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?

WIAW: The Use-up and Mug Cake Edition

Happy Wednesday!

The title says it all: I actually managed to make a dent into my huge vegetable stash. And – if I dare say so myself – in a not even too boring way. Yes, I was somehow expecting a lot of monotony seeing as I tried to limit if not stop my produce-buying habits and only work with what was on hand. Oh, and about that cake? Well, why not stop the introduction part and jump right into the food? Deal? Deal! Thanks to Jenn for hosting our weekly What I ate Wednesday celebration of all kinds of delicious food – and reminding us to work on our good habits for bountiful gift giving on Christmas Eve. Ssssh, not like I was following any such plans ;).

wiaw fall into good habits buttonOne last dentist blame after Monday’s rant: My lack of chewing ability has to stand in as an excuse for lack of cooking inspiration this past week . Anything not blended was out of imagination from Wednesday evening to Friday afternoon. Fun times. Only not. So I kept meals very simple like this Cauliflower Kabocha Soup. Starting the post out with one of the few good though quickly [because in state of hangryness] taken picture.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Soup

Remember how I asked you for help on how to use my overabundance cauliflower but explicitely factoring out anything roasted? Well, I felt an indefinite inkling when typing it already  and what can I say: I ate my words. Every delicious bit of them. You might have already guessed if you’ve seen my food prep picture in Monday’s post.

Food prep

On Sunday, I roasted up cauliflower, zucchini and chickpeas as well as one of the [also abundant] bell peppers I had on hand. Funny fact about the peppers: I’m lured into buying them almost every time I see them on sale only to be reminded I actually don’t really like them. Okay, to be fair: Unlike some other vegetables I don’t fully despise them. But I don’t enjoy bell peppers raw at all and would pass them up in a stir-fry, too. Roasted, however? Yes, please! With no actual plan in mind on how to turn these into a dish I just started working in the kitchen. Carrots turned into a delicious creamy puree that I topped with the roasted vegetables and an easy roasted red pepper sauce. Just because casseroles are my favourite dishes that’s what I ended up with. Don’t let the pictures fool you: yes it’s good and yes you want to try it :). Recipe to come right in time for Kierston’s Recipe Friday.

Roasted Vegetable Casserole

When Amanda mentioned mug cakes multiple times last week I noticed I hadn’t shown any of them for a while anymore myself. Though they’re still an almost daily happening over here. But to mix things up a little I decided to venture from my stand-by peanut chocolate version to a more seasonal treat: Gingerbread Chocolate Mug Cake.

Gingerbread Chocolate Mug

I’m ambivalent about sharing the recipe for this. Not to say it wasn’t truly delicious but it’s just not perfect. It doesn’t rise evenly or a lot at all and isn’t pretty. Yet I’m fine with taste alone and therefore won’t alter the recipe anymore – call me lazy, I call it favouring taste over appearance. And yes, it is delicious.

Gingerbread Mug Cake

Nothing like ending a post on a sweet note and I may or may not need to bake microwave another one of these as WIAW reading fuel. Because you’d better not click through the endless temptation over at Jenn’s on an empty stomach :).

Happiness inducing today: My sister and I lending each other a hand in a respective project on either side. Class work for her, applications for me.

Are there any foods you only like when prepared a certain way?

What are some of your favourite high-volume non-sandwich [I knoow but I’m really not a fan] office lunches? I’ll be joining the working forces again on Monday – woot, woot!

Mug cake recipe: Share despite imperfection in looks or not? I’m such a perfectionist about appearance though it tastes good already.

wiaw fall into good habits buttonYay me for keeping up with my promise of using up the produce on hand and not even in the most boring way if I dare say so myself.