Charred Carrots (+ Eating Plants)

Blackened carrots with a harissa yogurt sauce

Roasting carrots in a cast iron pan

A close-up shot of a plate of simple-roasted spiced carrots

A plate of spice-crusted roasted carrots with a side of cool yogurt

A roasted purple carrot with spicy yogurt

After years of flirting with all-plant diets, Allie and I are finally going to take the plunge and not eat meat for at least a month. For me, meat is more of a spice than a centerpiece. I use meat to flavor pasta, to bring dark salty goodness to stir-fries, to fill tacos with something that will fill me. No longer! At least, not until May!

Why? The main reason is health. The health of the planet, animals, and me. I have been reading about eating animals since my interest in food became professional, and when you read this stuff long enough you get to a point where you have to act on what you’ve learned. It’s interesting how many people who write about food will laser-focus on the flavor of a ribeye, or the best way to cook one, but who don’t ask the basic, crucial, elephant-in-the-room question of whether we should be eating one in the first place.

Anyway, that’s were Allie and I are right now. We’ll see how the month goes. But even if I don’t last, and I think I should, it’ll be hard to convince myself that “because it tastes good” is reason enough to eat meat. That’s a pretty feeble reason.

Okay. Well. Let’s step to a subject with a nicer vibe for Friday.

Since getting new cast iron pans last winter, I’ve been using them to cook vegetables of every shape, size, and color. Allie and I recently broke out our big pan to blacken some carrots. We love the crispness you get with cast iron. A nice chile-fired rub helps to get that texture, and a scoop of yogurt cools the mellow burn. Enjoy!    -Chris

Further reading: The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Pig Tales, Diet for a Small Planet, Animal Liberation, anything by my Torts professor (warning: intense!).

17 thoughts on “Charred Carrots (+ Eating Plants)

  1. Nadine

    These photos are gorgeous… I’ve never seen carrots look so good!! And good luck with the ‘no eating meat’ for a month- I often think I should have periods of no meat (I don’t eat it a ton anyway, and I don’t think it would take too much work to avoid it entirely). Like you said, healthier for everyone!

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    1. Made in Rome

      Ha, thanks! I feel the same way about avoiding meat entirely. There are lots of reasons not to. Sometimes you don’t want to inconvenience a host, and sometimes you just need to eat some pork when traveling to experience the place you’re visiting, and so on. I think so long as people stay somewhat informed and don’t devour pork chops every day, that’s pretty good.

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  2. CookingforBello

    Huge fan of your reasons. A delightful side effect for us, was saving a LOT of money on grocery bills, which leaves more in the budget for travel. Outside of a steak dinner (I KNOW) once every few months, my Husband (Bello) and I stick to fruit, veggies, grains and pasta. Bello’s even ok with Tofu now which I never expected. I’ll never eat a burger again if it means seeing more of the world from a younger age. Bet your month goes so fast you don’t “miss a beef.” Thank you for sharing your adventure In Plants.

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    1. Made in Rome

      Awesome comment. Yeah, the money angle is a good one… anything for more travel. Speaking of travel and tofu, if you’re in New York City anytime soon I know a few spots in Koreatown that will really hit the spot. They do tofu that actually tastes/feels like something. Pretty amazing how good it can be.

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      1. CookingforBello

        We’re looking forward to our next trip back. After a Decade in NYC (the last in NJ BTW) we saved up, sold all our stuff and hit the road! Missing the NYC food scene but headed to Italy for 3 months soon. Any reco’s for Rome? Definitely will take you up on the Koreatown spots when we land back (hopefully with a long layover in NYC). Cheers to finding love in Italy!

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        1. Made in Rome

          Awesome. Where in Italy besides Rome? I hear Rome has really changed in the last few years and kind of Brooklynized to some degree. That said, we definitely have a few favorite spots that are still going strong (there and in other cities. I’ll pop over to your page, follow your trip, and let you know once you hit the ground.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. CookingforBello

            We’re starting in Rome, then Puglia from Vieste south to Otranto. A few days in the Amalfi Coast, Florence and on up to Torino and Bardonecchia. Northern we know well since that’s my Husbands home, but Southern is all new. Plan to eat our way through Italy! So fun to meet fellow travelers.

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  3. avofoodies

    I can really relate to this post! After watching the documentary Forks Over Knives, I decided to be a vegetarian for health reasons. The “vegetarian phase” didn’t last that long–I became a pescetarian soon after. Good luck on your meatless journey! Stunning pictures as well!

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    1. Made in Rome

      Pescatarian is what we’re doing. (Gotta take advantage of eating fish while the oceans still have some.) And I totally forgot about the documentaries. There’s a bunch of good ones. Probably should have mentioned those with the suggested reading at the bottom. Thanks for the reminder!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ilgustodivivere

    Here in Belgium there’s just been a Dagen Zonder Vlees (Days without Meat) campaign. The idea was to get as many people as possible to sign up to not eating meat for a month. It started a few years ago, but this year was the most successful year ever, with over 90,000 people signing up! I have a couple of vegetarian recipes on my blog if it helps you along to your goal, together with a post on snack foods that are not billed as vegan, but actually are. There’s also a post on why meat substitutes might not be as healthy as we think. Here’s a couple of links!
    https://ilgustodivivere.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/accidentally-vegan/
    https://ilgustodivivere.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/meat-substitutes-a-healthy-option-or-a-tissue-of-lies/
    https://ilgustodivivere.wordpress.com/2016/03/03/lets-get-saucy/
    https://ilgustodivivere.wordpress.com/2015/07/23/bean-and-sweetcorn-chilli/
    Good luck with your meat-free plan! Those carrots look amazing by the way!

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      1. ilgustodivivere

        You’re welcome! Belgium doesn’t have many great ideas, but when it does, they’re cool ones! 🙂

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