Whew!! It’s been a long long time! This time of year always throws me. My to-do list gets longer and longer and my motivation for creative endeavors dwindles as my focus becomes day to day health and wellness and powering through the holiday hangover. Ever since I was very young, I have been especially in tune with the seasons and how they change my outlook on life, even in California when it can feel like summer all year long. I know I’m not alone in this January blues–there is something stagnant about this time of year no matter where you live. A friend and mentor described this beginning of the year, middle of winter phenomenon as “Januaryitis” and I couldn’t agree more. The only way I’ve found to snap out of it is to bite the bullet and begin planning and creating once more, allowing for new ideas to flow. At first, it’s painful to pull myself away from watching Saturday Night Live reruns after a long, rainy day, but eventually I get up and start by doing small things like organizing my bookshelf or getting rid of old clothes. Next, in a window of sunshine, I’ll take a walk, then come home and make a batch of bone broth and chicken soup. And suddenly. Bam! The inspiration is back and I remember how much I love cooking and sharing recipes. So here I am with a very simple guide to my favorite way to prepare veggies. I’ve included roast veggies in posts before, but I wanted to do a comprehensive guide to many kinds.
P. S. I’m working on launching a new website for my work as a Nutritional Therapist. It’s been in the works for about a month now and I’m planning on publishing the most basic form of it by the end of the month. I’m excited for this new endeavor! If you know anyone looking to make changes in diet and lifestyle or address a health or digestive concern, please send them my way. I will post the link on this site once the new site is live.
I large head cauliflower
5 large yams or sweet potatoes
5 large yukon gold potatoes
6 medium zucchini
2 large heads broccoli
3 bell peppers of any color
plenty of olive oil
salt and pepper
herbs of your choosing–rosemary, oregano and thyme are great, as well as a dash of chili flakes
Preheat oven to 400 F
For cauliflower: Cut the stem and leaves off the head of cauliflower. Next, set it on its end where the stem joins the florets and cut into slabs as if you are cutting a loaf of bread. Cut each slab into bit sized pieces. Place pieces in a colander and rinse well. Dry with clean dish cloth or paper towel. Put the cauliflower pieces in a large bowl with 3 Tbs olive oil (yes, that seems like a lot, but this is a lot of cauliflower and enough oil is key here) and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. Pour onto a large, rimmed baking sheet and spread out so that none of the pieces are on top of one another. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes, then flip each piece to brown on the other side. Bake 20 more minutes. Cauliflower should be cripsy and golden brown.
For yams/ sweet potatoes: Scrub well. Leave skins on if using organic. Cut off the end, cut in half lengthwise, then cut each half lengthwise again. Cut into quarter-moon pieces about 1/4 inch think. Toss in a bowl with 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in a large baking dish for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
For potatoes: Here’s where the herbs come into play. Scrub potatoes and cut in the same way as the sweet potatoes. Toss in a large bowl with 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs of your choosing. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
For zucchini: Wash, dry and cut off ends. Cut in half lengthwise and then into half-moons. Toss with 1 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper, pour into a baking dish and roast 25-35 minutes, stirring halfway through.
For broccoli: Rinse and dry, cut off very end, but then cut rest of stem and roast along with florets. Cut head of broccoli into bite-sized florets. Toss with 2 Tbs. olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange on a rimmed baking sheet in one layer. Roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
For peppers: Wash and dry. Cut in half and remove stem and pith. Cut into 1/4-1/3 inch strips. Toss with 1 Tbs olive oil, salt and pepper, Roast on a baking sheet for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Arrange all veggies on a platter when done! Serve and enjoy!