Eating a salad on a cold, snowy day may seem counter-intuitive.
But what about a warm veggie salad?
Bright, happy colours and warm goodness. Perfect.
But before we get to the recipe,
Why eat orange food?!
What gives our fruits and veggies such beautiful colours are compounds known as: CAROTENOIDS.
Orange and yellow pigment is brought to you by the carotenoids: LUTEIN and ALPHA/BETA CAROTENE (that should be read with a Kermit the Frog voice, by the way).
LUTEIN: This carotenoid is mainly concentrated in the peripheral part of your retina. Lutein is linked to optimal vision and has been shown to lessen macular degeneration (age-related vision loss) due to damage to the retina. This guy also helps your skin by keeping it hydrated.
ALPHA/BETA CAROTENE: These carotenoids convert retinol into the active form of VITAMIN A. This is used by the body to protect cells from free radical damage, enhances your immune system and supports a healthy reproductive system.
**It is important to remember that carotenoids are fat soluble. This means that they need to be eaten with some healthy fat. So, for example, your red tomato sauce will serve you better if you add some extra virgin olive oil to it, or finish it with a swirl of flax seed oil**
ROASTED SWEET PEPPERS AND CARROTS WITH HAZELNUTS AND PUMPKIN SEEDS.
(adapted from Whole Living Magazine)
2 orange peppers, halved and seeded
8 medium carrots, trimmed, scrubbed and halved lengthwise (don't peel them!)
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or grapeseed oil
coarse sea salt (at least 3/4 teaspoon) and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas - shelled. The green ones!)
2 Tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
oranges - navel and/or clementine
Preheat oven to 425. Place the peppers and carrots in a large shallow baking dish (or big bowl) and drizzle 2 Tablespoons of the oil over them. Sprinkle 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 8-10 grinds of pepper over top. Toss until coated evenly and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for at least 20 minutes - until golden brown. Flip them halfway through.
In the meantime, put the hazelnuts and seeds in a pan over med-high heat. Shake them a bit, just to dry toast them a little.
Divide the veggies on 4 plates, sprinkle the nuts and seeds over them along with crumbled feta.
Whisk together the remaining oil, the vinegar and honey - along with a couple of pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Adjust the flavour to your liking.
Drizzle over the veggies. Slicing up some orange and adding to the plate is very pretty, so go for it. Especially if you are looking to impress some guests!!