If you haven’t heard of za’atar before, fear not – it is not an exclusive fruit, vegetable, grain or seed that is super expensive and hard to find. It’s a spice blend, which you can make yourself very easily! It has a nutty texture and a sweet yet sour lemony taste.
This is actually one of the simplest recipes I have posted on this blog, and the prep is simply some peeling, chopping and sprinkling and then bam – the oven does the rest of the work. It’s the type of meal you can make lots of and keep for a few days and doesn’t require much brain nor body, yet it’s incredibly healing.
I’ve made this dinner to be a grounding, nurturing, comforting yang meal, with uplifting herbs and spices to bring balance. As potatoes are a complex carbohydrate, they are incredibly calming – they bring that full, warm, comforted feeling. Beetroot is full of iron, which will help prevent that exhausted, achy, weak fatigue. Carrots are full of anti-oxidant vitamin A which will keep you on your feet.
Not only is this a wonderfully calming, balancing and nurturing meal to make for yourself, it’s blinkin tasty.
Firstly, the potatoes are roasted in garlic, pepper, apple cider vinegar and lots of mint. The root vegetables and courgettes are covered in za’atar, ginger and a squeeze of orange juice and roasted. The end result is a tangy, minty, uplifting, zingy mixture of textures. I then add a tahini & turmeric sauce on top to make it look more like I’m EATING RAINBOWS. Hell yaya. Also, if you’re new to the turmeric party, I suggest you have a look around my blog – I met with my friend Rosie for brunch today who told me that this blog has inspired a new found love for turmeric, and rightly so – turmeric is fast becoming recognized for it’s uses in treating depressive disorders. The active compound in turmeric, curcumin, has a huge range of medicinal benefits including being an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-oxidant. As well as this, curcumin is being looked into for alleviating the symptoms of mood disorders. Scientists say that curcumin may provide benefits for mental health disorders by regulating dopamine and serotonin production in the brain (for those of you who don’t know, those are your natural happy makers). Awesome.
I really feel like I’m doing myself a favor the more colorful the foods I am eating are. It’s amazing how simple it can be to do yourself some good. Even if this is the only time you’ve had to yourself today, take a moment to appreciate how these vegetables have made it onto your plate, the effort you took to create this dinner and the positive force in you that is taking the time to look after yourself. These little moments of appreciation of yourself, what nature provides for us and your actions can really help to bring you back into full bloom (for more thoughts on this, read my post about saying thank you). On top of this, you’ve just filled yourself with a beautifully grounding and nourishing meal.
Ingredients (for 3 people)
- 4 small-medium potatoes, diced
- 1 large beetroot, chopped into sticks
- 1 large carrot, chopped into small sticks
- 1 courgette, chopped into sticks
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 knob of ginger, diced
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- the juice, zest and pulp of 1/2 an orange
- 1 tsp dried mint leaves (or 4-5 fresh leaves)
- 1 heaping tsp za’atar (recipe below)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp coconut sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- water to adjust thickness
- Preheat the oven to Gas mark 7.
- Wash the vegetables and peel the carrot and beetroot.
- Chop up the potatoes and garlic and add to a tray with 1 tbsp olive oil, lemon zest, salt, pepper and mint. Set aside.
- Chop the vegetables and ginger and add to a separate tray with sesame oil, the orange juice, the pulp, the zest, za’atar, salt and pepper.
- Put both of the trays in the oven for 30-45 minutes, turning when needed. They should generally be ready at the same time, depending on how crispy you like your roast potatoes.
- Whilst the veg are cooking, make the tahini turmeric sauce.
- Put your feet up for 30 minutes!
- When the veg are ready, transfer to a bowl and cover in the tahini turmeric sauce.
- Serve with a fresh mint leaf.
How to make za’atar
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 3 tbsp sumac
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- Combine all of the ingredients into a glass jar and shake!
- Store in a cool dark place.