This is a guest post by Natalie Monson and Amy Roskelley from Super Healthy Kids.
Roast veggies once and use all week!
Our goal at Super Healthy Kids is to get our family to love vegetables! Roasting vegetables brings out the flavor, making them tastier and delicious, so your kids will find them irresistible! For kids to develop healthy habits, it’s important for them to learn to love a variety of fruits and vegetables in a variety of ways. Serving fruits or vegetables in different forms, textures, and temperatures will actually help children develop a mature palate, which is more accepting of a wider variety of new foods. Don’t hesitate to offer fruits and veggies fresh, frozen, roasted, dried, canned, juiced, pureed, blended, etc!
Studies confirm time and time again that people who eat more vegetables:
- have better immunity
- have decreased risk of chronic disease
- have healthier vision, skin, gums, and teeth
- have more energy to play
- have a preference for healthier food
- have better brain function
- have better sleep
- and of course, live longer!
One thing we like to do is roast our vegetables once so that we can use them for a few different healthy dinners all week long. We add roasted veggies to pasta salad, spaghetti squash, omelets, on wraps, mixed with quinoa, as a pizza topping, on baked potatoes, or literally just eat them right out of the oven.
So, when we roast veggies, we roast them all! Then, we can split them up into different meals. The veggies we roast are:
- Red peppers
- Yellow peppers
- Green peppers
- Orange peppers
- Yellow squash
- Red onion
- Yellow onion
- Sweet potatoes
Our steps for roasting veggies:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Cover a few pans or baking sheets with aluminum foil (for easy clean up), and spray with your organic cooking spray of choice.
- Slice veggies.
- Put the veggies in a bowl or plastic resealable bag, and add a little bit of olive oil. Stir the veggies to coat them with oil, or close the bag and shake to allow the oil to spread among the vegetables. Re-open the bag, add herbs, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Lay the veggies flat in a single layer (keeping them in a single layer makes them cook faster) on the prepared pan/baking sheet.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes, flipping the veggies once in the middle. Depending on how well-roasted you want your veggies, you can put them on the convection setting for about 10 minutes at the end.
So for this dinner, we are combing our roasted veggies with chicken and rice for a delicious dinner! Having roasted veggies makes it easy for a variety of quick and healthy dinner ideas!
Chicken and Roasted Veggie Dinner
- 1 lb butternut squash
- 1 lb chicken breast
- 3 cups broccoli, florets
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon ground sage
- 3/4 teaspoon parsley dried
- 3/4 teaspoon rosemary dried
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel and cut squash into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces, broccoli into smaller florets, and onion into slices. Add to a large dish and toss with olive oil and seasonings.
- Pour onto a large baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes. Toss around halfway through roasting. Veggies should be tender and chicken no longer pink inside.
- While roasting the veggies and chicken, cook rice as directed on package.
- Once you remove the veggies and chicken from the oven, stir in the walnuts and cranberries. Serve over rice.