Thanksgiving is only 1 week away! Time to start searching for side dishes! The turkey is great and all, but for me, it’s all about the sides! And while my family has some favorite go-to recipes, we’re always on the lookout for new ones. (Especially since I’m on the AIP diet this year!)
Roasted veggies might be my favorite simple side dish. No matter what the vegetable is, it tastes a thousand times better when it’s roasted. Mark and I love to roast broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower on a regular basis. The veggies take on totally new flavors in the oven and go well with any meal!
Today, I’m expanding my roasted vegetable horizon and trying a more colorful approach – featuring mostly root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, and beets) along with seasonal butternut and delicata squash. These Roasted Rainbow Root Veggies are not only beautiful, but healthy and delicious, thanks to their natural sweet flavors with compliments of fresh sage and balsamic! This eye-catching array of veggies will be a welcome addition to your weekly menus or as a new side dish on your Thanksgiving Day table!
Speaking of Thanksgiving, sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I’m cooking for Thanksgiving that I tend to overlook the focus of Thanksgiving – being thankful for our blessings and our history, while generously sharing our tables with loved ones.
Since being thankful for my family almost goes without saying, I wanted to give a shout out to some special ladies in my life who have not only encouraged me to start this blog, but have supported me through my pregnancy loss and health journey and continue to inspire me in my work, faith, and life.
These girls are part of what we like to call Nourish. Basically, it’s a cooking (and eating!) club that we started two years ago, comprised of foodies like myself. We try to meet monthly, each time with a new food theme. We’ve had appetizer gatherings, soup days, picnics, ethnic dinner parties, cookouts, and smoothie nights. Between the six of us, we have a crazy amount of dietary restrictions that force us to cook outside the box, but that doesn’t stop us from enjoying delicious food together! 🙂
We were inspired to create Nourish after becoming fans of author Shauna Niequist‘s work. Shauna writes often about her own cooking club and how impactful the simple act of gathering around the table has been for her. Here’s an excerpt from her devotional book, Savor:
“The most sacred moments, the ones in which I feel God’s presence most profoundly, when I feel the goodness of the world most arrestingly, take place at the table. The particular alchemy of celebration and food, of connecting people and serving what I’ve made with my own hands, comes together as more than the sum of their parts. I love the sounds and smells and textures of life at the table, hands passing bowls and forks clinking against plates and bread being torn and the rhythm and energy of feeding and being fed.
It’s not strictly about the food for me. It’s about what happens when we come together, slow down, open our homes, look into one another’s faces, listen to one another’s stories. It happens when we celebrate a birthday, and also when we break out of the normal clockwork of daily life and pop the champagne on a cold, gray Wednesday just because the faces we love are gathered around our table. It happens when we enter the joy and the sorrow of the people we love, and we join together at the table to feed one another and be fed, and while it’s not strictly about the food, it doesn’t happen without it. Food is the starting point, the common ground, the thing to hold and handle, the currency we offer to one another.”
I couldn’t agree more with Shauna’s words! Food is the starting point, but the best part is gathering around my dining room table to share about our joys, our struggles, our relationships, and our walks with God. Nourish is a break from the busy, sometimes harsh, real world that we live in. It’s a safe haven where we come together to be vulnerable, to be grateful, and to celebrate. And for that, I give thanks. So, to my Nourish girls: I love you, I’m blessed by you, and I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! Can’t wait for our next gathering!
If you’re wishing you had a cooking club, start your own! Send out cute invitations to a few people you know well and a few people you want to know better. Come up with an initial theme. (Shauna has some great ideas and recipes in her books!) Then, gather, eat, drink, and share life together!
What better time to start a cooking club than around the biggest cooking holiday of the year? Have a “Friendsgiving” to kick things off and make a big tray of these Rainbow Roasted Root Veggies to share! Let me show you how this easy, yummy recipe comes together!
Go get your hands on some colorful root vegetables and squash! You can really use just about anything. I selected some sweet beets, parsnips, and rainbow carrots, since they pack a flavorful punch. You could use sweet potato, as well.
I also supplemented the root veggies with some Fall squash. I used my old favorite, the butternut squash, with my NEW favorite – the delicata squash. If you haven’t heard of or tried delicata squash before, do yourself a favor and buy one! It’s the yellow squash with the green stripes. The best part about this squash is that you don’t have to peel it!! The peel is so thin that it’s actually edible. This squash was actually part of a dish from my last “Nourish” gathering, so I knew I had to use it for a blog recipe.
Time to peel, cut, de-seed, and chop everything. This is really the only difficult part of this recipe because it takes some time. I like to put on good music or podcasts during this step and just make it relaxing and fun!
After you have your colorful rainbow of veggies prepped, toss them with coconut oil or olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on a large baking sheet (or two). I sprinkled my Roasted Rainbow Root Veggies with sea salt and both fresh and dried herbs. Use whatever seasonings you like best.
Roast your vegetables at 400 degrees for about 40 minutes, or until they are fork-tender. It’s crazy how good these seasonal Fall veggies are when they’re roasted! The natural flavors just pop and they taste so sweet!
For a finishing touch, I mixed the Roasted Rainbow Root Veggies together with some chopped fresh sage and added a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to contrast the sweet flavor. So good! You don’t even need Skittles to “taste the rainbow!” 😉
For a colorful, flavorful, healthy side dish, I encourage you to turn on your oven and make a large tray of my Roasted Rainbow Root Veggies! Whether you’re celebrating Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or maybe even your first cooking club gathering, this dish will compliment any Fall menu so well! Enjoy, friends!
- 4 beets, peeled and chopped
- 6 rainbow carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 parsnips, peeled and chopped
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped
- 1 delicata squash, seeded, and chopped
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
- 2 teaspoons chopped sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar to serve
- fresh chopped sage
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Grease a baking sheet with oil or line with foil or parchment.
- Once veggies are prepped and chopped, toss with melted coconut oil (or oil of choice), then season with herbs and salt.
- Roast for 40 minutes, or until veggies are tender, stirring once halfway through.
- Top with fresh sage and a drizzle of balsamic to serve.