Roasted veggies are one of the healthiest, easiest foods you can keep on hand to make quick meals of all kinds. Roasting veggies is also less time consuming than preparing veggies gourmet style and more nutritious than boiling them. Roasted veggies require no more prep than literally chopping them up, tossing them on a coated baking pan, and roasting them at high heat for 45 minutes to an hour or so.
My usual go-to veggies to roast are root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, red potatoes, winter squash (butternut, acorn, kabocha, and pumpkin), carrots, onions, and beets. I also love zucchini, tomatoes, yellow squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus. Roasting these veggies brings out their natural sweetness and also preserves their nutrients, whereas boiling them can leach their precious vitamins and minerals into the water. Roasted veggies are best roasted at high temps anywhere around 400-425 degrees. This cooks them faster on the inside without drying them out. You can use healthy oils to roast your vegetables with, or you can leave them just as they are. I find seasoning them with some savory or sweet spices and herbs is nice, along with a squeeze or two of lemon.
Choose your favorite medley of veggies to roast and try out these 10 simple ways to use them for quick and healthy meals all week:
1. Puree Them Into Soup
To make soup out of roasted veggies, all you need to do is take a couple cups of roasted veggies and put them in your blender. Add one or two cups of vegetable broth or water to your blender. You could also use almond or soy milk for a creamier soup. If you like your soup thin, add more liquid and if you like your soup thick and chunky, use less. In minutes you’ll have a delicious soup you can pair with sprouted grain toast, tempeh, or a salad for a comforting meal in just minutes.
2. Turn Them Into Hummus
Most hummus recipes call for chickpeas, tahini, some type of oil, salt, and perhaps a bit of garlic or onion spice. If you’d like to make a healthier version of hummus, nix the oil and salt and use roasted veggies instead. For instance, I like using a cup of roasted sweet potatoes and onions with chickpeas and a tablespoon of tahini to make my hummus, but you can use any kind of roasted veggies that you like. Roasted veggies provide a sweet and rich flavor with a hearty texture that makes them the perfect add-in to hummus. Pair your hummus with some veggies, use it as a salad topping, or toss some on top of a baked potato and some salsa to serve for lunch.
3. Toss Them on a Salad
You can also use roasted veggies as easy salad toppers. They’re the perfect filling substitute for meat and they also provide extra nutrition to your salads. Nice pairings include a bit of black pepper, chopped avocado, almond slices, and diced tomatoes. Use a bed of hearty greens for your salads like kale, spinach, and romaine for the healthiest options. Try this Green Tea Soba Noodles With Roasted Vegetables and Herbs.
4. Make a Savory Breakfast Hash
Roasted sweet potatoes and onions make the perfect ingredients for a healthy breakfast hash. You could also use carrots, beets, squash, or any other types of roasted veggies that you like. Add them to a pan with some black pepper and tofu, and make a healthy breakfast scramble in just minutes. Add them to tofu to make some awesome tofu scrambles as well; check out this 7-Step Guide to Making the Best Tofu Scrambles.
5. Puree Them to Use in Pizza Sauce
This is such a fun way to add flavor and nutrition to your regular pizza night! All you need to do is take your favorite jar of pizza or marinara sauce and add a cup or two of roasted butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions, carrots, or even zucchini. These all puree perfectly and taste the best when added to pizza or marinara sauce. Blend this mixture until it’s nice and chunky and use this vamped up version of pizza sauce on top of a gluten-free crust or even use it in vegan lasagna or as a topping for vegan spaghetti.
6. Add Them to Spaghetti
You can also just used chopped roasted veggies in your spaghetti recipe. I find their hearty texture is the perfect substitution for meat. Try this Rigatoni with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Sauce, this Roasted Pepper Zucchini Pasta and this Roasted Beet Noodles With Crispy Shallots. Also, keep in mind that veggies like mushrooms, zucchini, sweet potatoes, carrots, asparagus, squash, onions, and tomatoes will make the best roasted veggies for this purpose. Unless you’re incredibly brave, I wouldn’t go for beets in your spaghetti the first go round!
7. Make Dessert
You can use roasted veggies to make the most amazing, simple desserts to compliment your meals. How about sweet potato pudding or ice cream? Roasted veggies are your answer! Just be sure to roast your veggies plain (not seasoned) and puree them to make any dessert you choose.
8. Breakfast Cookies
Breakfast cookies are basically a “kitchen sink” type of cookie where you just toss in whatever healthy ingredients you have on hand. For instance, you can use oats, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots, apples, zucchini, applesauce, raisins, almonds, cashews, walnuts, nut butter, some nondairy milk, etc. Then just shape the ingredients into cookies, bake, and you’re done! You can use these as a quick and healthy breakfast option and experiment with different flavors.
9. Make Vegan Biscuits and Muffins
To make vegan biscuits and muffins using roasted veggies, all you need to do is substitute roasted veggie puree for the butter and/or eggs called for in each recipe. I find sweeter options like carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potato puree work great in muffin and biscuit recipes. It also makes them much heartier and healthier for you than recipes using animal ingredients. You can serve these biscuits or muffins as a comforting breakfast or even as a side to a delicious vegan dinner.
10. Add Them to Grains for Breakfast or Lunch
Roasted veggies can easily be tossed or pureed with some quinoa, millet, oatmeal, or rice for an easy, quick meal in minutes. Veggies and whole grains provide the body with nutrients like magnesium, potassium, fiber, and protein to keep you full, energized, and satisfied for a long time. What a better (and tastier way) to start or end your day?
Image source: Roasted Pepper Zucchini Pasta