Posted by: thehungryrunner | January 18, 2011

Easy Roasted Carrots and Parsnips: Way to get back to your roots!

It’s funny how the palette just gravitates towards hearty, warm, more savory foods and tastes when winter is settling in.  In summer, I Roasted parsnips and carrotshad zero interest in carrots any other way but raw (or juiced, yum).  Ditto for zucchini, yellow squash, and sugar snap peas.  Now, my default mode is to seek all the various cooked versions of these foods; no desire for raw.  I’m definitely a creature influenced by weather!

Lately, I’ve been exploring not just baked, roasted, grilled, sauteed, etc. vegetables, but also, those vegetables that aren’t normally a part of my grocery shopping “radar.”  And one of my favorite recent “discoveries” (or is it “re-coveries,” given I’d eaten them a looooong time ago?) is the unexpected tastiness of roasted parsnips!  I don’t know what I was expecting; perhaps because they resemble “light yellow carrots” to my eye, I was expecting something akin to a paler, less flavorful carrot.  Instead, what came out of the oven was a satisfyingly dense, filling, flavorful chew, reminiscent of French Fries (for the lengthwise cuts I’d made) or thick potato chips  (for the disk-shaped slices I’d made).  I found myself instantly hooked, and had to chuckle when one day, I was driving home from work, eagerly craving my “fix” of roasted parsnips.  Parsnips!  And this, from a dyed-in-the-wool dessert addict!  And not much oil is needed, so the calories stay low.  Low calorie and filling, a win-win for me!

Then I got to thinking….If roasted parsnips are this good, and roasted carrots equally “roastable” albeit with a different taste and texture, why not incorporate the two in the same dish?  It offers more of everything — color, nutrients, crunchiness, flavors.  And I’m finding that the cook time is pretty much the same, though at times I’ve experimented with giving the parsnips about a 5-minute jumpstart.  The best of both worlds, my original favorite veggie with my latest fixation!

So…Here it is, an easy, low-calorie recipe for “getting back to one’s roots”:

Easy Roasted Carrots and Parsnips

  • 1-2 large carrots
  • 1-2 parsnips
  • 1-2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste (I’m also having good luck with Moroccan spices, so you can experiment here)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Wash the carrots and parsnips, and peel the parsnips.  Cut the carrots lengthwise into strips — about 1/4 inch thick apiece.  For parsnips that have a “wide” part, cut that part width-wise, into 1/4-inch disk-shaped slices.  For the part of the parsnip that’s longer and thinner, cut into the same lenghwise shapes as the carrot.  Put the parsnips and carrots in a plastic storage container, along with the olive oil, salt and pepper, and/or whatever other seasoning you’d like to experiment with.  Close the lid and shake well to evenly coat the carrots and parsnips.  Lay out the pieces on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, and place uncovered in the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on them, so that if either vegetable starts to overcook/burn, you’re ready to take them out right away.  There should be some browning on the edges, but not too much.

Remove from oven and enjoy while hot.  Makes 1-2 servings, depending on the size portion you’d like.

I hope you enjoy these roots as much as I am!


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