A Perfect Side…or, Make it a Meal!
Variety is key to this dish! Combining different vegetables not only lends to varied textures and tastes like sweet and savory but also provides a diverse set of nutrients that help support our health.
Consuming at least three servings of non-starchy vegetables each day is associated with a reduced risk of dying from chronic conditions like cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, and the average American adult is consuming only half (1 ½ servings) of this amount of vegetables each day (1).
This recipe is super easy to make, packed with health-supporting nutrients, and tastes amazing – so, give them a try and boost your immune defenses!
A Few Health Benefits of This Dish
Squash is an excellent source of potassium, which is needed for fluid balance, muscle control, and nerve function (2) (3). Cooked zucchini squash is a rich source of beta-carotene that the body can convert into vitamin A which is necessary for proper growth and development, cell communication, and immune function (4). Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen which is a structural protein in the body that keeps our skin healthy, our blood vessels functional, and aids wound healing, and zucchini squash is a rich source of this nutrient as well as minerals like magnesium (5).
Eggplant is a nutrient-dense food that provides us with many vitamins, minerals, and fiber and is low in calories (6). The high fiber content coupled with low calories can aid in weight loss efforts. Manganese is necessary for the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates, and cholesterol, and plays a role in blood clotting and bone formation in the body and eggplant is a good source of this trace mineral (7). As a rich source of antioxidants, like anthocyanins, eggplant consumption can help suppress tumor growth and inhibit inflammation (8).
Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables of the Brassicaceae family like kale and mustard greens. These little cabbages are low in calories but high in fiber and micronutrients like vitamin K which is necessary for bone health and blood clotting, and vitamin C which is important for immune function and wound healing (9).
Oven-Roasted Vegetable Recipe:
1 zucchini squash, in ½-inch cubes
1 yellow squash, in ½-inch cubes
1-2 large carrots, in ½-inch diagonal slices
1-2 bell peppers, various colors, sliced into wedges
1 medium red onion, in ½-inch slices
1 large Yukon gold or sweet potato, in ½-inch cubes
1 small eggplant, in ½-inch cubes
8-10 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
sea salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tbsp. dried oregano
2-3 garlic cloves
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid and shake to combine.
In a large bowl, combine the vegetables and dressing and toss to coat.
Spread the vegetables evenly on the baking sheet, and salt and pepper to taste.
Bake for about 30-45 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked and browning.