This lovely Warm Roasted Carrot Salad with Feta and Dill makes eating healthy a pleasure. This recipe is simple, quick, and beautiful for a weeknight or a special occasion.
Recently, a friend of mine invited me to try out Barre classes at a local Columbus studio called Studio B. The truth is, I was a bit intimidated. I’m traditionally more of a pilates-video-in-my-living-room kind of girl. I haven’t taken many group fitness classes in my life, and the ones I have taken were…wellll…not my favorite. Honestly, the words “boot camp” still send shivers down my spine. That, coupled with my rather-enthusiastic-post-baby-belly-jiggle, made me less than excited to don a pair of skin tight leggings and stand in front of a mirror.
Still, I was lured by the thought of child care and a whole hour just for myself. After the first class, I understood why my friend calls herself a “barre addict.” It’s easy to fall in love with this kind of workout. The environment is fun and supportive, with a rocking playlist, house made infused water, and upbeat instructors. Unlike boot camp or spinning, which made me feel like I was going to keel over, this workout made me feel strong and confident. The ballet inspired moves were targeted and effective. I know because I felt the effectiveness in my “under-butt” (don’t laugh…you know exactly what I’m talking about) for days after.
Roasted Carrot Salad is Healthy Food that Tastes Good
So what’s this have to do with food, or, more specifically, with this Roasted Carrot Salad with Feta and Dill? Here’s the thing I’m learning, and it’s taking me a long time. A healthy lifestyle isn’t all or nothing, and it looks different for everyone. I used to think because everyone else loved to run marathons, I should run marathons. Clearly, marathon running was necessary in order to be healthy. But of course, I haaaaaated running, so I figured that was a lost cause and I should probably just eat brownies on the couch instead.
The same goes for healthy foods. It’s easy to think, “ARGH I hate green smoothies and love gluten, so clearly I’m doomed”. But the truth is, you don’t have to eat kale or do hot yoga just because it’s all the rage. There are plenty of other vegetables in the sea, as they say.
Maybe you prefer yours in the form of a Green Pea Soup (with a little candied bacon for good measure), or in Cold Veggie Pizza, which is positively loaded with fresh veggies on a crescent roll and cream cheese delivery system.
Maybe you hate going to the gym, but feel right at home at the ice skating rink. It’s not “run or do nothing” or “be paleo or be a couch potato.” It’s more about finding the things that you love, and enjoying them to the full.
For me, that involves things like these gorgeous roasted carrots. I picked up these adorable baby carrots last month. I didn’t have a plan for them. In fact, I usually don’t even like cooked carrots, but these were too pretty to resist. When I got home, I bucked the traditional steamed-carrots-in-sugary-syrup-route and instead roasted them until they were crisp tender then tossed them with a simple vinaigrette with feta and fresh dill.
These carrots? These are my kind of healthy. They’re beautiful, inspiring, simple, and, most importantly, delicious. Eating them wasn’t a chore, it was a delight. In fact, after photographing them, I found myself standing at the sink, gobbling up the scraps because I didn’t want to waste a bite.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make this recipe with regular orange carrots?
Absolutely. I’ve tried it with orange carrots and it’s just lovely. The main thing is if you want to leave them whole like this, you’ll want to look for slim, svelte carrots instead of the big, fat beefy ones. I reckon you could even swap other vegetables (like sweet potatoes or green beans in this). Use whatever pretty little thing that inspires you at the grocery store this week.
Can you cut up the carrots rather than leaving them whole?
Yes. Just adjust the cooking time accordingly. The smaller the carrot, the less cooking time it’ll need.
Can I make these on the stove top?
Sauteeing carrots on the stove top is actually my favorite method of preparing carrots now! It’s the same sweet, caramelized flavor as roasting, but in half the time. You can use the instructions in this Carrot Saute to prepare this recipe, just omit the honey and toss with the feta and dill instead!
More Veggie Recipes for the Vegetable Suspicious
Still aren’t convinced that vegetables can taste good, maybe even so good you crave them? See if these recipes can change your mind:
- Garlic Green Beans
- Air Fryer Asparagus with Garlic Breadcrumbs
- That GOOD Salad
- Sauteed Spinach and Onions
- Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
- Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
- 1 lb. carrots, scrubbed clean and sliced in half lengthwise if they're thick
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper