Tag Archives: carrots

two notes-to-self

A couple things I’ve made, and made changes to, that I’ve enjoyed recently:

1.  Molly O’Neill’s Roasted Carrot and Red Lentil soup, via The Wednesday Chef.  I followed the recipe almost exactly the first time- doubled the paprika and introduced a little immersion blender action- and loved every bite.   A month or so later found myself with a small butternut squash, a lonely sweet potato, and some straggler carrots at the bottom of my crisper, but craving a creamy, bulky soup.  The combo of the three orange veggies worked just as well as the all-carrot version, immersion blender and all.  But as I sat down with the first bowl, and I felt it was missing… something.  A couple teaspoons of lemon juice stirred in at the end fixed it, and really brightened things up.

2.  Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins at Joy The Baker.  She used blueberries; I used a large peeled-and-chopped Honeycrisp and tripled the cinnamon.  Very welcome at the office on a chilly day. Healthy-ish too!

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Fall, Vegetables, Winter

red lentil soup with lemon

I knew I had to make this soup as soon as I read Molly’s description of it. “Sings”? A quiet soup that “sings”?!  Um, yeah, I want that.

Making this soup really made me happy. It was easy- a handful of pantry staples in a fresh new soup. One pot, one immersion blender, one hour, and done. It’s filling; it looks like fall; and it smells like home.

I enjoyed my first 4 or 5 bites with the olive oil “garnish” as suggested by Melissa, but went back and sprinkled with a touch of cayenne. The spice really complimented the warmth of the soup and freshness of the lemon. Do not skip the lemon.

And the orange kitty. Don’t skip the kitty.

I froze the remainder of the soup and had it warmed for supper tonight. Honestly, it’s better when it’s first made. The lemon was nearly indetectable, so I would suggest stirring in a bit of lemon juice to taste if having this for leftovers.

Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
adapted from Melissa Clark, via Orangette

Serves 3-4

2 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 T. tomato paste
1 t. cumin
1/2 to 1 t. kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 t. cayenne
1 quart plus 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock
1 c. water
1 c. red lentils, picked over
2 large carrots, diced
juice of 1/2 large lemon

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium.  Add the chopped onion and cook for 4-5 minutes until translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt and pepper, and cayenne; continue cooking over medium and stir 5-6 more minutes.

Add in the stock, water, lentils, and carrots. Bring to a boil and reduce heat as needed to keep at a gentle simmer for 35-40 minutes.  In a food processor or blender, or with an immersion blender, roughly blend the soup, but not completely smooth.  Reheat if necessary and add salt to taste; stir in lemon juice, and serve with a few drops of olive oil or a sprinkle of cayenne and kosher salt.


Filed under Clean Eating, Gluten-Free, Soups, Vegetarian, Winter

Creamy braised cauliflower and carrots

Braising. I’ve done it before, but had no clue that it was considered braising. Honestly, I had no clue what braising really was.

But apparently, I do this all the time. All you need is a little dry heat (browning), and then a little moisture (simmering and reducing).  Roast beef, anyone?

I don’t think I had used dairy in braising before this, though. I switched around the spices from the original recipe, incorporating the ever-autumny nutmeg.  Feel free to mix up the combo of veggies and spices– leeks, potatoes, celery, yams, broccoli, and fennel would all work well (not all together, of course).  But don’t skip the cayenne when you’re working with the root veggies!

I can’t wait to try this recipe with turnips and sweet potatoes. Definitely a new favorite (and super easy) comfort food.

Creamy Braised Cauliflower and Carrots
adapted from Everybody Likes Sandwiches

Serves 2-3 as a hearty side

2 T. butter
1/4 large or 1/2 small onion, sliced
3 large carrots, sliced
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 T. oil
dash of cayenne
1/4 to 1/2 t. nutmeg
salt and pepper
1/4 c. chicken or veggie stock
1/3 c. half and half or milk

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots; don’t stir but shake the pan to cover and let sit without stirring for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, roughly chop (or mince) the garlic and break up the cauliflower into bite-sized florets. Once carrots are slightly browning, stir in the cauliflower, garlic, cayenne, nutmeg, and S&P. Add 1 T. olive oil and shake pan to disburse.  Let the pan sit for another 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the stock and dairy. Once bubbling, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until veggies are tender and liquid is nearly gone, about 15 minutes. Serve with a light sprinkle of pepper and nutmeg.

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Filed under Fall, Side dishes, Vegetables

CE: Carrot-walnut breakfast cake

I am practicing to be a Grandma. Which is to say, I knit; I talk to my cat; and I always bake something when people are coming over to my house, no matter the occasion.  (Because grandma-hood has very little to do with actually having children, right?) I had a friend call and ask to crash on our couch for the night. Sure, absolutely- I’ve got just the enough time to whip up a quick bread and vacuum!

I had carrots; I had walnuts. I quickly decided that a breakfast carrot cake was in order, with a streusely top and loaded with toasted walnuts. I found a recipe that looked divine, but required overripe bananas… and because bananas are evil, they generally aren’t in my house. I found multiple recipes that called for an entire cup of sugar… and only 1 cup of grated carrot. Sorry, that’s not how *my* carrot cake is gonna roll.  In the end, I relied on good ‘ol Betty Crocker, but cleaned her up. 

Finally, a word on breakfast cake- how is this anything but a GREAT idea?? It’s a healthy quick bread that made a modest amount of batter, perfect for an old milk-glass cake dish. Perfection. Do not doubt it.


Carrot-Walnut Breakfast Cake

3/4 c. sucanat or natural brown sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 T. oil
¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
1 ½ c. whole-wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. pumpkin pie spice
2 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. toasted walnuts

1/2 c. sucanat or brown sugar
1/3 c. toasted walnuts
1/2 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Grease or line a cake pan or loaf pans.  Whisk eggs and sucanat together until bubbly and yellow, about 2 minutes.  Whisk in vanilla, oil, and applesauce.

Sift together flour, powder, salt, and spices. Mix into the wet ingredients with a spoon or spatula, just until mixed. Fold in carrots and walnuts. Let rest a few minutes.

Mix together the topping ingredients in a small bowl. Pour batter into prepared pan, and sprinkle with topping.  Bake for 30-35 minutes for cake pan, or 50-60 minutes for loaf pan. Check with tester/toothpick to make sure middle is baked through.

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Filed under Breads, Breakfast, Clean Eating, Desserts