I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m not so good with the side dishes. I’m trying, it’s just not something that comes naturally to me. Maybe its because I’m constantly searching for simplicity in my life and especially in my meals. I like simple main dishes and even simpler sides. You see, I was a vegetarian for 10 years (still only eat minimal chicken and fish) and have huge respect for vegetables in their natural state. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t turn away a good creamed spinach but I strive to prepare vegetables simply (usually roasted and lightly dressed like in the recipe below), as to highlight their natural yumminess. As parents, it’s easy to get frustrated with the “picky” eater phases (yes, PLURAL) and resort to covering veggies with butter and cheese. You just want them to “EAT THE BROCCOLI ALREADY!”. I’m not a huge fan of that method because it’s not really the best way to encourage a healthy eater. It’s our responsibility to keep presenting our kids with healthy, nutritious options. And if one day they turn up their noses to a veg, so be it! We have to remember that they are human after all. Just because they don’t eat their veggies today, doesn’t mean it’s forever. It’s frustrating and stressful and you just want to give up (I’ve been there!). One of the many great challenges of parenting is learning to move through phases knowing they won’t last. Eating is no different. There are all sorts of reasons your lil’ one might be on a strike. Maybe their stomach hurts, or their teeth or maybe, just MAYBE they don’t feel like having broccoli today!!! “OK Ma?!” My advice is to step back, take a deep breath and try again tomorrow. Never, never give up! The investment you make in your child’s nutrition now, will yield immeasurable results later.
I developed this recipe last minute when I had a chicken roasting in the oven and once again, NO SIDE DISH! I took a quick scan of my fridge and pantry and came up with this combo. Not sure what made me add the apple cider vinegar but boy, am I glad I did. It really made the dish something special. Hope you think so too!
Maple and Thyme Roasted Carrots
12 medium sized carrots, stems and peels removed (if your carrots are large, halve them)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup good quality maple syrup
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper. Place carrots in the bowl and toss to coat.
3. Dump the carrots onto an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes or until carrots are tender.