Balsamic Roasted Rainbow Carrots | Paleo, Whole30


Like many, my motivation for things comes and goes over time:  exercise, eating squeaky clean, waking up early, drinking plenty of water.  They're all things I wish were second nature & just happened.  Because if they did, life would be so easy, right?  The stars would align, and I would walk around feeling perfectly fit, rested, and hydrated all the time.

But as I'm sure y'all know there's this thing called life.  And it's unpredictable.  You've got to roll with whatever it throws at you - good times, bad times, super busy times, late nights at work and early morning meetings... and what goes to the wayside?  Probably your extra 16 oz of water intake, or those 2 more hours of sleep your body really needs.  For me?  It always (unfortunately) seems to be my exercise routine, or some type of meal prep that should get done.  

Okay, *gasp* right?  Because what the heck kind of food blogger doesn't meal prep all day on Sunday to get all of the week's perfect dishes ready to go - stacked neatly in the fridge?  Well, me I guess!  And as much as I wish I could stick to the perfect meal prep schedule and a fitness routine that stays 100% consistent week-by-week, it's just not how life seems to go.


My current thought process that really seems to be helping my productivity and consistency is effective, but really simple:  do what you can.  Not what you want to do, what you feel like doing - but what you can do.  

If I can squeeze in some time each night to prep proteins and sides for meals the next couple of days, I do.  Not every night - but when I can!  

If I can make time for a workout with my busy schedule, I do.  It doesn't have to be perfect - but it's working towards consistency, and making it a habit that someday won't take as much self-convincing.

And to make these not-so-preferred tasks a little easier to get through (especially while trying to turn them into an established routine), I treat myself.  I find small ways to make them more enjoyable.  I play YouTube videos on my laptop while I cook, save my favorite ghetto rap music just for my workouts, and allow myself an extra cup of coffee in the late afternoon to give me a boost of energy to get through it all (cuz we all know I'm obsessed).


When I've got little things to look forward to, meal preppin' and getting my butt in our garage gym doesn't seem so bad.  And I always thank myself for it in the end - and finish my night feeling so accomplished.

During my time spent meal prepping in the kitchen one Sunday (and listening to unsolved missing person cases on YouTube), I came up with these roasted carrots.  I found some gorgeous rainbow carrots at Trader Joe's, and was bound & determined to make something simple & delicious out of them.  Mission accomplished:  they're easy peasy, dirty just one bowl, and have so much flavor.  I can prep them so quickly, leaving me plenty of time to make other dishes for our busy work days while the carrots roast in the oven.  


The versatility with these is another huge win - as they're the perfect side for just about anything.  They also save incredibly well, perfect to reheat with lunches throughout the week.

Give them a try on your next bout of meal prep, or try them with dinner any night.  And don't forget to treat yo'self while you cook that dinner, and give yourself a little pat on the back afterwards.  Your hard work getting healthy, delicious meals on the table is so worth it ~ and I'm sending you an air high five!




Ingredients:

  • 1 lb baby rainbow carrots
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning blend
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • pinch of red pepper flakes


Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and seasonings.  Add the carrots to the bowl, and toss to coat.  (If your bowl has a lid - put it on & shake to coat quickly)
  3. Pour the carrots out onto the lined baking sheet, arranging them flat.
  4. Roast in the oven to 20 to 30 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.


*Notes:

  • Rainbow carrots are fun, but not essential!  Any baby-sized carrots will do.  If using larger carrots, increase the cooking time until they are fork-tender.
  • These carrots are AMAZING with a little creamy dreamy aioli over top...  recipe here:  "Everything Aioli"



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