Want to warm up as the temperature cools down and get in more nutrients, too? Roasted vegetables are a delicious way to do both.
Starchier root veggies, like carrots, parsnips and potatoes, lend themselves to roasting since their natural sugars intensify as they cook. Carrots have beta carotene for skin health. The parsnips are high in vitamin C, great for immune health. And rather than reaching for typical white potatoes, look for exotic Peruvian potatoes with high levels of antioxidants plus fiber in their purple skins. To turn these vegetables into a full meal, serve them with shredded roasted chicken and a cooked grain such as quinoa or brown rice or your favorite beans -- in a pinch, a store-bought rotisserie chicken and a can of chickpeas or kidney beans will do fine.
Roasted Root-Vegetable Dinner
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Peel the carrots and parsnips, and cut them in half and then lengthwise. Cut the potatoes in half. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Add the oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, and toss well to coat.
Spread out on two ungreased baking sheets and bake 40 to 50 minutes until the vegetables are golden and tender, turning once during cooking. Let cool slightly.
Divide the vegetables among four plates and top with equal amounts of chicken and grains or beans. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 servings
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has a season-by-season guide to which root vegetables are available at different times of the year.