Colourful Carrots + New Things Coming!

September 20, 2012

I have a little obsession with colourful carrots, or any sort of colourful veggies for that matter. Something about crazy colours makes them taste better, or maybe they actually do. I’m excited for the first fall of this blog’s existence, it being my favourite season to cook. Fall brings colourful carrots.
roasted carrots
This fall will also bring some new and exciting changes around here! Over the next few weeks, I will be launching a completely redesigned version of this blog. The content will stay, but some awesome new things are coming. The update will probably involve some weird bugs and glitches while I iron things out. I’m sorry in advance.

I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking around what kind of stuff I want to be posting here. Initially I didn’t really have any plans. I wanted a blog as an outlet for my kitchen and photography experiments and some place to write stuff. Betacyanin naturally took shape as a personal journal-like thing with mainly healthy veggie dishes + a couple desserts. Vegetables, fruit, and healthy[-er] sweet things are what I like to play around with the most, though I cook other stuff too, just not for fun. Nutrition has also become a huge deal for me in the past couple of years and this month I took the next step and started a nutrition program at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition, in Toronto. My primary reason for joining the program is for personal interest, but there’s no way of knowing where it may lead me a few years from now. So what does this mean for my blog? I think it will remain as an outlet for my kitchen experiments, certainly with a health focus, and the posts may take on a more informational format as I gain some nutrition-related wisdom and become comfortable with sharing it. Colourful carrots, a shiny new design soon to come, and holistic nutrition – I’m excited!

root vegetables
Today’s recipe has a lot of ingredients, but don’t run away, it’s worth it. Spiced and roasted carrots and celery root take center stage. Chickpeas add some body and help make this a stand-alone meal. Celery and shallots are for major flavour and crunch. Plump sultanas add some indulgent sweetness. I don’t think toasted almonds need an explanation. Tahini dressing… oh the tahini dressing…I’ve been obsessed with variations of this dressing all summer. It usually lives in my kale salad, but today it’s coating colourful carrots. Parsley adds an herbal note and lends its pretty green colour for presentation. All these little parts make up a dish that is rich with many quiet flavours and contrasting textures. It’s warm, sweet, a little spicy, subtly herbal, and so satisfying. Happy September =)

root vegetables

Roasted Roots with Chickpeas and Tahini
 
Carrots and celery root are the “roots” in this recipe, but others will probably work just as well.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups carrot cubes, bite sized pieces
  • 2 cups celery root cubes, bite sized pieces
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • salt
  • ancho chili powder, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. tahini
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (~ 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sultana raisins
  • 1/2 small shallot, finely diced (~2 Tbsp.)
  • roasted and sliced almonds, for garnish
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Coat the chopped root veggies with olive oil and spices. Season generously with salt.
  3. Arrange roots sparsely on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  4. Bake for ~30 minutes, tossing about half way through, until roots are cooked through and are starting to brown at the edges.
  5. While roots are baking, soak the sultanas in warm water and prepare all of the other ingredients.
  6. To make the dressing, stir tahini with lemon juice, honey and 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir in water a few drops at a time to reach a drinkable yogurt-like consistency. This is really important for a creamy finish. Also note that if you make the dressing in advance, it’ll thicken, so dilute with water as necessary right before serving.
  7. When the veggies are ready, combine them with chickpeas, celery, shallots, and sultanas. Toss with the dressing.
  8. Taste and adjust with more salt, lemon juice, or water (if the dressing is not creamy).
  9. Top with toasted almonds and parsley.
Makes enough for about 2 mains or 4 sides.

I ♥ Your Comments!

  1. Yay for a new post and double yay for all the things to come! I’m really excited about the blog redesign and also seeing more nutrition-related posts. Keep up the great work!

    As for the recipe, I’m loving the addition of tahini and sultana raisins. Not something I would have thought of, but it sure does sound like a great idea to spruce up root veggies.

    • Sofia

      Thanks for the encouragement =) The raisins definitely add a lot. Even Max liked them, and he usually stays away.

  2. Love this salad! Definitely making it soon.
    Good luck with your new school endeavours, that’s very exciting. I almost went to the Institute of Holistic Nutrition last fall, but decided to do chefs training at George Brown instead. Sounds like a super program though.

    • Sofia

      Thanks, Cara! I also did a couple of continuing education GBC classes, then decided to take a break to take the nutrition classes. Hope you like the root salad…let me know how it turns out!

    • Sofia

      I’m looking forward to trying a more informational approach, though it’ll probably take some time. Thanks for reading =)

  3. Irina

    You surprised me again! Good salad!
    You mentioned “Plump sultanas” in ingredients but mean raisins?
    Want to try it!

  4. Deena

    Thank you Sofia for your great ideas .

  5. marlies

    only a year late, but i made this today and it was DELICIOUS!! i used a mix of rainbow carrots, potatoes and turnips from my CSA…sooo good!

    • Sofia

      So glad you liked it :) mmmm love turnip, your version sounds great!

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