Create a dish of roasted veggies to enhance your next meal. ATTRIBUTION: beebrulee (Flickr)

Create a dish of roasted veggies to enhance your next meal. ATTRIBUTION: beebrulee (Flickr)

Roasted vegetables add intense flavor and essential nutrients to sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, and more. As the weather gets chilly, turn up the heat in your kitchen by throwing a delicious combination of your favorite veggies and seasonings in the oven. Many roasted vegetable recipes call for an array of fall veggies fresh from the garden, such as potatoes, carrots, eggplant, and squash. Not only do roasted vegetables taste great, but they are also low in fat and calories. Here’s a look at some popular veggies for roasting and how to properly roast them at home.

1. Asparagus

Oven-roasting asparagus adds a deeper flavor to the vegetable compared to the usual method of steaming. To roast your asparagus, clean and trim about two pounds and peel the bottom half of each stalk. Toss the asparagus with salt, pepper, and a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil. Lay the stalks across a baking sheet and roast in a 425-degree Fahrenheit oven until golden and tender, or about 15 minutes. To add even more flavor, combine the seasoned asparagus with several thinly sliced cloves of garlic.

2. Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is a hard winter squash that delivers a healthy supply of vitamins and carbohydrates. To roast a butternut squash, cut the vegetable in half to expose the center and scoop out the seeds. Rub the inside of the squash with about a teaspoon of coconut oil and place the squash halves center-side-down on a baking sheet. Add salt and pepper to taste if desired. Bake the butternut squash at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes to one hour, or until tender.

3. Eggplant

Eggplant that is grown in the summer can be frozen to enjoy in the fall and winter months, too. To roast eggplant, cut the vegetable into one-inch cubes and spread them out on a baking sheet. Drizzle some olive oil over the cut-up veggies and sprinkle on a light application of salt and pepper. Bake the eggplant in a preheated 475 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender and golden. Turn the eggplant cubes once while cooking.

4. Red Potatoes

Roasted red potatoes make the perfect side dish for any meal. These firm small-to-medium-sized potatoes have smooth skins and a tender texture. Cut up six to eight red potatoes into half-inch chunks or into quarters. In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary leaves, a half-teaspoon coarse salt, and a quarter-teaspoon black pepper. Toss the cut-up potatoes in the bowl and transfer them to a baking sheet. Roast the red potatoes in a preheated 400-degree oven until golden and tender, about 25 to 30 minutes.

5. Carrots

Boiled and steamed carrots are good, but nothing beats the taste of slow-roasted sweet-tasting carrots. To roast carrots, cut them into one-inch lengths and toss them in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange the carrots on a baking sheet and roast until lightly browned on the bottom, or about 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven. Flip the carrots and continue to roast them another five minutes. Drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the carrots once cooked for extra flavor.

6. Sweet Peppers

Roasted sweet peppers are a delicious and healthy snack that are smoky and tender and add intense flavor to a variety of sauces and dishes. Place whole peppers onto a baking sheet and roast for 30 to 40 minutes in a 400-degree oven, turning them once while baking. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil and set it aside for 30 minutes to allow the peppers to cool. Remove the stems and cut the peppers into quarters. Remove any seeds, and drizzle olive oil over the peppers.