Before I adopted a whole food plant based diet, I did not have much experience with roasting vegetables. Now it has become one of my favorite methods of cooking. Because I have been in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) at times, or frequent farmer’s markets in the late fall and winter, I have been exposed to root vegetables that I probably would never have purchased at a regular grocery store. Turnips and radishes, for example, were never a part of my diet, and honestly our family is not crazy about them alone. But when they are roasted with other vegetables, they blend into lovely, earthy, and full flavored tastes. Root veggies are full of vitamins and minerals and a great part of a plant based diet.
Vegetables that are best roasted tend to be dense and include potatoes, winter squash, cauliflower, and other root vegetables like beets, turnips and radishes. This post is an example of four types of recipes using my method (cooking large quantities of vegetables, and using the left overs in different ways). They are very simple, but a good example of how to cook a complete whole food plant based meal.
Below is the list of veggies for this example, but you may prefer to omit or trade out other kinds of roasting veggies. The ingredient list for all four recipes can be found at the end of this page:
- 4 medium red potatoes
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 small butternut squash (can be peeled with a regular peeler to get the skin off or buy ready cut from stores)
- 1 large package mushrooms, rinsed, cut in half
- Brussels sprouts, about 20 cut in half
- 3-4 turnips
- 1/2 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces
- 3-4 Daikon radishes (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 380. Wash and cut vegetables into small pieces. One kitchen tool I highly recommend for this is the Vidalia Chop Wizard (As Seen on TV). It has large and small squares for chopping, and I use the large for roasting veggies. It has saved me a lot of time. This process can be time consuming at first but gets faster as you repeat.
Put the veggies in a large roasting pan and coast with oil, salt and pepper. I often use a basting oil: Blend about ¼ to ½ cup grape seed oil (or broth) with dried or fresh herbs. I use rosemary, oregano, basil, and thyme. If you like a little hotness, blend in a jalapeno pepper as well. Roast for 30 minutes and check if they are done to your liking.
Meal #1 Roasted veggies, seeds, chickpeas and rice
While the veggies are roasting cook rice according to the package directions. I often make a larger-than-needed quantity and use the left overs later.
Once the roasted veggies are done to your liking, take out a portion for meal #1 and store the remainder for later. Add:
- ½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup toasted sunflower seeds
- 1 can chickpeas, rinsed
Heat up again and serve over rice.
Meal #2 Ground Nut Stew
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups roasted vegetables
- 4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- ¼ cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter or almond butter
- 1 ½ shelled edamame
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 (6-ounce) bag baby spinach, torn into bite-size pieces
- ½ teaspoon salt, coarsely ground black pepper
Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and curry powder; saute until fragrant, about 1 minute (do not brown garlic). Add tomatoes and bay leaf; cook, uncovered, until tomatoes are slightly reduced, about 3 minutes.
Add broth and roasted vegetables; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 8 minutes. Add edamame and peanut butter; stir to combine. Add cilantro and spinach; cook until thoroughly heated and spinach wilts, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Can be served over rice or quinoa.
Meal #3 Roasted vegetable enchiladas
- 2 cups roasted vegetables, slightly mashed with a fork
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 small chili, seeded and minced
- One 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cups salsa
- 8 large whole wheat flour tortillas
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and chile and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant. Add beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Add cooked mashed vegetables and simmer mixture 5 minutes. Set aside.
Spread a thin layer of salsa on the bottom of a lightly oiled 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set aside.
Place a tortilla on a flat work surface, spoon a portion of the veggie mixture down the center of it and roll it up. Place the filled enchilada in the baking dish with the seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas and veg mixture. If there’s any filling left over, spoon it on top of the enchiladas, then top with remaining salsa and sprinkle with red onion.
Cover and bake until casserole is hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
Meal #4 Curried veggies with lentils and rice
Cook 1 cup lentils according to package directions.
To make a simple curry sauce. In a small pan heat:
- 1 tablespoon oil (or water)
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Add in, mix well and heat through:
- 1 teaspoon each cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric (or 1-2 tablespoons curry powder)
- Dash red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste (mash into a thick paste)
Add in stir until smooth:
- 1 can coconut milk
Add in 1-2 cups cooked veggies, lentils, and stir until combined. Serve over rice with naan (Indian bread, can be found in grocery stores)
Ingredient list for all four recipes:
- Mushrooms (one large package)
- Red potatoes
- Sweet potatoes
- Brussels sprouts
- Diakon radishes
- Butternut squash (optional)
- Garlic (1 full bulb)
- Ginger (1 small branch)
- Spinach, 1 package
- 1 package flour soft tacos (whole grain if possible)
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can chick peas
- 1 cup quinoa cooked
- 1 cup lentils cooked
- 2 cups brown rice cooked
- 1 can coconut milk (can use light)
- Vegetable broth
- 2 cans tomatoes
- 1 can tomato paste
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkins seeds
- Shelled edamame (can be found in the frozen food section)
- Peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
- Optional sides of salad, whole grain bread, crackers, naan (Indian bread)
- Spices and seasonings, you may already have in your cupboard, but if not, I recommend having the following:
- Cumin, coriander, turmeric, garam masala or just plain curry powder
- Chili powder, paprika, and onion powder
- Parsley, oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf
- Fresh jalapenos, red pepper flakes, chili paste, curry paste or other hot sauces if you like hot tastes.
My quantity is based on a family of two for all four recipes. If you are single, you can make this amount and have left overs for lunch the next day. If your family is bigger, you will need to add larger amounts. If it is easier, use frozen or already prepared and cut, which many grocery stores have available. If you don’t like one of these items, take it out and substitute or choose ones you do like.