Posts Tagged "carrots"

Coleslaw

Even though it’s still August, I’ve already mentally transitioned to fall cooking. I’m starting to crave those hearty soups and stews and slow cooked food. But I can’t possibly transition to fall recipes yet without posting one of my favorite summer recipes: coleslaw.

Now, there are many things I despise about the typical midwestern diet, but I grew up eating creamy coleslaw, and I still love it. What I don’t love are the bottled coleslaw dressings sold at the grocery store or recipes that include mostly mayonnaise. Instead I use Greek yogurt and just a touch of mayo (which you could easily leave out, if you wish). And my secret ingredient? Old Bay Seasoning. Yes, that’s the stuff typically used in crab cakes, but trust me: it adds a wonderful touch to this salad.

There is one down side to this recipe. If you don’t have a food processor, it’s going to be a lot more time consuming, and you’re going to need some mean knife skills. A large food processor, however, makes the salad quick and easy to make. I use two different blades. One of the large slicing blades for the cabbage (I like thick shreds) and the small shredding blade for the carrots. Use whatever you have available.

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And now, the recipe. Below are instructions for about 2 servings of slaw.

Begin by whisking the following ingredients in a medium size mixing bowl:

1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon of mayo
1 teaspoon of mustard (either stone ground or Dijon)
1 teaspoon of rice vinegar
a few good shakes of Old Bay Seasoning (go by taste)
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder or fresh garlic, finely minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon of fresh parsley (optional)

Mix it all together and set aside.

Next, cut off about a quarter of a small head of green cabbage. (Or a mixture of green and purple cabbage. The purple cabbage really makes a gorgeous slaw.) Once shredded, it’ll be about 2-3 cups. Also, shred 2 carrots.

Dump the shredded cabbage and carrots into the same mixing bowl that has the yogurt dressing. Using two spoons or forks, toss the veggies with the dressing until the dressing is evenly mixed with the veggies. Taste for seasoning. You can serve it immediately or let it sit in the refrigerator. It’s wonderful the next day as well, so it’s worth making extra. Enjoy!

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Carrot Soup

 

carrot soup2

Though I enjoy carrots all year round, there’s something about spring that makes me think of this soup. Perhaps it’s the bright orange color, or the fact that I often associate carrots with bunnies, which makes me think of Easter, which makes me think of spring. The bottom line is that I love this soup and it works during many different seasons.

All credit for this recipe goes to Alice Waters and her amazing cookbook The Art of Simple Food.

simple food-1

 

It is a perfect cookbook, one everyone should have. I’m sharing her recipe here because a) I love it and b) to hopefully convince people to go out and buy/borrow this book. I really do love it that much.

Anyway, as for the recipe. As for most of Alice’s recipes, it allows for many variations. This is my variation:

In a large stock pot, melt:

3 tablespoons of butter

Add:

2 medium onions, sliced

Sauté for at least 10 minutes. This builds a ton of flavor. If you have fresh thyme, add that as well. Then add:

about 6 cups of sliced carrots.
Season with salt.

Sauté for another 5 minutes to build more flavor. Then add:

6 cups of homemade vegetable broth, or a combination of broth and water. 

Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Once the carrots are tender, puree the soup and season with salt, if needed. (Also add more liquid if the soup is too thick for your personal taste.)

For garnishes:

Alice gives many variations. My favorite combinations, so far:

mascarpone cheese, stirred into each bowl, or plain Greek yogurt
homemade croutons*
chives
freshly ground black pepper

This soup is so simple, yet so sweet and buttery. It is a refreshing soup even on a hot summer day.

Enjoy!

*How to make homemade croutons:

For this soup, I kept the croutons simple. I often put garlic and herbs on my croutons, but since this soup has such a delicate flavor, I didn’t want to overpower it with over-seasoned croutons. You can use any kind of bread, but for this soup, I loved the flavor of whole wheat bread.

Cut whole wheat bread into cubes, drizzle with olive oil and  sprinkle with salt and bake for about 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven, or until they are nice and brown.

 

 

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Broccoli Kale Salad

broccoli kale

I love salads, but I sometimes get bored with the average romaine lettuce salad. My solution: remove the lettuce and focus on other vegetables. This particular salad is nice for the winter months when fresh, local lettuce is not available. The main focus is the broccoli, which is a winter vegetable.  And a warning to all: I mentioned once before that I don’t always measure. Well, I never measure when making a salad. So here are the ingredients I used:

Broccoli, chopped in small pieces

Carrots, shredded

Kale (any kind), finely chopped in a food processor until it looks like small pieces of parsley

Red Onion, diced

Walnuts, chopped in small pieces

How much of each one is really a personal preference. The bulk of the salad should be the broccoli. Raw kale can be tough and hard to chew, so finely chopping it in a food processor is key.

As for the dressing, if you want to make this vegan, just add some olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Sometimes I want a creamy dressing, so I make a Greek yogurt dressing:

about 1/2 cup of Greek Yogurt

1 teaspoon Stone Ground Mustard (read the label! Not all stone ground mustards are equal. Look for one that doesn’t have artificial flavors. It should simply be distilled vinegar, water, mustard seed, salt and spices (or something similar)).

1 teaspoon Mayonnaise (optional. Make sure it’s good quality.)

a couple splashes of Apple Cider Vinegar (add a little bit at a time and keep tasting until the acidity level is where you want it to be)

And then, to taste:

Garlic Powder 

Celery Seed

Salt and Pepper

Paprika

And there ya go! A hearty, wonderful salad to help you get through the day. Experiment, make it your own. Enjoy.

 

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