This post will be short and sweet, but it might just change your life if you don’t already know about this technique to toss your veggies before roasting them. We’re discussing grocery shopping and cooking hacks this week in my Paleo Women Lifestyle Program, which got me thinking about one of my favorite, ridiculously simple tricks in the kitchen.
The days of getting your hands messy while tossing vegetables are over. The days of struggling to get your veggies perfectly, evenly coated with oils and spices are about to be LONG GONE!
I call this the “bag trick.” Lame name, I know, but it works. My mother always tossed vegetables this way before cooking them, so it was the only method I ever learned, and I assumed everyone else tossed their veggies like this, too. When I lived in my first apartment with roommates, though, they were absolutely amazed when they saw me doing this, and they told me it changed their lives. I was shocked that they didn’t already use the bag trick, but I was happy to teach them this easy little cooking hack.
Since then, I’ve realized that only about half the world uses this technique. The other half needs to! I have a lot of food-blogger friends who spend plenty of time in the kitchen, yet somehow hardly any of them have ever tried this before I show it to them. It pains me to see people wasting oil and spices by drizzling them on top of a sheet of vegetables and then trying to spread it all around with their hands. It’s messy, inefficient, and a hassle. I’ll do that if I have to, but usually only when I’m not in my own kitchen.
Anyone who has ever gone grocery shopping with me thinks I’m really weird because I collect the plastic bags in the produce section and usually take more than I need, simply to use for tossing vegetables. This is also why whenever I buy veggies, I always put them in a bag, even if the bag isn’t totally necessary. For example, I’ll put an avocado in a produce bag just so I have the extra bag when I get home. I store all of these extra free plastic bags in my kitchen drawer so that I always have plenty to grab from when it’s time to toss my vegetables before roasting them (which we all know I do VERY often)!
So, what’s the technique?!
- Buy vegetables and put them in the free plastic bags provided by the grocery store.
- Remove vegetables from the plastic bag. Do not throw away the bag.
- Chop vegetables up, and put the chopped veggies back into the bag.
- Pour your oil and seasonings into the bag. No method to the madness – just toss it in.
- Grab the top of the plastic bag and twist it around a few times so it closes completely and forms a bit of an air pocket inside (the extra air isn’t necessary, but helps a bit).
- Shake the bag up vigorously for about 10 seconds, so that the veggies slide around and get coated evenly with the spices and oil.
- Untwist the top of the bag and pour the coated vegetables onto your baking sheet!
- Toss out the oily bag.
IT’S THAT EASY. Your vegetables will be coated evenly, your hands won’t have oil or spices on them, and you won’t have gotten any other utensils dirty. This is how I toss all of my vegetables to get them coated nicely, and it also helps you avoid wasting any cooking oil! You can really tell the difference when you’re using colorful spices, and you’ll know you’re “done” tossing as soon as the veggies are all coated in an even color. This method is very quick, and I’m all about efficiency in the kitchen. You can also use a ziplock gallon bag if you’re in a pinch and don’t have a produce bag, but I generally don’t like to do that because 1) ziplock bags are expensive and 2) they’re not as big as the plastic produce bags from the store. The more room in the bag, the better!
If you didn’t already know this trick, then try it out! I bet it will make tossing your vegetables much easier, and cleaner too! Do you have any other favorite simple cooking hacks?!