One of the things that helps me be successful with healthy living, is prepping food on Sunday for the upcoming week. This ensures that I have plenty on hand to bring for lunch at work, and easy prepared meals when I get home in the evenings.
The military commissaries here in San Diego sell 5lb bags of carrots for about $1.69 (what a steal!), and you can do tons of things with carrots. One Sunday I roasted 2 cookie sheets full of whole carrots, with nothing other than garlic powder, salt, pepper and a little oil. I brought them as sides in my lunches, ate them at dinner, and then I got sick of them (this is rare for me and veggies). They just stared at me every time I opened the fridge, but I refuse to let good food go to waste, so last week I decided I’d reinvent them.
I cut the remaining carrots into chunks and tossed all of them into my food processor. I processed until they were finely and consistently grated into little pieces. I dumped them into a bowl with diced white onion, frozen broccoli, 2 eggs, 1 TBSP of organic 1/2 & 1/2, salt, pepper and garlic powder. I mixed well until the eggs were thoroughly incorporated, and then dumped into an 8×8 glass baking dish. I had no idea how this would turn out, but the house smelled amazing! I baked it at high heat (I think around 400 degrees), until the edges started to brown.
I was extremely pleased with the result. It was like twice baked carrots, or carrot broccoli bake, or carrot quiche or something. Now I had a new little side dish to bring to work for lunches and for dinner. It didn’t last long 🙂
Tip: Next time, I’d remove the 1/2 & 1/2 and add 1 more egg to hold it together. It wasn’t falling apart, but I feel like it could’ve held together just a bit more.
I was talking last week about how some baked salmon I made turned out fabulous, and I was pleased because salmon is my least favorite seafood (and I’m not picky)!
We had two salmon fillets with skin, in the freezer that I’d thawed (pretty sure the skin keeps all the fat and moisture in, even though it grosses me out-but I’m working on that!). I put them skin side down in a glass 8×8 baking dish that I’d rubbed a bit of olive oil on, and generously sprinkled them both with salt and pepper. They were done in about 7 minutes. That was it. I thought I’d try baking them with no oil or fat, since they’re fatty by nature, and it worked great. Only when I put it on my plate, did I drizzle a bit of olive oil on the fillet (not cooked, so still has the health benefits). So good! Sometimes, less is more.
I paired them with some thyme roasted carrots I’d thrown in the oven, for dinner and a couple of berries.
I had plenty of carrots leftover to bring in my lunches throughout the week, and Seth used the other salmon fillet in a salad Sunday night. Leftovers rock!
I decided to call it bisque instead of soup, it has that thick, velvety texture of a good bisque. This was inspired by the purchase of my new kitchen appliance, my immersion blender. A simple, nutrient packed, flavorful recipe. Dairy, sugar and nightshade free. The pears really added a nice sweetness to it, that took the place of maple syrup or honey.
Ginger Carrot Bisque
- 6 large carrots, sliced
- 1/2 a diced red onion
- 10 cups water (don’t worry, it’s not watery)
- 2 bosc pears, peeled and cut
- 2 TBSP Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 TBSP fresh grated ginger
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
I started by boiling 8 cups of hot water in a stock pot. Once it came to a rolling boil, I added the carrots and red onion. I let these two boil until they were soft, about the same time the water had completely evaporated. It doesn’t matter how soft/mushy they get, because they’ll be puréed anyway. I added the remaining 2 cups of water, pears and coconut oil, and used my new immersion blender to purée, all the while, keeping it on very low heat. Once everything was puréed, I added the remaining ingredients, all spices (without measurements) were to taste, so experiment with how garlicky/clove-y you want it. I let it simmer for about 30 minutes, and done!
So filling, hearty, and comes to work with me for lunch, very easily 🙂
A lot of people ask me how I find the time and energy to cook everyday, because they “just don’t want to.” Upon a little more questioning, more often than not, it’s the prep time that deters someone from standing in the kitchen. Here’s a tip and something I repeat often, it isn’t hard. Nobody ever said things had to be diced, chopped or look nice.
Easy Friday Dinner
- Whole carrots
- Whole brussels sprouts
- Grass-fed butter
- Brown mustard (excluding any grain-y type)
- Kosher salt/pepp
- Oil (rubbed the steak down with it)
- Grass-fed flank steak
This was dinner last Friday. I washed whole carrots and sprouts, tossed them in a grass-fed butter and mustard mixture, sprinkled with kosher salt/pepp and roasted in the oven in a glass dish (side note-the veggies didn’t quite have the mustard-y flavor I was wanting, so next time, I’ll add more, and maybe some mustard powder 🙂 ). I started them about 20 minutes prior to Seth grilling the grass-fed flank steak, which was also just lightly seasoned. Dinner, done.P.S. Everything re-heated well, for additional meals.
I used to hate cooked carrots. I thought they were disgusting (I’m thinking the pot roast, mushy kind here).
About 2 years ago, when Seth was out at sea for extended periods of time, I went on a little vegetable roasting binge, roasting anything and everything I had, at any given moment. One of the random roasts was baby carrots, with a little oil, kosher salt/pepp, because carrots were the only vegetable I had left that week. They were to-die-for! They quickly became my go-to vegetable dish on a weeknight, because it takes very little time or effort.
Then on a whim, I decided to make them the same way, but sprinkle with cinnamon…EEEEKKK! So good. I’ve made them for several friends and my mom, and each time, everyone raves about them. 5 simple ingredients, plus they help your peepers!
Cinnamon Roasted Carrots
- Carrots (baby, cut large, whatever)
- Oil of your choice
- Kosher salt
Carrots are not as spongy as other vegetables, so it takes very little oil. Sprinkle with the spices, toss and then roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until they get to your preferred done-ness.