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Posts Tagged ‘carrots’

Grain-based salads are filling, versatile, and wonderful picnic foods. For this one, I mixed barley with some maple-roasted carrots and tomatoes and pan-glazed tempeh, and then sprinkled with a bit of sliced basil to brighten up the flavors a bit. It’s just slightly sweet. Wheat berries would also work instead of the barley, or even brown rice. If you’re not a fan of tempeh, just use chicken instead.

Barley Salad with Sweet Roasted Vegetables

1 cup barley
3 cups water

8 oz carrots, cut into small pieces
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

8 oz tempeh, cut into thin slices
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sliced basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine water and barley in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook 40 minutes. If there’s any water left in the pan, drain it off. Set the barley aside in a large bowl.

Combine vegetables, 1 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, or until veggies are browned and tender. Add to the barley.

In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, broth, salt, and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add tempeh and fry about 5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add vinegar mixture and cook, stirring as necessary to keep tempeh from sticking, until liquid thickens into a glaze. It’ll take about 10 minutes.

Add tempeh to barley mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle with basil and serve.

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10 Things to Do With Carrots

Behold the first 10 Things post! I picked carrots because, well, we get a crap-ton of carrots around here and it’s easy to run out of ideas for how to use them. Here’s a list of ways that ranges from basic to a bit more exciting. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, but when you get your next batch of orange, carroty goodness and are drawing a blank, this list should help you out.

1. Finely chop them and add to pasta sauce to sweeten it up. Follow this basic recipe to make your own, or simply simmer with your favorite jarred sauce for a quick meal.

2. Cut into sticks to eat with your favorite dip, as a healthier alternative to chips. Some of my favorite carrot dips are salsa and hummus.

3. Roast and serve as a simple side dish, or add to salads. I like to roast a big batch of veggies on the weekend, then chill and add them to salads during the week. Try this recipe, and omit the maple syrup for something more savory.

4. Make them the focal ingredient of a quick soup, like this curried carrot soup.

5. Use them in a salad. Ok, before you roll your eyes saying “Steph! I know to put carrots in a salad! That’s not why I’m reading this post!,” just hear me out. We’re going to think outside the box here. The carrots could be part of the dressing like in this decidedly non-boring avocado salad with carrot-ginger dressing. Or, they could be in the salad itself, like in this Moroccan carrot salad.

6. Make dessert, taking advantage of carrots’ natural sweetness. How about this Indian carrot pudding, or something fancier like this carrot-buttermilk tart?

7. Forget pickled cucumbers. How pedestrian! Pickle your carrots, instead!

8. Cube and add to your favorite pot roast recipe. I’m partial to an Italian-style roast, similar to this one, using Italian-style canned tomatoes.

9. Eat ’em for breakfast, like in these carrot pancakes, or these carrot cake breakfast cookies.

10. Really, really can’t stomach another carrot? Just make chicken or vegetable broth with them. It’s a great way to use up other veggies you have lying around, too, and homemade broth tastes a million times better than store-bought.

How else do you like to use carrots?

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I’ve been getting a ton of baby carrots in my box lately, as opposed to full-sized adult carrots. Rather than spend a lot of time chopping them up to use as a base in other dishes, I tossed them together with a few other ingredients to create this sweet, simple side dish.

You can probably leave most of the carrots whole, but cut the larger ones in half lengthwise to ensure that they all cook evenly. Also, when you trim the carrots, you can certainly cut the tops off, but I left them on because I like how they look. I added leftover carrots to my lunch salad the next day.

Maple-Glazed Roast Carrots

1 large bunch of baby carrots, trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well to coat carrots evenly with syrup. Line a baking sheet with foil and coat with cooking spray. Spread carrots on the sheet, place in oven, and bake 20-25 minutes, stirring once, until carrots are tender. You should be able to slide a fork easily into them. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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I’d been craving a good, creamy risotto for several days when I came across some pencil-thin asparagus on sale last weekend. I combined it in my risotto with fresh parsley, spring onions, and some other Local Box goodness, and I had a winner. I topped it with prosciutto that I tossed in the oven for a few minutes to crisp up, like bacon.

Now, risotto does require a bit of elbow grease in the form of near-constant stirring. You might break a sweat. I usually do. But the stirring is necessary to unlock the starches in the Arborio rice and give the risotto that telltale creamy texture, so just do what I do: put on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and sing along as you stir. It’ll go by before you know it. I promise.

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Parsley

2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch of spring onion bulbs, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 carrot, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 cup Arborio rice*
1/8 tsp saffron threads, crushed
3/4 cup white wine*
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb thin asparagus, bottom 1 1/2 inches removed, the rest cut into 1 in. pieces
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
4 oz thinly sliced prosciutto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay prosciutto slices on a greased cookie sheet and bake 7-8 minutes, until crisp. Set aside.

Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, leek, and carrots, and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan and keep warm. Add rice and saffron to vegetable mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir wine and cook 1 minute or until liquid is mostly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of stock is mostly absorbed before adding the next — this takes about 25 minutes total. When you’ve gone through about half of the stock, add the asparagus. When rice is cooked, remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt, and pepper. Top with parsley and crumbled prosciutto.

Makes about 4 servings.

*It’s important to use Arborio or another short-grain rice — don’t try to sub regular long-grain rice. It doesn’t have the starch necessary to produce a creamy texture.
*3/4 cup is about the amount in a picnic bottle of wine. I don’t like putting my drinking wine in my dishes (feels like a waste), so I buy the little four-packs of wine and use those instead. It’s much better than that salted “cooking” wine you buy in the vinegar section of the grocery store.

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I love me a good slaw. This one has extra crunch from both jicama and green apples, and a citrusy dressing provides just the right amount of tartness. You can find jicama by the potatoes in the grocery store, and it does kind of look like a russet potato. It has a very mild flavor, so it’s great for recipes like this where you just want something that adds a bit of crunch but doesn’t overpower the dish.

If you have a food processor, this recipe will come together in about 15 minutes. I use mine all the time, and you don’t need to go all Williams Sonoma and spend $500 on one. I’ve used my cheapo Black and Decker for about 10 years with no problems. I couldn’t find a link to mine online (like I said, it’s old) but this one is similar. If you don’t have a food processor, use the large holes on a box grater to shred the veggies.

Anyway, enjoy this slaw with grilled shrimp or grilled bbq tofu kebabs. Or pretty much anything else grilled. Heck, it was so good I just ate a big bowl of it as a snack.

Jicama, Apple, and Cabbage Slaw

2 cups shredded cabbage (I used green, but Napa is fine)
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and shredded
1 jicama, shredded (about 12 oz)
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup sliced spring onion tops (or green onions)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Juice of two oranges (about 1/4 cup)
Juice of two limes (about 4 tbsp)
2 tbsp olive oil

Combine cabbage, apples, jicama, carrots and onion tops in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. In a small bowl, combine orange juice, lime juice, and olive oil. Pour over veggies and toss to combine.

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I’m going to admit to y’all that I did not know you did anything with a brisket besides smoke it until I moved to Austin in 1999. I also didn’t know you could buy one that weighed less than 7 lbs. Where I grew up, brisket = bbq, and that was that.

It took me a long time to come around, but I started coming across recipes for braised or roasted brisket more and more, and finally, this weekend, I bit the bullet and tried it. And you know what? It was still tender and juicy and delicious, albeit with an unusual herb rub giving it quite a different flavor than the smoked brisket I’m used to. I’m recommending a few changes from the original recipe, such as cooking it directly in the roasting pan instead of on a rack (I think it’ll be even juicier this way) and throwing in some mushrooms and carrots that can cook in the juices, like a pot roast. Also, I’m adding crockpot directions for weeknight cooking (and for Hilary, who doesn’t turn on the oven if it’s more than 45 degrees out).

Don’t be afraid of the mint — it’s very subtle. I love the generous amount of herbs used here, because a) they are tasty, and b) I often have a hard time using up all the herbs we get before they go bad, and this is a good way to do so.

Braised Brisket with Parsley, Mint, and Thyme (from Whole Foods)

1 (4-pound) beef brisket, trimmed
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh thyme
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 cloves garlic
1 cup roughly chopped yellow onion
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced carrots

Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a roasting pan with cooking spray. Season brisket all over with salt and pepper and then place in the roasting pan; roast for 1 hour. Meanwhile, put parsley, mint, thyme, vinegar, pepper flakes, garlic, onion, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse to make a thick paste; set aside.

After 1 hour, remove brisket from oven; reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Carefully add broth to pan, spread herb paste over brisket, arrange mushrooms and carrots around brisket, cover pan with foil and continue roasting, basting every 45 minutes or so, until very tender, about 2.5-3 hours more.

Transfer brisket to a platter; set aside to let rest for 10 minutes. Skim off and discard any fat from liquid in pan. Trim brisket further, if desired, then thinly slice against the grain (here’s how to do that) and spoon pan sauce over the top.

Alternate crock pot directions

Reduce amount of chicken broth to 1 cup. Spray a crock pot with cooking spray or line with a crock pot liner.

Season brisket all over with salt and pepper and then place in the crock pot. Put parsley, mint, thyme, vinegar, pepper flakes, garlic, onion, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse to make a thick paste; spread over brisket.

Add broth to crock pot, spread herb paste over brisket, and arrange mushrooms and carrots around brisket. Cover and cook on low for 10 hours.

Transfer brisket to a platter; set aside to let rest for 10 minutes. If you want to use the juices as gravy, put them in a saucepan and cook on medium-high heat about 10 minutes, until they reduce a bit and aren’t so watery. Skim off and discard any fat from liquid in pan. Trim brisket further, if desired, then thinly slice against the grain and spoon pan sauce over the top.

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Some of you lucky folks will get fennel this week! The entire box will consist of:

So I am making:

Carrot-dill soup (with chopped spring onion tops as garnish)

Fennel, radish, and grapefruit salad — This recipe calls for paper-thin slices of fennel, which you’d usually get with a mandoline. If you don’t have one (like me) just thinly slice by hand or use the slicer blade on your food processor.

Mongolian beef

Grilled romaine lettuce — this is a great side dish with any grilled meat. I know it sounds odd, but try it and I think you’ll love it.

Strawberry bread

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