Freshly picked summer veggies roasted with aromatic herbs and served over creamy polenta. This meatless meal is a delicious way to incorporate more vegetables and add important nutrients into our diet!
At first sight this may look like an ordinary dinner of roasted veggies with creamy polenta. But a deep dive into the amazing benefits of eating colorful vegetables and plan nutrition, and you soon realize that this is no ordinary meal. This is in fact, a meal that is jam packed with phytonutrients that are necessary for our optional health.
To create this plant rich meal I have partnered with Nutrilite™ Vitamins & Supplements, to bring light to the importance of eating an array of vegetables each day, and when needed reach for a plant based supplementation to ensure that we get the nutrients our bodies need.
Life is busy and unfortunately even plant foods sometimes lack on nutrients (I talk more about this under the topic why eat seasonally below). In the US 8 out 10 people don’t eat proper nutrition, and that’s when Nutrilite Vitamin and Supplements can fill in the gap.
To learn more about Nutrilite Vitamin and Supplements visit their website.
Now, let’s get to the recipe as there is lots of talk about 🙂
At my house we cook with vegetables daily. Religiously!
While there are many ways to incorporate vegetables into a recipe, roasting them on a sheet pan is probably the easiest way to cook a bunch of different vegetables together.
We tend to eat with our eyes first, and this attractive tray of colorful vegetables will probably have everyone reaching in for a serving. This is also a convenient way to accommodate all the different taste buds in your house. Not everyone will like all the options but they will definitely find something they like 🙂
So let’s learn how to roast veggies to perfection.
what temperature is best for roasting vegetables
Vegetables can be roasted anywhere from 350F to 425F degrees. Obviously the higher the temperature the quicker the vegetables will cook, but that’s not always the right answer.
Some vegetables, sweet potatoes for instance, are better off roasted at 375F or they may brown faster than internally cooked.
For the most part, I roast my vegetables at 400F. At this temperature the vegetables cook internally and brown (roast) at the same rate,
how long does it take to roast vegetables in the oven
The exact time will depend on three things; the type of vegetable, the size of the vegetable and the temperature of the oven.
hearty vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and squashes takes longer to cook while peppers, mushroom and zucchini will cook very quickly.
It is important to note that even hearty vegetables will cook much quicker if they are cut into smaller pieces.
When selecting the variety of vegetables to roast, make sure they all cook at the same rate. Or else you will end up with an unpleasant mix of overcooked and undercooked vegetables.
I decided to serve my roasted veggies with creamy polenta because for one we all seem to forget that polenta exists and second, polenta’s creamy texture is a great complement to the roasted veggies.
what is polenta?
Polenta is an Italian dish made of coarsely ground corn (or corn grits). Freshly cooked polenta is soft and creamy like porridge or mush, and makes a terrific bed for sauces, stew, broth-y dishes and roasted vegetables.
If allowed to cool and solidify, polenta can be turned into a loaf that can be baked, fried, or grilled. See this Polenta Pizza with Roasted Vegetables, as reference.
What are the ingredients for polenta?
Traditionally there are a few basic ingredients that are used to make polenta. Cheese and butter are often included in the list but sometimes opted out. However I strongly recommend that you add both butter and grated parmesan cheese for added flavor and creaminess.
- pinch of salt
- polenta or yellow cornmeal
- cheese (optional but highly recommended )
- butter (optional but highly recommend )
how to make polenta from scratch
- Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan
- Add milk of choice
- Add polenta slowly into boiling water, whisking constantly until there are no lumps
- Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking often, until polenta starts to thicken
- Add in cheese, butter and a pinch of salt. Stir and serve
recipe alterations, additional options and substitutions
This roasted veggies and creamy polenta recipe truly is an all-year-round recipe. In fact, vegetables and plant foods should be eaten daily in order to provide our bodies with the nutrients needed for optional function.
This SUMMER focused roasted veggies with creamy polenta recipe include seasonal vegetables, some in which came from as close as my own backyard. To lighten things up, I decided to opt out of meat protein. However, if needed you may add a scoop of Nutrilite plant based protein into the polenta, or simply add shrimp or sausage to the recipe. See this Sheet Pan Shrimp and Veggies and Sheet Pan Sausage and Veggies for reference!
A FALL or WINTER variation may include seasonal vegetables such as sweet potatoes, eggplant, okra and brussels sprouts. Add roasted chicken for a delicious and complete meal. See this Chicken and Veggies recipe!
For a SPRING inspired recipe using seasonal ingredients try adding some asparagus, carrots, leeks, spring onions and peas. Spring is also a great time to start adding fresh fish into our diets. See this Sheet Pan Cod and Veggies recipe!
why eat seasonally?
One major reason why eating seasonal foods is better, is that they are picked at their peak of ripeness. This means better tasting and more nutritious foods. Fruits and vegetables that are out of season, are harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to the stores, and therefore they lack on full potential of nutrients.
Another great benefit of eating seasonally is that you are effectively reducing your carbon footprint and supporting a more geographically sustainable food economy.
Overall eating seasonally is a more harmoniously and sustainable way to support a healthy body and thriving environment, simultaneously.
If you make this Roasted Veggies with Creamy Polenta recipe, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to all your comments. Also, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram for a special shutout and/or a chance of being featured in my newsletter!
Roasted Veggies with Creamy Polenta
- 4 carrots
- 2 summer squash
- 2 zucchini
- 2 bell peppers, green and red
- 1 red onion
- 1 handful green beans
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- pinch salt and pepper
- fresh thyme
- 1 cup corn grits (for polenta)
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup milk, plant based milk
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Pre-heat oven to 400F degrees
- In a medium pot bring 3 cups of water to a boil.
- Meanwhile wash and cut the veggies. They all shoud be about the same size (see note). Transfer prepared vegetables to a large lined sheet pan. Drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Bake for 25 minutes.
- When water is boiling add in 1 cup of milk (of choice) and polenta (corn grits). Turn heat to medium low and whisk. The polenta thickens quickly and will need to be stirred often or else it will clump up. Cook polenta for about 10-12 minutes. Add butter, grated parmesan cheese and if needed a pinch of salt. Whisk to incorporate. Polenta is done when is thick, creamy and it starts to bubble.
- Serve roasted veggies over Polenta. Top with fresh thyme and grated parmesan cheese.
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