetti was boiling in, into the veggie mixture on the stove to make it a little saucier as it was quite dry. A little extra olive oil would help here, as well. I also added my seasonings – pepper, some dried Italian seasoning, some dried oregano, and some salt. Remember to really season veggies or things can get quite bland. Again, I usually eyeball it and stir as I go.
When my pasta and the veggies were cooked through, I combined them and added some fresh parsley. Squeezing a little lemon juice over this would have given it a nice light flavor, and I made a mental note to add that the next time. Last, add plenty of Parmesan cheese for the extra flavor punch. I was trying to keep the meal light and didn’t add the cheese, but I gotta be honest, I missed it. Disclaimer: my children will not eat all of the vegetables pictured!