Sometimes, it’s hard to find just the right side dish to accompany your main meal. It’s often so easy to just default to garlic bread or flaky biscuits, even when you know you should be cooking up some veggies or tossing a salad.
The problem tends to be that you don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen, but the reality is that you don’t have to. There are tons of healthy side dish recipes out there that make cooking dinner easy (like this one!). These carrots, for instance, need to be chopped, tossed with flavorings, and baked in the oven. Total prep time is maybe 10 minutes. The picture above shows a meal of pasta with peas, some super-easy asparagus, and these fast carrots. You can have dinner ready in 45 minutes or less (depending on how many helpers you have in the kitchen!).
Plus, these carrots are amazing! Orange juice and sesame seed oil turn them into something sweet and just a little crispy, and the sesame seeds sprinkled on top deepen the flavor to something slightly nutty and hardy.
- about 2 pounds of carrots, peeled
- zest of 1 orange*
- 3 tbsp fresh orange juice* 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
- *Note: if you don’t have a fresh orange on hand, that’s ok. Just use some store-bought orange juice to make this recipe.
- Preheat oven to 400ºF. Chop carrots into thin strips, about the thickness of french fries.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the orange zest and juice, maple syrup, sesame oil, and salt. Toss in the carrots. Lay flat on a baking sheet and bake for about 40 minutes. Check and flip the carrots every 10 minutes.
- Serve with a sprinkling of sesame seeds on top.
Or the Orcchiette with Peas: