A simple recipe for roasted carrots with umami-rich miso and honey topped with shiitake mushrooms for a healthy side to your entree!
Holiday favorites of glazed ham, marinated salmon, and roasted lamb seem to take over at the table, but don’t forget about those underrated side dishes! And I don’t mean the buttery mashed potatoes and rich macaroni and cheese either. The colors and vibrancy of vegetables make it an excellent side (or main dish) to any festive occasion! Besides aesthetics, vegetable dishes like roasted carrots or brussels sprouts, also bring beneficial nutrients to the table.
Roasted carrots have always been appealing to me with their bright orange or purple hues and their elegant structure. I remember my first time picking a carrot. I am embarrassed to say it was not during childhood, but only several years ago. During my dietetic internship, I participated in a community garden project in South Boston. I learned all about growing fruits and vegetables and providing for those living in housing projects access to fresh produce. It was a rewarding experience that I still think about to this day!
Most times we see carrots they are either chopped or grated, but for this dish I wanted the beauty of the whole carrot to shine. Roasting vegetables brings out so many great flavors this time of the year. Why not enhance the flavors with tastes of umami and pure sweetness? Miso paste brings out rich, umami flavors and pairing it with honey creates an ideal balance for these carrots with the addition of fresh thyme and garlic.
With the holidays approaching, let’s also discuss the importance of watching not only our salt shakers, but foods naturally containing salt such as Miso.
Let me give you a quick mention about miso paste. In just a one teaspoon serving it contains about 220mg sodium. This recipe uses 2-3 teaspoons for the whole dish. I highly recommend not adding additional salt while cooking since the sodium stacks up. For those following a heart friendly diet, try limiting the miso to just one teaspoon or even eliminating it altogether.
It is no surprise when I say that Americans are over-consuming their sodium recommendations. Thanks to the abundance of processed foods in our society, we are exceeding the daily limit of 2300mg of sodium set forth by the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. According to the American Heart Association, we are consuming 75% of our sodium intake from these processed foods. By cooking more at home and using more spices without the use of table salt, we can dramatically reduce our salt intake!
This recipe gains its umami taste not only from miso, but also the meaty shiitake mushrooms. If miso is not your thing, you will still get that same flavor with the mushrooms alone, I promise. Umami is so great that it gives you a salty taste with out the salt!
I hope this post makes you more excited for vegetables this holiday season. Whether you love or hate them, we can all agree that they are an essential part of our food lives.
- One bunch of carrots, peeled, halved, and stems trimmed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 teaspoons white miso paste
- 1 tablespoon pure honey
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme and a pinch of the leaves
- 4oz Shittake mushrooms, sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the carrots in a shallow baking dish.
- In small mixing bowl, mix miso, honey, one tablespoon of olive oil, thyme leaves, and garlic.
- Coat and toss the carrots with the miso honey mixture and add in the sprigs of thyme on top.
- Roast for 40 minutes or until carrots are tender. Stir halfway through cooking time for even cooking.
- While the carrots are roasting with about 5-10 minutes remaining, heat a skillet or pan with the remaining olive oil on medium high heat. Saute the mushrooms, 5-7 minutes or until slight browning and set aside.
- Top the carrots with the mushrooms once roasting is done. Enjoy!