While growing up, you may have developed an intense dislike for certain vegetables, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli or cauliflower. In a hurry to serve the family, many parents often steamed or boiled these vegetables until they were cooked through. Unfortunately, steaming or boiling vegetables does not develop their flavors in a meaningful way. Serving them raw does not do a whole lot for their flavor profile either. Give these veggies a better chance of winning you over by roasting them up with complementary ingredients. Here are three variations for you to enjoy.
Broccoli develops a rich roasted flavor after about 20 minutes in the oven. To prepare, coat the freshly washed broccoli in a tiny bit of olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper over the top. Roast the broccoli on a sheet pan for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until you can easily push a fork through the stem. While hot, toss the broccoli in a mix of 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese, one tablespoon of lemon juice and one tablespoon of olive oil.
Brussels sprouts go wonderfully with the smoky, salty flavor of bacon. Soak your sprouts in a bowl of cold water to clean inside of the tightly bunched leaves. Drain the water and toss the sprouts in a tablespoon or two of bacon grease. Spread the sprouts on a cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. You want to see the sprouts develop a light golden brown color on the edges of the leaves.
Cauliflower takes on the flavor of heavy spices incredibly well. Cut up your cauliflower into quarter sized pieces for quick cooking in the oven. Coat the veggie pieces in coconut oil for a sweet touch and quick browning. Make a mix of two tablespoons smoked paprika, one tablespoon granulated garlic, one teaspoon black pepper, two teaspoons sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Place your cauliflower on a sheet pan and sprinkle the spice mixture over the top. Bake this delicious dish for twenty minutes or until the veggies are cooked through.
Creating A Healthy Meal
Remember to keep oil usage to a minimum to keep calorie counts down for these veggie dishes. The vegetables themselves do not have a lot of calories, especially for the nutrient punch they provide.
Pair your veggies with a lean protein source, like chicken breast, pork loin or fish fillets, to create a healthy, low calorie meal. Roasted broccoli and cauliflower go wonderfully with cod, halibut or salmon prepared on the grill or in the steamer. Brussels sprouts beautifully accent the flavor of thinly sliced pork loin or chicken breast cooked on the rotisserie.
Once you start making these veggies in the oven, you will wonder why you ever disliked their flavors before. The flavor profile becomes more complex, yet less bitter using this preparation process. Although the oils add a few calories, you will stay full longer for the combination of fiber and fat.