Roasted root vegs, lentil and spinach salad in five-spice vinaigrette

Roasted root vegs, lentil and spinach salad in five-spice vinaigrette

Roasted root vegetables are my go-to base for most weekday lunches. The choices are wide: from sweet potatoes, exotic yams, beets, and carrots, to the underrated potatoes. These vegs provide us with healthy starches, dietary fibers, and micro-nutrients from vitamins A, B, C, K, to potassium,  folate, calcium, antioxidants. Better yet, they all come in a rainbow of colours to make our salad bowl look as much beautiful as they are delicious. Pair them with any greens (1), cruciferous vegs (2), grains (3), beans (4) and dressings and you’ll have an endless collection of nutritious full meals, suitable for any season.

1) spinach, kale, Swiss chard, endives, cabbage, lettuce, etc.

2) broccoli, cauliflower, romanesco, collards, bok choi, radishes, etc. Cruciferous greens are known for their cancer-fighting compound glucosinolates!!!

3) brown/black/red rice, quinoa, barley, buckwheat, couscous, and all other super-grains

4) chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, peas, soybeans and soy derivatives such as tempeh

Ingredients – 4 servings

For the roast tray

  • 250gr parsnips
  • 100gr carrots
  • 150gr sweet potatoes (since parsnip and carrots already contains lots of natural sugar, I chose to underweight sweet potatoes. You can alter the mix according to preference)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 1/42 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, minced OR 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 12ml olive oil  extra verge
  • 1/4 tsp low-sodium salt

For the salad base

  • 4 x 30gr dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale OR cruciferous vegs such as collards, cabbage
  • 4 x 50gr grain of choice. Today I go for red lentils
  • A sprig of mint leaves and cilantro (also known as coriander) for garnishing

For the five-spice vinaigrette

  • 8-10 ml olive oil  extra verge
  • 8 gr grain mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 medium orange (cir. 300gr), juiced
  • 1/2 tsp Asian five-spice powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Himalaya salt


  • Wash, peel, and dice all root vegs. Mix in the rest of the roast tray ingredients. Oven-bake at 200C for 15-20mins (depending on how big your dices are), followed by 15mins at 175C
  • Boil/cook grains according to instruction. For lentil, boil  each 100gr in 1l of water
  • Mix all vinaigrette ingredients in a mason jar. Close the lid and shake well
  • Assemble greens, followed by cooked grains
  • Top with roasted vegs
  • Drizzle the gingerly dressing on top
  • Garnish your new favourite bowl with mint and corriander

Nutritional values per serving (MyFitnessPal)

  • Roasted vegs: Cal 127/ 531kj, Fat 3g, Sodium 243mg, Potassium 598mg, Carb 26g, Fiber 7.3g, Sugar 8g, Protein 1.8, Vit A 208% DV, Vit C 37% DV, Iron 6.3%DV
  • Lentils: Cal 153/ 640kj,  Carb 21.5g, Fiber 7.5g, Protein 10.5
  • Five-spice Vinaigrette: Cal 37/ 155kj, Fat 1.8g, Sodium 33.8mg, Potassium 91.7mg, Carb 5.1g, Sugar 3.7g, Protein 10.5, Vit C 38% DV