Tag Archives: food blogger

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

For many years I relied on the same old honey-pecan-carrot recipe when it came to a festive root vegetable dish, but this holiday season I was on a quest to find a new side.  Roasting vegetables is an easy way to bring out the flavours with minimal effort, and a really healthy cooking technique too.  I still wanted to use carrots, but tried to use a few other veggies that are often forgotten about,  and thus my Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel recipe was born. 

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

I absolutely love roasting fennel, the process transforms this lowly root vegetable into a soft, fragrant addition to sauces, salads, curries and sides.  High in fiber and B vitamins, fennel also has a lot of beneficial health properties, and is also a source of iron, calcium and magnesium.  Good for the body when the winter blues hits, and after indulging in heavy holiday fare!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasting carrots brings out the sweetness and is balanced by the sweet licorice flavour of the fennel.  Parsnips are one of those vegetables that I always fear will be bland, but in this case they add a bit of heartiness and are a compliment to the sweet carrots.  The crunch from the fennel gives the dish some texture alongside the tender roasted carrots and parsnips.

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Quick and easy, this dish can be prepped ahead of time and then popped into the oven when the turkey comes out.  A healthy addition to a holiday menu, these root vegetables are given new life with the addition of fennel, and as a bonus the roasted fennel will fill your home with a delightful licorice aroma!

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Ingredients

  • 4 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 4 medium parsnips, peeled, trimmed, halved and sliced into 1/2-inch thick pieces
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded and bulbs cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F, making sure the racks are in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
  2. Divide vegetables evenly between two baking sheets. Toss carrots, parsnips and fennel using half the olive oil, wine, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper per sheet.
  3. Evenly spread out the vegetables and cover pan with aluminum foil.
  4. Roast vegetables for 10 minutes, then uncover, toss and rotate sheets.
  5. Roast 10 minutes more. Toss and rotate sheets.
  6. Roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes more.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/11/07/roasted-carrots-parsnips-and-fennel/

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

Roasted Carrots, Parsnips and Fennel

What is your favourite holiday side dish?   What other dishes can roasted fennel be added to besides carrots and parsnips?

Ultimate Breakfast: Eggs with Lamb Fried in Bone Marrow

Fried eggs with tomatoes, lamb fried in bone marrow and PEC rye bread

Fried eggs with tomatoes, lamb fried in bone marrow and PEC rye bread

O.M.G.  What have I done?  How will I ever top this ULTIMATE breakfast?

The day started out like any other Saturday.  My boyfriend and I slept in, he claimed the bathroom, and I started making breakfast.  I hadn’t planned on anything special, but then I noticed the leftover roast lamb sitting in the fridge, and I thought “lamb for breakfast?  Is that too much?  Hell no!”.  But frying up some lamb in boring old olive oil didn’t seem too exciting, I knew I could take it to the next level.  Then I remembered all the tasty bone marrow sitting in a mason jar from the bone broth we’ve been regularly making.  Fry up the tender lamb in some rich bone marrow?  Now we’re talking!  There also happened to be some Prince Edward County rye bread that I picked up from Costco this past week, and since I’d gone this far, I added some fried tomato slices on the side.  Whoa!  Can you handle all this goodness?

My boyfriend was mightily impressed when he came down the stairs for breakfast and needless to say, this ultimate breakfast held us over until dinner time.

I am the breakfast master.

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Chia Meatballs & Strawberry Basil Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Chia Meatballs & Strawberry Basil Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Chia Meatballs & Strawberry Basil Sauce

There are certain foods that I will always crave, and pasta with meat sauce is one of them, despite all the bad press they receive.  I love glutenous pasta drenched in a rich red meat sauce, and I stand by that statement loud and proud! Faced with a menu full of fancy dishes at an Italian restaurant, most of the time I’m just tempted to order good ol’ comforting spaghetti and meatballs.

However, despite my unapologetic love for carbs and meat, somewhere deep down I’m a responsible adult who does try to eat healthy (especially after a weekend filled with wine and cheese) and so I set out to make a healthier version of my beloved dish.

I’ve often used spaghetti squash as a substitute for noodles.  Hearty and easy to make, spaghetti squash is ultimately satisfying because you can pig out on a huge portion on very little calories.  For the meatballs, I gave up red meat for turkey and instead of egg and parmesan I used chia seeds and ground cashews as a binding agent.  Chia seeds and cashews have quickly become one of my favourite substitutes for eggs and cheese, they’re both great sources of protein and are packed full of nutrients.

Finally for the sauce, I wanted to balance out the heavy squash as well as add a touch of sweetness to compliment the turkey meatballs.  Combining strawberries and tomatoes made for a really lovely, light sauce and throwing in a handful of fresh basil really brought everything together.

I absolutely loved how this dish turned out, with hints of citrus and spice, this dish is full of bright summer flavours but also comforts the soul with the hearty vegetables of fall.  While nothing will ever take the place of meat and pasta in my heart, I will definitely be craving this healthy version for weeks to come!

Spaghetti Squash with Chia Turkey Meatballs & Strawberry Basil Sauce

51

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

Spaghetti Squash with Chia Turkey Meatballs & Strawberry Basil Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash, halved with seeds removed
  • extra virgin olive oil - for drizzling
  • For the Meatballs:
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 1/3 cup finely ground cashews
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds - white or black
  • 1 finely minced shallot
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • zest from one whole lemon
  • 2 tbsp parsely - finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp cilantro - finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
  • 1 28oz can whole, peeled tomatoes
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
  • juice from half a lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Drizzle the inside of the squash with olive oil and place face down on a lined baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes or until the outside of the squash is just soft enough to press.
  3. Whisk chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside for 10 minutes, allowing the chia seeds to gel.
  4. In a large bowl, combine chia gel, ground turkey, oats, cashews, shallot, garlic, zest, parsely, cilantro, olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Using your hands, mix until evenly combined, then form approx 16 meatballs by rolling the mixture lightly in between your palms.
  5. Start the sauce. Heat coconut oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and garlic until soft then add tomatoes and strawberries, breaking up the large chunks with a wooden spoon.
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes until tomato juices have been reduced by half.
  7. Add basil, honey and red pepper flakes. Cook about 5 minutes more until strawberries are soft.
  8. Pulse in a food processor or blender until mixture is a coarse puree, and pour back into pan.
  9. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  10. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When the skillet is nice and hot, place meatballs in the pan carefully and using tongs, rotate them every few minutes until they are evenly browned on all sides, approx 10 minutes.
  11. Place skillet in the oven and finish cooking the meatballs for 5 minutes.
  12. Remove spaghetti squash from oven and using an oven mitt and a fork, carve out the squash and place on plate like "noodles". Top with four meatballs and a generous topping of sauce.

Notes

This recipe comes together quite quickly, so it's important to prep all the ingredients ahead of time.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/07/18/spaghetti-squash-with-turkey-chia-meatballs-strawberry-basil-sauce/

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Chia Meatballs and Strawberry Basil Sauce

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Chia Meatballs and Strawberry Basil Sauce

What’s your favourite way to use chia seeds?  Let me know!