Honey Ginger Carrots

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You can eat like royalty and travel the world. Really. Eat your carrots.

Once upon a time, carrots came in a range of beautiful colors and a great range of sizes. Tasty, crunchy and beautiful, carrots were prized for their crisp, fresh flavor and unusual colors. Yellow carrots like the ones above were first recorded in Turkey as far back as the 1st century. Purple carrots have been documented in the Middle East since 900 B.C. and were bred for Dutch royalty through the 1500s. White carrots were a staple in Europe and are the only carrot to originate in Europe. Who needs bad airplane food and the TSA when you can travel around the world by eating carrots?

So why do we find mostly orange carrots? Orange carrots are a Dutch hybrid of white, yellow and wild carrots. At some point, our market-based food industry decided we needed carrots that were consistent in size and shape as well as easy to ship. Hybrid orange carrots were developed to meet this need and voila! We have orange carrots. At some later bizarre point in history, food manufacturers realized they could shave down perfectly good carrots into nubs and call them baby carrots, although they are not baby at all. We are so weird.

For more carrot information, you can go the the Carrot Museum webpage (seriously).

I’m glad some of our farmers and groceries have started investing in colorful, flavorful heirloom varieties of carrots. Only a few of our organic farmer’s market vendors sell these, and they usually sell out pretty quickly, so I’m hoping more of our farmers will join in and plant these lovely varieties. Old variety carrots tend to be thinner and more fragile than their grocery store cousins, but they pack great flavor and are lovely on a plate.

This recipe pairs carrots with two of their flavor bffs–fresh ginger and raw honey. This is an easy recipe and experimental, so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Honey and thyme would probably make a good combination as well. You can use any carrots–they don’t have to be heirloom or fancy varieties. But because carrots are root vegetables, I do try to buy organic whenever possible (many pesticide-treated root vegetables are also treated with bud inhibitors to keep them from sprouting).

Get your spring carrot fix, travel the world and boost your health as well!

Honey Ginger Carrots (serves 4)

  • 1 lb. organic carrots
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 Tbsp. raw, local honey
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots. Trim the tops. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and then cut the halves into 2″-3″ pieces. Put cut pieces into a medium bowl.
  3. Toss carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour carrots onto baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes (check on them often to make sure they don’t char).
  5. In a sauté pan, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat at medium.
  6. Add ginger and stir. Cook 1 minute.
  7. Remove the carrots from the oven and add to the pan. Toss well. Add honey and toss all together until carrots are coated with honey glaze.
  8. Check for seasoning and correct if needed. Serve immediately.

Honey Ginger Carrots

20130510-154459.jpg

You can eat like royalty and travel the world. Really. Eat your carrots.

Once upon a time, carrots came in a range of beautiful colors and a great range of sizes. Tasty, crunchy and beautiful, carrots were prized for their crisp, fresh flavor and unusual colors. Yellow carrots like the ones above were first recorded in Turkey as far back as the 1st century. Purple carrots have been documented in the Middle East since 900 B.C. and were bred for Dutch royalty through the 1500s. White carrots were a staple in Europe and are the only carrot to originate in Europe. Who needs bad airplane food and the TSA when you can travel around the world by eating carrots?

So why do we find mostly orange carrots? Orange carrots are a Dutch hybrid of white, yellow and wild carrots. At some point, our market-based food industry decided we needed carrots that were consistent in size and shape as well as easy to ship. Hybrid orange carrots were developed to meet this need and voila! We have orange carrots. At some later bizarre point in history, food manufacturers realized they could shave down perfectly good carrots into nubs and call them baby carrots, although they are not baby at all. We are so weird.

For more carrot information, you can go the the Carrot Museum webpage (seriously).

I’m glad some of our farmers and groceries have started investing in colorful, flavorful heirloom varieties of carrots. Only a few of our organic farmer’s market vendors sell these, and they usually sell out pretty quickly, so I’m hoping more of our farmers will join in and plant these lovely varieties. Old variety carrots tend to be thinner and more fragile than their grocery store cousins, but they pack great flavor and are lovely on a plate.

This recipe pairs carrots with two of their flavor bffs–fresh ginger and raw honey. This is an easy recipe and experimental, so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Honey and thyme would probably make a good combination as well. You can use any carrots–they don’t have to be heirloom or fancy varieties. But because carrots are root vegetables, I do try to buy organic whenever possible (many pesticide-treated root vegetables are also treated with bud inhibitors to keep them from sprouting).

Get your spring carrot fix, travel the world and boost your health as well!

Honey Ginger Carrots (serves 4)

  • 1 lb. organic carrots
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 Tbsp. raw, local honey
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
  2. Wash and peel the carrots. Trim the tops. Cut the carrots in half lengthwise and then cut the halves into 2″-3″ pieces. Put cut pieces into a medium bowl.
  3. Toss carrots with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour carrots onto baking sheet and roast for 30-40 minutes (check on them often to make sure they don’t char).
  5. In a sauté pan, add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and heat at medium.
  6. Add ginger and stir. Cook 1 minute.
  7. Remove the carrots from the oven and add to the pan. Toss well. Add honey and toss all together until carrots are coated with honey glaze.
  8. Check for seasoning and correct if needed. Serve immediately.

Spicy Red Curry Chicken and Vegetables

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I love Thai curries, but I haven’t made them at home because of the intimidation factor. I thought making the incredibly flavorful curry broth would be difficult or require a lot of ingredients I would never use again. I was very wrong! I saw THIS lovely recipe on the blog Wanna Be A Country Cleaver and felt inspired! What a beautiful and delicious recipe!

This recipe is chock full of healthy vegetables. It is rich and spicy, and just the thing for a late winter meal when we are all sick of the usual soups and stews. Not only that, it looks beautiful, too, which can make everyone’s mood a little lighter!

True to all home cooks, I made some small changes based on what I have and what my family likes. Here is what I changed:

  • Used sliced, sautéed chicken instead of tofu
  • Added chopped Swiss chard from our garden
  • Increased the curry paste to 4 tsp.
  • Used lemon zest and juice instead of lemongrass

I am so happy to have found an easy recipe for making Thai curry at home! Yay! Try this–you will not be sorry.

Carrot Squash Soup

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It is still soup weather here in central North Carolina. Not too cold, but grey and rainy. I had a huge supply of organic carrots and some frozen butternut squash purée on hand, so I ventured into new territory with this carrot soup. I loved it, which is good since I’ll be eating the leftovers for lunch the next couple of days. This soup is very thick and surprisingly hearty for a recipe with no potatoes or cream. You can easily substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock and have a vegan entrée! You can also substitute fresh ginger (which I don’t usually have on hand) for a spicier flavor.

Carrot Squash Soup (4 servings)

  • 1 organic yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 10-12 organic carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups butternut squash purée
  • 4 pieces crystallized ginger
  • 1 quart homemade chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until onion begins to soften.
  3. Add the carrots, ginger and garlic. Stir well and cook for 4-5 minutes more. Add the chicken stock, lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and using an immersion blender (CAREFUL! Soup is hot!), blend the soup until creamy. You can also use a blender. A smarter way to do this is to wait until the soup is cool and then blend it, but I never seem to have that level of patience when I’m hungry.
  5. Correct for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve immediately.
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