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#carrots

Carrot cake smoothie

I happen to be married to someone who adores carrot cake, so when I found this recipe recently, there was no way I wasn’t going to include it. I mean, a healthy smoothie tasting like carrot cake??

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1 cup carrots, peeled and then grated (if you have a high powered blender like a Vitamix, you could probably just roughly chop them)
1 organic banana, frozen
1 1/2 cups coconut/almond milk(or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1/4 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for two hours (or 1/4 cup homemade cashew nut butter)
1 tsp good vanilla extract
1 good sized Medjool date
1 tbsp organic raw shelled hemp seeds, or protein powder.
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger or 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Optional – instead of the hemp seeds, for additional nutritional support, you could also opt for a scoop of Protein Powder, either the Vanilla Chai or straight Vanilla would be great.

Directions: Add all of the ingredients to your high speed blender and process until smooth and creamy. Top with a little cinnamon and a pinch of grated carrots. Enjoy immediately.

Weekend soup (using whatever you have left in the fridge)

When the weeks are cooler, I tend to open the fridge doors and haul out any vegetables that could go into a soup. You will be surprised what wonderful concoctions you can come up with and how much soup you can make from very little.
Don’t overthink it and definitely don’t measure anything as soups are one of the most forgiving and inventive things you can make.

This week my ingredients are;

4 large onions, peeled and chopped
1 large turnip, peeled and chopped
6 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 head of celery, including leaves, peeled of stringy stuff
1 butternut squash, peeled, cubed, tossed in olive oil and seasoning and roasted at 350 degrees for 45 mins
1 whole cauliflower, broken into florets
about 12 asparagus spears, snapping off the tough ends and chopping into 1 inch lengths
5 zucchini, halved then quartered lengthways and chopped across into 3/4″ pieces
3 heads of broccoli including stems chopped
1 whole bunch fresh parsley stalks and all
french green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1″ lengths

4 to 6 (32 oz) containers chicken broth. (You can use vegetable broth if you’re vegetarian, but I think chicken broth adds far more flavor.

I put about 1/4 cup of olive oil and about 3 tbsp butter into the bottom of a very large soup stock pot, then in goes the onions, turnip, carrots, celery, cauliflower, broccoli and everything else, stirring as I go so everything mixes together.
After about 15 minutes of this, add the broth, stirring and it should cover the vegetables with an extra level of about 1 to 2 inches, so the soup isn’t too thick.

Let the soup bubble away, stirring it every 20 mins, for about 45 mins at least, until all the vegetables are soft. Taste the juice and season with salt and pepper, but not too much as this is something you can do after you have pureed it.
When it’s cooked, take it off the heat and leave aside for about 1 hour until it’s not so hot. Puree the soup in a blender and at this stage you can add a little cream for a more velvety texture, some soft goat cheese for a really lovely flavor and even some grated mature cheddar or Parmesan cheese, returning it back to a large saucepan after it’s pureed.
Put back on the heat, taste and season until it tastes perfect.

Just remember, play with it, even adding some chopped pancetta or bacon when you fry the vegetables and know that this huge pot of flavorful goodness will feed you for quite a long time and cost nothing more!

The "haul" for the rest of the week

The “haul” for the rest of the week

* Some other great vegetables to use are;
spinach
potatoes
sweet potatoes
tomatoes
Jerusalem artichokes (the knobbly ones)
celeriac (celery root)
fennel
kale
frozen peas, thawed
Swiss chard

Remember, whatever vegetables you put in the soup, there are certain ones that will naturally thicken the soup, like
asparagus
butternut squash
potatoes
sweet potatoes
parsnips
carrots
Cannellini or other tinned beans
cauliflower

Carrot Salad with Tahini, Crispy Garbanzo Beans and Salted pistachios

I just love non-meat dishes these days especially with the temperature so warm. Although I’m not a vegetarian, I do fantasize about being one.
This is another beauty of a recipe and simple to make.

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Garbanzo beans
1 3/4 cups cooked Garbanzo beans (chickpeas), or 1 15-ounce can, drained and patted dry on paper towels
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
Salad
1 lb carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley
1/4 cup shelled, salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Dressing
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp well-stirred tahini
2 tbsp water, plus more if needed
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste

Roast chickpeas: Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the chickpeas with one tbsp olive oil, salt and cumin until they’re all coated.
Spread them on a baking sheet or pan and roast them in the oven until they’re browned and crisp. This can take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size and firmness of your chickpeas. Toss them occasionally to make sure they’re toasting evenly. Set aside until needed.

Make dressing: Whisk all ingredients together until smooth, adding more water if needed to thin the dressing slightly. Taste and adjust seasoning; don’t worry if it tastes a little sharp on the lemon, it will marry perfectly with the sweet grated carrots.

Assemble salad: Place the grated carrots in a large bowl and toss with the parsley. Mix in 2/3 of the dressing, adding more if desired. Add more salt and pepper if needed. Sprinkle with a large handful of chickpeas (you’ll have extra and if you’re like us, won’t regret it) and the pistachios and dig in.

Do ahead: Salad keeps well in the fridge for two days, however, I’d add the chickpeas and pistachios right before serving, so they don’t get soft

Roasted carrots with cumin yoghurt

This is a gorgeous dish and the little “stubby” carrots roast so well with a really deep flavor. The cumin yoghurt lends a “Middle Eastern” quality and all in all, it’s a must.

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Serves 8

3 lbs Thumbelina or other small carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2″ pieces
2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup plus tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup cilantro (coriander) leaves with tender stems, plus more for garnish
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Preheat the oven to 450 F.
Toss the carrots with the orange juice, thyme, bay leaves and 1/4 cup olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and pepper.
Roast,tossing halfway through until golden brown and soft, 30 – 35 minutes; remove bay leaves

Meanwhile, toast the coriander seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing, until fragrant, about 1 minute; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the cumin. Let cool and coarsely chop.

Puree the coriander seeds, cumin, yoghurt,lime juice, 1/4 cup cilantro and remaining 2 tbsp oil in a food processor until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Serve the carrots topped with the cumin yoghurt, cilantro and sesame seeds

Prosciutto wrapped sea bass with roasted Autumn vegetables

I have been thinking about this recipe ever since I watched the “Barefoot Contessa” make it.
Finally I made it tonight with some modifications and it really is lovely with sweet roasted root vegetables, moist sea bass enclosed in the salty prosciutto, and the lovely woodsy flavor of the rosemary infused buttery lemon sauce.

 

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Prep time 20 mins
Cooking time 1 hour
Serves 4, but is easily augmented

2 cups peeled, seeded and diced (1/2-inch) butternut squash
2 cups peeled and diced (1/2 inch) diced parsnips
2 cups peeled and diced (1/2 inch) diced carrots
Good olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic (about 4 cloves)
4 ( 7 oz ) fillets skinless sea bass fillets
6 to 8 thin slices prosciutto di Parma
1/4 lb (1 stick) unsalted butter, clarified butter or ghee
6 good sprigs fresh rosemary
3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

For the vegetables;
Put the butternut squash, parsnips and carrots in a large bowl.Finely cut 2 sprigs of the fresh rosemary and add to the vegetables. Sprinkle with 1 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper and the garlic. Add about 1/3 cup olive oil and toss together with your hands until well mixed together.
Line a shallow roasting tray with aluminum foil, spread the vegetables out in a single layer and roast for 30 mins, turning once during the cooking until they are tender and starting to brown.
Meanwhile, line another sheet pan with aluminum foil and place a baking rack on top of the foil.
Brush the fish fillets on both sides with olive oil and season liberally with salt and ground pepper.
Wrap each fillet with a slice or two of prosciutto to form a wide band around the center of the fillet.
Arrange the fillets on the rack with the prosciutto seam side down and roast for 10 to 15 minutes until barely cooked.
While the vegetables and fish are roasting, melt the butter over medium heat in a medium-sized saute pan.
Add the rosemary sprigs and cook over low heat until the rosemary leaves are crisp and the butter begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
Discard the rosemary, stir in the lemon juice and set aside.
To serve, place the vegetables in the middle of a shallow bowl, lay a piece of the prosciutto wrapped fish on top.
Spoon the butter/rosemary sauce over the fish and vegetables.
Garnish with a small sprig of rosemary and a wedge of lemon and serve hot.

Carrot puree with ginger and orange

 

This is the most delicious side dish with the freshness of orange juice, lemon juice and grated orange peel and the exotic, refreshing flavor of fresh ginger. A must to try!

8 servings
3 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 tbsp sugar
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Cook the carrots and 3 tbsp sugar in a large pot of boiling and salted water until the carrots are tender, about 25 minutes.
Drain well, return the carrots to the same pan, stir over medium heat until any excess moisture evaporates.
Meanwhile, bring the orange juice to a simmer in a heavy, small pan over medium heat.
Add the butter, ginger and orange peel; whisk until the butter melts.
Whisk in the lemon juice and remaining 1 tbsp sugar.
Puree half the carrots and half of the juice in a food processor until smooth.
Repeat with the remaining half and season to taste with salt and pepper.
You may need to reheat it before serving, otherwise, transfer it to a large serving dish

Carrot harissa hummus

Delicious and very different. Well worth making. Thank you to Aida Mollenkamp for this recipe.

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb carrots, roughly chopped and ends discarded
2 medium cloves garlic cloves, peeled
1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained (chick peas)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp tahini or almond butter
3 to 4 tbsp harissa paste
4 to 5 large ice cubes
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp runny honey
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat the broth in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil.
Add the carrots and garlic, reduce to medium and cook until very tender, about 10 minutes.
Remove from the stove and cool slightly.

Combine the carrots and 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid with the chick peas and garlic in a food processor fitted with a blade.
Process until the mixture is very smooth.

Add olive oil, tahini or almond butter and ice cubes and pulse until the mixture is very smooth.
* Regarding the Harissa paste, this amount makes a fairly spicy hummus, so you might want to start with 1 tbsp and taste it to make sure you can handle the heat.

Pulse in 3 tbsp of the Harissa, (or 1 tbsp to start with if you’re not sure of the spiciness) lemon juice and honey and season well with salt. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more salt, honey or Harissa as desired.

Place in the refrigerator to let the hummus cool off before using, at least 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

* The hummus can be made up to 4 days ahead of time – store it refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use.

Bok Choy Brown Rice Salad with Orange Sesame Dressing

So tasty, tangy and nutty, you won’t want to stop eating this salad!!

For the salad

4 cups cooked brown rice
1 1/2 cups coarsely shredded carrot
3 baby or 2 normal bok choy, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/2 cup thinly sliced trimmed scallions
1/2 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

For the dressing

3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup canola oil

To make the salad, combine the brown rice, shredded bok choy, peas, cilantro, peanuts, scallions and sesame seeds in a large bowl. Toss gently to combine.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Whisk vigorously until well combined.
Taste and adjust the seasonings, accordingly. Add the dressing to the bowl with the salad, a bit at a time, tossing gently to coat.
Taste and add more dressing as necessary. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Crunchy Thai quinoa salad

I just love quinoa and it is so readily available in most supermarkets these days.
This recipe takes a regular quinoa salad up a notch and is really different and refreshing.

Serves 6 to 8

1 cup quinoa, prepared according to the package instructions
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1 cup red cabbage, shredded
1 large carrot, shredded
1 cup green onions, diced
1 cup shelled edamame
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped finely

Dressing
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil (or toasted sesame oil)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste

Place the cooked quinoa in a large bowl and set aside to cool

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, sesame oil, lime juice, honey, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and salt and pepper.

Once the quinoa has come to room temperature add all the vegetables.
pour the dressing over the top and toss to combine. Serve cold or at at room temperature.

Prep time 20 mins

 
 

Carrot cake ice cream

So you may think this is “gilding the lily” but what do you serve this with?  Carrot cake!!
You must start making this the day before you need to serve it, don’t forget
First of all, put the inner bowl of an ice cream maker in the freezer the day before you make this.

Makes 1 quart

6 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup cold sour cream
1 cup cold heavy cream
A pinch of coarse kosher salt
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp good Madagascar vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1&1/2 cups shredded carrots
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp apple pie spice (optional)

Chill a medium mixing bowl and the beaters of an electric mixer.
In the bowl beat the cream cheese at medium speed until soft and smooth.
Add the sugar, 1/4 cup at a time beating well after each addition.
Beat in the sour cream followed by the heavy cream.
Add in the salt, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Beat just until thick and smooth.
Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the meantime melt the butter and brown sugar in a medium skillet over medium heat.
Add in the carrots, cinnamon, ginger and apple pie spice.
Saute until the brown sugar-butter mixture has thickened and reduced and the carrots are cooked.
Place in a bowl in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, chill the mixer beaters again. using the chilled beaters beat the cold ice cream base going from low speed to medium, until loose and creamy, about 3 minutes.
Pour into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
In the last 5 minutes of mixing, pour in the carrot-brown sugar-butter mixture.
Churn until combined.
Serve immediately or, if too soft, freeze for an hour or so in a covered container until it has reached the desired consistency