They say desperation is the mother of creation… Wait, do they? Well, I say limitations (and a hint of desperate hunger) is the seed for simple and great recipe creation. Here I present to you a simple but flavourful, colourful, and delicious roasted root medley of lemon cumin roasted carrots, which falls perfectly in line with all that makes this UnDiet life so vibrant.
My regular routine involves meal planning, recipe and vegetable prep, and using up all the bits in my fridge so nothing gets wasted. I first created this recipe a number of years ago after a busy winter of travel, filming for the Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, and shooting my second cookbook. During that time, most of what we ate were leftovers from photo and film shoots!
Then, after a late night, I opened the fridge and all we had was a bag of parsnips and carrots and one little lemon, sitting all alone. And I thought – I can work with this.
Since then, we make this recipe frequently. It’s incredibly delicious and like most of my recipes, it’s flexible – meaning you can swap in seasonal vegetables or adjust the herbs and spices to your liking.
The Health Benefits of Carrots (and Root Vegetables)
Carrots receive their bright pigments from beta-carotene, which our bodies convert into Vitamin A for skin and immune health, as well as for vision.
Aside from its antioxidants, carrots contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals like B vitamins, potassium and Vitamin K1. They’re also a great source of fibre for digestion and heart health.
Carrots come in a variety of cheerful colours, though we typically think of carrots as orange as that’s the most common hue we see at the grocery store. And there’s nothing wrong with that!
When using root veggies, give them a good scrub down but keep the skin on. Root veggies grow underground and soak up their minerals from the soil. If we opt for organic root veggies grown in mineral-rich soil, that outer area of the vegetable is where the highest concentration of mineral power will be found.
Root Vegetable Options for This Recipe
Roasted carrots are a simple, convenient choice. You can also try:
- Sweet potatoes
- Celery root
- Winter squash
Or use a mix of a bunch of different root veg! Ensure you cut everything approximately the same size so all of the veggies cook evenly.
Flavour Variations for Roasted Carrots
I flavoured the carrots and parsnips with fresh ground cumin and coriander seeds, drizzled on the juice of a whole lemon, tossed in some olive and sea salt and then popped them in to roast for 45 minutes. Other seasoning options are:
- Garam masala
- 5-spice powder
A key trick is that I toss the vegetables in a bowl and then lay them out on parchment. Any leftover lemon/olive oil in the bowl gets poured over the roots once they’re already laid out. This lends to a little more tasty caramelizing.
These roasted carrots are a perfect way to enjoy root vegetable season!Print