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Maple Roasted Carrots with Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce

When your boyfriend willingly chooses to snack on carrots straight out the fridge, you know you’ve made a winning recipe. As a dietitian, few things give me more satisfaction than seeing people genuinely enjoy eating vegetables. When prepared thoughtfully, vegetables can easily be the most delicious part of your meal!

Many people I’ve talked to grew up having pretty boring vegetables! If I were served a plate of plain steamed or boiled broccoli, I wouldn’t be too excited about things either. When teaching people how to prepare vegetables they enjoy, I have two big tips. The first is to change the way you are preparing your veggies. My favorite way to cook veggies is roasting them in the oven! The high dry heat coaxes out the flavor, caramelizes them, and adds an irresistible crispy texture. Also, try roasting veggies at a higher temperature than you are used to doing. Instead of 350 degrees, try 400! I generally roast in the 400-425 degree range to really maximize flavor. My second tip is to master a few sauces to drizzle over cooked veggies. A good sauce transforms even steamed veggies into something really delicious. Some of my favorites I have in my back pocket are peanut sauce, sesame ginger sauce and pesto! Sauces may seem intimidating, but they are actually quite simple and come together quickly.

These carrots are both roasted and topped with a new favorite sauce recipe – packing DOUBLE the flavor punch! I added some maple syrup to the carrots before roasting, which really elevates their flavor and brings out their natural sweetness. This ginger beet tahini sauce is super creamy, zingy and versatile. It would be great served with other vegetables, drizzled on a grain bowl, or as a creamy salad dressing!

Ingredients:

Carrots

  • 2 small bunches of carrots, tops removed and scrubbed
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley and ¼ cup crushed pistachios for garnishing

Ginger Beet Tahini Sauce

  • ½ cup tahini
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 small Love Beets organic cooked beets + juice from package
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees F.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Add carrots to baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil and maple syrup. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat carrots evenly.
  3. Roast for 40-45 minutes until carrots are fork tender and beginning to caramelize, turning carrots halfway through.
  4. While carrots cook, prepare the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add water, 1 tbsp at a time as necessary to aid blending.
  5. Arrange carrots on a serving platter. Drizzle with beet tahini sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley and crushed pistachios. Serve warm. These carrots are also delicious cold, so if you have leftovers, save them to munch on or throw into salads!

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Dreamy Pink Beet + White Bean Dip

First recipe of 2019! I hope you all had a happy New Year’s Eve and are feeling ready to conquer any goals you may have set for yourself. I’m not huge on resolutions, but I am committed to using less plastic this year! Have you guys set any for 2019?

New Years is probably the most popular time for people to pursue health and wellness goals. I applaud anyone who is seeking to better their health! I hope you are able to create lasting lifestyle changes during your journey.

One thing I’ve noticed on social media is people partaking in restrictive eating patterns for the month of January, in an effort to kick off better health. I’ve specifically seen people dedicating the month to consuming no sugar and Whole30. While it is very beneficial to limit added sugars, and while Whole30 does include healthy, nutrient dense foods, these patterns are hardly sustainable for the long term. When we restrict ourselves completely from having certain food groups, we may miss out on important nutrients, and we may also miss out on a little bit of life! Eating should always be a balance between nourishment and enjoyment. We should be giving our bodies what they need, but also what they crave. I believe it is this balance that allows us to maintain good physical and mental health, because it cultivates a healthy relationship with food.

So, if you guys were considering eliminating entire food groups for the month, I encourage you instead to focus on what you can ADD to your diet for better health! Maybe that means you try 3 new vegetables this month, or switch up the type of whole grain you usually make with dinner. This could also mean finding creative ways to add nutrient dense foods to dishes. Adding greens to smoothies, zucchini noodles to pasta dishes or BEETS to a homemade dip are all simple, fast ideas.

I made this white bean dip to snack on for the week, and it is the prettiest shade of pink, thanks to the addition of beets! This root veggie sometimes gets a bad rap for tasting earthy (I happen to love the taste), but it really is a nutrition powerhouse. Beets are high in nitrates, which, when converted into nitric acid in the body, can lower blood pressure. They are also high in antioxidants! If you’d like to include beets in your diet for the health benefits, but aren’t keen on the taste, try this dip! You really can’t taste the beet flavor, thanks to the delicious lemon juice, tahini, garlic and spices.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium cooked beet, roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Crackers and veggie sticks for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a blender or food processor, combine ingredients and puree until smooth.
  2. Serve with crackers, pita or veggies for dipping.

Can be stored in the fridge for 4-5 days after making.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

Green Goddess Tahini Sauce

What do you guys include in your weekly meal prep sessions? A couple protein sources, roasted veggies, and a big batch of grains are key. But how do you make your meals super flavorful and eliminate boredom as the week progresses? Sauces and dressings! I love to include one or two different sauces in my weekly recipe round up. It may seem intimidating, but you really can make your favorite peanut sauce at home in less than 10 minutes. I sometimes even wait until the night I cook a meal to whip up a sauce to go with it.

Why make your own sauces, instead of buying them pre-made? Making your own sauces/dressings at home is empowering from a nutrition standpoint, as it allows you to control exactly what ingredients you’re adding. You can eliminate pro-inflammatory oils, excess added sugars and preservatives.

I currently have a batch of mustardy champagne vinaigrette and this delicious Green Goddess Tahini Sauce in my fridge. This is the first time I’ve made this sauce, and Ben and I can’t get enough! It’s wonderful used as a dressing for kale salads and drizzled over roasted veggies. It would also be a great dipping sauce for homemade falafel or sweet potato fries. There are only a few simple ingredients, and all you do is add them to a blender! I created the recipe in my NutriBullet Balance blender and smartphone app, which calculated the nutrition information in real time! So, so easy.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup smooth tahini
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup fresh cilantro
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Drizzle over just about anything!

This recipe will keep in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. If you make it, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see you creations! 🙂