I’ve been lazy with my eating habits recently, and am in desperate need to change my ways. During spring break I ate a copious amount of junk and fast food, and finding a healthy dinner recipe was exactly what I needed for a solid spring cleanse. 

Over spring break I traveled around California for two weeks, road tripping and visiting friends throughout the state. With my last six days of freedom I visited my sister in Santa Barbara. 

There wasn’t much on my agenda other than playing with her French bulldogs and Australian Sheppard puppy, which was ideal don’t get me wrong. But I had a little too much down time. And I was on the opposite of a health crunch. 

I found one of my sister's stray Cooking Light magazines that led me in the right direction. After eating out for every meal while on vacation, I felt inspired by this healthy dinner recipe.

This pasta dish is great for a spring evening and preparation is simple, taking less than an hour. 

Mary Boynton


1 pound large carrots, peeled and cut into 1/8-inch-thick coins

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground coriander

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

4 ounces uncooked orecchiette pasta (I used a different kind of pasta)

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled


First, I preheated the oven to 475 Fahrenheit and began preparing the carrots.

Place the thinly cut carrots on a baking sheet and sprinkle cumin, coriander, salt and pepper over the slices. Drizzle them with two tablespoons of olive oil and toss before baking. Bake the carrots for eight minutes or until they appear crispy.

Mary Boynton

The goal with the carrots is to bake them until they curl into a crispy, chip-like consistency.

While the carrots were in the oven I began boiling the water for the pasta. The grocery store I went to didn’t have orecchiette, so I went with cavatappi pasta instead. Really any pasta can work with this dish.

Mary Boynton

As the pasta cooked I chopped up the fresh chives, dill and cilantro. Set all three aside until the final stage of garnishing. 

I even had the opportunity to use freshly picked cilantro from my sister’s garden. 

Mary Boynton

Once the pasta was finished cooking I strained and transferred it into a separate bowl. I mixed the tablespoon of red wine vinegar, two tablespoons of olive oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. 

Mary Boynton

After mixing the pasta concoction, it’s time to add the carrots. Gently pour the carrots into the bowl and stir it all together. 

Mary Boynton

After the carrots I added the cilantro, chives and dill. And the best part of course, goat cheese. 

Mary Boynton

The cilantro added fresh flavor, the chives and goat cheese kept the dish balanced, and the dill made a beautiful garnish that really brought it all together.

I was pleasantly surprised with how this dish turned out, in terms of appearance and flavor. Who could have known a healthy dinner recipe could taste so good? Check out the recipe on Cooking Light’s website and try it out for yourself!

Mary Boynton