Roasted Carrot + Parsnip Soup & Brussels Sprout, Apple + Golden Beet Salad with Mustard Maple Dressing
Balancing sweet and savoury. This roasted root vegetable soup hints at sweetness and pairs so well with a hearty, seed-filled bread. A touch of nutmeg warms things up to holiday-table potential. The salad, also, would be a nice addition to a celebratory meal but is just as happy served for a lunch or dinner accompaniment. Both are gluten free and vegan.
December has only just begun and I already have Christmas menu-planning on the brain. The calendar is already booked up for every weekend until after Christmas: family get togethers, Christmas tree cutting, work dinners and parties, a friend's housewarming, December birthdays (so unfortunate, especially my Christmas Eve nephew), and other gatherings with friends. All of this, and all I want to do is cozy up and relax.
For the last week, I've been battling a sore throat, congestion, and shooting pain in my ear. My oil of oregano (and tea tree, frankincense, lavender and clary sage essential oils) are in full rotation, as is my neti pot. The turmeric tea, echinacea tea, and some sort of honey-based Chinese medicine cough syrup go everywhere I do - flask in hand and purse loaded up. I'm taking extra vitamin D, had two days off work, and still ... not well, and not sleeping much. I bet the two go hand-in-hand. With a mind steadily focused on (or begging for?) wellness, I'm looking for ways to keep calm and balanced in the season of celebration. Balance, while my mind is spinning about what to bake and what to prepare for every gathering, how to decorate my home and what sort of treats or small gifts to surprise my guests with. I wonder if it's possible to both fully engage in all the of the festivities, while maintaining good health in body and mind? It's much too easy to become swept up in the hectic pace, but I'm going in with careful attention to my own energy reserves. I'm also trying to be mindful of what I eat, drink, and anything that I can do to make the next month a little bit easier ... good luck to you all, as I know I'm not the only one.
Roasted Carrot + Parsnip Soup
3 cups carrots, chopped into 1" pieces
2 cups parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic, in their papery skins
1 shallot, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp macadamia nut, avocado, or other high heat-tolerant oil
1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more for seasoning the coup
1 1/2 cups light coconut milk, canned
1 cup water
1/8 - 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
extra coconut milk, nutmeg, and hazelnut oil to garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the garlic cloves with 1/4 teaspoon of macadamia oil, and wrap in foil. Place on the baking sheet.
Toss the chopped carrots and parsnips with macadamia nut oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and spread onto the prepared baking sheet. Place the tray in the oven for 30-35 minutes until cooked through and lightly browned, turning halfway through.
In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallot and a pinch of sea salt and sauté until softened. Add the roasted vegetables and nutmeg and stir to coat. Squeeze the roasted garlic from its skins and add to the pot. Add the water and coconut milk and an extra pinch of sea salt, and bring to a simmer. Cook for a few minutes to bring the flavours together, then puree in the pot with an immersion blender or by transferring to a blender and blending on high until completely smooth. This is a thick soup, so if you prefer add extra water or coconut milk to thin.
Divide into bowls to serve. Drizzle with a little coconut milk, oil, and a sprinkle of nutmeg to serve.
Brussels Sprout, Apple & Golden Beet Salad with Mustard Maple Dressing
2 cups purple or green brussels sprouts, washed and ends trimmed
1 small golden beet, peeled and cut into matchsticks (julienned)
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced, plus extra to garnish
1/2 a small honey crisp apple, sliced thinly
3 tbsp raw pumpkin seeds, plus extra to garnish
Thinly slice brussels sprouts with a knife or with a mandolin. Gently toss to combine with the golden beet, pumpkin seeds, green onions, and apple. Pour over the Mustard Maple Dressing and toss to combine. Serve with extra green onion and pumpkin seeds.
Mustard Maple Dressing
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp flaxseed oil (or use olive oil instead)
a big pinch of sea salt
Combine the mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and salt in a small bowl. Whisk in the olive and flaxseed oils. Toss with salad and serve.
How are you planning to manage the upcoming celebratory season? Leave a comment - I always love to hear from you! xx