Posts Tagged ‘carrots’

Before I begin, I want to apologize for the SUPER crappy quality of these images. 1. they were taken on my cell phone. I wasn’t planning on posting this recipe but it received such rave reviews from my Mom and Grandma that I changed my mind. The only camera I had on me was my phone though and 2. My free on-line photo editor, Picmonkey, isn’t working. It keeps crashing Safari every time I try and load a photo onto it. If you have a good program you use or may know why my computer is doing this, help and guidance would be welcome!

And now on with the post!

So, as I mentioned yesterday, for November I am cleaning up my finances and my life! I’m participating in No Spend November with my friend, Rachel. I’ll update you on how that is going tomorrow.

On top of that, I will also be cleaning up my eating. I have, unfortunately, been treating halloween candy like it’s a major food group and pretty much eating it with everything. Now, we all know that halloween sized candies have no calories on halloween BUT what about days when you are stuck in the house cause of a hurricane and you lose track of what you’ve eaten. Or, a week after halloween cause it’s still hanging around.

yeah…that’s not a good thing.

I’ve been feeling pretty crappy with all the sugar I’ve been consuming so I decided to crack down on some better eating. Then, Leanne over at Healthful Pursuit posted a cleanse that she would be doing for two weeks and I really liked the idea! It’s all fruits, veggies and nuts/seeds for the first week and that’s what I needed. No sugar!  You can check out the guidelines here if you want to join us!

The best part though, salads, pureed soups and smoothies are all in, which means I get to keep trying and posting new recipes!

As I mentioned above, I actually made this recipe on Saturday for my Mom and Grandma and they completely loved it! We all went back for second and thirds. It’s all vegetables so if you omit the sugar in the sauce, I believe it will meet Healthful Pursuits cleanse guidelines.

It was, literally, bigger then my head. And that’s pretty impressive since I inherited my Dad’s huge head. Thanks Dad…

Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
from Peas and Thank you
makes about  entree size servings

For the stir-fry:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (should yield about 8 c. of “noodles”)
  • 2 c. mushrooms
  • 1 c. carrots, peeled and cut into coins
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar snap peas

For the sauce:

  • 3 T. hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 c. reduced-sodium soy sauce, tamari or aminos
  • 1/3 c. organic ketchup
  • 1/3 c. fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 c. warm water
  • 3 T. organic sugar

Garinshes: lime wedges, cilantro and peanuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cut the squash ends off your spaghetti squash and then cut in have length-wise. Scoop out the seeds. Spray with some cooking oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie tray, cut side down, and bake for 30-50 minute depending on the size. You want it fork tender, soft enough to easily pierce with a fork. (Mine was ginormous so required 50 minutes but my usual medium sized squashes take about 30 minutes). Once your squash is cooked through, remove and let cool. Using a fork, scrape out the squash into strands and fluff.  Set aside.

Spray a large skillet or wok with cooking spray or a light mist of oil and place over medium-high heat.  Sauté mushroom, carrots and snap peas until tender crisp, about 4-7 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by whisking together hoisin, soy sauce, tamari or aminos, ketchup, lime juice water and sweetener.

Add the spaghetti squash “noodles” to the pan with the vegetables and heat thoroughly.  Serve the veggie and squash mix and pour sauce over individual servings, to taste, and toss. ( I had left over sauce)  Serve immediately, passing lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and peanuts at the table for garnish, if desired.

This recipe was super yummy, though I was a little sad it wasn’t more peanutty. I’ve recently heard of powdered peanut butter that has significantly less calories then regular peanut butter and taste best when mixed with things. I’m sort of dying to try it in this recipe! We ate this with Szechuan Green Beans, by the way, which is definitely one of my favorite recipes

Ok everyone, today is day 1 of my two week cleanse! I’m not sure if I’ll make it that long but I’m excited to try. I’ll update you on it tomorrow as well as how my No Spend November is going. Stay tuned!

PS. Grandma, Mom and I also played scrabble and I may have won. Not braggin’ or nothin’ but Quotha for 40+ points for the win! But, you know, I’m not braggin’…

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Back when I was growing up, we very rarely went out to dinner. It was a treat that was reserved for special occasions. My mom cooked dinner almost every night and we always sat down together at the table for dinner.  I didn’t really realize there was another way until high school when my then boyfriend’s family had dinner out almost every night.  Every time I went over, they had take-out from a different place. I had more Chinese food over at their house in the year I was in that relationship then I ever had with my family…or probably since then. I thought it was awesome!

Now that I live on my own and have support myself (what a pain that is!), I still rarely eat out. I try and cook most of my meals at home, which helps me eat healthier and budget better.

With that said, though, I seriously LOVE eating out!  Especially when I get to try a new restaurant. A few weeks ago, two of my friends, on two separate occasions, told me that I need to try this restaurant called Life Alive. It’s super hippie-granola and has tons of vegan choices. I was game! The first time I went, I was so overwhelmed. There are never a lot of vegan options to choose from so having a whole menus worth, well, I didn’t know where to start. So I got a salad and a smoothie. BOR-ING!

I redeemed myself the second time around by ordering their Emperor bowl. It was so good! I’m not even sure if I came up for air during the process of shoveling it in my face.  Actually, I’m pretty sure I came up at least once to tell the person  I was with, “I could totally make this for Wicked Vegan!” And so I have. It’s not exact but I think it hits the spot!

My goal for this recipe was to let the veggies shine. I cooked them for a bit, but mostly until just hot, never until super soft, and kept the dressing  light enough where I felt the veggies were still the focal point

Sweet Corn and Kale Rice Bowl with Miso Dressing
inspired by Life Alive’s Emperor Bowl
makes 4 servings

         Miso Dressing:
         from 101cookbooks.com

  • 2 tablespoons miso
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard (whatever kind you have around, I used Dijon)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar (recipe calls for brown but I had regular and it worked fine)
  • 1/3 cup mild flavored extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure toasted sesame oil (optional)

Make the dressing by whisking the miso, mustard, and honey/agave together. Now whisk in the rice vinegar and keep whisking until it’s smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil, and then the sesame oil. Two pinches of salt. Taste and make any adjustments if needed. Make dressing ahead of time and set aside. I prefer to let this sit overnight because it thickens up and gives the dish a really creamy texture. Feel free to use it right away, though. It will still taste great.

Rice Bowl:

  • 1 cup of brown basmati rice, uncooked
  • olive oil or cooking spray to coat the pan (I used coconut oil cooking spray to reduce oil, sesame oil would be delicious though!)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of Kale (I used curly)
  • 2 Carrots, shredded
  • 2 Ears of Corn, cooked in  your preferred method (I boiled mine)
  • 1 TBSP of soy sauce
  • 1 block of pressed tofu
  • 2 cups of sun dried tomatoes (NOT packed in oil)
  • sesame seeds

Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for 15-30 minutes or until soft. Once soft, slice into thin strips or dice, depending on preference. Set aside.

Prepare your basmati rice according to the package and set aside. I cook mine differently every time but usually I put 1 cup rice and 2 cups of water in a pot, bring to a boil uncovered, then reduce heat to simmer, cover with a lid, and let it simmer for 30-45 minutes. I find it depends on the brand, though.

Coat a large frying pan in oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook until it’s fragrant. Add the kale and toss until hot and a little bit wilted but not soggy. I would say about 5-8 minutes depending on your preference. Set kale aside.

Coat the pan again with a little more cooking spray, if needed. Add shredded carrots and corn with a splash of soy sauce. Again, cook until hot. Set aside.

Crumble the tofu in the same pan you used for the corn and carrots and cook until golden brown, stirring only occasionally. Set aside.

To assemble your rice bowl, you should have 1 cup of kale, 1/2 c. of rice, 1/2 cup of the corn/carrot mixture, 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes,  1/4 of the tofu, salad dressing to taste and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

To reheat or store leftovers, I really wanted to keep the measurements of this dish intact because it follows the Rabbit Food for my Bunny Teeth food pyramid. So I stored everything in separate containers. Then, to reheat, I would portion everything out, dump it in a pan on the stove, and reheat everything together. If the portions don’t bother you, store everything in one large container and just reheat however much you want on the stove top.

This is one of those meals that takes some steps but it’s SO yummy when it comes together. I love it because it sounds and feels fancy but, especially during this season when corn is 50 cents per ear (if not less), it ends up being a relatively inexpensive dish that tastes so fresh! I was able to buy all my veggies at the farmers market and already had rice in bulk. My biggest purchase was the miso paste, which you can find in the cold section of your grocery store near the tofu or in an asian grocery store.

Shoveling this unceremoniously into your mouth is pretty much the only way to eat it, just so you know!

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I know that there has been a lot of groaning about the weather on this blog lately due to the fact that I seriously dislike the summer. It’s all hot and sticky and I’ll all sweaty and cranky. It’s not my favorite season.

But, I will grudgingly admit, summer has its perks. Ok, maybe just one- fresh produce! I am loving going to the farmers markets on the weekend and getting fresh fruits and vegetables. Even the grocery stores have more selection. I went into Whole Foods this weekend and the produce area was packed. It was like a Produce Utopia! I had to fight to stick to my very specific grocery list  and not buy one of everything, which was really really hard!

With that said, I’ve been eating a ton of salads. It’s so easy just to cut up a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies and dump them in a bowl. This means I’ve been seriously slacking in the hot meals area lately. The closest I come to my stove is to make a big pot of grains to get me through the week and then I avoid it like the plague.

But last week, my new favorite blog, Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth, posted this recipe and I couldn’t get it out of my head. I don’t know why- It’s just a stir-fry. But I think its close enough to my “cut-produce-up-and-dump-in-bowl” theory that I was convinced I needed to make it.

And I’m SO glad I did. It is insanely delicious.

Cashew Ginger Rice Bowl
from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth

 Serves 1

1/2 cup cooked brown rice ( I used brown Basmati Rice)
1/2 cup unshelled edamame
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced (approximately 1/2 of the pepper)
1/2 cup onion, diced (approximately 1/2 of the onion)
1/2 cup carrots, shredded (approximately 1 large carrot)
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth (I use Pacific)
2 Tbsp chopped cashews
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce or tamari
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

Cook brown rice according to package instructions.

In a medium pan, combine the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and ginger together over medium heat. Add the bell pepper, onion, carrots, and the spinach. Cook the vegetables until they absorb most of the cooking liquid and become tender. Add in the unshelled edamame and stir until cooked. Add the cooked brown rice and gently mix into the vegetables. Top with chopped cashews. Serve hot.

I can’t tell you why I love this recipe so much. Maybe it’s simply because I was craving something hot. More likely though, this recipe just has the right mix of veggies. All the health articles I read say you should eat lots of different colored produce so your getting all sorts of nutrients and this recipe definitely has color!

And if you haven’t checked out RFFMBT, yet, definitely do so. Catherine has a great story to share, yummy recipes and a revamped food pyramid that I love. She also has a section that shows what you should be eating for each meal and what 1 portion equals. For instance, one portion of quinoa is not a bowl full- it’s actually only 1/2 cup. Definitely good to know!

And make sure to keep checking in this week. I was very productive this weekend and managed to actually make more then one thing! Yeah for regular posts on WV again =)

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It’s Monday again. I hope you had an excellently exciting weekend.

A lot of my favorite bloggers are posting pictures of their weekend but I’m going to spare you that show. Unlike theirs, my weekend did not consist of yummy food, pool parties and oodles of socializing. In fact, most of my friends have peaced out of Boston and are vacationing this week. So I did almost nothing this weekend. I didn’t even bother wearing real clothes for most of it and pictures of me in my pajamas does not make for an interesting blog.

I did manage to go to the late showing of Ted on Friday night, which was hysterical. After that though, I pretty much spent all day Saturday in bed and soaking up the air conditioning. I enjoyed it, trust me, it just wasn’t picture worthy.

Anyway, so this week consists of a little holiday called the Fourth of July. Most of you will be enjoying the day off, BBQ’ing and boozing it up, with a nice little fire works show afterward.

I’ll be working until 9:30 pm. Apparently, retail stores don’t close on the 4th?? Who knew.

But, I wanted to give you a recipe that you could take to your cookouts that was a little different. Burgers and potato salads are so predicable. This is a nice little twist on the pasta salad.

Blanching system. Let’s pretend my stove isn’t uber gross and just focus on how awesome it is that I unintentionally matched all my pots and bowls!

Peanut Pasta Salad with Fried Tempeh Bits
from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook; posted on Madejustright.com

Makes 4 Servings

  • 4 tablespoons sesame oil, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) block of tempeh, crumbled
  • 1 large carrot, julienned
  • 1/2 cup broccoli slaw (you can also use broccoli florets if you want but the texture creeps me out which is why I went the slaw route)
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of brown rice pasta spirals (or any other pasta)
  • 3 tbsp  peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, to taste
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

1. Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a skillet over high heat. Fry the tempeh until slightly crispy, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Blanch the carrots, broccoli, and red pepper separately until they turn bright in color, or about 30 seconds. Do not overcook. Drain, rinse under cold water, and set aside. (I had three bowls set up for this which I found easy: 1 pot with boiling water, 1 pot with ice water, and one pot with  mess strainer over it. (See Above) So you boil the veggies for 30 seconds, plunge them in the ice water until their cool, and then dump them in the strainer. For the broccoli slaw, I put the broccoli in a different mesh strainer with handles on the side, plunged the strainer with the broccoli into the hot water and then into the cold water. This way, since the slaw is so finely cut, you don’t have to worry about fishing little pieces out of the water.)
3. Cook the pasta, according to the directions on the package. Drain and set aside.
4. In a blender, mix together the peanut butter, the remaining sesame oil, the water, soy sauce, agave nectar, vinegar, and ginger. Toss the vegetables, pasta, and sauce together. Garnish with the sesame seeds. Serve warm.

Blanched veggies!

Voila! Something new and exciting to bring to your BBQs. Don’t forget some veggie patties and you’ll be good to go.

Stay tuned this week! Tomorrow I’m posting a 4th of July sweet treat and some other recipes that are BBQ worthy. That’s right… I used my time Sunday to actually plan out this week’s posts and be productive! Crazy how much you can get done when you don’t sleep until noon like I did on Saturday. I did still spend all Sunday in my PJs, though…

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Now, let me be straight with you: I have some irish in me but I’m a pretty poor representation when it comes to stereotypes. For one, I can’t hold my liquor to save my life (I’m pleasantly buzzed after one beer or hard cider, my preferred drink of choice). It makes me a cheap date but you certainly won’t see me at the local irish pub going toe to toe with the big boys. In fact, I don’t even really like alcohol! I’m sure my ancestors are shaking their heads sadly right now. Secondly, I really don’t like their food. Boiled cabbage? Are you for real?? Yuck!

Well, we already solved the Corned Beef food issue, so let’s tackle the traditional irish sides and see if we can’t make it more edible. First thing first, we have to get rid of these boiled veggies. I will not be shoving boiled cabbage and onions down my throat. That is no way to treat vegetables.

My first thought when I thought cabbage was, brussel sprouts. They are the cute, little baby version of cabbage that is both tasty and versatile. My preferred way of eating them is roasting them. I figured throwing some potatoes and carrots with them couldn’t hurt! My second thought was, clearly I need to get some beer in here somehow!

The result is Guiness-glazed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots and Brussel Sprouts, both are insanely easy to throw together and both taste delicious.


Guiness-Glazed Potatoes
inspired by this recipe

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 or 5  yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 ” wedges. 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 1/4 cup Guiness Beer (or other dark stout)*
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar

 Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the potatoes in the pan, season with salt, pepper and onion salt and let cook uncovered for about 25 minutes, turning the potatoes every once in a while so they brown evenly. After 25 minutes, add the beer, vegetable broth and brown sugar. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the beer reduces down and the potatoes are tender.

* It is my understanding that Guiness as a general rule is not vegan, EXCEPT the Guiness Extra Stout bottled in North America. See the emails from Guiness here . The Canadian Guinness brewery doesn’t use Isinglass. Make sure you are getting the Guiness Extra Stout brewed in Canada though, the one from the UK is NOT vegan.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Carrots
based off my brussel sprouts recipe

  • 1 lb of brussel sprouts
  • 4 large carrots
  • 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the stem and out leaves of the brussel sprouts and cut in half. Toss with 1.5 TBSP of the olive oil, 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/8 tsp of pepper. Spread out on a baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the carrot into sticks of roughly the same size and toss with remaining oil, salt and pepper. After 15 minutes, add carrots to the brussel sprouts and cook for an additional 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your vegetables. Mine were done after 35, which is unusual since my brussel sprouts usually cook for 45 minutes.

Though the brussel sprouts and carrots were pretty simple, I really loved the carrots done like that. I have never tried roasting them before but they tasted delicious! The potatoes though, definitely stole the show, and I’m not even a potato person (another Irish stereotype down the drain)! The glaze was perfect and the potatoes get soft and golden cooking in the pan like that. I’m a huge fan!

And there you have it! Your main St. Patrick’s day dinner is all set. What are we missing? Dessert? Soda Bread? I’ll see what I can do for you the next two days… =)

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Hot Veggie Salad

Here’s the thing: Blogging can be hard!

Sometimes, it’s late Sunday night and you should be posting recipes but you are sitting in the Cheesecake Factory shoveling the 800th guacamole-ladened tortilla chip in your mouth with a friend under the pretense of “planning your week”. Ok, whatever…do we get free refills on the guac?

Other times, it’s a freezing cold Thursday and you should be posting recipes but you are at a friends soaking in the warmth of their apartment under the pretense of lending an ear to their woes. “oh man, that’s awful! Why don’t I just stay here a few more hours to comfort you…”

Or sometimes, I just plain forget! I take pictures of all my meals, I plan out my week for when and what I’m going to post, and then I just forget. It’s kinda pathetic.

But this recipe is amazing for lunches, so if you can pull yourself away from restaurant eating/socializing/whoring-yourself-out-for warmth, I would seriously recommend preparing a batch of this to be consumed throughout the week. It comes together pretty fast.

Hot Veggy Salad
from Healthful Pursuit

makes 2 cups (I tripled the recipe so I could have it for lunch during the week. )



  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1/2 cup brown basmati rice, uncooked (the original recipe called for wild rice but I just used what I already had)

Cayenne roasted veggies

  • 1 yellow pepper, diced small
  • 2 carrots, diced small
  • 10 asparagus spears, diced small
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch cayenne (the cayenne is SO subtle. If you want spice, you definitely will need more)

Maple dressing

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized apple vinegar
  • 1 tbsp gluten-free mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Herbamare or salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (if you are making this ahead of time like I did, keep the sunflowers to the side and add them right before you eat so they don’t get soggy)


  1. Prepare the Basmati rice (or your rice of choice) according to the package
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400F.
  3. Place pepper, carrot, and asparagus in a large bowl. Stir in the coconut oil until all the veggies are coated. Your veggies will not taste like coconut. Sprinkle with cinnamon and cayenne. Place in the oven for 20 minutes, or until veggies are tender. (Alternatively, healthfulpursuits.com says you can do this on a stove top, cooking on medium heat for about 8-10 minutes, but I like the taste of baked-in-the-oven veggies more, I don’t know why…)
  4. Remove veggies from oven and place in the bowl with rice.
  5. In a small dish combine olive oil, maple syrup, vinegar and mustard, salt and pepper. If you are making this head of time, store separately from the salad. I used an old, glass olive oil jar. It worked perfectly!
  6. When ready to eat, microwave the rice and veggies for a few minutes. Pour the dressing over the salad, stir, and top with sunflower seeds.

Aren’t the colors super pretty in this salad?! I was super excited for this recipe because I wanted something loaded with vegetables that wasn’t your standard romaine lettuce/carrots/dressing salad. That gets so boring after a while. Plus, its warmth and color helps fight off the winter blues, which has definitely hit Boston- finally. But all the colors in the world won’t motivate me to eat this if it isn’t easy and yummy, which it was. I was able to package this up into servings for lunch and just grab it in the morning! Love how easy that is!

Reused Olive Oil bottle works excellent for home made dressings!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go make a few phone calls to see who with heat I can bribe with cookies in exchange for letting me crash on their futons/couches. It’s an icebox in my house!

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