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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Root Vegetables Roast ( A Vegan Side for Christmas Dinner )

As I opened today's newspapers, a disturbing piece of news caught my attention. Farmers in UP are being forced to plough their potato produce into the fields, dump them on the roadsides or even abandon them outside the cold storage facility for lack of buyers. Before you dismiss this as yet another side-effect of the much debated 'demonetization' policy of the Modi government, I need to remind you that the story has been much the same every time there is a bumper harvest. India still needs to figure out how to store it's surplus produce and facilitate an effective distribution channel to ease the hunger problems of the poor. Especially potatoes, which are increasingly seen as one of the most cost effective solutions for solving world hunger.

While grains have long been the mainstay of the population in most countries, the yield of these are currently stagnating after reaching a peak thanks to the green revolution. And in turn, that is causing the prices to spike to levels that have been unheard of. In comparison, spuds or potatoes have never received enough attention and they continue to be farmed in an inefficient manner in most parts of the world. Apart from being a good source of nutrients, potatoes take less effort and time to cultivate which is why the scientists have been focused on developing varieties they can survive and thrive in the most trying climatic conditions. No wonder we have countries like India, China, Peru and Malawi cultivating the potato in huge numbers. In fact, one of the shining example of the tuber being effectively utilized to solve nutritional deficiency comes from Uganda. A GM version of the sweet potato is being used to deliver the daily Vitamin A requirements of their children in order to prevent child stunting. It is high time we adopt and popularize this wonderful vegetable !

On my part, I am very fond of tubers, especially the ones available during the winter months like the sweet potato and yams. Combining them with root vegetables and doing a quick roast is an easy way to include more of it in your diet. Since they are quite popularly used in the pot roast prepared during Christmas, I decided to do my own vegan take on it. Here is the recipe which turned out to be just yummy -







Preparation Time - 45 mins

Ingredients -


  • 1 cup peeled and cubed potatoes
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed  sweet potato
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed carrot
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed beetroot
  • 1 cup cubed pumpkin/squash (retain skin)
  • 3-4 garlic heads
  • 1 tbsp mustard oil
  • a drizzle of honey
  • sprinkling of dried rosemary
  • sprinkling of dried oregano
  • a dash of rock/sea salt
  • a dash of freshly ground pepper
  • rind from one orange ( optional )


Preparation - Separate the beets from the rest of the vegetables as we don't want the pink juices to stain everything. Chop the garlic heads into halves along the length.

Mix the oil, honey and seasonings in a cup.

Cooking - Heat an oven to 200 C . Spread the vegetables over a tray taking care to use a separate one for the beets.

Place in the oven for 6-7 mins or till they begin to look a little tender .

Remove from oven. Add the dressing, toss to coat the vegetables evenly and put it back into the oven at 200 C.

After about 20 mins, throw the orange rind ( roughly torn ) over the vegetables in the first tray.

Wait for 5-6 mins and then remove the first tray containing the vegetables . Let the beets roast for another another 10-15 mins.

Remove and mix together.

Serve as a side with your Christmas meal.




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