You can never have too many quick and easy vegetable sides. Think outside the box a bit with this roasted carrots with lentils recipe. Featuring crunchy, roasted lentils and sweet carrots over ricotta and Asiago cheese, it’s a divine combination of textures and flavors.
There are many reasons to love vegetables, but hands-down my favorite reason is that they have to be one of the easiest ways to add quick flavor, texture, and color to any meal you make.
This weekend, I needed easy. I had just gotten back from a work trip and my husband was off on his latest work adventure. Our boys, well they were home with me, schedule relatively unchanged and bellies hungry, like clock work at 11:00 am.
I did a quick search around our kitchen for foods on hand. There wasn’t much. Amidst all the traveling and an apparently ill-timed beginning-of-the-week grocery shopping trip, food was scarce. Lucky for us, this special schedule combination lead to recipe creation. A sweet spot if you will; where foods forgotten reign the pantry and items in your fridge begin to give you pause.
As I pursued my kitchen for random, about-to-go-bad ingredients, I stumbled onto a very large heap of carrots. I don’t even really remember what I bought them for, but they definitely needed to be incorporated into some sort of dish right away.
Carrots are actually one of my kids favorite vegetables. Seriously – they actually ASK for carrots at the grocery store. Hmm… now that I think about it, that’s probably why a bunch of carrots are in my fridge… for the children!
And as far as vegetables go, carrots are good ones to love. They are rich in fiber, vitamin A (the orange color gives it away) and potassium. Plus, for every two medium-sized carrots you eat, you can cross off a whole serving of vegetables for the day. For kids, we’re looking at between 1 and 3 cup-sized servings a day. Grown-ups, you need at least 2 to 3. This recipe will help you get there, but not just because of the carrots.
My “secret” ingredient for extra veggie pizzazz? Lentils. Roasted lentils.
Not quite sure what lentils are? Well, technically they are a legume. And although you can roast them yourself, you don’t have to. On a recent trip to Detroit’s Eastern Market, my family and I picked up some ready-to-go roasted lentils courtesy of Simple Supple Foods.
They were delicious – good enough to eat all on their own. And we did. But they also work well in salads or mixed in to your favorite pasta or served on top of pizza. My sister, who taste tested this recipe for me, also recommends adding them to your next cup of cottage cheese for your next flavor-packed snack.
Worried about what you’ll find on the ingredient list of these ready-to-go-lentils? Simple Supple Foods is all about keeping it basic. Ingredients in the standard bag include: green lentils, red lentils, olive oil, garlic powder, pepper, salt.
They also paired wonderfully with sweet roasted carrots! In fact, I’m not sure I’ll ever eat roasted carrots without lentils ever again. And from a nutritional standpoint, the lentils bring their own nutrients to the party – protein, fiber, folate, and molybdenum (try saying that 10 times fast!).
Served a top ricotta and Asiago cheese, this dish was a flavorful powerhouse that doesn’t take long to prepare.
- 4 medium carrots, sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 cup roasted lentils
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Asiago cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter. Add honey and mix until well combined.
- Using a pastry brush, fully coat each carrot with honey butter mixture.
- Place carrots on parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 28-30 minutes, or until edges begin turning golden brown.
- While carrots are roasting, mix part-skim ricotta cheese with 1 Tablespoon of Asiago cheese.
- Plate ricotta/Asiago cheese mixture onto two separate plates, making sure servings are evenly divided. Sprinkle remaining Asiago cheese on top.
- Remove carrots from the oven and place four carrot slices on each plate, making sure to press slightly down into ricotta/Asiago cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle with lentils.
- Serve and enjoy!
Have you tried roasted lentils before?