Oven Roasted Carrot and Beet “Fries”

I use a lot of beets.  I use a lot of carrots as well….  and they go together perfectly.

And because we don’t tend to eat potatoes, I use a lot of other root vegetables to make “fries”.  I always bake them in the oven, which reduces the fat content, makes them healthier, and it is also safer because you don’t have a pot of boiling oil just waiting to catch on fire.  Plus there are less grease spatters do deal with.  And you don’t have to stand over them, watching them cook like you do with deep-fried fries – perfect for the busy (or lazy) mother!   Just sling them in the oven, toss occasionally to ensure even cooking and 40-60 minutes later you have “fries”.

Beet and carrot “Fries” do tend to caramelize a bit because these vegetables are fairly high in sugar…  but that is what makes them taste so delicious!

Beets are very, very good for you (And at the moment, they are also very very cheap!).  They are packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre.  The only down side is that they do contain a fair amount of carbs.  Similarly, carrots are also very good for you but again contain a fair amount of carbs.  It is all that sugar that makes these taste so good.

Beet and Carrot “Fries”

serves 6

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  • 3-4 large beets – peeled
  • 3-4 large carrots (use more if your carrots are not big) – peeled
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil – melted
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

Peel your beets and carrots and cut them into “fries” – cut them as thick or as thin as you like.  Personally, I like chunky fries that resemble the English style chips.    As you chop the veg, put them all in a bowl.

Melt the coconut oil and pour over the “fries” and toss to coat.  Add in the salt and thyme and toss again.

Dump all the “fries” out on a rimmed baking sheet and spread out into a single layer.

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Now roast them in the oven for 40-60 minutes, tossing every 20 minutes or so to ensure even cooking.

Serve at once….

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I served these with my Shrimp and Avocado Salad  this time but they go with pretty much everything.

If you want to make “fries” with other root vegetables, use the same method.  Good ones to try are sweet potato, parsnip, rutabaga, turnip, celeriac.  I have also made “fries” with parsley root, daikon and jicama.  Or maybe you want to use all beets or all carrots.  That works too.  You could also go wild and use a mixture of any root vegetables that you fancy.  And of course if you do want to eat potatoes, this method will also work with them.

BBQ Roasted Chicken with Roasted Veg

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I don’t often cook chicken on the BBQ/grill, but when I do it always makes it taste delicious.

As it has been so hot lately, I am trying to avoid using the oven.  So how best to cook my beautiful organic chicken that I bought from the Calgary Farmers Market?  On the BBQ of course!

And while I had that grill good and hot, it seemed an obvious solution to cook a bunch of veggies on there to serve along side it.

So what did I do?

Well I based the recipe on one in yet another cookbook that I had bought from that second hand bookshop I frequent…. (This is the most awesome bookshop ever – not only are the books cheap, EVERY SINGLE PENNY goes to charity…  we shop there lots but I also donate books – every one of my non-paleo/non-paleo adaptable cookbooks got donated).  This particular book was called BBQ Food For Friends.  I have based several recipes on this one lately and some were great, some were not so great – not bad, just not worth the effort…

When I make a recipe from a book, I don’t try to do it exactly, I tweak things.  I sub ingredients I don’t have for those I do.  I change seasonings.  And because Calgary is at a fairly high altitude (the airport, which is not far from where I live is 1139 meters or 3740 feet above sea level) it means that sometimes things take longer to cook – especially when baking.  I always figure an extra 10 minutes to most cooking times…  either that or you have to up the temperature settings.  But even when BBQing, you can’t rely on the cooking times for recipes so I always tweak those too .  And I rely on my judgement – is it cooked or does it need a bit longer.

In the case of this recipe, I made the chicken pretty much as described but I didn’t put it directly on the grill – because I was worried about flare ups, I put it in a small roasting tin.  And I didn’t do the grilled zucchini that the recipe called for.  Instead I did some mixed roasted veg on the grill.

Anyhow, now to what I did…

Because this recipe contains black pepper, it is classed as an AIP stage 1 reintroduction.  If you want to make it 100% AIP compliant for the elimination phase, all you have to do is omit the black pepper.  When reintroducing foods on the AIP, I recommend this guide.

BBQ Roasted Chicken with Thyme and Lemon

Serves 6 (the original recipe served 4, but 1 small roaster served all 6 of us adequately)

Based on a recipe from page 18 of BBQ Food For Friends by Jane Lawson and Vanessa Broadfoot

1 4lb free-range chicken

1 bulb garlic – separated and peeled (I think my bulb had around 9 cloves in it – the original recipe calls for 10 cloves.  I couldn’t be bothered to peel that extra one!)

a bunch of thyme (the original recipe calls for lemon thyme, I just used the ordinary type)

1 lemon – halved . squeezed (reserve juice and outside, and zested)

1 tbsp coconut oil (original recipe calls for olive oil)

2 bay leaves (not in the original recipe)

1 bunch parsley with stems (not in original recipe)

unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (omit the black pepper if sensitive or strict AIP)

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So you grab hold of your chicken, and you season the cavity well with salt and pepper (omit the pepper if sensitive or strict AIP).  Then you stuff the garlic, the thyme, the lemon, the bay leaves and the parsley up it’s butt.  Just shove it all in there,   But before you push the lemon halves inside, you need to zest and then squeeze the juice out of them.  Then shove them up as well.

I bet you thought you would never be stuffing things inside the but of a chicken!   But believe me, it works…  it gives it incredible flavour.

Pour the lemon juice over the skin of the outside of the chicken, then drizzle over the coconut oil (it was hot enough here that our coconut oil was liquid…  if it is cooler where you are you may need to melt it first.  Rub that well in…  Go on, massage that bird!

Sprinkle over a little salt and pepper and some more thyme leaves and place the chicken in a small roasting tin.  If you are not worried about flareups, you could probably cook the chicken directly on the grill instead.

This chicken was cooked over an indirect heat in a grill with a lid.  Because I have a gas grill with 3 burners, I just used the outside 2 and left the middle one turned off.  And then I put the tin with the chicken in it over the middle one.  Thinking about it, because it was sitting directly over a burner that was turned off I probably didn’t need to worry about it flaring up at all…

So you preheat your grill to medium  and then put the chicken in the center of the grill, close the lid and roast for an hour to an hour and a half until the chicken is cooked and the juices are running clear.  I used a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat in the thickest part of the thigh just to be sure as I always get a little paranoid about undercooked chicken.  You need to cook the chicken until the internal temperature is 165F (that is around 74C).

Once the chicken was cooked, I removed it and let it sit on the side to rest while I cooked the roasted veggies.

BBQ Roasted Veggies

serves 6

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2 heads of broccoli – broken in florets

4 carrots – cut in slices

6 pattypan squash – quartered

1 red pepper cut into chunks

2 tbsp coconut oil

Thyme

sea salt

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Take all the veggies and toss them with coconut oil, thyme, and salt.  Find a roasting tin that is big enough for them to be in a single layer and dump them in.  Put the tin on the preheated grill (it should still be hot after cooking the chicken) and roast them for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.  They are done when the carrots are tender and they have a little caremelization on them.

Serve the veggies with the chicken.

YUM!