Tag Archives: carrots

Herb-Roasted Root Veggies

I’ve been LOVING the fall veggies this year.  That means much experimenting with cooking and combining them in different ways with awesome results!  This is a simple mixture of roasted root veggies that you can mix and match however you’d like.  I used beets, white sweet potatoes and carrots, but if you like something else better (or don’t like some that I used), any root vegetables would work great in this.  I do this all the time with regular potatoes or just carrots, but this is definitely a nice twist.  The sweeter veggies actually caramelize as they cook, making this a sweet and savory treat indeed.  My kids gobbled up huge piles of these.  If you’re looking for an interesting but easy side dish for Thanksgiving, look no further.  These are as gorgeous to look at as they are delicious.

Herb-Roasted Root Veggies.  As beautiful as they are delicious!

Herb-Roasted Root Veggies. As beautiful as they are delicious!

Herb-Roasted Root Veggies

1 large white sweet potato
2 large beets
6 large carrots
Olive oil
Fresh herbs (I used rosemary, thyme and sage), chopped
Salt & pepper

Heat oven to 400˚.  Peel vegetables and chop into similar size pieces (about the size of a french fry).  Lay out on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Scatter herbs on top, add a dash of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.  Toss about with your fingers and spread out evenly.

All ready to roast.  Minimal tossing will prevent the beets from turning everything pink.

All ready to roast. Minimal tossing will prevent the beets from turning everything pink.

Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once about halfway through.  Veggies are done when they are tender and starting to brown on the edges.  Serves 4.

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Not Quite My Grandma’s Pot Roast

Sunday dinners at my Grandpa & Grandma Percival’s house when I was growing up almost always followed the same menu.  Pot roast with potatoes, corn, salad and a weird jello and fruit concoction that still shows up at every family dinner even though no one seems to actually like it.  My grandma was never really known for her cooking, but I always loved this meal.  To this day, pot roast is one of my favorite foods.

What my grandma is really known for is her frugality.  I wish I had absorbed a little more of that, but one thing I did learn from her was how to make the most of inexpensive ingredients in the kitchen.  She could take what was probably the cheapest, toughest piece of meat and turn it into something wonderful.  Her secret?  Give it a good sear on the stovetop, then in the oven for a nice, slow cook at a low temperature.  It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of roast you start out with, the results are always perfectly tender and flavorful.

Grandma usually just used a little water or broth for cooking liquid.  I’m sure she would gasp in horror at wasting wine in this manner, but I love the extra flavor it lends to the meat and veggies and it makes it all even more tender.  The meat just falls apart and melts in your mouth.  I love the way carrots taste when they are cooked with it, and it seems like we always fought over the carrots so I put in a lot.  You can add potatoes too if you have room in your cooking pot, or just cook them separately.  I wanted garlic smashed potatoes to go with this to make the most of the gravy, so I did them on the stovetop by themselves while everything else cooked in the oven.

By the way, this also cooks nicely in a slow cooker if you don’t have time for this method.  I still sear the meat on the stove, then add all ingredients to the crock pot (cut cooking liquid in half).  Cook on low all day.

Not Quite My Grandma’s Pot Roast

Not Quite My Grandma’s Pot Roast

Chuck roast (or any kind of beef roast, whatever size you want, I usually use a 1-2 pound roast for my little family)
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 tbsp. butter
1 cup red wine
1 onion, sliced
2-4 cups baby carrots

Sprinkle roast with salt, pepper and rosemary and rub all over.

Pot Roast, rubbed with spices and searing in melted butter on the stove.

Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat and add butter to pan.  Swirl around to coat the pan and add the roast.  Cook 2-3 minutes until there is a good sear on the bottom, then using tongs or a fork, turn roast over and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes.

Seared to perfection.

Heat oven to 350˚.  Sprinkle onion slices on top of the roast and pour wine over the whole thing.

Ready to go in the oven.

Cover and place in oven.  Cook for 1 hour.  Add carrots (and potatoes, if you want) to the pan and cover again. Reduce heat to 250˚.  Cook another 2 hours at least.

Remove roast and veggies and put on a serving platter, reserving juice in the pan.

To make gravy:  In a small bowl or cup mix 1 cup water or milk (I usually use half of each) with 1 tbsp. cornstarch using a fork or whisk until there are no lumps.  Bring reserved roast juices to a boil, scraping any bits of stuff off the bottom and sides of the pan as well.  Add cornstarch mixture and stir constantly with a whisk until thickened.  Taste and add salt & pepper if needed.  Serve with roast and veggies.

One of my favorite dinners of all time. Pot roast with carrots and garlic smashed potatoes & gravy.

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Kaleidoscope Salad

Every once in a while you hear someone say something is “just too pretty to eat.”  Are you kidding me?  I love eating pretty food.  The prettier the better.  But I have little patience for fancy food styling.  When you use food that is pretty to begin with though, there isn’t much need for that.  The colors in this salad reminded me of a kaleidoscope, bright and beautiful, turning round and round.  The fact that eating a variety of colors is a healthy thing to do and that it all tastes amazing together…well that’s just a bonus.

Kaleidoscope Salad. So pretty!

Kaleidoscope Salad

Salad (per serving):
3-4 small fresh beets
3/4 cup sliced carrots
1 cup romaine lettuce, torn or chopped
1/2 cup fresh or canned mandarin oranges (drained if you are using canned)
2 tbsp. goat cheese

Dill Vinaigrette:
5 tbsp. vinegar (I used a combo of apple cider and red wine vinegar)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dijon mustard
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp. minced shallots

Roast beets in the oven at 400˚ for about 30 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork.  Take out and let cool.  Peel and slice.  Meanwhile, mix all vinaigrette ingredients in a bowl.  Toss about half the dressing with sliced carrots and beets.  Build your salad starting with a bed of romaine.  Add carrots and beets, surround with oranges and dot with goat cheese.  Drizzle extra dressing over the top if desired.  If you have dressing left over after that, it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 days.  Put it on eggs, salad, veggies or fish!

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