Monday, November 30, 2009

Michelle's Kitchen in Toronto: Root Vegetables

Michelle (known on this blog as Mixeuur) is a former cooking school student who decided to ditch the sweat and heat to move to China where she lived for a year and a half. When not traveling to find new foods and adventures, Mixeuur can be found experimenting in her kitchen in Toronto, Canada. Her posts will periodically add some additional flavors to this new blog.

A bit about me: I’m a former cooking school student who decided to globetrot instead of slaving in a professional kitchen for a living. Thankfully, my two passions of travel and food pair together nicely! Within the last six months, I joined an internationally known weight loss program and have lost 50 lbs so far, so I’m always looking for healthy and flavorful things to make. I rarely follow a recipe unless baking so my dishes are very adaptable to many different ingredients.

In my savory cooking, I tend to be extremely seasonal in what I buy and make. I feel that if it grows together, cook it together! The season for root vegetables is upon us, and I must say that this is my favorite time of year in terms of veggies. The bounty of spring and summer are delicious, but if you’re looking for homey, warm you to your toes dishes, fall and early winter are where it’s at!

I love fresh beets and was trying to find more ways to use them in my cooking – which is where this recipe came from. Add a sweet potato and a parsnip and voila! I now make a version of this all the time and it’s always a crowd pleaser! A tip: chop all the veg as close to the same size as you can so they cook evenly.

Michelle’s Roasted Root Vegetables

1 medium sweet potato (6 oz) peeled and cubed
1 parsnip (3 oz) peeled and cubed
3 beets (8 oz) peeled and cubed
2-3 garlic cloves cut in large pieces (in half or quarters at the largest)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups chicken broth
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
2 bay leaves

Preheat oven to 375F. Put all the ingredients in a 9x11x2 inch pan and mix together so the vegetables are coated. Bake in the oven for 1 hour, mixing once or twice during cooking so they cook evenly.

Substitutions are encouraged with this dish! For example, instead of brown sugar, maple syrup is also delicious. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken (just don’t use beef stock. It imparts an odd flavour to this dish), or more of the cinnamon and cardamom if you like it more pungent. Don’t have cardamom? Use nutmeg or allspice.

Serves 4 as a side dish.



  1. That sounds easy and delicious! I am putting it on my menu for this weekend. Thanks!

  2. What a wondrous recipe. I totally heart beets, so I've made this like 5 times. The last 3 times I added potato and a parsnip and it was even more awesome. I even substituted at times, as you encouraged, which resulted in some divine flavours. Thanks awfully for this amazing dish - there should be more beet recipes out there!


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