Viewing entries tagged
farmers market

Roasted Harvest Vegetable Medley

Someone asked me recently how I roasted the vegetables for a dinner and I laughed.  I thought everyone knew how to roast root  vegetables to make a sweet and savory side dish,  so I decided to share this one.  This is a very flexible dish for fall or winter and most of the ingredients can be gathered at a local farmer's market.  You can switch up the veggies and select whatever is available (focus on root vegetables).  If you end up with more cut vegetables than what the recipe requires just add some extra olive oil and herbs (the herbs and garlic are key).  Keep in mind that the Brussels sprouts and potatoes are the most dense and will take longer to cook, therefore make sure those are cut to an appropriate size.

Serves about 8

1 lb small Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

1 small butternut squash, halved, cut into chunks (1 1/2 lb)

1 head cauliflower, separated into 2 inch florets (1 lb)

4 medium leeks, white parts only, trimmed and quartered lengthwise

1/2 lb baby carrots

1/2 lb parsnips, peeled and cut to about the same size as the baby carrots

24 cloves garlic, peeled (2 heads), plus 3 garlic cloves minced (1 Tbs) divided

1 Tbs chopped fresh sage, plus 24 leaves, divided

1 Tbs chopped fresh rosemary

2 red bell peppers, in chunks

Adjust oven rack so it is close to the heat source.  Preheat oven to 450 deg.  Bring saucepan of water to a boil.  Add Brussels sprouts and cook 3 minutes, or until bright green.  Drain, rinse under cold water, then pat dry.

Toss squash, cauliflower, potatoes, leeks, carrots, parsnips, garlic cloves, 3 Tbs. olive oil, chopped sage, sage leaves, and rosemary in large roasting pan.  Season with salt and pepper and spread into single layer.  Roast 25 minutes, tossing vegetables twice.  Add bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, minced garlic, and remaining 1 Tbs oil.  Roast 15 minutes more, or until vegetables are browned on edges and tender.

If you have a lot of leftover you can also make a soup.  Just take vegetable stock, add the leftover vegetables and puree.


Here are answers for only a few questions I hear regarding shopping locally, reading labels, and shopping for organic foods. Why do people need to use local farmers’ markets?

When you buy local you are choosing food that is closer to the date of picking and therefore higher in nutrients than foods that came from a greater distance.  Also, many organic farmers don’t want to or can’t afford to pay the fees for their produce to be certified organic, so you have to ask them.  Talk with them to find out about their farming practices and whether or not they use pesticides.  Most farmers will also advertise where their farms are located.

What should I look for on food labels?

This is a loaded question but here are a few answers.

Whole grains: look for the word “whole” in the ingredients list before grains like wheat and look for at least three grams of fiber per serving.

Fats: The nutrient list should say “0 trans fat,” the fat that raises the risk of heart disease.  Check the ingredient list as well for partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated fats, also forms of trans fat.  Take special care when purchasing “low fat” foods and look for artificial sweeteners.

Sugars: Aside from dairy products, aim for less than 10 grams per serving, the lower the better.  Take special care when shopping for “low fat” foods and check the label for artificial sweeteners.  Many manufacturers will add sugar or artificial sweeteners on reduced fat products.  These products should be avoided.  Go for the full fat versions instead, unless they contain trans fats.

Sodium: Avoid products with more than 480 milligrams per serving.

Which organic foods are most important to buy to avoid pesticides and additives like hormones?

Organic fruits and vegetables should top your list, particularly those where you eat the skin like berries, greens, and summer squash. Aim to buy organic dairy, meat, and chicken to avoid the added antibiotics and hormones.  Whenever possible buy locally; not only has a lot of energy been expended to get that organic apple from Ecuador to you, but the apple has also lost a lot more nutrients en route than a local organic one picked the same week you buy it.