Do you like root vegetables? Do you use them often? I used to use them sparingly, until on New Year’s Day I decided to roast a selection of root vegetables as a side dish. It was devoured! Some members of my family got up for second helpings of vegetables.
Since then, roasted root vegetables have become one of my staples for Sunday lunch.
Are root vegetables good for you?
The yellow-orangish root vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are loaded with beta-carotene, which is either converted into vitamin A in the body or acts as an antioxidant protecting you against harmful free radicals.
Beetroots are super good for you. They are very high in iron and folate. They also contain nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants. Recent studies suggest that beetroots can help lower blood pressure.
Fennel is another bulbous vegetable which is high in vitamin C and fibre. It has a sweet taste of licorice. The entire plant is edible and it makes a fresh, crunchy addition to salads. Roasting brings out the sweetness of the vegetable, although admittedly it loses some of its nutrients through cooking.
Some root vegetables are higher in sugars than others. Or shall I say, they have a high GI which means their sugars enter the blood stream quickly. However, eaten in small to moderate amounts and accompanied by foods, predominantly high in fibre, the effect of the sugar content is slowed down, significantly.
To accompany the roasted root vegetables, today I chose an ingredient which is high in protein and fibre – pasta made with red lentil flour. I also added zucchini to help digestion and add ‘green’ to my plate.
An unusual plate of pasta bulked up with sweet roast vegetables and zucchini. I served it warm, but it is equally tasty served at room temperature.
- 160 grms Pasta made with red lentil flour
- 190 grms Sweet potato
- 100 grms New potatoes
- 120 grms Onions
- 150 grms Carrots
- 150 grms Parsnips
- 250 grms Fennel bulb
- 300 grms Zucchini
- 40 grms Garlic
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 tbsp Ground cumin
- 1 tbsp Ground coriander
- 2 tbsp Parsley (chopped)
- Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 240o C. Peel the onions, scrub the root vegetables and chop into equal size pieces. Do not peel the garlic head.
Line a roasting dish with heavy duty foil and place the vegetables in a single layer. You may need to use a couple of dishes, but keep vegetables in a single layer, because otherwise they steam not roast.
Drizzle vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle with ground cumin, coriander and pepper.
Roast in warm oven for 25-30 minutes, turning vegetables over every 10 minutes to ensure even cooking.
Whilst roasting the vegetables, bring a small pot of water to the boil. Add 1/2 tsp of cooking salt and add the pasta. Stir, and follow cooking instructions on the packet. (The pasta I used required 5-7 minutes for al dente pasta). Drain.
When the vegetables are roasted, peel the garlic and add the cloves to the rest of the vegetables. Serve with warm pasta and a good sprinkle of chopped parsley.
Nowadays, supermarkets carry various gluten free pasta. I opted for one made from red lentil flour. It has no other flour added.
If you do not wish to use gluten free pasta, the recipe works well with wholegrain pasta.
You may add a tablespoon of dressing (extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and 1/2 tsp wholegrain mustard) to your pasta. This is optional as the roasting juices from the vegetables are enough to dress the pasta.