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Maple roasted root vegetables

This warm winter meal is full of roasted vegetables flavored with maple syrup and smoked paprika, served on kale for a healthy vegetarian dinner!

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    A drizzle of maple syrup in the last minutes of roasting gives root vegetables an extra special sweetness.
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It recently came to my attention that not everyone knows about roasting vegetables. It’s just not a method some people use, I guess! I used to be that person, but then I discovered roasting and realized it’s basically the best way to cook veggies — and then I promptly forgot what life was like pre-roasting. If you’re not a roaster: get on it!

This recipe is so easy, and the maple syrup takes the already-sweet (from roasting) veggies up a notch for a quasi-dessert-ish vegetable experience. Maybe that’s stretching it, but seriously: These are some tasty veggies!

This recipe, as with most things I post here, leaves a lot of room for personalization. I used sweet potatoes, beets, parsnips, and carrots. You could use whatever else you want — just think about how big to cut it in relation to how long it will take to cook. I like to throw all of my veggies together and cook them for the same amount of time, but occasionally I’ll add something that takes less time towards the end (like asparagus). You’ll get the hang of it!

Recommended: 5 recipes to turnip the beet

The maple in this recipe is a bonus for the veggies — not something I do very often. I literally just roasted them for 30 minutes, took them out and drizzled maple syrup over them, gave them a quick toss to coat, and returned to roast for another 15 minutes. That’s it. Easy. As for the kale: chop it up into small, manageable pieces. Drizzle a tad of olive oil on it, and massage for a minute. That’s it! You could steam it, if you want something hot.

If you want in on a guilty little secret: I’ve been eating this all week with a healthy (read: large) dollop of ricotta on top ...  it’s so tasty! Hot veggies, cool cheese, sweet maple, crunchy walnuts: YES! Enjoy!

Maple roasted root vegetables
Serves: 3-4

4 cups chopped root vegetables (I used beets, parsnips, sweet potato, and carrot)
1-1/2 teaspoon olive oil (divided)
Salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup toasted walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. and line a baking pan with foil.

2. Toss the vegetables in 1 teaspoon olive oil with a liberal amount of salt & pepper, plus the smoked paprika. Spread in an even layer on the baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes*.

3. After 30 minutes, drizzle the syrup over the veggies and stir briefly to coat them. Bake for another 15 minutes, or until the pieces are fork-tender.

4. While the veggies are cooking, add the final 1/2 teaspoon of oil to the kale and use your hands to massage for about 1 minute.
To serve, top the kale with the veggies and walnuts!

Notes: Cook time will greatly depend on the veggies you choose, and the size of the pieces. I cut my roots into fairly large (1" sq) pieces. You want to add the maple syrup about 15 minutes before they'll be done, so be aware!

Related post on The Kitchen Paper: Fried Polenta, Avocado, & Poached Egg Breakfast (plus, KALE!)

The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of food bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by The Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own and they are responsible for the content of their blogs and their recipes. All readers are free to make ingredient substitutions to satisfy their dietary preferences, including not using wine (or substituting cooking wine) when a recipe calls for it. To contact us about a blogger, click here.

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