Veggie Challenged - Roasting Vegetables...Does it actually work?

11-18-2013, 12:39 AM
So here's the deal: I am an insanely picky eater when it comes to vegetables. Ever since I was a little kid I have only liked the starchy vegetables like peas, corn, and potatoes and I would really like to start eating veggies that are better for me such as carrots, green beans, tomatoes, kale, etc. However, having tried those things again recently I can tell you that my taste buds are still very much opposed to them (there may have been gagging involved), at least cooked normally or raw. I have heard good things about roasting vegetables and how it can completely change the taste of them, etc, etc and that even the pickiest of people will like them. This definitely appeals to me, especially the idea of all the veggies being crunchy as opposed to having that weird mushy texture like green beans and tomatoes as texture is another thing that really turns me off of certain foods. I'm a little skeptical though and was wondering if anyone on this board with similar tastes has tried them and liked them. We do have a grocery store that sells bags of roasted vegetables and I have tried the carrots and green beans and while I enjoyed them to an extent I am a little worried that they aren't that healthy or that maybe they add something to them to make them taste better. I just really want to find a way to get over my annoying food aversion, as it makes healthy eating quite a pain.

11-18-2013, 10:58 AM
If cooked vegetables are mushy, they have been overcooked. I don't like them that way either and I eat everything. Roasted vegetables have to also be watched or they will get too soft.

Mrs Snark
11-22-2013, 06:53 PM
I'd be worth your time to try roasting, what have you got to lose? And also certain fresh veggies are waaaay different than frozen or canned.

For instance broccoli -- I loooove fresh broccoli that's been roasted or quick stir-fried. But frozen broccoli, NO. It is like a whole different veg. Gross.

Green beans from a can -- GAG, just gaggy mushy gag gag. Fresh green beans, either roasted or fast stir fried, however, are HEAVEN. I mean, soooo goood. Quick stir fried sugar snap beans are my potato chip replacement, they are so good.

Fresh baby spinach wilted in olive oil and garlic, to die for. Canned or frozen spinach -- BLECH.

Of course we're talking only about MY taste buds. Yours could be totally different.

So just make sure you've tried the variations of everything before you give up on a vegetable completely. It's worth your time!

11-22-2013, 07:56 PM
There are no guarantees that you will like all roasted veggies, but there's a decent chance that you will like some. Fat, salt, sugar, msg and other flavor enhancers are sometimes added to roasted veggies, so if you're buying preroasted veggies be aware.

If the only way you can "eat a rainbow" (lots of veggies in lots of colors), is by adding not-so-healthy seasonings, then I say add thecseasonings, but consider the calories, and see the seasonings as training wheels.

I have an unusual set of tastebuds and food preferences which may be inherited (as I'm adopted and unlike anyone in my adoptive family).

For as long as I can remember, I'd rather have an unpleasant, but new flavor experience than a pleasant, but too common one. I wanted food to be exciting and exciting in a bad way was better than bored even bored in a good way.

As a result, I was willing to occasionally retry even a food I'd always hated, with a few notable exceptions.

Brussels sprouts were a very "bad" experience for more than 40 years. Then I tasted roasted brussels sprouts (quartered, tossed with oil and ranch dressing powder as seasoning and then baked at 450 until soft on the inside and charred on the edges).

I had used too much oil, but they were OMG amazing. Every time I made them, I used a little less oil, until I was using just enough to get the ranch seasoning powder to stick.

What's weird is that not only have roasted brussels sprouts become one of my favorite veggies, now even prepared the way I always hated (steamed, boiled, or microwaved without any seasonings) they taste pretty good to me.

It was a slow process though.

My husband is pretty picky about which veggies he will eat and how they are prepared. However, he will eat almost any veggie I roast, stir fry, or add to a soup, but in a salad or steamed, served without any seasoning? Probably not.

Skinnyminnie Wannabe
11-25-2013, 04:42 PM
I'm a picky eater and definitely veggie challenged. But I've experienced roasted vegetables and they are definitely worth a shot. I don't like intense seasonings so the ones that appealed to me the most were just simple pan-roasted with a little olive oil and basic seasonings.

By "basic seasonings" I mean maybe salt and pepper, non-MSG seasoning salt, onion or garlic powder (I hate the texture of onions), mild Italian seasoning. Or some combination of these.

I've had the following vegetables prepared this way - asparagus, fresh green beans, and yes, brussels sprouts.

One thing that bugs me when trying to deal with vegetables is knowing I may not want them day after day, and will probably not like the leftovers as well as the fresh batch.

Not liking to waste food, I suggest that if you're like me, try to find a produce department where you can buy small quantities and make them in small batches. In other words, don't overwhelm yourself.

I say that as a single gal - so if you have family who will eat the rest if you don't want it, then you may not have to worry about leftovers! :D

02-11-2014, 01:46 PM
Try oven roasting assorted veggies in a little olive oil and use plenty of onions. The onions will carmelize (total yum) and will give those veggies a nice kick! Food Network has some good ones (LOVE Barefoot Contessa's recipes). Poke around the internet for great ideas. Bet you'll be roasting and will never go back :)

I agree with Mrs Snark....I'm not a fan of frozen veggies. As a matter of fact I can't remember the last time I had them!

02-11-2014, 09:47 PM
OMG I found a huge bundle of super skinny asparagus today for a dollar - bit of olive oil, soy, garlic, balsamic and into the oven - SO good. I marinated some tofu in the same stuff and baked - a really nice lunch while working from home. This little primer from Serious Eats is quite helpful for winter/root veg

03-06-2014, 01:46 AM
I love roasted asparagus. I use a little olive oil, just a bit of salt and some lemon zest and roast in hot oven til tender. Yummy. I like the tthinnner asparagus spears better.

03-07-2014, 04:37 PM
I'm a fan of roasting. Roasting tends to "sweeten" vegetables up because they caramelize. I try to make what I call a "root roast" which is potatoes, carrots, beets, onion and sometimes I also put in zucchini, bell pepper or asparagus. Olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary all are good spices. I try to make lots because it takes some time to do a good vegetable roast and so I want leftovers.

03-07-2014, 05:15 PM
I like roasted beet wedges, butternut squash cubes, asparagas, red bell pepper, red onion and white onion tossed in olive oil and black pepper.

09-12-2014, 08:14 PM
Brussels sprouts were a very "bad" experience for more than 40 years. Then I tasted roasted brussels sprouts (quartered, tossed with oil and ranch dressing powder as seasoning and then baked at 450 until soft on the inside and charred on the edges).

Those sound incredible. With all the great ideas on this thread, I will definitely be roasting this weekend!

01-04-2015, 12:38 AM
Brussels sprouts were a very "bad" experience for more than 40 years. Then I tasted roasted brussels sprouts

Same here. I HATED brussels sprouts because until this year I had only ever had them boiled. Roasting them and coating them with a tiny bit of a homemade dijon vinaigrette (dijon mustard, rice wine vinegar, olive oil) and they are my new favorite food. You may not like everything you try, but roasting can definitely change the taste of the vegetable. I would try to look up some recipes and give a few a try. What do you have to lose?

01-05-2015, 03:15 AM
Yeah, my husband won't eat veggies, hates Brussels sprouts, etc. But when I started roasting them? He loves them!!! Now his favorite food I make is roasted Brussels sprouts.Let us know how you like them and try different recipes! I use a small amount of balsamic vinegar and steak spice when I roast veggies.(don't use balsamic vinegar with broccoli though, or at least be careful. I find it just gets absorbed and doesn't spread and then you get one or two broccoli pieces with a too strong vinegar taste!)

01-11-2015, 02:33 AM
Preheat oven to 425. Put cut veggies in a bowl and drizzle with oil somewhere around 1 tbsp. Toss well. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Put on cookie sheet and roast until fork tender.

If you put veggies in a bowl (as suggested above) and then toss with oil, you can use a lot less oil versus putting the oil on them when they are already on the pan (like they do on TV).

It's a good idea to roast like with like because cooking times vary. It's okay to do one half the pan with one veggie and the other half with a different type and then remove the half that cooks faster.

Some of my favorite veggies to roast: Brussels sprouts, carrots, asparagus, butternut squash, potatoes. Roasted vegetables are almost like little candies...almost! Happy roasting!

01-11-2015, 09:34 AM
Thanks MarinMaven--this is good info. I've had oven temp too low!

btw, roasted cabbage "steaks" are wonderful. Slice top to bottom ~1" thick, season to taste--I use garlic powder, and drizzle with olive oil. I use a Misto sprayer.

Preheat oven to 425, cook 15-20 minutes and flip, drizzle/spray olive oil, cook another 15-20 minutes until tender.

01-11-2015, 01:08 PM
LOVE LOVE LOVE roasted veggies. But I'm also going to put in a word for homemade giardiniera. Never heard of it? it's those italian pickled veggies you can pick up in delis or in jars at the grocery store. HOWEVER, I don't like those premade ones - way too much vinegar, and the hot cherry peppers take over.

Since I've been making my own, there's a HUGE difference.

Here's the basics:

cut up veggies - good choices include cauliflower, carrots, celery, onions, sweet peppers, hot peppers [to your taste, and don't feel bad if you don't want them], green beans, zucchini, yellow squash. some folks add broccoli.

dump into a bowl and for every 2 quarts of veggies, mix in 1/2 c kosher salt, and toss well. fill the bowl with cool water and let sit overnight [it's cold in my house, so i let it sit in the sink - if you live in warmer climates, you should refrigerate].

next day: drain the veggies and rinse really well. right now, you can also mix in green or black olives [or both], some marinated artichoke hearts [or not].

i usually spread the veggies [minus olives/artichokes] onto a paper towel-lined sheet pan to dry.

when dry, start packing into clean jars like this:

some garlic slivers/chunks, sprinkle of oregano and basil, and some red chili flakes if you'd like them. then some veggies [fill about 1/3 of the way] then add oil and vinegar by the tablespoon. I've found that using 50% more vinegar than oil works best [so if you use 1/2 cup of oil, you'll use 3/4 cup of vinegar]

continue layering with the seasonings/garlic, veggies, oil/vinegar, pressing down each layer, until the jar is full. make sure the top veggies are covered with a layer of the dressing. refrigerate for a couple of days before using - these will keep for months in the frig.

of course, i drain the oil off before i eat these. they're great on their own, but if you add chick peas or some other protein, you'll have a nice lunch. you can also chop this up and use it on sandwiches. or rollups.

notice that there's no sugar in this. and that's the way it should be!

01-14-2015, 12:23 PM
I was just poking around the 3FC boards (while I'm supposed to be working :sssh: ) and stumbled on this thread. Thank you so much, you guys! I've only recently started loving my veggies and need help learning how to roast them. Can't wait for grilling season to arrive because that's where all those wonderful Brussels sprouts, broccoli florets and "cabbage steaks" :hungry: will be going!

I've copied and pasted all your ideas. So thank you again! :hug: