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I'm Mama Harris, the wife and mother to a large blended and multicultural family. In my lifetime I've been a single mom, a step-mom, a working mom and now a stay at home mom. My kids range in age from toddler to newly adult and I write about my kitchen adventures and the variety of foods and recipes I feed my family at From the Kitchen of Mama Harris. I've experienced all aspects of mommy-hood and look forward to sharing my kitchen tips, tricks, recipes and shortcuts!

The Great Vegetable Debate: Sauté vs Roasted

Categories: cooking, shortcuts

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As busy moms, dinnertime is often about balance. We want to feed our families the healthiest and best tasting foods without sacrificing quality time with them by spending hours in the kitchen. A healthy and nutritious meal is essential, but we don’t want to break our backs night after night preparing it.

This leads to the great debate for one of the most important parts of our meals. Our vegetables.

In corner one: Sauté

For the longest time I’d just do a quick saute in butter or oil, with a few seasonings or other ingredients. Once I became more comfortable in the kitchen, and began trying various methods and recipes, I discovered the beauty that is roasted vegetables.

When you saute your vegetables, you have a little more control over the taste and flavor profile. You can add olive oil or other oils, butter, and as many seasonings as you like to get the flavor you’re going for. It’s quick and efficient, and there’s many combinations of vegetables you can create this way to suit any dish.

In corner two: Roasted

When you roast vegetables, you don’t need much more than olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roasting brings out much of the natural flavors and sweetness in vegetables, but it does take a bit longer that a quick saute would.

In addition to the vegetables, for both methods you can add meats and potatoes to create a one dish meal. Wrap some vegetables in foil with your meat and roast it together. It’s a delicious and efficient meal, no stirring needed. You can do the same in a pot or skillet, similar to a stir fry style.

Personally, I like the no-fuss method of roasting. You just cover and pop it in the oven and they’re ready. No stirring, no adding additional ingredients, and the flavor is simply amazing. In addition to that, the fact that there’s so few ingredients needed to roast is also a bonus in the nutrition department. Of course, there’s times I do prefer that quick meal that only a quick saute can provide. Sometimes sauteing vegetables can add additional calories with butter or additional add ins, and there’s a chance you can overcook a bit and lose some essential vitamins.

I think a good balance for this debate is to create your quick and easy meals during the week with sauteed vegetables and maybe do a bit of a more elaborate meal on the weekend when you might have a bit of extra time. That way you get the best of both worlds. Worst case scenario you can throw a salad or two in the mix as well!

What’s you favorite way to prepare vegetables?

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