Add roasted vegetables to spring meal planning


By Donna Erickson

Signal Contributing Writer

As a kid growing up in California, most of the vegetables I ate, with the exception of steamed artichokes and corn on the cob in the summer, came from a can.

Mom was a good cook, but even she would later admit, there wasn’t a lot of veggie appeal on our plates. 

During college years, stir-fried vegetables were the rage. I bought a wok, took a class on basic Chinese cooking techniques and discovered a new world of tastes. Served over brown rice, topped with cashews or sesame seeds, I prepared plates of deliciousness in no time flat. 

While stir-fried meals are still part of our family menus, we love oven-
roasted vegetables to balance out a meal. Easy to prepare on a sheet pan, and appetizing to look at in an array of colors, the mostly root vegetables cook up crisp on the outside and tender in the middle, often with a sweet intense flavor.

Here’s my basic recipe that serves 6-8:

Roasted Vegetables

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved lengthwise 
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, rosemary or thyme (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut sweet potato and carrots into 1-inch chunks. Place in a large bowl with Brussels sprouts and onions. Add oil, salt and pepper, toss well, then place mixture in a single layer on prepared pan. 

Roast 20-25 minutes or until all vegetables are tender, turning once with a spatula. 

Serve sprinkled with fresh herbs and an extra drizzle of oil if you wish, or experiment with maple syrup or pomegranate molasses for a dash of sweetness.


Roast a pan of cherry tomatoes to amp up the flavor of a pasta salad. Preheat oven to 375 F. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, two minced fresh garlic cloves, and salt and pepper on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool. Lightly toss into your prepared pasta salad, top with fresh herbs and grated Parmesan. 

Most chilled leftovers keep their crunch. Dip in hummus or yogurt-
based dressing for a snack. Or, reheat and complement a bowl of greens and delicious grains like quinoa, bulgur and other wonder foods at lunchtime.

Donna Erickson’s award-winning series “Donna’s Day” is airing on public television nationwide. To find more of her creative family recipes and activities, visit and link to the Donna’s Day Facebook fan page. Her latest book is “Donna Erickson’s Fabulous Funstuff for Families.” 

© 2020 Donna Erickson

Distributed by King Features Synd.

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