Grilled or oven roasted vegetables are easy to prepare and provide good healthy food. Roasting vegetables is a quick and easy way to add variety to a meal, whether roasted in the oven, on the stove top, or on a grill.
Many of the vegetables are delicious plain, with no seasoning at all. That is especially true for those of us who enjoy the taste of raw or steamed vegetables. Slow roasting vegetables adds a different texture and enhances the flavor, especially those more-bland foods like cauliflower or some squash.
Salt and pepper can be added to any vegetable to enhance the flavor. However, with many low-sodium diets, we need to find other ways to improve the flavor. One great way to add flavor without compromising the nutrition value is to add herbs as the vegetables are cooking.
Here are some herbs and seasonings I have found good additions to roasted vegetables.
1. Garlic – a widely used herb and will compliment many vegetables if used in moderation. A light sprinkle of garlic is especially good on grilled zucchini or other squash.
2. Basil – an aromatic green leaf, member of mint family. Basil is a very good addition to any dish with tomatoes and works well on roasted tomatoes.
3. Celery seed – ground or whole, has a strong celery flavor. Too much can create a “hot” spice effect. Celery seed is good by itself or combined with other herbs.
4. Marjoram – gray green herb from mint family, flavor similar to oregano but milder. While we enjoy oregano in foods such as spaghetti and meatballs or lasagnas, it may prove too strong for vegetables. Marjoram will give similar flavor without being too strong.
5. Parsley – delicate sweet flavor. Chopped fresh parsley livens up a plate of roasted veggies. Adding parsley to the vegetables as they cook brings out the flavor of this herb. Save a few springs of fresh parsley to decorate the plate.
6. Rosemary – very aromatic leaf resembling pine needles, strong flavor. Rosemary has a very strong, distinct flavor; you will want to use it sparingly at first.
7. Chili Powder – chili powder is a blend of cumin, chili pepper, oregano, and allspice. It may surprise you to see this on a list of seasonings for vegetables. If your family enjoys the spicier foods, consider sprinkling a little chili powder on your veggies just before serving.
A word of caution: use herbs and seasonings sparingly so the true flavor of the vegetables comes through. As you cook more with herbs, you will determine what flavors your family enjoy and learn to use more or less accordingly.
Grilled and roasted vegetables are easy to prepare, nutritious, and offer a fantastic variety to an otherwise ho-hum meal. I hope you join me in trying new ways to fix favorite foods and using herbs and spices.