Quick tips: roast vegetables

One of the goals I outlined for this blog was sharing stuff that helped me, whether or not there was rigorous research to support it.  This is one of those.

Getting me to eat well is hard.  I’m busy, I don’t like cooking and don’t have the time to do it regularly, I’m bored easily but need food stability.*  One food/technique I’ve found that does work for me is roasted vegetables.    The recipe is as follows:

  1. Cut any vegetable into bite-sized cubes.  If you’re not sure what to use, start with colored potatoes, which have a fairly neutral taste and more nutrients than Idaho potatoes.
  2. Put tin foil on a baking sheet or brownie pan.
  3. Dump the cubes onto the tin foil.  Put in a little bit of olive oil, and a lot of a pre-made spice mix (example).
  4. Mix the cubes up with your hands so the olive oil and spices are evenly distributed.
  5. Put in over at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Or 400 degrees for 90 minutes.

This let’s me get some variety in taste (by rotating spices) while sticking with a known-safe vegetable.  Or I can make a new vegetable safer by putting a known good spice on it.

It’s also very, very forgiving.  Boiled vegetables have a very narrow range of edibility.  Two minutes too little and they’re too tough, two minutes too long and they’re gross and slimy.  Roasting probably has some sort of ideal temperature and duration, but can tolerate huge variations in length and temperature and still be pretty good.

It’s time efficient.  There is a bit of a wait between prep and eating, but prep is relatively short, it reheats well so you can cook a big batch when you have the time and eat it when you don’t, and clean consists of throwing out the tin foil.  If you’re able to throw money at the problem, you can even skip the chopping step with a food processor.

It’s also pretty amenable to experimentation.  Most people like to seal up the foil because it holds in moisture.  I leave it open because I like them dry.  Temperature and time also have a great deal to do with it, and you can play with them secure in the knowledge you will be able to eat it even if you guess wrong.  People who like having more than one thing at a time (weirdos) can put in multiple veggies.

So that’s my go to meal.  It is not everything, but it makes me feel nourished without making me anxious, and that’s more than I could say for most food.

*This could easily be my bacterial flora overadapting, ort hat I’m more likely to recognize new food as food and kick off the digestive process.