It's October, which means that it's officially the season for all things fall: spooky decorations, changing leaves, and especially yummy food. If you need to take a break from all the ~pumpkin spice fever~ surrounding you, I've got a solution: oven-roasting literally everything. Nothing puts me in a autumnal mood quite like a cozy dinner full of seasonal roasted veggies, and you can even roast dessert! This is my latest obsession for the past week, and I very well may have had oven roasted food for some element of every single meal I've eaten. 

vegetable, pepper, onion, carrot, broccoli, tomato, stir-fry
Christin Urso

Why am I so obsessed with roasting, you may ask? Is it because it's a funny term to describe insulting your friends (or your enemies)? If I'm being honest, yeah, that might be part of it. But it's more because it's such an easy way to cook and it produces such delicious results that I can't believe how often I forget about it! I want to show how many things can be improved by roasting them in the oven, so take a peek at what I've cooked up this week and then get going on your own! 

Roast Your Veggies! 

My roasting habit started earlier this week when a friend who participates in a campus garden share handed off a sack of beets to me because she physically couldn't eat any more of them. My first foray into roasting was cutting the beets into chunks, along with a sweet potato, tossing all that in olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and then settling them into the oven for a nice long bake.

beet, vegetable, beet root, pasture, radish, sweet
Kate Zizmor

They started smelling so amazing that I decided on the spot to roast some broccoli, too. So I prepped it in the same way, and let me tell you, if you've never tried roasted broccoli, you haven't lived. Broccoli has never been my favorite veggie, but even just thinking about that salty goodness with a little bit of crispy caramelization on the edges is getting my mouth watering. After impatiently waiting for my fall vegetable bounty to finish cooking, I put together a plate with the broccoli, beets, sweet potatoes, and some cannelloni beans with various Italian spices and parmesan cheese. Then I had one of the best vegetarian dinners that I've ever made.   

Therese Boccini

NEXT (because I cook to avoid my problems) I roasted the baby carrots that I kept meaning to eat but keep forgetting to buy hummus for. I attempted this honey roasted carrot recipe, and although things seemed a little dicey towards the middle because my dorm oven isn't quite up to par, they still turned out great. I ate some for dinner that night and chopped up the rest to toss on a salad for lunch the next day.

Therese Boccini

The last veggie that I ventured into roasting, at least so far, was green beans, which may seem weird but turned out to be pretty life changing. I worked vaguely off of this recipe, which includes Parmesan cheese and some Italian spices—a girl's gotta work with what she has in her cabinet. Basically, what I've discovered from this is that I have yet to find a veggie that isn't improved by shoving it in the oven for a nice, long roast. 

Therese Boccini

Roast Your Meats! 

Now, because I had SO many beets and other mixed veggies, I had a lot of leftovers that needed using up. In order to amp up my leftover meal, I added some protein that (you guessed it) was oven baked. I took chicken breast that I had marinated in a chipotle maple BBQ sauce and settled it in a tray to bake until it reached its perfect level of doneness. To add some variety to my diet, I chopped up the chicken and tossed it warm on a spinach salad with the leftover sweet potatoes and beets, and finished it off with Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and a tiny bit of garlic Italian dressing. 

Therese Boccini

Roast Your Desserts AND Your Breakfasts! 

The next time I looked in my fridge, I noticed that I had a ton of apples, and while apples with peanut butter remain my absolute favorite midday snack, I figured that I should switch it up just a lil bit. By mostly following this recipe, I was able to whip up some apples topped with an oat crumble that tastes distinctly like apple crisp, just (maybe) a little healthier. I had one for dessert and the remaining ones I've been heating up in the morning and eating them with a little bit of plain Greek yogurt for breakfast, which is a sweet and fun way to start a looooong day of classes. 

So What's the Point? 

So why should you oven-roast all your food this fall? Because it's delicious and relatively easy as long as you have time to wait for it in the oven. Not only that, but it's so versatile. Most veggies, especially seasonal autumnal veggies, roast really well, and it has the added bonus of making your entire house smell amazing. Just because the summer season of light, fresh veggies is over doesn't mean that you can't cook fresh produce with bright, fun flavors—it just means that you need to switch up your methods a little bit.  Happy roasting!