Eating vegetables can be a struggle for many people. Either the texture is off, the taste is too bland or the veggies are cooked incorrectly! I love roasting vegetables, carrots in particular, because it caramelizes the veggies and brings out a sweeter flavor. Also, it softens the veggies and makes them much more pleasant to eat. To make a complete vegan dish, I add orzo, chickpeas and a creamy tahini sauce to compliment the carrots. This recipe also lasts around three days, so it’s a perfect dish to meal prep for the week!

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Makes 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup orzo
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 8-10 large orange carrots
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoons raw pumpkin seeds

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus

Lemon Tahini Sauce:

  • ⅓ cup tahini
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Stephanie Gerson / Daily Nexus


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle the carrots with salt, pepper, paprika, lemon juice and garlic. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 35 minutes or until the carrots are soft. 
  3. While the carrots are roasting, prepare the orzo in a saucepan with 3 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, add in the orzo, then reduce the heat to a simmer. The orzo should be tender in 10 minutes.
  4. In a small pan, combine the pumpkin seeds with olive oil and sea salt. Cook the pumpkin seeds until golden brown, or for about 5 minutes.
  5. To make the lemon tahini sauce, combine the tahini, lemon juice, salt, pepper and water in a small bowl. The consistency should not be too watery or too thick. Add chopped cilantro on top and mix into the sauce.
  6. Finally, combine the orzo and chickpeas for the base of the dish. On top of the orzo, place the roasted carrots, roasted pumpkin seeds and tahini sauce. Garnish with more chopped cilantro and the dish is ready to be served!

I was surprised by how flavorful such a simple weeknight recipe could be! Especially as the weather is getting cooler, this cozy dish is such a comforting meal after a long day of online classes. After serving this at the dinner table, expect even your meat-eating friends and family to ask you for the recipe! 

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Stephanie Gerson
Stephanie Gerson is a second-year student studying Art History at UCSB. She is from Palo Alto, California and she is passionate about sustainability, fashion, photography and vegan cooking.