For those who already roast their veggies, this is just a new way to spice them up. If you’re new to roasting veggies, you are in for a treat. Roasting vegetables caramelizes them, bringing out their natural sweetness, and if you roast for long enough, your vegetables will turn out crispy and crunchy. Depending on what veggies you roast, sometimes it almost feels like you’re “cheating” on your diet.
Today I roasted sweet potatoes (**Note: Sweet potatoes are not Slow Carb approved unless you’re refuelling after an intense workout and under 20% bodyfat!)
Sweet potatoes really complement the exotic spice blend in this recipe – you get a hint of salty, spicy and sweet all at once. Plus, they’re full of fiber, nutrient dense and a much slower burning carb than white potatoes.
If you’re not at that phase in your fitness, you could try these out on cheat day for a healthy and benign cheat, or do this recipe with just about any vegetables. I’d recommend trying a mix of zucchini, onions and pumpkin. Cauliflower is also fantastic roasted. I let it get nice and crispy so it’s a bit like popping some potato chips.
1 t ground coriander
1/2 t ground fennel
1/2 t dried oregano
1/2 t dried red pepper flakes
sea salt, to taste
1 lb sweet potatoes or other veggies
3 Tbs oil of your choice (I use macadamia nut oil)
Mix spices and oil in a small bowl. Set aside. I prefer to use my own freshly ground spices. It takes about 15 seconds in a “rocket” type blender or just a minute or two with a mortar and pestle. If you use this method, make sure to set aside some whole coriander seeds that don’t get blended.
Cut vegetables into wedges or large slices. Place on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with spice mix, olive oil, and salt. Don’t skimp on the salt. Toss to evenly coat and spread potatoes in one layer with space between the pieces. Before putting them in the oven, I like to toss on some whole coriander seeds.
Roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender. Flip veggies once during cooking.
Spinach is a staple for most people on the Slow Carb Diet, but plain old spinach all the time can get a boring rather quickly. Here’s a quick little side dish I came up with to make the spinach a bit more enticing and possibly even the highlight of your meal.
Slow Carb Spinach and Bacon
1 Tbs macadamia nut oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
24 oz (about 10 cups or two 12oz bags) of raw baby spinach
1 cup chopped, diced bacon
Heat oil in a medium frying pan.
Add onions and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, 1-2 more minutes.
Add bacon and continue cooking until bacon is cooked through.
Add spinach in batches, and keep adding more as the spinach cooks down. You can add as much or as little as you want.
This is a great side dish to serve with your Slow Carb meals, especially when you’re having company for dinner. I was having guests over for a pork roast and wanted a side dish that could replace mashed potatoes (not an easy feat!)
I decided a pumpkin and carrot mash would give our plates some nice color, plus pumpkin is low in calories and loaded with fiber and antioxidants.
Pumpkin isn’t as common to cook with in the US as it is in Australia, but I’ve really enjoyed incorporating it into my cooking recently. If you haven’t cooked with pumpkin before, you’ll be pleased to find it’s really easy and can be done in so many different ways.
I couldn’t find a recipe I liked so I decided to create my own and add a carrot to give it some extra sweetness. This one turned out really well… we didn’t have a drop left at the end of the night. Even my friend’s 4 year old was asking for seconds.
Feel free to adjust proportions if you want, or even leave out the carrots to reduce the sugar in the recipe.
½ a medium to large pumpkin (I use gray or kent – NOT a Halloween jack-o-lantern pumpkin. Or you can use butternut squash, which may be easier to find.