I was a picky eater growing up.

Can anyone relate?

I think I have shared this before, but my mom was a rockstar cook that made dinner every night of the week (usually taking a weekend night off to go on a date with my dad).

Dinner ALWAYS consisted of a green salad, a protein, a starch, and then a vegetable.

I, like many kids (and well, some adults I know too), would eat my favorite item on the plate first.

Then, I would move on to the second favorite.

Ultimately, I would be stuck with some inevitably lukewarm protein left on my plate.

I have always loved anything green, but meat and I did not become friends until later in life.

Even now, meat can still sometimes gross me out.

You know, I cook a meal that I’m completely excited about only to go to take bite of the meat and be a little less than excited.

Chicken is usually the worst offender.

Dr. Freud, what does that say about me?

The problem for me in my house growing up was that there was no dessert for any kid that didn’t finish their dinner.

So, usually my sister Jessica and I would be stuck still sitting at the table long after the rest of the family had finished.

She had a pile of vegetables on her plate.

And I had a pile of meat on mine.

Eventually, we hatched our ingenious plan…

Wait until Mom was long gone, then quickly switch plates, scarf down what was left of each other’s cast offs, and happily move on to a “dessert” that usually meant a “sweet cereal” (you know, like Honey Nut Cheerios). Did I mention we grew up in a pretty health-centered family?

My love for vegetables continues to this day.

Seriously.

I know this may be weird, but I love broccoli or asparagus or zucchini or carrots or whatever. And I like them in large quantities.

I also know that this is not normal, and that for a lot of people vegetables are gross and scary.

And that is why I’m brining you this post.

I want to win over every last person that doesn’t groove on the vegetables.

You see,  I have a fool proof method to making any vegetable absolutely delicious.

Roasting.

Roasty, toasty, caramely, delicious veg.

And they are easy.

And they are the perfect side dish.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Start by chopping up your vegetables. They should be larger, but still bite sized.

Lay them out on a sheet pan with sides.

Give them a drizzle of olive oil.

When I say a drizzle, I mean approximately 1 T. per every cup of chopped vegetables.

Then sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

I have been known to also add cayenne pepper or red pepper flake if you like it a little spicy. You can add cumin if you like it a little smoky. A little bit of thyme on mushrooms is delicious and woodsy. Experiment to discover what YOU really love.

But if you want to play it safe, start with salt and pepper.

I would say about 1/2 t. of salt and 1/4. t. of pepper for every cup of vegetable on your pan.

Now, use your hands and give the vegetable an oil, salt, and pepper Swedish massage. Try to coat all of he vegetables.

Then pop them into the oven. Set your timer for 15 minutes, and leave them alone.

After 15 minutes (less if you are cooking only a small quantity, and keep them in longer if you are cooking a large quantity), pull them out of the oven.

They should look like this…

Still very much a bright color with perhaps a bit of caramelization, and they may be slightly wilted.

Perfect.

I like to top off my veg with the lightest sprinkling of parmigiano reggiano.

Pop that onto a plate with a side of crusty parm and garlic bread, and you have a super simple side dish.

Or even a super simple healthy afternoon snack.

I promise.

Your vegetables will never taste better.

Happy Wednesday!

XO,

Leah

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