It’s time to turn the oven on: studies show that roasting your veg not only makes for a comforting autumnal dinner but also boosts the nutritional value of your meal. In this dish, the absorption of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that prevents cell damage, is increased more than six times by cooking the carrots into a sweet show-stopper.
Combined with high-protein quinoa and chickpeas and vitamin E-filled pecans to support muscle repair, you’ve got yourself an easy meal that just happens to be chock-full of all the post-workout nutrition you need. Carrot sticks and hummus, you can wait ‘til summer returns…
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Energy bar recipe: fruit and nut bars that require only four ingredients
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 20 minutes
MAKES: 4 servings
250g carrots, cut into batons
1 red and 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 2-cm strips
1 red onion, cut into 8 wedges
2 tbsp light olive or rapeseed oil
1 tsp za’atar spice or dried thyme
125g quinoa and bulgur (cracked) wheat mixture or 250g packet cooked quinoa
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
50g pecans, toasted
A small handful of fresh coriander or parsley, chopped, plus extra to serve
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
100g soft goats’ cheese, crumbled (optional)
Preheat the oven to 200 °C/fan 180 °C/gas mark 6.
Toss the carrots, peppers and onion, oil, za’atar and seasoning in a roasting tin. Make sure the tin is large enough so the vegetables are in a single layer.
Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes until the vegetables are slightly charred on the outside and tender in the middle.
Meanwhile, cook the quinoa and bulgur wheat according to the packet instructions.
Toss the roasted vegetables into the warm grains.
Fold in the chickpeas, pecans, coriander or parsley and lemon juice, then season to taste.
Mound onto a plate, top with a little extra coriander or parsley and crumbled goats’ cheese, if using.
Recipe extracted from award-winning nutritionist Anita Bean’s new cookbook Vegetarian Meals in 30 Minutes (Bloomsbury, £17).
Image: Claire Winfield
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