Recipe: Easy Roasted Vegetables

It’s quick, easy, inexpensive, nutritious and delicious. Photo courtesy Steve Henderson Fine Art.

As a writer who also runs the Norwegian Artist’s fine art gallery, I don’t have a lot of time to cook. Despite spending most of the day 15 feet from the kitchen, I generally arrive there around 5, in a state of controlled panic, wondering what I can make that is fast, easy, inexpensive, nutritious, and tasty. There’s nothing like wanting it all.

Easy roasted vegetables fit all five categories, however, and they’re especially great in the winter when 1) root vegetables are plentiful and in season and 2) you appreciate the extra heat from the oven. As a bonus, this dish is vegan, and it makes a meal all on its own, especially with salsa on the side.

Because I use what I’ve got, this particular recipe is limited to potatoes, carrots, garlic, and onions, but if you have a yam or sweet potato hanging around, or some parsnips, or a turnip (you know, I’ve never eaten one of those things? I don’t even know what they look like, but this may change because the Son and Heir keeps mentioning how one of the items on his bucket list is to grow and eat turnips), then feel free to replace some of the potatoes with these, peeled if necessary and cut into small squares. I incorporated blue potatoes, which we grew in the garden this year. They’re firm, colorful, and a fun addition to the table.

If you’ve got beets hanging around, you can use those too in place of some of the potatoes, but I’ll confess right here that I hate the things. I never have forgiven them for draining all over the plate when I was a child and turning my mashed potatoes pink.

Easy Roasted Vegetables– serves 4 as a side dish; 2-3 as a main dish

I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of Santa, and December isn’t long enough. The Norwegian Artist will be creating more Santa works throughout the year, like this one, The World Traveler, original oil painting, 24 x 24.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup olive oil

1 large onion, peeled, halves, and cut into thin slices

1 head garlic, peeled and chopped fine

1-2 hot peppers, dried, chopped fine (optional)

2 medium/large Yukon Gold potatoes, (about the size of a woman’s fist, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes — you don’t want itsy bitsy pieces, but you don’t want hunkin’ chunks either. The larger the pieces, the longer they take to cook, and the 1/2 to 3/4 inch size cooks up quickly and maintains its shape. Since potatoes and carrots and other root vegetables are obviously not square, you don’t have to worry about every piece looking like a perfect cube. Rounded edges are fine, and at this point, there is no Homeland Potato Security Department).

4 – 6 small (larger than a golf ball, more like the size of a pool ball) blue potatoes, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes. I washed, but did not peel, the potatoes.

4 carrots, peeled and cut into small cubes

3 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely minced, or 2 teaspoons dried

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat until hot, but not smoking. Add the onions and saute for five minutes. Add the garlic and peppers and saute for five minutes more, until the onions are limp. If they brown in this time, that’s just fine; just make sure nothing burns.

While the onions are cooking, chop the potatoes, carrots, and whatever other root vegetables you chose to clean out of your refrigerator or produce baskets.

Grease a 9 x 13 pan and toss in the chopped vegetables. Pour over the onion mixture, with the oil, and mix all together so everything is coated with oil. Toss on the rosemary and salt. Cover the pan and bake the mixture at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring the contents at the halfway point.

After 45 minutes, taste to make sure that everything is fully cooked, and if the carrots, especially, are still a little crunchy, cook longer until they’re soft (this is where the extra effort to cut smaller piece pays off).

If you want to make this your main dish, serve with salsa on the side (check out my easy recipe), and consider sprinkling cheese atop.

I hope that you all had a great holiday — I absorbed myself in family, friends, and good food. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get a handle on your money, I encourage you to look at my book, Live Happily on Less, which gently walks you through the small, simple, sustainable changes you can make to get more out of the resources you have. Paperback and digital at Amazon.com.

“I loved this book. Great ideas for saving money. Made me feel good about my simple lifestyle. Gave me new ways to think about life. Highly recommend.” Amazon five-star reader review.

This article is linked to Food RenegadeOur Heritage of HealthNourishing JoyNatural Living MammaThe Prairie Homestead,  Treasure Box TuesdayCoastal Charm,

 

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5 Responses to “Recipe: Easy Roasted Vegetables”

  1. Ludmilla says:

    What? You don’t like beets? As a person of Ukrainian descent, I am amazed. Haven’t you ever had borshch? Pickled beets? Dyed eggs in beet juice? Grated beet salad? (That’s German, but it’s good, anyway. We’ll make it an honorary Ukrainian recipe.)

    • Ludmilla — your comment reminds me of my favorite line from the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, when the main character’s aunt asks the boyfriend:

      “What? You don’t like MEAT? That’s okay. I make lamb.”

      No, my friend, I am not tempted. The Son and Heir has agitated for years for beets, and indeed, one year we did grow them. Amazingly, no one was interested in actually fixing them — people talked, but when the Little Red Hen announced that she wasn’t doing anything, no one stepped up.

      My mother, the Full Pole, hates sauerkraut, which I understand to be another beloved culinary tradition. I believe, however, that it was so beloved in her childhood that she opted to never eat it again. I have never eaten sauerkraut.

      On the culinary side, I am a failure as a Pole. Ah, but in the important aspects of being a Pole — being determined, strong, perseverant, and willing to pick myself up and keep going — I work much harder. Just no beets.

  2. Ludmilla says:

    Hated them when I was a kid. Would eat them every week, if they weren’t so expensive. Would grow them, if the dirt wasn’t like concrete. The two Ukrainian foods I don’t eat now are salo and kholodets’ — fatback and clear gelatin with cooked meat in it. When I was a small girl in Germany, I loved a thick layer of lard on rye bread with lots of salt. Ah, the good old days when we were so poor that we were grateful for anything edible are long gone.

    • I can’t believe that beets are expensive, but thinking about it, I imagine they are. If you have garden space, can you amend a small portion of it, enough for the beets, with sand, manure, compost, or other amendments? We have clay soil where we are, but successfully grow parsnips and carrots in the beds that we inundate with the offerings from our goats and chickens.

      You know those good old days, when we ate everything because we were so poor? They may not be gone. I don’t know where you live, but our global economy is not being particularly kind to ordinary people, and as time goes on, more and more people will find that getting creative with what they eat, and being willing to go for cheaper food, will help ease the strain.

      • Ludmilla says:

        Those are good suggestions and I thank you for them. I’d love to have a garden. It’s a long story, but I’ve started to clear out dead trees and unwanted saplings from the back yard, hoping to clear a bigish space for herbs and tomatoes and, now that I think about it, beets. Seems like I’ll have to learn to build a tall fence to keep out the deer that are overrunning the neighborhood.

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