I’m an optimist through and through. It’s not just that the glass is half full, it’s that there even is a glass. And I smile. And I am grateful.
Sometimes I am not smiling. Some days I wake up and look into the mirror, I notice things. Things staring back at me. Things that look a lot like imperfection. Then the dreaming starts because I think I have seen perfection.
There is always something that could be tighter, lighter, brighter, bigger, taller. Apparently perfection has a stake in all the “er” words.
I know I will never achieve perfection this side of heaven, but I can’t help but notice. An honest reminder that I am a work in progress. Inside and out.
But then I smile after just a few minutes. Sometimes it takes a full day but I remember there will be perfection. Someday. And my thoughts on perfection slip away like my youth. It’s not good to always be young.
In the evening when I walk into the kitchen and pull out my knife, tie on my apron, take a deep breath and let the world fall away I think, “I’m going to make perfect roasted vegetables.”
There’s that word again. Perfect. She sure does know how to kill the mood. And how to make a person lay down a dollar or two or a thousand. And how to make me forget why I am really here on this earth.
But the carrots are staring back at me and they don’t have a soul or boobs or the perfect hourglass shape or a judgmental thought. So, I am going to make them perfectly roasted.
Awhile ago I read in Cooking Light that the absolute best way to perfectly roast vegetables is…a roasting pan.
Perfectly Roasted Vegetables
Step 1: Roast Your Vegetables in Your Roasting Pan
I smile so bright I can see the reflection in the roasting pan. Because my roasting pan makes its appearance on, well, Thanksgiving and now I have a reason to pull it out time and time again.
Step 2: Cut Your Vegetables to be the Same Length and Thickness
This allows for all the vegetables to roast perfectly. So you don’t have some that are burnt to a crisp and others that could very well pass for a raw vegetable.
In this recipe I used carrots, rutabaga, red onions and half of a green bell pepper I had leftover. But you can be as creative as you want. Try:
- butternut squash
- sweet potatoes
And what have you. But you must try red onions. They have this sweet, crispy, caramelized taste when they are roasted.
What is a rutabaga you ask? Why it is a root vegetable. I find it extremely close in texture and taste to a russet potato. When Beau and I did the Paleo Challenge, potatoes were out of the question. Sweet potatoes were a go. But most other potato varieties have been so modified over the years that they no longer hold much nutritional value. Rutabagas, on the other hand, are an excellent source of Vitamin C and a good source of fiber.
Anyway, rutabaga, try them! This recipe is the perfect time to test the waters.
Step 3: Preheat Your Roasting Pan in the Oven
When you go to preheat your oven to 425 degrees, put your roasting pan in to heat up as well. Adding your cold veggies to a well-heated roasting pan will “jump start” the roasting process.
While that is in the oven, let’s assemble.
I love to add an herb. This time I used fresh dill because I had it on hand. Normally you would want to use dry herbs when roasting vegetables because all of the flavor from fresh herbs will DIE and lose its vibrancy when cooking at such high temperatures.
If you have fresh dill use about 1 tablespoon. I highly recommend 1 tsp dried dill and 1 tsp dried thyme.
Add the veggies to a bowl and throw in the herbs, ¼ cup olive oil or coconut oil, 1/2 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper.
A note on salt. Most people add about 1 tablespoon of salt to roasted vegetables. Go for it, if you want. I try to limit our use of salt because salt tends to be in everything and it can adversely affect our bodies if too much is digested.
Anyway, toss everything together to make sure the veggies are well coated.
Then add them to the roasting pan. You’ll hear a sizzle. You’ll feel awesome.
Step 4: Create lots of space between the vegetables in the pan
Make sure they are not crowding each other. If your veggies are too close together they will steam instead of roast.
If you have a small roasting pan, roast your vegetables in batches. It will be well worth it.
After 15 minutes turn the veggies so they will be evenly roasted.
Bake for another 15-20 minutes.
My veggies tend to take about 35-40 minutes. Seeing as every oven is different, you might want to keep an eye on them the first go around to find out the perfect time for your veggies.
Bring them out and viola!
Perfectly roasted veggies. You’ll eat them. You’ll love them. And you’ll start thinking about perfection in a different light.