Healthier Baked & Roasted Christmas Tubers & Roots!

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep: 25-30 mins (Dependant upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Baking/Roasting: ≤45 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: 1 Large pot, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, 2 baking trays/tins, parchment paper/kitchen foil

Notes:

Would Christmas be the same without some tasty and easily prepared baked/roasted vege?! Nah! Where authentically roasted potatoes might make it to a lot of UK dining tables this Christmas, we have made some healthier ones that everyone can enjoy; ‘Free From’ with a flavourful twist- perfect!

Instead of roasting our potatoes in two inches of oil or goose fat (bleh- no way!), we have coated them in a delicious dressing of rapeseed oil, garlic salt and rosemary! I mean if you’re going to have some ‘baked’ potatoes on Christmas, they’re going to have to be super tasty; a lovely seasoning, slightly crispy skin and fluffy internal texture. 

As for our parsnips and carrots, they were seasoned with oil and maple syrup, but we are opting for some cheeky apricot and ginger (or perhaps spiced plum!) chutney on the big day! Yes, whole-roasted veggies that have with minimal prep, that can look quite ‘chefy’ on your plate when served and are absolutely sweet and delicious! 

Happy cooking and Happy Holidays everyone! 😀 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++1kg            Baby New Potatoes (or your favourite roasting potatoes!)
++++++++++++++600g        Parsnips
++++++++++++++600g        Carrots
++++++++++++++2                Sprigs Rosemary
++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp   Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++1 tsp          Garlic Salt
++++++++++++++                  Salt
++++++++++++++                  Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++1-2 tbsp    Maple Syrup or Apricot and Ginger or (Spiced Plum!) Chutney

 

Directions

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Chop any larger pieces into halves or quarters if necessary. Tip: Having your potatoes roughly the same time will help them cook at the same rate!

2. Place the potatoes into a large pot of cold water over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Allow them to cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Tip: This is par-boiling, great for cooking ease! 

3. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line two baking trays/tins with some parchment paper or kitchen foil (if necessary).

4. Wash and peel the parsnips. Wash and scrub the carrots. Wash the rosemary, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Tip: Save time and bake your root vegetables whole! 

5. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Allow them to dry (just slightly). Place them into a large mixing bowl. Pour over 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add 1 tsp of garlic salt. Add the rosemary. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Tip: Looking for a really low-fat option? Spray them (and your root vegetables!) with some low-fat cooking oil instead! 

6. Place the potatoes into one of the baking trays/tins in a single layer. Try and leave as much space as possible between them. Tip: Overcrowding your pan will cause your vegetables to steam rather than roast! 

7. Place the parsnips and carrots onto the other baking tray/tin in a single layer. Pour over 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil and 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup (or chutney). Using your hands, rub and coat the vegetables in the oil and syrup (or chutney). Season it with a few grinds of black pepper.

8. Place the potatoes onto the middle oven shelf and the parsnips and carrots onto the shelf below. Bake/roast the potatoes for 30-40 mins, or until cooked through and lightly browned and crispy; turning/tossing at least once. Bake the parsnips and carrots for 40-45 mins or until tender and lightly browned; turn at least once. Remove.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover veggies in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat (if preferred) and consume within 3-4 days.

Butternut Squash, Carrot & Chickpea Tagine

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep & Cooking Time: 65-70 minutes

Recipe adapted from: ASDA

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, iron, potassium and is low in salt and saturated fats. 

This recipe has so many wonderful flavours to offer… all of which were absorbed by the delicious veggies! We adapted this recipe from a supermarket magazine (that we were lucky enough to pick up last year!). Occasionally some of these free magazines will contain decent/healthy recipes…while other times their more about ‘product promotion’! Erm, just because the magazines have beautifully crafted a recipe (that happens to include a brand name sausage)…does not make it healthy…or even appealing for that matter (50p coupon on offer or not)!

The original recipe requests you to use a flame-proof casserole dish (which is good, as most people do not own a tagine!), but we cooked ours in a large/standard saucepan over our stove-top. 

We made this recipe a couple of times last year and as a result have changed the quantities of most of the ingredients used (especially when it comes to the spices!); we also added paprika and green beans, and omitted the use of olive oil. All in all, it’s a great, healthy, full-flavoured and inexpensive recipe that’s definitely worth all of the chopping involved! 🙂

 

Quick facts:

  • Here’s a snapshot regarding tagines! A tagine is quite similar to a rich ‘stew’ in consistency, but the taste encompasses all of the wonder warm flavours of Moroccan spices; this is because it is traditionally a North African dish. The word itself refers to the type of cookware (it’s a clay or ceramic dish with a distinctive conical top) that’s used to slow cook this classic stew; it can contain meat, fish or poultry along with dried fruits and vegetables that are cooked to a mouth-watering and succulent consistency. 

Tagines can be hand painted with painstakingly intricate and beautiful designs! The material itself (which is naturally porous unless treated) retains moisture whilst you cook; it also helps to retain all of the rich flavours from your stew (which will help intensify the flavours of your next meal)! The conical top helps let steam circulate (above and around the food) whilst the stew cooks; this also contributes to the rich flavours and tenderness of the dish. 

  • Our tagine recipe contains 6.5 portions of fruit/vegetables (per serving/*based on 4 servings) towards your 5-A-Day quota!

 

 

Most of the ingredients were prepped earlier that day! God bless inventions…a.k.a. …tupperware!

 

 

Ingredients:

 NB: When served with couscous, this dish is really filling!

 

 

Directions:

 Prep the vegetables. Peel and finely chop the onion. peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and cut the carrot into slices; if using a large carrot, chop into halves. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and mince the garlic. Drain and rinse the chickpeas (if applicable).

 

Dice the apricots.

 

 

Heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Add the onion. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the squash and carrot. Stir together. Cook for 2 minutes.

 

 

Add the ginger and garlic. Stir together. Cook for 1 minute.

 

 

Add the spices and water. Stir to coat.

 

 

Add the chickpeas, apricots, puree and tomatoes. Stir to combine.

 

 

Add the stock. Stir together.

 

 

Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

 

 

 In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat.

 

 

Add the nuts. Dry roast until lightly toasted. Remove.

 

 

Transfer into a small dish.

 

 

Meanwhile, snap the beans into halves/bite-sized pieces.

 

 

In the meantime, cook the couscous according to the packet instructions.

 

 

Add the beans when the tagine has almost finished cooking. Mix to combine. Cover with the lid. Continuing cooking for a further 4-5 minutes or until the beans are tender. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Allow the tagine to cool slightly. Leave covered until served.

NB: We find the flavours intensify once the meal has cooled down.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander.

 

 

Serve warm. Spoon the couscous into a lipped serving plate or bowl. Ladle over the tagine. Garnish with nuts, coriander and seeds.

 

 

Enjoy!

Leftovers! 🙂

 

 

Here is one we made last year with some GF couscous!

This GF couscous was corn-based. The consistency was quite similar to the original, but obviously the taste was completely different! We would recommend it though. We prepared it quite similarly to the cooking instructions of authentic couscous; the box instructions weren’t ideal (which seems to be the case with a lot of GF products)!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively freeze in a resealable container(s); defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: Leftovers are great because one, they saving you time on cooking (and cleaning!) and two, the flavours intensify (even if the meal has been previously frozen)! Do not freeze the couscous, nuts or seeds.

 

Sources: Melissa Guerra, About food and Lakeland

Carrot & Red Lentil Soup

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-5
Prep & Cooking Time: 50-60 mins

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, calcium, fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc no added sugar or oils and per serving is low in saturated fats!

This recipe produces a nutritious and vibrant bowl of soup! The lentils and almonds make an ordinary bowl of carrot soup very hearty, whilst the ginger and cumin provide a lovely and ‘warming’ taste- it definitely gets two huge thumbs up from us! 

We hope that you enjoy it as much as we did. Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g     Dried Red Spilt Lentils
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2L         Vegetable Stock (low-salt/DF/GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++760g    Carrots
+++++++++++++++++++++++++180g     White Onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g       Root Ginger
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g         Garlic Clove
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g       Ground Almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Ground Cumin

 

Directions:

  1. Wash, remove any stones or seeds and then prepare the lentils according to the packet instructions. Drain.

2. In the meantime, place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the stock. Bring to the boil.

3. Meanwhile, wash, peel, trim the ends and then slice the carrots. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and finely grate the garlic.

4. Add the carrots, onion, ginger and garlic to the saucepan. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Cook for 12 mins or until the carrots are tender.

5. Remove from the heat. Allow it to cool slightly.

6. In the meantime, place the lentils into another large saucepan or resealable container.

 

 

Ours went into this plastic tub for more quick and delicious lunches this week! 🙂

  1. Place the soup mixture into a blender or food processor.

2. Blend until puréed.

3. Transfer the puréed soup into the pan or container with the lentils. Stir together. Repeat steps one and two until all of your soup is puréed.

4. Add the ground nuts and cumin.

5. Stir together. Taste and season as necessary.

 

 

Place the pan over a medium-low heat (if applicable) and reheat.

Serve warm. Ladle into a serving bowl. Garnish with some: spice, ground black pepper, seeds or fresh herbs if desired.

NB: We used a sprinkle of: ground cumin, sunflower seeds and fresh coriander. 🙂

Enjoy!

 

If preferred…

  • Vary your ‘main’ vegetable! Instead of carrots, try using: sweet potatoes, butternut or acorn squash, red bell peppers or maybe some parsnips!
  • Add a little almond milk or soya yoghurt (just before reheating) for added calcium. Alternatively, try substituting some of the broth for almond milk.
  • Try using other earthy spices such as: dried coriander, turmeric, cardamom, cloves, paprika or a garam masala blend.
  • Spice it up with fresh chillies or chilli powder!
  • Serve it with some warmed GF bread, or try an oatmeal pita or rye bread (if you are not concerned about gluten!).