The Easy Way to Grill or Roast Vegetables
Wash, slice or cube your vegetables. As they have similar cooking times, group watery vegetables together: summer squashes, eggplant, peppers, tomato, asparagus. String beans, broccoli and cauliflower take a little longer to cook, but if you roast all together, you can alter the size of the slices, so that the longer-cooking veg are thinner, or smaller. The more thoroughly cooked will have a more caramelized flavor, the others will be crispier: you may find certain preferences for each vegetable. Add onion, scallion, leek, and/or garlic. I roast root vegetables together all winter long: carrots, beets, turnips, sweet potato. Add winter squashes, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Place your vegetables and marinade in a plastic bag or glass dish to marinade for the time you have available, an hour to a couple of days, or toss them all together in the pan, then spread them out for roasting. Moderate heat works well. Hotter works well toward crispy.
To start, just open your cupboards and use what you have.
If you’re ready for a change, check recipes or your supermarket condiment shelves.
Here are some ideas, try one from each line:
- Any oil and vinegar based salad dressing, or your favorite bottled marinade
- Extra virgin olive oil, avocado, sesame, coconut works great on root vegetables
- Balsamic, red wine, apple cider vinegar, or your favorite flavored vinegar
- Coconut amino acids (incredibly delicious!), soy sauce or tamari, Worcestershire, white Worcestershire
- Your favorite fresh or dried herbs, bottled mixed herbs, seasoned salts (avoid MSG)
- Salt and pepper, of course
Large slices work directly on the grill, smaller slices or cubes in a grilling basket, atop or folded into aluminum foil (here you can steam them in the extra marinade).
Oven (all year round!)
Long slices, short slices, cubes, or even diced (more for saucing). Use roasting pans if you are using any marinade other than oil alone, as sweeter ingredients like balsamic vinegar can make a mess of your pans. The thicker metal will also hold up nicely to high heat, but any baking pan will work, Pyrex, glass, or metal.
Sweet potatoes or potatoes can be tossed in olive oil, salt and pepper. Thinly sliced, they can be baked till soft, which takes less than 20 minutes at about 400 degrees, crispy takes a little longer (as do cubes), but pleases the crowd.
Kale chips are my favorite version of kale: wash, thoroughly dry, devein and tear the leaves into potato-chip size pieces. Toss in a little olive oil and salt. Bake on a cookie sheet or roasting pan at 350 for no more than 11 minutes, turning once. They come out dark green and crispy. Overcooked get brown, then black, very quickly.
Corn on the cob can be grilled in or out of the husk. I love this flavor. I pull the dry outer leaves and trim the ends, cutting off any trailing silks, then rinse or soak the corn so that the husks don’t end up a black mess on your grill (and floors). This method allows a lot of leeway in terms of attendance: turn once or twice. If you are grilling husked corn, you’ll need to be more attentive, turning them evenly. There’s no need to cook corn longer than ten minutes. Very fresh needs less.
As an important note: Nightshade vegetables can give some folks achy joints.
They are potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant. For people with recurring aches and pains, or those that come and go, seemingly without pattern,sometimes moving from joint to joint, I often suggest avoiding these vegetables for a couple of weeks, but I NEVER ask them to do that this time of year. Who can avoid a sun-warmed tomato fresh off the vine? If you are feeling achier now, this might be the cause, so pay attention to your eating habits, and consider this later in the autumn.
These aches may also be caused by some apparently innocuous food, which you would have difficulty sleuthing out. We do a Food Inflammation finger-prick test here. Most results reveal only a couple of items that really need to be avoided to improve body-wide symptoms. There is often a suspected food, such as dairy or gluten, but the unexpected shows up in most tests: lettuce, basil, salmon, and artichoke among them. The test empowers you with information to make your own choices, taking the guess-work out of food planning.