Ginger Garlic Roasted Carrots
I love this recipe because it's easy, full of flavor, and will make your dinner guests think you went to a lot of trouble - when all you had to do was sprinkle some herbs and bake. Okay, so there is slightly more to it than that, but you get the gist: it's easy! Carrots are usually drowned in sugar at the Holiday table, stuffed into brown sugar syrups and caramelized, even though they're pretty sweet on their own. Our take on these gorgeous heirlooms is rather to add a little flavor and spice and let the carrot flavor shine through, 'cause cooked carrots are delicious and don't deserve to be smothered by sugar! The combination of fresh ginger and garlic adds a ton of savory, salty flavor and the fresh thyme just accents the combo. These would be perfect as a side dish at your Holiday gathering or as a quick addition to a normal Monday night meal - everyone will love them! Let's get cookin'.
1.5 lbs heirloom rainbow carrots (regular orange carrots work great, too!)
1-2 tablespoons olive OR coconut oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
fresh thyme, for garnish
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Wash the carrots and remove any green tops. Chop the larger carrots in half lengthwise, and lay the carrots on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle the garlic, ginger, salt and pepper over the top. Use your fingers to gently flip the carrots, covering them as evenly as possible in the oil and spices.
Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping about halfway through. Carrots are done when they are fork tender and beginning to brown. Remove from oven, sprinkle with fresh thyme, and serve immediately!
Leftovers can be reheated in a low-heat oven or a microwave, but are best enjoyed fresh. They will last, covered in the fridge, about a week.
Carrot Cupcakes with Orange Vanilla Cream Frosting
Easter is on Sunday and whether you celebrate it or not, you deserve to eat cupcakes. Because, well, cupcakes! These are a the result of a recipe I've tweaked a couple times now and am happy to report: they're fucking delicious. Lots of fresh carrot to keep them moist and flavorful, and plenty of sweet orange vanilla cream frosting to keep 'em sweet and kid-friendly. I'm back on gluten for the time being, so I enjoyed using wheat flour in these, but you could certainly substitute your favorite GF mix in its place. These are easy to whip up and bake up light and sweet. Perfect for sharing after a strenuous Easter egg hunt or for munching while you Netflix-binge. Either way, they're the perfect carrot cupcake. Oh, and for a lower sugar frosting option, try our Lemon Cashew Cream or Maple Vanilla Icing. Let's eat!
2 cups unbleached wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tablespoon ground flax
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots
Orange Vanilla Cream Frosting
1/3 cup cold vegan butter (we used earth balance) or vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 cups powdered sugar
chopped walnuts, for garnish (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a large mixing bowl or electric mixer combine coconut milk, sugar, mashed banana, coconut oil, ground flax, and vanilla extract. Add in dry ingredients about a cup at a time, stirring continuously. Once batter comes together, fold in grated carrots. Pour batter into greased or lined cupcake pans until cups are about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely while you whip up the frosting!
Orange Vanilla Cream Frosting
In a food processor or high speed blender combine cold vegan butter or shortening, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Add in powdered sugar a cup at a time until it reaches your desired consistency. Refrigerate until cupcakes are completely cooled. (If you use butter, your cupcakes may need to be refrigerated to keep the frosting from melting. Shortening melts less, but still be wary of leaving them out on a warm day for too long!)
When cupcakes have cooled, generously spread each one with a layer of creamy orange vanilla frosting. Makes 16 cupcakes!
Broccoli Cheeze Soup
I'm big on comfort food. Growing up my favorite food was mashed potatoes with gravy, and I ate them as often as I could. Lucky for me, I grew up in a state where some counties took the month of September off from school to harvest potatoes! They were on the table 5 nights a week, and I just learned to love 'em. I try to eat more of a variety of a color palette now, but I still LOVE comfort foods. And this week, I've been feeling pretty under the weather. As a nanny, I get sick nearly every time the little ones do, no matter how much vitamin C I've consumed, and this week I went down hard. Some combination of tummy trouble/ chills/ sore throat + an awful cough had me down and all I wanted was a warm, creamy, cheesy bowl of soup to make me feel better. This soup is perfect. The carrots and celery add great flavor and the potatoes keep it creamy, and the addition of cayenne kicks it up just a bit. Just serve with fresh parsley, a bit of crusty bread, & a Netflix marathon and call it an afternoon.
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 small potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 heads broccoli florets with stems removed (about 4 cups), chopped
3 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon each salt & pepper
1 cup vegan cheese (we used Blode Kuh's White Cheddar, but any cheeze capable of melting should work here!)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic with onions, celery, and carrots in a mirepoix until they begin to soften. Add potatoes and broccoli florets and sauté all together for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in vegetable broth, nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Remove from heat, add the cheese, and blend with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches to desired creaminess. We like to leave some chunks! Stir in the freshly chopped parsley, then serve. Makes 6-8 servings, and lasts up to a week in the fridge. Freeze for long-term saving. Enjoy!
Raw Carrot Cake with Lemon Cashew Creme
I love carrot cake. I mean, its a cake made of a vegetable, what's not to love?!
Sadly, most carrot cakes are drowned in sugar, butter, and eggs and thus lose any nutritive qualities that those tasty orange vegetables may have contributed.
In developing this recipe, I knew I needed to end up with a carrot cake that was healthy. I needed a carrot cake that I could snack on at 2 am and not feel guilty about. I needed a carrot cake that had zero added sugars. But what I really needed was a carrot cake that tasted so damn good, Alex would think it was the real thing.
This is a raw, vegan, gluten free, soy free dessert that can be prepared in 10 minutes. And even better? Its good for you. I love that you can taste all of the REAL, delicious, from-the-ground ingredients that make this cake so moist and delicious!
And while the lemon creme frosting is totally optional, trust me when I say:
It adds a whole new dimension to this cake; the lemon contrasts the 'fall' spices and the carrots and adds just the right amount of lemony flavor.
Plus, we used carrots we grew in our garden to make it!
1 cup walnuts
1 cup dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups grated+strained carrots
1/2 cup raisins
Process dates and walnuts until uniformly crumbly.
Add in spices and process again, just enough so that spices are incorporated- you don't want to turn your date/ nut mixture to mush, just to uniformly small pieces.
Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Grate carrots. Once grated, use cheesecloth to squeeze all of the excess juice from the carrots.
We always get our cheesecloth from CheeseclothFabric.com 'cause they offer such great discounts when you buy in bulk- and even though cheesecloth seems like something you may never use, we are constantly finding new uses for it! Feel free to drink the remaining carrot juice or toss it, but you won't need it for the recipe.
Add the grated carrots to the mixing bowl and date nut mixture, using a large wooden spoon to mix everything together. Throw in raisins and stir again.
Once combined, put mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Scroll down for Lemon Cashew Creme!
Lemon Cashew Creme
1 cup soaked cashews
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Throw it all in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. After cake has been set in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, frost and enjoy!
We recently re-made this cake for a friends party and added a nut & date crust. To make the crust you will need:
1/2 cup dates
1 1/2 cup nuts (I used almonds and cashews)
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
Blend all ingredients together in a food processor.
Line a cake pan or pie tin with non-stick or waxed paper.
Press mixture into the sides and bottom of pan.
Refrigerate to set, about one hour.
After crust has set, layer with carrot mixture, followed by lemon cashew creme.