Posts tagged ‘carrots’

May 11, 2013

3-Seed Fennel Slaw

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Truth time: I used to love me some KFC.

These days I don’t find myself at fast food restaurants that much…or at all. But as a pre-teen and teenager I was all about an extra-crispy meal with potato wedges and a biscuit. Ohhh the biscuits.

Between the heavily seasoned crunchy chicken and biscuit/potato double-carb-punch, the whole situation was near perfect for my 15-year-old palate. The one and only problem was that nasty little styrofoam container filled with mayo-laden, tasteless coleslaw. I just couldn’t get into it. I liked vegetables and salad (albeit less than fried chicken), but this was not that.

So I went along in life thinking of myself as an anti-slaw kind of lady; until one day it occurred to me that slaw could be made into something I could enjoy. I’m a total texture and crunch fan, so I knew we could make this work.

We could keep the cabbage and carrots aspect and add some fennel for gourmet flair, but we’d have to ditch that mayo business. In its place, we can use a Greek yogurt and vinegar-based dressing along with lots of seeds for tang and spice. (This method also works for eliminating mayo from tuna and egg salads.)

I’m bonkers for the fennel’s aniseed flavor and crunch and for the taste and texture of toasted sesame, fennel and cumin seeds. I like the lightness of the dressing and how it allows the spices and vegetables to shine through.

This is how we shall do slaw from this day forward in my house.

Bring on the (non-Kentucky) fried chicken. (Or veggie burgers.)

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January 9, 2013

Spiced Chickpea and Carrot Salad

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This salad is brought to you by: the insane heat that blanketed Sydney yesterday and my favorite skirt that’s a little tight after the long holiday season.

Seriously, it was shockingly hot. Like hotter than your average person’s body temperature. Clearly, seeing 43 degrees (109 Fahrenheit) on my phone weather left a big impact on me.

Anyway, turning on the oven wasn’t an option, nor was boiling or simmering anything. I needed something refreshing but also something with substance to get through the mid-day slump.

August 28, 2012

Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup

Simple things that will always always brighten my day:

  • This picture of kangaroos hugging
  • A cheap manicure
  • Soul music
  • Unexpected flowers
  • A new book
  • A good margarita
  • Treat yo self. And all things Amy Poehler is involved in
  • Dinnertime with Mr. F
  • Making lists of completely unimportant things

This soup is a brightener too – in color and flavor. It’s hearty and almost a little rich, without actually having anything rich in it. Depth is added to the sweetness of the carrots and sweet potatoes by roasting and the addition of earthy cumin and a little spice from Cayenne pepper balance it all out.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2 inch chunks
- 4 medium carrots, washed well and roughly chopped
- olive oil
- 6 whole cloves of garlic (skins on)
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 large yellow or brown onion, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 6 cups vegetable stock/ broth
- salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400 F/205 C.

Chop the bottom off of 6 cloves of garlic, but keep them in their skins.

Arrange the 6 garlic cloves, sweet potatoes and carrots on well oiled baking sheets. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes and carrots are soft and golden. Remove garlic cloves from their skins.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Add chopped onion and a little salt and saute until softened and translucent – about 5 minutes. Add the 2 cloves of chopped garlic and cook for another minute.

Add stock and bring to a boil.

Add roasted carrots, sweet potato and garlic to the stock and bring to a boil again. Remove from heat and then carefully blend with a stick blender or in batches in a blender, until smooth.

Serve warm with fresh ground pepper and a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds.

June 7, 2012

Chopped Broccoli Salad

Real talk: some days I miss Whole Foods real bad. I realize that this is a total first-world problem and that I’m beginning to sound ridiculous – but [my favorite pastime] grocery shopping is just not the same after having been so spoiled on the regular.

They have all the random things I decide I need in my kitchen immediately. Mulling spices? Right near the apple cider! Pre-cut butternut squash? Fo sho. Three-year aged Gouda? Got it. Truffle salt? No prob.

Let’s not even talk about the gelato bar and bakery, please. And the salad bar! Ah, the salad bar…so amazing, so dangerous! This salad I made today was one I found on Oh She Glows, an awesome vegan blog. Angela reminded me of the joys of the Whole Foods salad bar when she made her own version of their Detox salad.

It’s crunchy, zesty and a little sweet with a satisfying chew-factor from the dried fruit – plus it’s raw and easy to throw together.

This salad is great to make for lunches throughout the week – dressing it as you go, to prevent it from becoming soggy. It lends itself to additions, so you can change it up each day – simply serve it alongside grilled shrimp, a veggie burger or chicken and the next day you can mix it with some leftover pasta or rice and feta cheese to give it a new life. You can mix it with chickpeas, black beans or tofu too, for a vegetarian-friendly protein hit. Or eat it inside a pita with a dollop of yogurt and hot sauce. Mad ideas for this salad, yo.

Chopped Broccoli Salad (serves 6 as a side)
Based on Detox Salad from Whole Foods’ salad bar and Oh She Glows

1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1/3 cup mix of sunflower seeds and pepitas
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
a handful of chopped parsley
a handful of chopped cilantro
juice of 1 lemon
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup
salt and pepper

In a food processor, finely chop the broccoli and carrots until they become rice-like in texture. (If you don’t have a food processor, chop the broccoli and carrots with a knife as small as you can get them.) Mix with other ingredients in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. If you’re looking to stretch out the salad throughout the week, you may want to reserve the seeds and the lemon juice/maple dressing and add it as you go. (I added it all at once and it still had a nice crunch the next day.)

Bulk it up with: 1 cup of brown rice, quinoa, cracked wheat or orzo pasta
Add some protein with: 1/2 – 1 cup chickpeas, cubed tofu or black beans
Add some gratuitous cheese with: a little bit of crumbled feta, blue or goat cheese

April 11, 2012

Carrot and Orange Salad

I’m excited!

This weekend some lovely friends are getting married. There will be speeches and Italian food and lots of love.

In two weeks, I get on a plane to New York where I will see some much-missed family and friends. I cannot wait to hug and laugh and eat and drink with all of my loves.

And look at these orange-y hues! So much to be spirited about.

Fresh, juicy oranges bounce off caramelized carrots and salty feta perfectly. It’s a salad to match my mood.

Carrot and Orange Salad
(serves 2)
- 4 large carrots, sliced into long pieces, 1/2 inch/1 cm wide
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- sea salt
- 1 orange, segmented
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice from segmented orange
- 2 tablespoons feta cheese

Preheat oven to 230 C/450 F.

Mix carrots, olive oil, cumin, paprika and salt. Roast carrots for 15-20 until browned.

Let carrots cool for 5 minutes.

Combine carrots, orange, orange juice and feta. Sprinkle with additional sea salt and serve warm or at room temperature.

Bulk it up: serve on salad greens (spinach, kale, Romain, etc.) tossed with another drizzle of olive oil and tablespoon of orange juice. Top with toasted pepitas and chickpeas. Boom.

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March 27, 2012

Carrots and Peppers Roasted with Harissa and Lentils

Every now and then, I have ice cream and popcorn for lunch.

I know from where you’re sitting it probably looks all like salads, roasted vegetables and legumes over here. And I love all that stuff…that’s why I write this blog. I make them taste good and they make me feel good. It’s a love-love relationship.

But sometimes (usually on a Saturday) a late lunch ends up being two scoops of the silliest flavors you can think of (No joke, I had a gingerbread flavor called Hansel He’s So Hot Right Now this weekend. It was marvelous.) and some salty popcorn to balance it all out.

Ain’t no thing.

Part of me likes to think I’m doing 7-year-old me justice and living the dream of ice cream whenever I want. I kind of am.

My goal when I make a salad is to make it as alluring as ice cream for lunch can sometimes be. I like to give it an edge, (read: cheese) a little extra flair (harissa) and implement some lazy, but effective technique (roasting) – together those things make a lunch that I would pick over ice cream 6 days out of 7.

Carrots, Peppers and Lentils
- 4 large carrots, cut into rounds
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon harissa
- 1 cup cooked French lentils*
- 1/4 cup goat or feta cheese for serving
- salt, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 220 C/430 F.

Combine carrots, peppers olive oil and harissa in a large bowl. Mix well until the vegetables are well coated with oil and harissa.

Spread vegetables out on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes, tossing half-way through, until golden brown.

Combine lentils and vegetables in a bowl. Add a touch more olive oil if the vegetables are a little dry. Sprinkle with salt and cheese and serve warm or at room temperature.

Notes:
For cooking lentils: Place 1/2 cup dry lentils in a medium saucepan with 1 1/2 – 2 cups water and a whole garlic clove. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook covered for 25-30 minutes until tender. Drain well to serve.

December 5, 2011

The Best Way to Cook Zucchini and Carrots



One of my greatest joys in life is making vegetables taste good to other people. When someone is especially excited about a tasty piece of zucchini I made, I am a happy girl.

You’re already rolling your eyes I know, but stay with me.

Zucchini and carrot “fries” are my quiet specialty. They make a great snack or side to burgers and sandwiches. Where you would normally throw a side of fries/chips or a side salad, why not throw the best vegetables you’ve ever tasted instead? Zucchini and carrot fries are an excellent addition to a plate in both color and flavor. And I’m not even going to talk about the healthy part – we’re all smart people here.

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September 29, 2011

new kid on the block

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The theme of the last few days has been The Move. We spent Saturday and Sunday buying some essentials for the new place. Rebuilding your home after you left the majority of it on an East Village curb 10 months ago is difficult – but exciting!

Saturday night was ugly and rainy and we had spent the afternoon in a massive shopping center (Bondi Junction has now been dubbedimage The Junc), so we decided on something fun and homemade for dinner and settled in with some Almost Famous and Banrock Station casket (oh yeah) Shiraz Cabernet. I was inspired by this Ryn and Cordie recipe for Pork Gyoza they posted on Twitter last week. They were delicious. I loved the addition of minced black beans and the ginger/scallion combo with the pork was perfect.

The mint, coriander and chili dipping sauce was nice, but I think it needed something. I’ll have to play around with it next time. The recipe made plenty, so I’ve got a supply of these babies waiting in the freezer.

Monday was the move, pretty simple considering our lack of stuff. Ikea furniture building has consumed these past few days, as has treating a cold I developed, conveniently enough, on move in day. Luckily, I have my new beautiful kitchen (I am in love) to cook all the healthy, get-well kind of meals I can dream  up.

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Since it is Spring here in Sydney (despite my best efforts to wish it Fall), it’s asparagus season. I went for a classic that most asparagus enthusiasts could tell you is an A+ pairing: poached egg+grilled asparagus (a little Parmesan doesn’t hurt either.)

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Next up on the Get Well Menu was white bean and silverbeet (swiss chard to us Americans) soup. Nothing fancy just some onions, garlic, vegetable broth, carrots,  chili peppers (to clear the sinuses and because I had them) and of course the headliners, white beans and silverbeet. And again, you can’t go wrong with a little sprinkle of Parmesan to serve. Makes you feel special.

Then came The Ultimate Shake This Cold Shake (well, smoothie really): Almond milk, 1/2 a ganny smith apple, 1/2 a pear, a big silverbeet leaf,  a generous scoop of honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. It may look funky and green, but it is seriously tasty. I love to throw a handful of  greens (spinach and kale work perfectly too) into a smoothie – the sweeter fruit and honey flavors easily mask the mild earthiness of the greens. You get a bonus health boost without sacrificing taste. Win win.
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And then there was carrot, mint and silverbeet (I have a big hunk of this stuff, clearly) salad. I tossed this food processor miracle with Heidi’s Magic Sauce and some feta for an enjoyable Vitamin A injection.

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…and now I’m feeling better! And we have a home complete with our record player – flown in all the way from New York. Win win win.

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