Maple-mustard roasted carrots and apples make a decadent side dish or entire meal. Apples and carrots are tossed with maple syrup, Dijon mustard and aquafaba to create an easy and delicious oil-free recipe.
This dish was born from a fundraiser that I am taking part in this fall for a local non-profit, Valley Outreach. Valley Outreach houses our local food shelf and supports a mission near and dear to my heart...combatting hunger. As a chef, it is my passion to feed people. I believe everyone has the right to healthy and nutritious food.
Valley Outreach asked local chefs to create a recipe that participants could make at home for this year's virtual event. The only instruction was that it had to include honey and garlic. Being vegan I don't typically use honey, but happen to have a neighbor that ethically sources honey from her own hives. I have made this recipe using both honey and maple syrup and both were fantastic. You can't go wrong.
Who is Valley Outreach and what is this event?
Normally this time of year Valley Outreach is getting ready to host their major fundraising event called Feed the Valley. But, as with everything else these days, COVID-19 has stolen this in-person event from them. So, they have pivoted and turned this into a virtual event that is sure to be a ton of fun!
I am honored to be one of the chefs for the Feed the Valley event hosted by Valley Outreach. Valley Outreach is a community-powered nonprofit. They provide food, clothing and personalized support to people who need help. Every year they help thousands of people by providing:
- Easy access to nourishing food
- Clothing for the whole family
- Resource and application support
- Case management support based on individual need
- Emergency financial assistance
Financial contributions help them positively impact and better the community. They are committed now more than ever to their mission and helping people during this difficult time. As part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they provide hundreds of families with healthy and delicious food through their drive-up service model. All are welcome at Valley Outreach. People can return as often as they need food. They’re here when people need them thanks to the generosity of the local community.
I'm proud of Valley Outreach's work in our community and to be working with them on this event. So, let's get cooking!
- Chickpeas & Aquafaba- Save the water from your can of chickpeas or cooking water. This water is called aquafaba (or bean water) and is used to substitute oil in this recipe.
- Quinoa - I prefer quinoa because it is quick-cooking and is high in protein, but you can substitute any grain for the quinoa.
- Pure maple syrup - or ethically sourced honey caramelizes and glazes the veggies. Its superb.
- Dijon mustard - I like using stone ground Dijon mustard with those little mustard seeds that pop in your mouth. Regular Dijon is wonderful too.
- Garlic - use as much garlic as you'd like. Garlic is known to boost your immune system, and that's a boost we all could use right about now!
- Carrots - no need to peel the carrots, just make sure to scrub them first.
- Apples - use an apple that holds together when baked such as Honeycrisp, Braeburn or Jonagold. Again, don't peel, just give a good scrub.
- Onion - this adds a savory flavor to this dish. You could also use a shallot or 1 teaspoon of onion powder in a pinch.
- Pecans - make sure to toast the pecans to maximize their flavor.
How to Make Maple-Mustard Carrots & Apples
To make maple-mustard roasted carrots and apples start by preheating the oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Don't skip the parchment paper or the veggies will stick and it will be a mess to clean.
Start by preparing your quinoa according to package directions. While the quinoa is cooking, cut the carrots on the bias into ¼-inch thick slices, apples into 1-inch cubes and the onion into ½-inch slices. Place the veggies on the prepared sheet pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the aquafaba, honey or maple syrup, mustard, garlic and thyme. Pour over the carrot mixture and toss to thoroughly coat.
Roast the carrot mixture for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork and the honey from the glaze is slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and toss with toasted pecans, chickpeas and prepared quinoa. Enjoy!
Is this a Side or Main Dish?
I originally created this recipe as a side for the Valley Outreach event, but this recipe makes enough for 4 main course portions. As a side dish it will serve 6-8.
What is Aquafaba?
Aquafaba is the liquid leftover in a can of chickpeas or from cooking them from scratch. This magical liquid serves many purposes. It can be used in place of eggs in baking, whipped into stiff peaks for meringues or used as a substitute for oil when roasting. In this recipe we're using it to substitute oil when roasting the carrots and apples.
Why Use Aquafaba Instead of Oil?
Substituting aquafaba for oil in recipes drastically reduces the calorie and fat content. ⅓ cup of olive oil contains 630 calories, 72 grams of fat and not much else. Oil, in other words, is a lot of empty calories and fat. Compare that with aquafaba which has 14 calories and no fat. So, using aquafaba in place of oil in your recipes can give you a huge calorie deficit!
Can I Use Oil Instead of Aquafaba?
Yes, you can substitute the same amount of oil for the aquafaba in this recipe. Or try half oil and half aquafaba if you're not quite ready to make the leap into oil-free cooking! No matter which you choose, the final dish will be fabulous!
Maple-mustard roasted carrots and apples is a decadent main course or side dish is sure to please. Serve this with a big kale salad, Asian Slaw or a grilled portobello. Get more ideas on what to serve with this in my gluten free vegan holiday recipes post. If you're looking for a dessert to complement this dish, try my baked apple cider donuts. Enjoy!
Maple-Mustard Roasted Carrots & Apples
- ½ cup quinoa
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup aquafaba* (reserved from chickpeas) or olive oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup or honey
- 3 tablespoons stone ground Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 4 large carrots sliced ¼" thick on the bias
- 3 large apples** cut into 1" pieces
- 1 onion sliced into ½" pieces
- ½ cup pecans toasted
- 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, ⅓ cup liquid (aquafaba) reserved
- Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. Don’t skip the parchment paper or the veggies will stick and it will be a mess to clean.
- Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set aside.
- In a large bowl whisk together the salt, aquafaba or oil, maple syrup or honey, mustard, garlic and thyme until fully combined. Add the carrots, apples and onions and toss to coat. Put the carrot mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and spread into an even layer.
- Roast the carrot mixture for 25 minutes, stirring halfway through, or until the carrots are tender when pierced with a fork and the honey from the glaze is slightly caramelized. Remove from the oven and toss with toasted pecans, chickpeas and prepared quinoa. Enjoy!