Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider's Viewpoint: Expert Supermarket Advice: Caramelize with Color! Tyra Carter, United Supermarkets. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

Holiday celebrations are times for family gatherings and preparing traditional foods, whether it includes a baked ham … or a cookout to welcome warmer weather. A friend recently posted a vegetable recipe in her newsletter that caught my attention for several reasons …

    • Lots of Color
    • Antioxidant-Rich
    • Roasting as the Preparation Method

When roasting vegetables, you can customize the dish according to your taste preferences and/or the best prices on produce during this time of year. Roasting is a quick cooking method that brings out flavors due to caramelization of natural sugars in produce. During roasting, veggies get a little singed around the edges and flavors get more intense from their scarring!

Tips for Successfully Roasting Vegetables

    • Size. Cut into smaller, uniform pieces for increased surface area.
    • Oil. Use approximately 1 tablespoon of oil per 1 pound of veggies (or 1 teaspoon per 1 cup).
    • Shallow Pan. Use a shallow pan such as a baking sheet, line with foil, and coat with cooking spray.
    • Single Layer. Arrange in one layer for even cooking and browning (caramelization).
    • Don’t Crowd. To prevent steaming, do not crowd vegetables.
    • Add Herbs. Roast veggies with a few sprigs of sturdy herbs such as rosemary, oregano or thyme.
    • More Herbs. Toss in leafy herbs such as parsley, cilantro or dill after veggies are cooked.

Tips for Cutting Vegetables

    • Cauliflower or Broccoli 1 to 1 ½-inch diameter florets
    • Brussels Sprouts Cut in half
    • Carrots or Parsnips ½-inch coins
    • Summer Squash or Zucchini 1-inch chunks
    • Sweet Potatoes, Turnips or Beets 1-inch pieces
    • Onions 1 ½-inch wedges
    • Asparagus, Green Beans or Mushrooms Leave whole
    • Eggplant 1 ½-inch chunks
    • Peppers or Cabbage 1-inch chunks

Enjoy a combination of asparagus, mushrooms, kale, spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, eggplant, onions, garlic, summer squash or zucchini, beets, carrots or parsnips, sweet potatoes or turnips. You control amounts of vegetables to serve a large or small crowd. Try this basic recipe to get started … sure to be a hit at your next holiday gathering!


Roasted Vegetables
Serves: 6-8



    • 2 lbs assorted vegetables
    • 2 Tbsp light olive oil
    • 1 tsp kosher salt
    • ¼ tsp ground pepper
    • ¼ tsp dried marjoram
    • ½ tsp sugar


  1. Line a shallow cookie sheet with foil and place in the oven. Preheat oven to 450°F with the pan inside.
  2. Wash vegetables and cut in smaller uniform pieces. (If using asparagus, corn, mushrooms or tomatoes, place in separate container to be added later in cooking period).
  3. Toss slower-roasting vegetables with olive oil, salt, pepper, marjoram and sugar in a bowl.
  4. Quickly remove pan from the oven, spray with non-stick cooking spray and add the tossed vegetables in a single layer. Roast vegetables 20 minutes. If using, add other quick-roasting vegetables to pan and stir. Continue to roast for 10 minutes.
Tyra M. Carter, PhD, RD, LD
Corporate Dietitian
United Supermarkets

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