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GardenSMART :: Roasted Veggies Banish Your Sandwich Blues

Roasted Veggies Banish Your Sandwich Blues

By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook (most of the time)
Photograph by Tommy C. Simmons

Once you retire and are home everyday at lunch, prepare for hitting the ho-hum sandwich blues. My husband declared last week he was tired of sandwiches and I agreed with him. But, I'm not overly fond of leftovers for lunch, either.

I decided to try eating more vegetables at lunch. Simple vegetables, sliced and roasted, can provide a tasty break from sandwiches.

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Rough slice the vegetables in uniform thickness so everything cooks evenly.

Check out the odds and ends vegetables in your refrigerator. I had a couple of zucchini, a zephyr squash, three yellow crooknecks, half a sliced Vidalia onion and a half dozen freshly dug carrots to work with. Cleaned and rough sliced everything into spears.

Roasted a few on my tiny George Forman Grill so there would be a textural difference in how the vegetables were presented.

Baked everything together for 45 minutes and voila! We had roasted vegetables for lunch.

You can eat them plain, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, on a slice of toasted French bread, stuffed in a tortilla or atop leftover rice. We liked the veggie lunch so much that we ate it every day for a week.

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Now, I'm trying to figure out how else to serve these veggies. If you have suggestions, e-mail me at [email protected].

Home kitchen-tested recipe

Roasted Summer Vegetables

Serves 6. Flexible recipe is by Tommy C. Simmons.

Vegetables of preference – summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, onions, carrots, small potatoes
Coarsely ground salt and pepper
2 tbls. olive oil
Minced garlic (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Cut and slice the vegetables into chips or spears. Season with coarsely ground salt and pepper, maybe a dash of cayenne pepper, too, if you like a little heat in your fare.
  2. Toss seasoned vegetables in olive oil. You can add minced garlic to the oil, if desired.
  3. Cook the vegetables on a grill for a few minutes, if possible, but not necessary. 
  4. Line a baking pan with foil, spray it with olive oil. Dump the vegetables into the pan, spread out, so everything is in a single layer. Cover pan of vegetables with more foil.
  5. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees, depending on your oven, for 30 minutes. Uncover vegetables and bake for 15 minutes more. Test for doneness with a fork. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired and serve as a luncheon entrée or atop a slice of toasted French bread as a bruschetta topping. 

Personal note: Tommy C. Simmons, retired food editor of The Advocate newspaper in Baton Rouge, LA, is receiving the 2017 Grace "Mama" Marino Lifetime Culinary Achievement Award from the Baton Rouge Epicurean Society at a gala banquet in Baton Rouge on Aug. 24, 2017. The honor recognizes Tommy's leadership in establishing one of the top five newspaper food sections in the United States and Canada. Her work received dozens of national awards and helped promote the state's unique Cajun/Creole/Southern cuisine across the country. She retired from the newspaper and moved to Waleska, GA in 2011. Tommy continues to write about food, cooking and entertaining for GardenSMART's e-newsletter and the Lake Arrowhead Living Magazine published in northwest Georgia.


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