Use ’em or Lose ’em Roasted Vegetables

My kids and I went away for a few days last week and when we returned, I found some vegetables I needed to use up, some more quickly than others, such as a head of Romanesco broccoli (bottom right in the pic below) and a wrinkled orange bell pepper (pictured in the middle). I decided to roast them—a quick, simple and delicious way to avoid food waste.

vegetables past their prime

I cut all of the above into bite-size pieces, smashed some garlic and then tossed the chunks with a bit of salt and enough olive oil to lightly coat everything. (Fennel bulbs also taste fantastic roasted, but I didn’t have any on hand.)

chopped vegetables

I had lots of squash and so reserved some for creamy squash soup. Having the vegetables pre-prepped like this for soup makes my life so much easier. You can find my basic vegetable soup recipe here. Making soup is one of the best ways to avoid food waste. You can toss in vegetables past their prime, leftovers like rice, pasta and meat, bits of herbs that you’ll never use up because people rarely actually need a grocery-size bunch of parsley, sauerkraut juice, cheese rinds…but I shouldn’t steal roasted vegetables’ thunder…

extra squash
Extra squash for soup

Although not quite an Easy-Bake Oven, my tiny oven does run cool. I roasted my vegetables for about 45 minutes at 375ºF until tender. Your dish may take less time. About 10 minutes before removing the vegetables from the oven, I tossed in some fresh rosemary.

roasted veg dish
A dish of roasted vegetables

That’s it! Even most picky eaters will gobble up roasted vegetables (I speak from experience).

I didn’t get a picture of it, but I also roasted the seeds from the squash. I tossed them in a bit of olive oil and salt also, and roasted them for about 15 minutes. They were delicious!

13 Comment

  1. I froze copious amounts of pumpkin when its price went down in the market a few months ago, only to realise that frozen pumpkin doesn’t quite become its fresh counterpart when cooked. I tried frozen pumpkin to make my delicious pumpkin soup but it never blended to creamy perfection. It remains quite pulpy. Anyone else experiences this?

    1. I roasted pumpkin and then froze it. I haven’t tried to use it yet but it looks really stringy. I’m not sure what to do with it now.

      1. I would use it to make pumpkin soup. If the soup is stringy, you can try to puree it in a blender or hand blender. I hope that helps.

    2. Oh no! I was going to suggest blending it but you already tried that. How about running it through a food mill? Have you tried that?

    3. Try putting it in a colander while thawing to drain off excess water (you could even drain it into a container and use it in place of vegetable broth) and THEN putting it in the blender or food processor before adding to your soup. This worked for us making pies and pumpkin burritos.

      1. Hmm, will try this method if I ever dare freeze the stuff again.

  2. This is a question on an unrelated topic. How do you store leftover bread? I am pretty good at using jars for everything but can’t figure out what to do with bread if to keep it fresh.

    1. I use beeswax coated wraps. But the best thing is to buy just the bread you need and eat it straightaway! Otherwise, if it goes stale, you can make french toast, bread and butter pudding or breadcrumbs! Or add it to meat or vegetable patties. Oooh, I feel hungry now!

  3. Roasted vegetables are wonderful! I’ve probably mentioned this in comments here before, but I just have to spread the word as much as possible: cauliflower leaves are edible and delicious roasted, and the same goes for broccoli leaves and stems.

    1. Great tip! I’ll try roasting them next time. Thanks for that! You can ferment cauliflower stems and leaves too. I don’t ferment broccoli so am not sure how that would turn out.

      1. I haven’t tried that either, but fermented broccoli sounds like it would smell terrible!

      2. I love fermented foods so much, I may need an intervention but I think fermented broccoli sounds unappetizing :/

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