Spiced Anatolian root vegetables

FUN FACT: If one thing sets Greek food apart from other cuisines across the Mediterranean, it is the prevalence of purely plant-based main courses. This root vegetable stew, while inspired by the spice palette of regions a little further to the East, is a great example of a hearty, totally plant-based, real-food vegan main course. Raisins and olive add meaty texture to the already substantial quality of the root vegetables. But it’s the spices that are most interesting, even from a nutritional perspective. Cinnamon, for example, has the highest antioxidant strength of all the food sources in nature. Cumin is a great source of iron and helps digestion. Coriander is rich in immune-boosting antioxidants and helps build brain and heart health, among other things. I offer these little tidbits to drive home once again that eating a plant-forward diet that is also flavorful is one of the healthiest approaches to living long and well that one can take.

10 min
40 min


  • 1 pound 450 g each trimmed parsnips, carrots, rutabaga, and Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chopped plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp seedless golden raisins
  • 8 coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
  • Greek sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or wide nonstick pot. Add the root vegetables and potatoes and brown on all sides, stirring. You may have to do this in batches. Remove with a slotted spoon. Over medium heat cook the onions, peppers and garlic until wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the spices and stir for a minute or so with a wooden spoon.
  2. Season the root vegetables and potatoes with salt and pepper and place back in the pot. Pour in the tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 - 35 minutes.
  3. While everything is simmering, plump the raisins in ¼ cup warm water. Drain. Add the raisins and olives to the pot 5 minutes before removing from heat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve. This is delicious over simple sautéd or steamed spinach or brown or basmati rice.

Want to learn more easy, healthy Mediterranean diet recipes? Sign up for my online course “Mastering the Mediterranean!

Love vegetables? Want to learn more great plant-based Mediterranean dishes? Enroll in my online  class “Baked Vegetable Classics!” 

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