How many times each week do you come home exhausted after a crazy day at work and just want to collapse?? Or maybe cooking just isn’t your thing and you want to spend as little time as possible preparing meals? It could be that you just don’t have much time to be in the kitchen to get a meal prepared during the week?
No matter the reason, meal prep and this recipe for pan roasted veggies may be the perfect answer to any of these issues and to your struggles!!
I want to show you how to spend less time in the kitchen, but still create great tasting plant-based foods for you and your family to enjoy. The great thing about today’s recipe, is that you can pretty much make the entire thing ahead of time if you want. Then when you are ready to prepare dinner, it needs 30 minutes in the oven to cook and voila…dinner is served. This recipe also includes another great sauce which you can make ahead but even better…make extra and use it during the week to spice up other meals or even use it as a snack with some veggies or pita bread.
Why meal prep?
Meal prep doesn’t inherently save you time because you still have to set aside time to set up your meals for the week. But the idea is that you get to choose when the time is convenient for you. And then it does save you time for the final prep when you may be exhausted or in a rush.
How it helps…
…it shortens the time you spend during the week preparing meals.
…you won’t need to be in the kitchen for an hour or more at the end of a busy day.
…you will have healthy meals available to prepare during the week in a short amount of time.
…you will have more time for things you want to do such as exercise, spend time with family, rest and relax, take care of yourself.
Why pan roasted veggies?
Roasting is one of my favorite methods of cooking veggies. The veggies take on a different flavor when roasted, almost sweet with a deeper, richer flavor. Also, they often get a little brown and crispy adding to the flavor and texture of the vegetable.
Roasting is a slower cooking method for veggies, but it’s this slowness that helps develop the flavors. Plus, the beauty of roasting is that they pretty much cook on their own with very little attention needed. So, you can get them started and move on to other tasks.
Pan roasted veggies are also great to eat hot or cold which adds more flexibility and possibilities to how you use them. And since you can create different vegetable combinations, you also create different flavors which leads to more satisfaction and variety in your meals.
And…roasting actually retains more nutrients in your veggies than other methods of cooking. Did you know that when you boil vegetables some of the nutrients are lost in the cooking process as they are transferred to the cooking water. This fact is especially true for water soluble vitamins. You don’t lose it all but you do lose some.
Which vegetables to select for roasting
These are the list of my favorite vegetables when making pan roasted veggies!!! I have them listed in the order of cooking time. The ones at the top of the list tend to cook faster than those on the bottom. Toss them with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper or your favorite seasoning and cook them in a 425 degree oven.
When selecting vegetable combinations, it’s important to choose items that will cook in about the same amount of time. If you don’t, you may end up with a super overcooked veggie and one that isn’t fully cooked.
Cooking times also vary depending on the size of the vegetable, meaning if you cut them in smaller pieces, they will cook faster. One way to combine a longer cooking time vegetable with a shorter one is to cut the one that will take longer to cook into smaller pieces.
Another way around this issue would to cook the vegetables in stages in the oven. So if you want to combine potatoes with broccoli and cauliflower, you’d start the potatoes first and then when they are about halfway cooked, add the broccoli and cauliflower. You can also cook separately and then combine when you are ready to serve, but that leaves you with an extra pan to clean.
10 – 20 minutes
- Green Beans
- Yellow Squash
- Bell peppers
- Whole Okra
- Brussel sprouts
- Butternut Squash and other winter squash
- Potatoes, White and Sweet
Winning combinations for pan roasted veggies
The possibilities are truly endless here!!! But these are a few of my favorites.
Classic Quick and Easy
- Yellow squash
- Red bell pepper
Green and White
- Green beans
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Roasted Root Veggies
- Sweet potatoes
Roasted Winter Veggies
- Butternut Squash
Colorful Crunchy Cruciferous
- Brussel sprouts
- Red peppers
Basic steps to pan roasted vegetables
- Choose veggie combination
- Evaluate cooking time of each to determine size you want to cut or how you will cook them (together or staggered).
- Toss them with oil. I almost always use Extra Virgin Olive Oil but feel free to choose your own.
- Season them. It can be as simple as just salt and pepper or you can jazz it up more with your favorite flavors. Garlic, rosemary and thyme are some of my favorites!!
- Spread vegetables out on the pan. You want to have space around the pieces so they roast rather steam.
- Cook in a hot oven (425 degrees F) until they are tender AND have brown, crispy parts.
- EAT AND ENJOY!!
Chickpea Veggie Bake
Roasted Veggies and Chickpeas
- 3 medium sweet potato
- 3 cups broccoli florets
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 2 cup chickpeas cooked
- 5 tsp olive oil separated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 4-6 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1 T fresh rosemary finely chopped
- 1 T fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup quinoa dry
Roasted Pepper Eggplant Tahini Sauce
- One small eggplant
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 T Tahini
- ¼ cup roasted red pepper tapenade*
- 1 T lemon juice
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Set oven to 400 degrees F. Using a fork, poke holes in the eggplant at various spots. Place in a baking dish or pan and place in the oven. Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the eggplant is tender on all sides. Turn the eggplant after 15 minutes. When it is ready, remove from the oven. Using a fork and knife, cut open the eggplant lengthwise so it will cool more quickly.
- While the eggplant is cooking, prep up all the veggies. Scrub the potato well or peel if you prefer. Cut the sweet potato into ½“ cubes. Chop the broccoli and cauliflower into medium-small florets. Place the chickpeas into a strainer to drain off all the liquid. If you use canned chickpeas, quickly rinse them and let the drain a bit more.
- Place sweet potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with 2 teaspoon olive oil. Spread the sweet potato in as single layer on one end of the baking sheet. Repeat the same process as the sweet potato with olive oil and place in middle of baking sheet. Toss chickpeas with remaining 1 tsp olive oil and spread out on final area of baking sheet.
- Sprinkle all veggies and legumes with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and thyme. Spread it out on a baking sheet. Move around the pieces of each veggie to evenly distribute the seasoning but try to keep the veggies separated from each other.
- Place in hot oven for 30 minutes to cook. Halfway through cooking, stir each item around to brown other sides. If ingredients cook faster than the sweet potato, remove them and set them aside until the potato is cooked.
- While the veggies are cooking prepare the quinoa and sauce. Rinse quinoa with fresh, cool water and then cover with 1 cup water and heat on stovetop to boiling over medium high heat. When it begins to boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook 15-20 minutes or until done.
- Once the quinoa is cooking, place all the ingredients for the sauce in a blender and process until smooth. Add water to thin out the sauce, start with ¼ cup and continue adding until it reaches the desired consistency. I used an additional ½ cup of water to achieve a loose but creamy sauce.
- Split up ingredients evenly into four containers or bowls. If storing for later, allow everything to cool before covering it with a lid.
- Each serving gets about 1/4 cup quinoa, 1 cup sweet potatoes, 1 cup of veggies, 1/3 cup chickpeas and ¼ cup of sauce. Please keep in mind that these amounts are estimates and will vary depending on how much your items shrink up as the cook and how much water you add to the sauce. Nutrition is calculated on the entire recipe being shared among four servings.
Not only does this recipe make a great dinner meal but it also works perfect for a quick and easy to-go lunch meal as well. Simply allow everything to cool and then pack it up in a travel container.
Pan roasted veggies are a great meal prep strategy to set yourself up ahead of time for a week’s worth of healthy meals. Let me know what combinations are your favorite!! Tell me how this strategy works for you.
Need more ideas for meal prep? Follow my new board on Pinterest for more great ideas and recipes!! If you liked this post, here are some others you should check out.