Talking textures [Roasted Vegetable Casserole]

It’s ridiculous: just about every time carrots are on sale I used to pick up a bag only to end up not using them fast enough. As somebody who hates to waste food this irked me a lot so I’ve gotten better at resisting. Growing up I ate a lot of carrots* – just like about every child, I assume? – but the older I got and the more variety I brought into my diet the less frequent they became for me. When it comes to adding a vegetable to whichever dish I’m least likely to opt for good old carrots. Sad but true. Don’t judge!

*which funnily are called quite a number of different names in Germany: Mohrrüben, Möhrchen, Karotten, Wurzeln, …

sprinkled

And that’s where my use-up challenge came in ever so handy. Somehow I’d not only been lured into buying a week-only offer of yellow carrots but also a bag of the regular kind in the organic grocery. After last week’s curry I once more got out the blender to turn the carrots into puree. Not intentionally, though, as I’d originally planned to finally try maple-glazed carrots. But when the roasted vegetables from my weekend meal prep already lend some bite to the dish I needed to have a different texture for the carrots. Yes, I always need at least one ingredient offering some “chew” and one creamy component to be fully satisfied after a meal. The more textures, the merrier. In this case: the crispy, chewy [in the best way!] vegetables, starchy [for lack of a better word] roasted chickpeas,  creamy but still a little chunky carrots and smooth bell pepper sauce to top it off.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole

This is a very variable recipe in that you can use whichever vegetables you want. I noticed I’m actually a huge fan of twice-baked cauliflower and zucchini are a vegetable I liked to have on hand most days, too. Roasted chickpeas are a snack favourite of mine so I figured why not add some in, too?! Use whichever spices you feel like to switch things up to your liking.

dish

Did I mention we were talking lackluster, horribly lit pictures of delicious food today? Well, in case I forgot: there you go. I could excuse myself with the truth that my dentist’s appointments happened to be at the worst time ever. Just so untimely I couldn’t have lunch and at that take pictures of it before and came home when the sun had almost disappeared completely again. But you wouldn’t want to hear that, huh ;)?! So I’ll let the pictures do the talking words do the convincing because yes: this is good. Just trust me.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole with Creamy Carrot Puree and Red Pepper Sauce

  • roasted vegetables: you could use any kind of odds and ends you have on hand – for me these were zucchini and cauliflower [amounts once more depend on your preference]
  • 1/2 cup + 2-3 tbsps of chickpeas, divided
  • 150 g carrots, chopped, steamed and pureed – I decided to not completely blend it but leave a few chunks for [yes!] texture purposes
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • oil of choice for sautéing
  • 1/4 cup of soy milk
  • 1 generous tsp of coconut butter
  • 1/2 tbsp of chopped parsley [I used frozen]
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper
  • topping: 2-3 tbsps puffed amaranth (unsweetened) mixed with 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

 

  1. Mix the 1/2 cup of chickpeas with your vegetables, tossing them in your oil of choice plus nutritional yeast, garlic and any spices you like. I used about 1/4 tsp each smoked paprika and cumin. Roast for about 30 minutes at 350 °F.
  2. Roast the bell pepper at the same time. Let it cool and then peel. The roasting process can be done a day ahead like I did for speedier prep the day of casserole assembly.
  3. Add the oil to a small pot and sauté the onion and garlic. Mix in the carrot puree, soy milk, coconut butter, parsley and remaining chickpeas. Let cook for a few minutes to heat through.
  4. Meanwhile blend the roasted pepper with 5 tbsps of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the carrot puree to a small casserole dish.
  6. Add the roasted vegetables and spread the bell pepper sauce on top. Sprinkle with amaranth topping and bake for about 20-25 minutes at 350 °F.

Roasted veg

Oh, and Laura and Kierston: I might still not have the whole meal planning thing down but I already have a recipe to share for next week’s link-ups. Are you proud of my dedication ;)?!

Happiness inducing today: Receiving a letter from a blend :).

 

Does anybody else need to have as many different textures as possible in one dish?

Which foods – not necessarily produce – did you ate a lot of growing up? Do you still eat them frequently?

What are your favourite carrot recipes?

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21 thoughts on “Talking textures [Roasted Vegetable Casserole]

  1. Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A. says:

    I used to eat a lot of carrots growing up too. We called my mom the Carrot Police because she was always forcing plates of them on my sister and I. I don’t usually work them into very many recipes these days either. After checking out this post though, I just might have to. Looks amazing!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      The Carrot Police :). That’s cute – though her forcing them onto you clearly wasn’t the best way to grow your appreciation for the humble carrot. Give them another try [or a few more]!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Oh yes, you have the sweetest names for all kinds of produce in Switzerland. Riebli/Rübli, Paradeiser, Nüsslisalat … so cute! And Rübli makes me think of Rüblikuchen [carrot cake for all non-Germans reading] – mmmh!

  2. Sue says:

    As a kid, I used to eat lots of potatoes. We had them mashed, fried, in soups and stews, as potato salad, etc. They have taken a back seat now, but I still love them a lot.

  3. Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

    Ahhhh! Was it my letter?! I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed for over a week that I didn’t somehow transpose the address in my sleep-deprived state! 😯

    I love carrots, but I tend to forget about them…I think I’m more a fan of them in raw form though…definitely one of my favorite veggie snacks! I love a lot of textures in my meals! I’m also really big on temperature contrast. My latest being cold salads with hot toppings! I used to eat a lot of cereal growing up…and other processed foods (yeah, I don’t come from a healthy family AT ALL!). I love cereal, but it seems to be a bit of a trigger food for me at times, so it’s a struggle to find that balance between being satisfied with a cup-sized serving and eating the entire box…with my hands!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Yes, yes, yes, it was! It arrived just in time before I moved. How did you time it that perfectly ;)?!
      Hm, that’s so interesting about the temperature contrast. Not something I’d pondered before, really, so thanks for the great idea.
      Believe me, even though my mum was huge on organic foods when we were children already I ate my fair share of cereal and – this was a favourite – buns with a cheesy crust. That’s what made going to friends’ houses even more enticing, haha. We did have granola at our houses, though, and I would have given you a blank stare had you told me about servings sizes or portion control with that chocolate granola …

      • Heather @ Kiss My Broccoli says:

        Oh my gosh!! Whew!!! Glad it arrived in the nick of time! I’d say I did it on purpose since the mailman and I have a special relationship, but he breaks/folds/otherwise ruins half the stuff that is sent to me so we’re not really on speaking terms! 😉

        Definitely give the hot/cold combo a try! My dinner tonight was sauteed veggies mixed with cool crisp salad greens…so good!

        Did you say cheesy crust? Umm, I’ll take TWO! 😉

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