Posts Tagged 'carrot'

Soba Salad with Sesame-Miso Dressing


I really love soba noodles.  It all started with the recipe for Otsu in Super Natural Cooking, and grew from there into a mild obsession. I pretty much insist on eating them at least once a week, and I love the way they provide a pleasantly earthy backdrop for a huge range of flavors and textures.

Here, I added some red cabbage, sliced carrots, sauteed portobellos, blanched broccoli, avocado and fried tofu and tossed it all with a very simple miso and sesame oil dressing. Delicious!

In other news, we’re giving the state tests this week at school. I could rant for DAYS about my feelings on testing (and public education in general), but this is not the time or place. Instead, I’ll just say that no matter what our scores are, my kids this year have completely blown me away. I have students from Burma and the Philippines who’ve been in this country for just a couple years but can write a lab report with precise details and thoughtful conclusions. I have a student who asks the most awesome and insightful questions every single day. I have fantastic models of organic compounds built by the kids. I have their work all over my walls and I hear their thoughtful discussions every single day, and THAT is what shows how amazing they are , NOT a pick-the-best-answer-and-fill-in-the-bubble test.

I’ve been turning to kitchen therapy a lot this week. Not because work is stressing me out, but because I’m hardly running so I need somewhere to focus my energy. I bought some caperberries at the grocery store last week because I’d never seen them before and was curious.

They taste like a cross between a green olive and a caper (two flavors I love), but they have weird little grainy seeds inside so I think I’ll stick with either olives OR capers from now on. I did use them to make a pasta dish with roasted cauliflower, though, and THAT was pretty good.

Happy Friday!

[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:72]

Coconut-Cilantro Quinoa Bowls

Welcome to the latest installment of “things to do when your due date is a week away with no baby in sight.”
1. Hit the gym. Be super tempted to stay on the elliptical until you go into labor.

2. Make bagels. Decide that while they’re pretty good, Peter Reinhart’s recipe is better, so they don’t deserve a blog post of their own.

3. Toast said bagels and top with cream cheese, capers, red onion, and heirloom tomatoes. Repeat more times than is probably healthy within a 24 hour period.

4. Practice changing diapers. Or take a picture of your husband while he practices.

5. Go see Our Idiot Brother. (It’s adorable)

6. Make this for dinner.

I hate it when people tell me “you HAVE to make this immediately, it’s SO good!!!!!!!” so I’m not going to do that to you. I will be thinking it very hard, however. It really was one of the best dinners we’ve had in awhile (yeah, I probably say that too often…)

I started with a recipe for swordfish with cilantro-coconut chutney. Obviously I don’t eat swordfish so I used slabs of tofu instead. Then I served it over quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth with a squeeze of lime. With a raw vegetable salad on the side (or mixed in), it’s a complete meal in a single bowl with a great mix of textures and flavors, and a nice amount of protein.

This was the first time I tried dredging the tofu slices in a little flour, corn starch, and salt before pan-frying them. Mike loved it, I wasn’t quite as sold, so that step is optional.

I know the ingredient list looks a little daunting because there are four different components to this meal, but it actually comes together pretty quickly.

Recipe:
(adapted from Ani’s Raw Food Asia and A New Way To Cook)

2 small red bell peppers, julienned
2 Persian cucumbers (or 1 English cucumber), seeded and julienned
1 large carrot, juliened
1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
pinch salt

2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa
pinch salt
juice of half a lime

a drizzle of vegetable oil
2 tbsp all purpose flour (optional)
1 tbsp corn starch (optional)
pinch or two of salt (optional)
1 lb extra firm tofu, well drained, and cut crosswise into 1/2″ thick slices

about 2 cups fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 serrano chile, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
2 tbsp unsweetened, dried coconut

Start with the vegetables: Put the julienned vegetables, olive oil, vinegar, and salt in a medium bowl, toss to combine, and set aside.

Bring the broth and a pinch of salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, stir in the quinoa, cover, and cook over low until all the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and fluff with a fork.

If you’re using flour, cornstarch and salt for the tofu, place them in a shallow dish and mix well. Dip each slice of tofu in the mixture and brush off any extra. Heat a thin layer of oil in a skillet, and cook the tofu slices until golden brown. Set aside.

To make the sauce, combine the cilantro, chile, cumin seeds, sugar, and lime juice in a food processor and pulse a few times. Add the coconut milk and process until nearly smooth. Gently stir in the dried coconut, and adjust lime juice or sugar if necessary.

To assemble each bowl, put quinoa in the bottom, top with some vegetables, a slab or two of tofu, and drizzle with sauce.

Moroccan Carrot and Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Green Olive Tapenade

Yes, this sandwich has a mouthful of a name, but it is definitely worth making, and is actually deceptively easy once you get going. I’ll take it over a standard wheat-hummus-typical sandwich vegetables sandwich any day. Even Mike, who claims to hate carrots but actually ends up liking almost anything I put carrots in loved this.

My Sundays usually start with a run, followed by a stack of cookbooks and a grocery list. The stack this weekend started with the Gourmet cookbook (a present from my fabulous little sister) and quickly grew with Mike’s selections (does someone like Asian food?)

I don’t really want to talk about the run – it was one of the worst in my life – but I got REALLY excited planning the menu for the week. I’m looking forward to every single recipe! This sandwich ended up being Sunday night’s dinner, and it was perfect.

It all starts with ribbons of carrots (made easily with a vegetable peeler), blanched very briefly, and marinated with spices, lemon juice, and olive oil. Next comes some green olive tapenade and goat cheese.

Ruth (I feel like we’re on a first name basis now that I’ve read Garlic & Sapphires, Tender at the Bone, and Comfort me with Apples) suggested pumpernickel bread, which I’m sure is lovely, but our Trader Joes was pretty much out of EVERYTHING except whole wheat sourdough, and somehow, it worked out! (I also omitted some things in the tapenade because I like keeping it simple and anchovy-free)

If the rest of the recipes in the cookbook are even remotely as enticing as this one, I’m going to be a VERY happy cook.

Recipe:
(adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)

makes 3 or 4 sandwiches

carrots
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 medium carrots, washed and peeled

tapenade
about 2/3 cup pitted green olives
4 tsp capers, rinsed and drained
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

sandwiches
6 or 8 slices whole wheat sourdough or pumpernickel bread
3-4 oz goat cheese

Peel the carrots into ribbons using a vegetable peeler.
Combine marinade ingredients (lemon juice, oil, sugar, and spices) in a medium bowl and mix well.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil and drop the carrots in for 45 seconds, then drain well and stir into the marinade. Toss to coat, then cover the bowl and refrigerate for about an hour.

To make the tapenade, combine all ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until combined and well-chopped. Taste and adjust by adding more capers, black pepper or lemon juice if needed.

Lightly toast the bread. Spread one side with goat cheese and top with carrots. Spread the other side with tapenade. Make a sandwich and enjoy.

Carrot Cake Cookies (raw and vegan!)


Pleeeeease don’t let the “raw and vegan” up there deter you from this recipe (I’m guessing my sister has already stopped reading). These taste a little like carrot cake Clif Bars (one of my favorite flavors!) and they’re surprisingly easy. Plus they have just a few ingredients, don’t require you to turn on the oven, and are insanely satisfying at any time of day. If those Brownie Bites weren’t really your style, these are a great alternative. But I’ll stop trying to sell you on them now, and get to what’s really on my mind.

Thailand.

A year ago right now, we were getting on a plane from Bangkok to Portland, after our year-long travel adventure had come to an end. We spent a lot of time in Thailand in 2009, most of it in Bangkok, which is tied with London for my favorite city in the world. From a purely food standpoint, Bangkok wins by a MILE.

At this time a year ago, there were already (really creepy) Christmas decorations in the main shopping area.

I was running every morning in Lumpini Park…

and following it up with Thai iced coffee from a street cart.

It seemed fitting somehow to end our adventures in the same place they started.

It’s sometimes almost painful how much I miss that place!

But at least I can console myself with these cookies. And I’m not sure that cookies is the best word for them, because the texture is actually more like dough. Amazing, dough.

This was a total experiment that started with just throwing random stuff into the food processor.

I kept adding stuff (and tasting) until they seemed ready, then I rolled them in coconut and let them chill for about an hour. I knew I loved them but the real test was Mike. He loves all cookies, but sometimes my kitchen experiments are a little too out-there for him (and he didn’t go crazy for my maple-almond butter cookies), but we were both in love with these, so the recipe is a keeper!

Recipe:

makes about 24

1 cup (packed) pitted medjool dates
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup old fashioned oats
2 small carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut (for rolling)

Combine all ingredients (except coconut) in a food processor and pulse until mixed but not smooth. Taste and add more spices according to your tastes.

Spread the coconut on a plate

Moisten your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick. Pick up about 2 tsp at a time and roll into a ball between your hands. Roll in coconut and flatten slightly, then place on a plate. Repeat with remaining dough, then chill for at least an hour.

Black Bean Vegetable Soup

I never really found black bean soup appealing. It didn’t look good, it never really tasted good (unless it was topped with so much cheese and sour cream you couldn’t really tell what it was), and I never felt any kind of urge to make it until this recipe.

My throat has been sore pretty much since we got back from Portland and yesterday it was so bad I took the day off work. I felt really guilty leaving the kids with a sub, but since I feel a lot better today, I guess it was worth it. Instead of supervising labs and timing the mile run, my day can pretty much be summed up by this picture:

It’s awesome to be reading a book I actually want to read again, instead of forcing myself to keep reading something I have absolutely no interest in (no, I never finished Everything is Illuminated…I gave up).

So after a highly thrilling day of downing Chloraseptic drops, drinking tea, and falling asleep every 20 pages, I knew I needed a healthy dinner that wasn’t very demanding to cook. This was perfect, and it’s really healthy, too. Cumin, paprika, and oregano are the only spices, but with the vegetables sauteed in the first step, there’s an amazing warmth and depth of flavor. I’m a convert – I LOVE black bean soup now.

And today, I might even try to run again since my weekly total currently stands at an impressive 4.2 miles!

Recipe:
(adapted from Veggie Belly)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped finely
2 small carrots, peeled and chopped finely
1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups water
Salt to taste
chopped tomato, red onion, and green onion for garnish

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes more.

Stir in the spices, beans, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the soup has thickened.

Serve topped with chopped tomato, red onion, and green onion.

My Favorite (spicy) Chopped Salad

This is one of those “throw whatever’s left in the fridge together and hope it’s edible” meals that I’ve been making pretty much weekly for at least a year. It never seemed like enough of a recipe to put on the blog, but since it’s reasonably healthy and is one of my favorite things, I guess now is a decent time to share it. And also I’m still not to the point where I’m okay with just blatantly talking about my life… I feel like I need to give you a recipe even though what I really want to tell you about is running 25 miles on the Leif Erickson trail.

At a little over 11 miles long, I had to do some sections of the trail a couple times to total 25 miles. Mike and I started out with my dad, who ran the first 6 with us then turned back and came to meet us later.

The weather was cold and cloudy but it never rained on us and we actually got to see the sun a couple times!

I LOVE this trail. And I’m feeling a lot more confident about my 50K (in 3 weeks. Dear lord.) now that I’ve done a 25 mile training run. I know the terrain will be a whole lot harder, but this was definitely a mental boost.

Sunday morning, sadly, we were back on the road to California. The drive was pretty uneventful…just endless cold pizza and energy drinks, and a really pretty stop at a Scenic View Point. I never stop at those, but the valley was just so pretty I had to.

And that is the last snow I hope to see for a really long time.

After the drive all I wanted was vegetables and lots of them. So I chopped up pretty much everything that was in the fridge, made my favorite simple dressing, and devoured it before collapsing into bed (WHY is driving so tiring?!)

This dressing is pretty spicy, but you can scale down the chili garlic sauce. You can also use just about any vegetable you want, but I’m listing my most frequently used mix.

Recipe:

dressing
4 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp chili garlic sauce (look near sambal oelek and sriracha in the Asian section)
2 tbsp warm water

1 heart of romaine, thinly sliced
2 roma tomatoes, diced
2 small carrots, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
3 tbsp chopped green onion
3 Persian cucumbers (or 1/2 an English cucumber), seeded and diced

Whisk the dressing ingredients until smooth.
Toss with the vegetables.

Roasted Vegetable Galette with Kalamata Crust

Don’t let your eyes deceive you, that is NOT a chocolate chip cookie wrapped around roasted vegetables. The kalamata olive crust does look a little unusual, but it’s much tastier than the average plain crust! This is definitely the season for roasted vegetables, and they shine here, tossed with some rosemary and roasted garlic. The original recipe also called for cheese, but I skipped it because I know there is so much other rich food available that it seemed like overkill.

I made this for a big Thanksgiving dinner with friends, and it was definitely well-received! But let me back up and walk you through the baking process (which for me included a couple unexpected steps).

We were staying at Mike’s parents house, which meant I had to cook in an unfamiliar kitchen. (Well, not completely unfamiliar, because it’s where I baked a billion cupcakes about a month ago)

I had Ina keeping me company as I diced up butternut squash, carrots, and red onions. The original recipe called for beets and parsnips, but both my local grocery stores didn’t have either of those, so I went with what I could find.

In addition to the vegetables, you cut the top off a head of garlic, sprinkle it with some oil, wrap it in foil, and roast it until it’s so soft you can squeeze out an amazing roasted garlic paste.

Once the vegetables in the oven, it’s time to make the crust. I couldn’t find olive oil anywhere, so I ended up using butter, which I think is a better choice anyway.

I also couldn’t find a rolling pin, so had to kind of mash the dough between to pieces of plastic wrap to flatten it out. It actually ended up working pretty well!

Galettes are nice and easy because you basically just pile your filling in the middle of the dough and then fold over the edges – no pie plate or making the pastry look decorative.

When it was done, we took it over to our friends’ house. The night started with cocktails (which I skipped because I was determined not to have my planned run for the next morning ruined by a hangover)

Then it was time for dinner (with turkey and tofurkey available!)

There was so much good food it was a little ridiculous, but it was a really fun night. Nobody could tell my pecan pie was slightly burnt, and it worked perfectly with the salted pecans!

Recipe:
(adapted from nytimes)

crust
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) chilled butter, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup finely chopped pitted Kalamata olives

filling
3 medium carrots, diced
1 red onion, peeled and diced
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 head garlic

To prepare the filling: Preheat the oven to 400 F. Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray.
Toss the vegetables, rosemary, and salt together in a large bowl, then spread on the sheet and roast for about 35 minutes or until tender.

Cut the top (the sprouting end, not the root end) off the garlic and sprinkle with a few drops of oil. Wrap in foil and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until soft.

To make the crust: Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and stir. Add the butter slices and rub them between your fingers with the flour until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.
Add olives and water and stir with a fork to bring the dough together, then press together into a disk with your hands.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Roll the pastry out to a 14″ circle on a well-floured surface. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

When the vegetables are tender, put them in a large bowl. Taste and add salt (and pepper) if needed. Squeeze about half the garlic into the vegetables and toss well.

Place the vegetables in the center of the crust and fold the edges over. Bake for about 35 minutes, or until the crust is beginning to brown.

Serve warm or at room temperature



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