I’m still not sure of the format for this blog yet, but I guess I’ll start by posting about what I want to share, along with a basic beginning recipe!
Even though I only went vegan about two and a half years ago, I can barely remember what it was like to not be. I really like being vegan because I love vegetables and being inventive/creative with food that I make. I also really love animals (and all living things) and I feel queasy at the thought of what happens to the animals in the industry, so I couldn’t justify contributing to that any longer (plus I was never a huge fan of most meat or much cheese anyway… though I am recently becoming a big fan of vegan cheese (#gary) and plant-based meat substitutes.
Back to what I’m thinking I want this blog to be, I find myself on the receiving end of a lot of questions at work (I work at a mainly vegan organic market) as well as from friends and acquaintances (which I totally welcome by the way ☺️) about cooking basics, being vegan, starting out cooking vegan food, etc. This made me wonder how many more people are there who have questions, and if I could answer them. I’m no expert but I love learning and I love sharing what I’ve learned, so I guess it’s about time to start this thing.
I wanted to start with a really basic, but super important recipe/dish/meal that wasn’t difficult to make and allowed for variety (and also might make more people fall in love with vegetables like I have😁). Obviously I would love y’all’s feedback on this and if basic cooking how to’s combined with my random recipes would be something anyone would want to see!
Oven Roast Vegetables
First, pick some veggies you like, most vegetables can roast in the oven 🙂 Cauliflower, butternut squash, and asparagus are some of my favourite vegetables to roast, but mix it up with whatever!
Once you’ve chosen some veggies, figure out how long they need to roast; depending on the density of the vegetable/how long it takes to cook, it may range from 30-60 minutes (or more if you like them kinda crispy). If roasting a few vegetables together/on the same baking pan, make sure to match them together based on cook times.
The veggies I chose to roast this time were beets, parsnips, and butternut squash. I had never actually eaten or cooked beets until this occasion, but they’re my mum’s favourite and a co-worker praised them, so I thought “why not?”. I’ve also only recently began eating parsnips, but I’m intrigued and they roast well! Butternut squash is a favourite go-to roasting vegetable, but it’s fun because you can mix it up and make it more savoury or sweet depending on what you’re feeling.
So to begin, set your oven to between 375 and 425. Higher temperatures roast things better, but adjust based on your oven etc. Next, prep some baking sheets with foil and lightly coat this with oil (I usually use olive, coconut, or avocado oil, though any oil with a high temperature point would work).
Now it’s time to prepare those veggies 🙂 If you’re chopping the vegetables, then do so first, then drizzle with olive oil (I like to use a baster brush with rubber “bristles” for this) or toss in a bowl. Tossing vegetables with oil in a bowl coats them more evenly, but it’s not always necessary. Next, season them. If you’re tossing them, you can do this at the same time. I like to mix up the seasoning depending on what I’m in the mood for or what compliments the vegetable best, but salt, pepper, and garlic will never fail you.
For butternut squash, cut the squash in half and then cut the halfs into cubes. You can remove the skin if you want, but it’s a lot of work and the skin is nutritious! (You can also get pre-cut butternut squash–which I did this time because it was on sale)
For parsnips, peel them and chop them up. You can also leave them bigger if they’re not that thick and you’re cooking them alone.
For the beets, I found roasting them whole to be yummy, but you could also cut them up some, not too much though because they are softer and do not take as long to cook. In addition to roasting the beets, I also sautéed the beet greens and stems!
So, I hope this was a good read/helpful in some way! Happy roasting 🙂