Roasted vegetables are a great way to make a vegetable dish that caters to the preferences of the whole family. If you leave the chunks big enough, they will stay separate from each other and children can pick and choose what they want while still getting the flavors of the whole.
I like to add any root vegetables in the fridge and use up all the odds and ends that can accumulate during the week. Other frequent additions: mushrooms, cauliflower or broccoli and a variety of herbs like fresh rosemary (add at beginning) or fresh tarragon or basil (add at end while vegetables are still hot).
I always add a few vegetables I know the kids will like and sometimes during the course of the meal they will try a few new ones. Just a side note: sometimes a child will eat a vegetable if I cut it into smaller pieces for them. Not just the toddlers, but older kids, too. I think when trying something they are unsure about, a smaller amount is less daunting. Plus, I think they like getting the little extra attention that cutting something special for them provides and they get to have a say about the size. Who knows why these things sometimes bypass their hesitations? I sure don’t. I just know that sometimes I try something a little different and it works. They eat more vegetables.
I have also found with children (and some adults) that if the vegetables aren’t cooked for long enough and are still a little firm, they can taste bitter instead of sweet. If you go for sweet, children are more likely to eat them.
Colorful Roasted Vegetables
1 medium onion, cut into medium to large pieces
2-3 cloves garlic, left whole (optional)
1 rutabaga, cut off rough parts and cut into 1″ chunks
2 carrots, cut into 1″ chunks
5-6 red radishes, halved
1/2 delicata or other sweet squash. cut into 2″ chunks (leave peel on if it’s red kuri or kabocha squash)
1 red pepper, take seeds out and cut into large pieces
2-3 tsp olive oil
1 tsp thyme (or other herbs, see text above)
1. Oven to 350°.
2. Place all vegetables into a large bowl. Add 2-3 tsp olive oil, two pinches sea salt, 1 tsp thyme and a few twist of freshly ground black pepper. Mix thoroughly. The vegetables should have a light oil sheen, but shouldn’t feel oily. Add another tsp of olive oil if you feel it needs it.
3. Pour vegetables into a covered baking dish. Place in oven and bake until vegetables are soft. This may take 40-50 minutes.
4. Remove from oven and add any of the more fragile chopped fresh herbs.
Serve a little dipping sauce, like this tahini sauce, alongside vegetables. You can also replace the tahini with almond or walnut butter for a yummy variation.