Vegetablarian Recipe Secrets: Part 1, Roasting Veggies

As a nutrition educator and someone who loves to cook, I have never been a big fan of being strict with recipes and not leaving room for some level of creativity.  Maybe it's the part of me that learned from my grandmother that "real" cooks don't measure and cook to taste.  At the same time, I know that there are those who do better with more guidance (not less) when it comes to cooking.   To that end, when I help others learn to cook, I like to give guidelines without being too prescriptive, as the saying goes, teaching how to "fish" not just giving a fish.  One of the guidelines I share and use myself is a "formula" recipe for any roasted vegetable (leafy vegetables not included)...  The cook just has to plug in the vegetable and herb of choice... The "formula" recipe has 5 basic ingredients and 3 basic steps and is as follows:


 +  +  +  +  

VEGETABLE (fresh or frozen) +

OLIVE OIL (organic EVOO preferred) +




1) Preheat oven to 350 (or 375 for frozen).

2) Toss above ingredients in a roasting pan.

3) Roast in oven for at least 15 minutes (to desired tenderness).


Here are some favorite examples of my tried and true versions of the "formula"...YUM!

BROCCOLI + olive oil + garlic + red pepper flakes + lemon (HAD THIS TONIGHT!)

GREEN BEANS + olive oil + onions and garlic + parsley + lemon

CAULIFLOWER + olive oil + garlic + smoked paprika + lime

ZUCCHINI + olive oil + garlic and onions + curry + lime  OR + white pepper + lime

Do you have a favorite version of the "formula?"   Don't keep it a secret!  Share yours!


Tanya Leake

Tanya Leake is the founder of EmBODY WELL and is an American Council on Exercise (ACE) certified health coach, group fitness instructor, specializing in Zumba, dance fitness and sculpt.  She teaches a variety of modes of dance, is certified as an Advanced Sports and Exercise Nutritional Advisor, with additional certifications in Natural Health Fundamentals, Behavior Change and Nutrition Therapy.  She is also a certified instructor for Oldways’ “A Taste of African Heritage” health through heritage program.   She brings a wealth of knowledge from a holistic perspective on health and well-being.