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, …
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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meanwhile blend the roasted pepper with 5 tbsps of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer the carrot puree to a small casserole dish.
- 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.
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?