Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sweet & Savory Roasted Root Vegetables

I'm a "dance to the beat of your own drum" kind of gal and that definitely applies to my cooking as well. I usually don't follow recipes and kind of just wing it. Sometimes it's a fail, but once in awhile I come across something that's ah-mazing—so of course I want to share it! When I bought parsnips and carrots, I had different plans for each of them. I love making peanut butter crusted parsnip fries. But since I had to use both sets of vegetables before they went bad, I decided to throw them together. Luckily they pair well together because they're both root veggies. I thought about sticking to the tried and true method of roasting veggies with olive oil and some herbs, but I was feeling kind of adventurous SO I present to you my recipe for...

2 medium-sized parsnips
5 medium-sized carrots
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 & 1/4 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
2/3 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup water

(Note: These measurements can be changed around. I didn't measure out exactly how much of each spice I used, but I stuck to using slightly more cumin than cinnamon and less thyme than cinnamon)

Pre-heat oven to 400˚F. Peel and chop veggies, making sure that they're no thinner than 1/3 cm and no thicker than 1 cm. For the thicker part of the parsnip, I cut the slices in half. In a medium-sized baking dish, toss around the veggies with the coconut oil and spices. You may need more coconut oil depending on how many veggies you're using, but make sure everything is lightly coated. Instead of using more oil, I used coconut oil spray to even it out. Once everything is mixed, go ahead and evenly add the water to the dish. This helps prevent the veggies from burning and also absorbing some of the water so it cooks faster. If you want your veggies crispy, use less water.

After about 25 minutes in the oven, take the dish out and mix the veggies around. Put back in the oven for about 20 more minutes. Depending on how you want the veggies, you may need to add a bit more water and/or leave them in for a few minutes longer.

Some tips: If you want them sweeter, I would use a bit more cinnamon. When in doubt, though, use less. You can always add more flavor after they're done, but if you end up using too much cumin or cinnamon you'll probably end up ruining the dish. If you're not a fan of the cinnamon/sweet combo, use some garlic instead! Also... when I made this, I may have forgotten to peel the veggies (oops). They were still edible though (since I washed them beforehand) so it's totally up to you!

Cooking is a science and I've always been bad at science, ha. Most of the time when I cook I rely on my instincts, so if you're like me I advise you to do the same. Everyone can learn to cook well, it just takes practice and experimenting!

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