I think a lot of people get really motivated in the spring and summer to clean up their diets and add lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to their meal rotation, but it’s fall that really gets me in the mood. And thank God, because there’s something about football that makes me want to eat like absolute trash.
It’s SUPER easy to meal prep like a badass in the fall because it’s generally not too hot to turn on the oven and you can put just about anything on a sheet pan and just roast it. Literally anything. Vegetables that are in season during the fall and winter months tend to be more hearty and carby (Really, spell check? That’s not a word?), so they usually keep a little longer in the fridge.
Last week I gave you 5 steps to meal prep like a badass, and today I’m going to give you a peak at which vegetables you can find me prepping nearly every week. As I said in my 5 steps post, I don’t like to put a lot of thought into my prep or my cooking in general (because I have other things to do, like sit on my porch and drink wine), so I will repeat my favorites from week to week. Here’s what I’ll be cooking up quite a bit for the next few months:
- Brussels Sprouts – This is a vegetable that has really grown on me. These Sweet n’ Spicy Brussels Sprouts were my gateway drug to this veg and now there is no turning back. The key is to make sure they’re not touching on the pan and to roast the hell out of them so they’re nice and crispy – I do 40 minutes on 400. Use 2 Tbsp of fat for every pound of Brussels and season generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder and whatever other seasonings you like.
- Spaghetti Squash – All winter squashes are great this time of year, but honestly, how can you beat spaghetti squash? It’s a low carb, high fiber version of pasta and you can eat A TON of it without going into a carb coma. Cut it in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, drizzle with olive oil and place face down onto a baking sheet. Roast for 40 min on 400. OR, if you didn’t prep this ahead of time and you’re in a pinch, just put it facedown on a plate in the microwave and zap it for 8 minutes. Give it a check, and go for 2 more minutes more if it’s not soft enough yet. Now, smother with marinara, ground turkey and mozzarella and don’t get up from the couch the rest of the night.
- Cauliflower – Cooked cauliflower just doesn’t taste like a vegetable to me. I could eat it at every meal. I love to just cut up a head of cauli and steam it and eat it all week. No brainer. You can also roast it with a whole sliced onion on 400 for 30-40 minutes and then sprinkle with parmesan in the last 10 minutes and it is to.die.for.
- Root vegetables – Honestly, just go to the farmer’s market, pick up a shit ton of root vegetables like squash, potatoes, turnips, rutabagas and beets, put them on a sheet pan, drizzle with melted ghee or coconut oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 mintues on 400 and just bask in deliciousness. Add some goat cheese at the end if you want to just die right then and there. Tip: tossing beets with the rest of veggies will turn everything sort of reddish pink, so if that stresses you out like it does me…cook them separately or just leave them out all together.
- Tomatoes – This is my wild card. Tomatoes are absolute garbage as the weather gets cooler, right? You can’t typically find them locally in most parts of the US and by the time they make it to your grocery store, they’re flavorless red balls…until you slice them up and put them in the oven and roast the hell out of them. I just can’t bring myself to roast juicy, sweet tomatoes in the summer, but it’s my favorite way to eat them. Use them to make roasted tomato soup (I often do this with my Cream of Coconut Tomato Soup), roasted tomato BLT, Simple Tomato Basil Sauce (in place of canned tomatoes) or just to eat as a side dish with some parmesan and basil. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 452for 30-40 minutes – that’s it.