This is more of a technique for cooking vegetables than it is a recipe, but it is an important part of the ‘making healthy food that my husband enjoys eating’ aspect of this blog. If vegetables are going to be a regular part of your diet, you have to fix them in ways that you enjoy eating them, or pretty soon you’ll just decide it’s not worth the trouble and everyone can fill up on bread and butter instead.
We eat some salads, and at some point I may share some of our favorite salad toppers that make it a non-chore to eat salad, but the truth is that if I tried to eat raw veggies with every meal I wouldn’t make it very long. I don’t know if this purely a matter of taste or has something to do with a metabolism that tends toward low and slow causing me to prefer food warm and easier to digest. (There are some fascinating theories about the connection between ‘warming’ foods and raising a slow metabolism.) Either way, we intersperse our salads into a selection of roasted and sauteed vegetables. Cooked vegetables lose out on the enzymes of raw veggies, but since cooking starts the process of breaking down the cells, some nutrients are actually easier to digest and more accessible to our bodies after cooking.
So, especially if you’re just trying to get in the habit of eating more vegetables, I have two words to facilitate this process for you: Butter. Garlic.
Have no guilt in roasting, sauteeing or lightly boiling your vegetables before you eat them. Have no compunction in throwing a few extra tablespoons of butter into the pot of vegetables so they slide down more easily. Have no hesitation in seasoning them creatively, and allow me highly recommend garlic as my own personal seasoning of choice when trying to move vegetables from the realm of merely edible to “Yay, we’re having carrots for dinner!”
This oven roasting technique works on many vegetables. It’s particularly effective on root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, parsnips, turnips, rutabagas and of course, carrots. As a bonus, most of these vegetables are cheap in the winter and some can probably be picked up for less than a dollar a pound at your local grocery store.
Healthiness rating: Healthy
Vegetables, butter and sea salt: sounds healthy to me.
Yumminess rating: Yummy
This is one of those recipes that may not change the mind of the veggie hater, but will likely sway a veggie tolerator into actively enjoying a serving of carrots. My husband’s reaction when he walks into the kitchen and sees roasted carrots is “Yum! Carrots for dinner!”. This automatically puts roasted carrots in the top tier for best vegetable recipes ever.
2 pounds of carrots, peeled (or washed) and scrubbed
6 TBSP butter
1/2-1 tsp sea salt, according to taste
optional: garlic powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Melt butter in an oven proof container, preferable a cast iron skillet. Anything, including a cookie sheet, will work for roasting the carrots, but cast iron helps with the browning process.
Add carrots and salt. Stir until the carrots are well coated with melted butter.
If desired, add 1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder. I do this occasionally to change up the flavor, but despite being a devoted fan of garlic, I don’t think the carrots have to have any flavor boost besides the roasting process.
Roast the carrots for 30-60 minutes depending on your oven, time constraints and desired degree of browning. The carrots should have a slightly shriveled look and be lightly browned when they’re done.