Posts Tagged carrots
Oh lordy. How naive I was last month when I thought I was back on track with blogging! How quickly I forgot that these wee people need an abundance of attention from their mas and pas. However, here I am, after many attempts, writing again. I spent yesterday evening prepping meals for part of the week – it was a glorious feeling. I haven’t even thought about meal prep since Norah’s birth; as I’ve said before, it’s been a helluva lot of frozen pizzas and take out in this neck of the woods the past 5+ months. But Norah has been sleeping much better at night and has even graced us with some better napping throughout the day; so the heck with “sleep-when-the-baby-sleeps” my new motto in this household is “cook and eat when the baby is occupied with slumber!”
Since we’ve been eating so much junk, I’ve been attempting to eat “healthier” the past few months. We used to eat fairly balanced week-to-week prior to my pregnancy: lots of veggies and whole grains would compensate for fat-&-carb-&-alcohol laden indulgences. But the scales have been tipped on the indulgence side for quite a while; and I can’t seem to get back. I’ll admit (to probably a few skeptical readers) that I just recently joined Weight Watchers in order to “teach” myself some portion control again. Don’t worry though … this website isn’t going to undergo yet another change (after being gluten-free for over a year). The recipes here will continue to just be tasty dishes I want to share; whether they’re “healthy” or “indulgent.” Plus my plan is to only be part of the program for 3 months – I figure that should be enough time to get on track, plus summer will be here. And this girl wouldn’t consider tracking “points” when frosty beer season is upon us! (Finally I can drink real beer in the summer after going two without!)
I was motivated to join Weight Watchers mainly after seeing my sister-in-law have great success on the program after only a few weeks (check out her beauty-ful blog A Touch of Lush). She’s now been on Weight Watchers for almost 3 months, and she’s still enjoying it. I know she liked making things from the blog prior to starting WW, so I made up this recipe with her mind. It’s a tasty vegetable soup with a hint of umami flavour from roasting the squash. Plus, I would assume the soup would only be worth 1 or 2 points (from the beans and cheese), seeing that vegetables are worth 0 points. I could probably figure out the actual points and share; but like I said, this isn’t a blog about healthy eating. And don’t worry my regular readers: I’m just sending you a hint of where my current eating habits are right now. Next time I promise something dripping in butter.
Vegetable & Bean Soup with Roasted Squash
1 acorn squash
salt & pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
14 oz canned diced tomatoes
19 oz beans of your choice (I used mixed beans)
4-5 cups kale, chopped
parmesan, freshly grated
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Peel the squash and discard seeds. Cut into 1/2″ cubes. Toss the squash with 1 tsp each salt and pepper and 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Place onto a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 5 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the stock, water and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add the beans and kale; simmer soup for 30 minutes.
Add the squash to the soup and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes to allow the flavours to mingle.
Serve soup hot or warm with parmesan grated on top.
Makes 6-8 servings.
A few weeks ago Kyle and I were out of town for just over a week. We got to visit family and friends, and do lots of shopping and eating. When we’re planning a trip out of our small city, I always anticipate the opportunity to try a number of new restaurants and eateries. While there are good places to eat where we live, the choices are few … which means when you can’t eat gluten, those choices become even slimmer. We thoroughly enjoyed all the different places we tried (I even had gluten free fish and chips after my cousin recommended Brit’s Fish & Chips – thank you Elizabeth!!) – however, after a few nights of overindulging, all I can think about is coming home and cooking up something comforting.
So during our 15 hour drive home, I brought up my craving for beef stew to Kyle more times than I’m sure he wanted to hear. All I could think about was the rich “gravy” that the beef and vegetables swim in, simmered for hours and full of umami flavour. About the tender carrots that take on a meaty taste after a brief simmer in the stew. And of course, about the tender beef, marbled with fat which melts into the meat, causing it to fall apart at the slightest suggestion and to melt beautifully in my mouth. Oh yes, you can bet that the first thing I made when I came home was a big ‘ol pot of stew.
Beef Stew with Bourbon & Carrots
I always serve my stew with buttery mashed pototoes; but for those who prefer egg noodles or rice, I am sure this would work with those as well. And the only veg I ever tend to serve with stew? A mound of minted peas, smothered in fruity olive oil.
3 lbs chuck beef roast (beef shoulder)
1 Tbsp potato starch or sweet rice flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Olive oil (for cooking – about 1-2 Tbsp)
2 small onions, diced
2 celery stalks, sliced
2 cups red wine
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 cloves garlic, smashed
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
3-4 cups beef stock – * make sure it’s gluten free
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped (optional)
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cut the beef into 1-2″ cubes, removing any silver skin. Toss the beef with the potato starch or rice flour, and the salt & pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef to the pot in batches (about 3-4) in order to brown 2 sides. Remove each batch to a bowl. You want a good char on the beef – if you try to turn it, and it’s stuck to the pan, it’s probably not charred enough. This should take about 3-5 minutes per batch. Set the bowl of browned beef aside.
Turn the heat of the dutch oven to medium. Add the onions and celery, and saute until the onion begins to soften, stirring frequently – about 5-8 minutes. Add 1 cup of the wine to the pan, and scrape up all the meaty, charred bits from the bottom of the pot. Then add the remaining wine, bourbon, and balsamic vinegar to the pot. Add the garlic, rosemary, thyme, beef stock and browned beef to the pot – turn up the heat to high, and bring the stew to a simmer. Once it reaches this point, cover the dutch oven, then place it in the oven for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, stir in the chopped carrots, turn up the heat to 350°F and continue to cook the stew uncovered for another 30-40 minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Remove the dutch oven from the stove, then stir in the parmesan cheese. Serve over potatoes, noodles, or rice and sprinkle with parsley if desired.
Makes approximately 8 cups of stew.
My brother and his fiancé are both currently at Post-Secondary School earning their much deserved educations. The plan is that they will finally be returning home when they’re done; here in Canada’s North. I’m thrilled. Sure, they come back every summer during their break, and for at least 2 weeks around Christmas, but it never seems like enough time. Every year, we have grandiose plans for amazing dinners we’re going to execute and devour. Indian Feast; Moroccan Feast; Sushi Feast …. And every year I am at the airport, bidding them adieu while dreaming of the food we never ate. I realize that part of the problem is our own doing: we never make the time to get together. Although the summer break for them is 4 months long, it’s a whirlwind of catching up with family and friends … and on relaxation lost over stressful nights cramming for exams or last minute assignments. Also, my future sister-in-law – Carina – worked an insanely busy job this past summer as a dispatcher for the water bombers (very cool job); and since the North had many forest fires, she was rarely seen by any of us.
On one of the few occasions that I did bump into Carina at my parent’s place; she was busy preparing to make Kimbap. I had never heard of it before, and I suspect there are some of you reading this who never have either. It’s a Korean “street food” akin to Japanese sushi. Like sushi, it’s a roll made with rice, seaweed and whatever fillings your heart desires. Typically it’s made with picked radishes or other pickled vegetables; and perhaps the addition of cooked fish or beef or eggs. It’s usually eaten as a snack or quick lunch meal, as it’s easily stored and transported. Sometimes it’s cut into slices, just like sushi, but if you’re packing it for a lunch on the run, you can leave it unsliced, and devour it like a burrito. The difference from sushi – and what makes it so much easier to eat (perfect for lunch) – is that you don’t need wasabi, pickled ginger, or soy sauce. Just the roll. Yum.
Carina found out that there is no where in town to purchase pickled radishes; so she left them out of hers – and I also left them out of mine (which makes me think we’ll have to make pickled radishes this summer…). When Carina made Kimbap in the summer – so she would have delicious lunches while working away at her job – she filled it with fried spicy tuna, avocado, and crab meat. The day after she made it, I was over visiting, and felt like a snack; so Carina said I should try some of the Kimbap rolled up in the fridge. I cut up a few slices and greedily inhaled them. Ever since then, I’ve been thinking about making this easy to prepare “snack” – but of course, never got around to doing it until now. Since I didn’t make any pickled radishes, I wanted something else pickled in the rolls – and what could be better than the ultimate Korean pickle: kimchi!
Adapted from Maangchi.com & spoon fork bacon
I also used Maangchi.com’s Bulgogi recipe for my kimbap rolls. I’ve written out the list of ingredients, but linked to the site for how to make the bulgogi. The only thing I changed was using rib-eye steak over sirloin – I wanted to ensure the beef was incredibly tender for the kimbap. I didn’t have any kimchi on hand, and didn’t feel like waiting to make some. So I made a very quick kimchi by using a half a bag of pre-cut, bagged coleslaw. Because the cabbage was so finely sliced, it wilted and took on the flavours of the fish sauce and hot chili paste fast. I let it soak for about 10 minutes with 1 Tbsp of salt and 1/2 cup water – then rinsed the cabbage. Then I mixed it with 1 Tbsp fish sauce, 2 tsp sambal oelek, 2 tsp sugar, 1/2 inch piece of ginger – minced, 1 clove of garlic – minced, and 1/4 tsp chili flakes. I put the mixture in a mason jar and filled with water. Allowed it to sit while I prepared the remaining kimbap ingredients and it was good to go!
3 cups uncooked sticky rice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 batch of bulgogi (link to recipe & ingredients below)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 bunch of spinach
5-6 sheets nori (roasted seaweed)
* you will also need a bamboo rolling mat (cover with plastic film if desired to prevent rice from sticking to mat)
1 lb rib-eye steak
2 Tbsp soy sauce – gluten free
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
2 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp black pepper
Cook rice according to directions. Mix together the rice vinegar and sugar until sugar dissolves. Once rice is cooked, pour vinegar mixture over rice and mix gently. Allow to cool slightly – you want warm rice. Too hot and the nori will fall apart. Too cold and it won’t smooth out on the nori. Meanwhile, begin preparing the remaining ingredients:
Prepare bulgogi according to directions on Maangchi. Peel the carrot, and cut into matchstick pieces. Heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick pan; add spinach and saute until wilted down. Drain the spinach. Set out all the ingredients in a “workspace” so you have plenty of room to roll the kimbap.
To begin, place a sheet of nori onto the bamboo rolling mat. Cover the nori with about 1 cup of rice – it will be easier to spread with either a rice paddle or if your hands are slightly wet. Place some bulgogi, spinach, carrots, and kimchi on the rice – place it all close together on the rice, near the side closest to you. Roll up the nori gently using the bamboo mat (this can take some practice if you’ve never made sushi or kimbap before). Unroll the bamboo mat. Continue with the remaining 4-5 sheets of nori and fillings.
You can either slice the kimbap into 1/2 inch thick slices and store in a container or wrap each un-cut roll in plastic film. Store in the fridge until ready to eat. Kyle preferred his sliced, I liked mine unsliced.
Makes 5-6 full rolls.
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer days. Up here in the north, it was starting to feel like summer picked up her skirt and ran for the hills. It was cold. Luckily it looks like we’ll be getting a few more warm-weather days before September comes. I’m trying to make up for any lost time by giving you another summer salad recipe. This one is a classic: coleslaw; remixed to add some new personality to your summer buffet.
A simple mix of jewel-toned purple cabbage, shreds of orange carrots, and sliced green onions provide the canvas for the salty, earthy and sweet miso dressing. Miso paste can be found in most grocery stores now (with a little sleuthing you’ll discover it); it adds a little umami punch to sauces, soups, and noodle-y dishes. I use the white, genmai miso, as it’s umami flavour is a little less pronounced compared to red miso, making it a versatile ingredient for hearty stews to light dressings. For this particular salad dressing, I balanced those earthy flavours with some sweet agave and tart mustard and lemon juice.
Purple Coleslaw with Miso Dressing
I used a food processor to make the slicing and shredding go a lot faster. But a good ol’ knife and box grater will do just fine to get this salad on your table.
6 cups purple coleslaw, thinly sliced
2 carrots, shredded
4-5 green onions, sliced
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp miso paste
1 tsp grainy mustard
1 tsp agave syrup
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Combine cabbage, carrots, and onions in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients (olive oil through pepper) to make the dressing. Pour dressing over cabbage mix and combine thoroughly. You can serve immediately if desired, but this tastes better if you allow the flavours to meld together for an hour before eating.