Tag Archives: carrot

Cranberry and Cilantro Quinoa Salad

3 May

IMG_1718Here’s a quick and easy quinoa salad for all of your spring and summer picnics and barbecues, your weeknight dinners, and your lunchbox fillers. Jam-packed with a rainbow of bell peppers, carrots, leek (or scallion), dried cranberries, and fresh cilantro, and dressed with a few squirts of lime juice and some olive oil. Quinoa cooks very quickly, usually within 10 to 15 minutes. The rest of the salad is just chopping, squeezing, and tossing, and that’s about all I want to handle when the sun is shining here in New York City after such a long winter. IMG_1721 Easy, delicious, healthy, and portable. A salad that pleases vegans, gluten free-gans, and vegetable lovers. Continue reading

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Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread…Muffinized

8 Dec

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The “Healthy Carrot Breakfast Bread” is one of the more popular recipes on my blog. I still make it regularly whenever I have carrots around, tweaking the recipe slightly depending on my on-hand ingredients.

This weekend I turned the bread into muffins for easy snacks to take to my dietetic internship rotation.

I changed the recipe just enough from the original to feel like I should re-post. Continue reading

“Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup

17 Jan

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You know that area right underneath your nostrils? Mine is red and dry because I have been blowing my nose for almost a week now. Yuck. Colds are the worst. I still have energy to go about my usual business, but I’m just a snotty, gross mess.

Alas, chicken soup.

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Funny enough, a few days into the snotty sickness that has been permeating my apartment, I received an email from my boyfriend’s mom with a recipe for a fantastic chicken barley soup. Must have been mother’s intuition that we needed comfort.

This “Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup is heartier than the typical clear-broth chicken soup. Blending some of the broth with cooked potato, onion, celery, and garlic lends a creamy texture without any cream. If your favorite kitchen tool is an immersion blender, raise your hand! Makes life so easy.

Adding a little barley to the soup offers a nice contrast, a bite of texture. Barley is a great source of whole grain, it is rich in fiber and protein, and it turns the soup into its own meal.

I used a homemade turkey stock for this soup. It is so easy to freeze a bunch of leftover odds and ends of vegetables and prepare a quick stock. After I made a vegetable stock, I strained it, and then added it back to a pot with the neck and giblets I had in the freezer from my Thanksgiving turkey. There’s some good dark meat on the neck of a turkey, so don’t throw the neck away! Prepare your stock the day before if you want to get ahead.

So I had turkey stock in my chicken soup. No big deal. If you are short on time, you could just use water instead of stock, and add salt. Or buy stock. Either way.

Note that you could buy pre-cooked chicken, but I found it very easy to just toss two breasts (save the bones for stock if you want!) in the oven while I was preparing the rest of my ingredients.

“Creamy” Chicken Barley Soup

Recipe from Lucy, by way of Jackie

This makes a LOT of soup, about 10 servings (you could freeze extras, bring some to a friend, or halve the recipe)

2 T butter or oil
2 onions, chopped
6-7 celery sticks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 C russet potatoes, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1/2 C pearl barley
8 -9 C stock (I made my vegetable stock, strained it, and added the neck and giblets that were in my freezer from Thanksgiving and simmered for ~1hour)
2 bay leaves
1/2 C white wine
2 bone-in chicken breasts (or slightly less than 2lbs), pre-cooked and shredded (see below for how to cook)
salt and pepper to taste

First, cook your chicken breasts. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the chicken breasts skin side up on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Rub with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until done (165 degrees F). When the chicken is cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones (save the bones in your freezer for stock), and shred the meat. Cover and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large stockpot melt butter (or oil) and saute onions, celery, garlic until soft.

Next, add potatoes, 6 – 7 C chicken stock, and thyme. Cook until potatoes are soft (15- 30 min), then use an immersion blender or transfer 3/4 of the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.

Return this mixture to the pot, add the carrots, barley and bay leaves.  Cook partially covered for 30 minutes. Add more stock for a soupier soup. When barley is tender, add wine and chicken, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes to warm up the chicken.

Morning Glory Steel-Cut Oats

13 Jan

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Over the last year, I have really grown an appreciation for a morning bowl of oats. Maybe because New York City (vs. my old stomping grounds in California) has real seasons, so I crave something hot in the morning during the inescapable winter chill. Even during the beating heat of summer, I ate cold “overnight oats” or “muesli” for breakfast.

Rolled and steel-cut oats my go-to choices, but I have also enjoy a porridge made from farina, millet, amaranth, or barley. When I have an early morning shift at the bakery, I sometimes take along a packet of instant oats for breakfast, but I only buy the original or plain versions where the ingredient list only says “rolled oats” and not much more. No need for those extra fake ingredients when I can simply add my own sweeteners and toppings to plain instant oats.

I used to heat rolled oats in the microwave, which is totally acceptable and tasty, but when I can take the extra few minutes, I now prefer to cook my oats on the stove. I use a mix of milk and water to cook the oats because I like how creamy they get from the milk.

I saw that Cookie and Kate posted these Morning Glory Oats the other day, using coconut milk for some of the cooking liquid. I recently made Split Pea Soup that used only 1/2 cup of coconut milk, and I have been trying to find ways to use up the leftover milk. Perfect.

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I modified her recipe, which is a modification of the original recipe from Megan Gordon’s new cookbook, Whole Grain Mornings. This recipe uses steel-cut oats, but you could also make this with rolled oats, quick oats, or another breakfast grain.

Shredded carrot strands and wintry spices make this hot, creamy breakfast feel like dessert. Orange zest adds zing, and a swirl of yogurt at the end cools the oats and adds to the healthy decadence (omit the yogurt and use nuts or nut butter if you want this recipe to remain vegan).

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Morning Glory Steel-Cut Oats

adapted from Cookie and Kate, originally from Megan Gordon‘s Whole Grain Mornings
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (or milk of choice)
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots (from 1 large carrot)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (I used cranberries)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground ginger
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange zest (from slightly less than 1 orange)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 or more tablespoons maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar or brown sugar)
  • yogurt, for serving
Instructions
  1. In a saucepan, bring the water and milk to a boil. Stir in the oats, carrots, dried fruit, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Bring the mixture back to boil, then decrease the heat to low and partially cover the pot.
  2. Cook the porridge, stirring only occasionally, until it begins to thicken and the oats are soft yet chewy. Check for doneness after 25 minutes* of cooking (it might need a few more minutes of cooking).
  3. Remove from heat and stir in the orange zest and vanilla. Add maple syrup (or other sweetener), to taste. Cover and let the oatmeal rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  4. Serve the oatmeal with a swirl of plain yogurt.

*Rolled or quick oats will cook much faster than steel-cut, anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes.

Tofu Bento Bowls

10 Jun

A light dinner for a warm summer night.

A vegetarian take on the Japanese bento box, the containers with separate compartments usually used for  lunch to-go.

Vegetarian Times Magazine is a great resource for healthy vegetarian meals. This Tofu Bento Bowl, along with the Hearty Grain Soup With Beans and Greens and the Peanut Butter Banana Bread With Chocolate Chips are some of my favorite recipes that I tend to make over and over.

Finally, I felt satisfied with my skillet tofu skills. The secret? I drained and patted the tofu until it was nice and dry, which, as so many tofu experts preach, is the best way to ensure a great tofu product. No excess water to interfere with the heat and the sauce that flavor the tofu. I also tried not to turn the tofu very often; I just let it get nice and brown and flipped it only once or twice.

Tofu Bento Bowls

serves 6, adapted from Vegetarian Times Magazine (october 2006 issue)

For some crazy reason, I did not have hot chili-garlic sauce (I know, I need to get on that asap). I omitted the chili-garlic sauce and instead used a combo of a spicy chili sesame oil and a regular dark toasted sesame oil. I also sprinkled a few red chili flakes into the mix for an added kick. 

I also used lime instead of lemon because that was what I had on-hand. 

You could also omit the yogurt in the recipe to make this a vegan meal. And if you use a gluten-free soy sauce, this could be a gluten-free meal! Boom.

Spicy Tofu

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1/4 cup hot chili-garlic sauce

2 Tbsp. dark sesame oil

14-oz. extra firm tofu, cubed

5 green onions, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Salad

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger

1 tsp. hot chili-garlic sauce

2 cups cooked brown rice

4 1/2 cups mixed baby greens

2 carrots, peeled into ribbons

1 cucumber, thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds

To make the Spicy Tofu: First, drain and pat your tofu dry. Wrap it in paper towel and put a skillet on top to ensure that the tofu dries out. Change the paper towel a few times.

While the tofu is drying, whisk together the soy sauce, chili-garlic sauce (if using), and sesame oil in a bowl. Cube the tofu and add it to the sauce mixture. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Let the pan get hot. Add the tofu in one layer and cook it for about 10 minutes, or until browned, turning occasionally. Save the remaining sauce. Cool the tofu.

Add the green onions, yogurt, and lemon juice to the remaining sauce. Toss it with the tofu.

To make the Salad: Whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, and chili-sauce in a bowl (I added some more scallions to the dressing). Mound the rice into bowls. Top with greens. Add the carrot ribbons, cucumber slices, avocado, and tofu. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve with the sauce.

Nutrition Info Per Serving: 297 calories, 12g protein, 15.5g total fat (2g sat. fat), 30g carbohydrates, 0mg cholesterol, 858mg sodium, 6g fiber, 3g sugar