Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Carrots!

 Carrots!

Carrots are the easiest vegie to incorporate into a meal- they add so much flavor, are simple additions to soups, stews, delicious raw! And colorful!  Rich in beta carotene, they are wonderful for Vitamin A, are considered rich in antioxidants, great for the eyes, skin and metabolism!
I wash them the same as many vegies, in bowl of water with tbsp of vinegar for 10 minutes. To prep I usually cut the tips off and use a peeler to clean the outside edges. After this you can slice into wedges, circular slices, grate,  chop, dice and or -just eat!  The Best way to eat them is raw!  wash, cut into sticks and enjoy!

To Cook on the stove:

Clean 1lb. carrots and slice whatever way you like.
Add to sauce pan filled a 1/4 of the way with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring the water to boil. Cook about 7-9 minutes for slices. Baby Carrots** take about 8-10 minutes. Cook until tender and a fork easily pierces piece. Drain, top with butter if desired and serve.

To Steam on the stove: 

Clean 1lb. carrots and slice.
Fill sauce pan to the bottom of vegetable steamer with water and bring to boil. Add sliced carrots and cover with lid. Steam for 8-10 minutes or until carrots are tender and easily pierced with fork.

To Mash:

Clean 1lb. carrots and slice whatever way you like, for mashed, the smaller the bits the easier to prepare.
Fill a saucepan with water about 3/4 way, add 1/2 tsp salt. Add carrots, and boil for 10-15 minutes until pieces are completely tender and mashable. Drain and place in bowl. Use a potato masher or toss into food processor.  Add 1 tbsp real butter and 1 tbsp homemade yogurt, salt and pepper to taste- mash or process until creamy. Garnish with chopped parsley.

To Bake in oven:

Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a casserole dish. Clean 1lb. carrots and slice into 1" pieces. Toss carrots with 1 tbsp olive oil, and seasonings (you can use a great variety of seasonings here, Italian seasoning mix is wonderful and rich, a simple Garlic and herb mix is wonderful with baked chicken, sprinkle with curry and cumin for impact- the choice is yours! Even just salt and pepper and wonderful!) Toss until all pieces are coated, arrange in baking pan and cover with foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes. If your chunks are thicker- you may need an additional 10 minutes. test with a for for tenderness.

To Foil on BBQ:

Clean 1lb. carrots and slice. Take square pieces of foil and  Add 1 serving size amount of carrots to the middle, add a pat of butter, and sprinkle with seasonings (salt and pepper, or whatever herb spice might match your BBQ preferences). Fold foil over. Roll sides together until resembles completely sealed envelope. Prep remaining carrots into serving sized foil pockets. Bake on BBQ, turning half way for 25-30  minutes.

Grate carrots and add them to pilaf, rices, soups, pasta, salads, dips, cakes, muffins- the options are endless!

Easy Carrot Salad: 2 cups shredded carrots, 1 cup raisins, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 diced apple, 1 tbsp. brown sugar (or honey), 1 heaping tbsp. mayonnaise (Homemade preferred). Stir together and chill for 1/2 hour before serving.   Easy Carrot Salad




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