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Jen Pollock Michel

( author + writer + speaker )

Monday's Menu: Roasted Vegetables

jenmichel@me.com

"How do I get my kids to eat vegetables?" I'm no miracle worker, and I can't promise that roasted vegetables are the answers to your prayers. But, they are a quick and easy way to prepare something healthy for the dinner table. You can roast broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes (red, yellow, white, sweet), and other root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, beets). You can also roast peppers, tomatoes, squashes, and eggplant. Oh, and I did I forget shallots? If you've never bought a shallot, it's high time to explore the world of onions! I've got some yummy combinations for you.

First, pantry items. This winter, keep extra-virgin olive oil, kosher/sea salt, and garlic powder stocked in your pantry. They're your go-tos when the dinner madness is upon you.

Experiment a bit when your oven temperature: 400 degrees tends to be where I most likely land when I'm roasting vegetables, but if something else is crowding your oven at 350 degrees (like a meat dish), you can roast your veggies at a lower temperature on a higher rack for a longer period of time. Leave the veggies in the oven for as long until they're as tender as you like to eat them.

Generally, before roasting, I toss the vegetables in a bowl with a generous amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. And depending on which vegetable I'm roasting, I might also add some garlic powder.

Ready for the combos?

Sweet potatoes: All by themselves, tossed with lime juice and chopped cilantro after roasting.

Sweet potatoes, red potatoes, yellow potatoes: Add some chili powder before roasting.

Eggplant, squash (yellow, green), and peppers: After roasting, you can stuff these into calzones before baking. What kid notices veggies inside a pizza pocket with spaghetti sauce for dipping??

Carrots and shallots: Actually, add shallots to every one of these combinations because they are THAT good when roasted.

Broccoli and cauliflower: Add garlic powder. To die for.

Happy roasting this week!