our messy table

Category: Carrot

“healthy”

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Adding the word “healthy” in front of a dessert recipe has become quite the popular marketing strategy. I mean, who doesn’t want to feel less guilty about eating dessert? I spend a lot of time scanning the internet for these recipes… healthy cookies, healthy muffins, healthy tiramisu… what? It is out there. It doesn’t taste very good. But it’s out there. Shameless in its grossness.

Fortunately, there are a lot of tasty, “healthy” cookie recipes, many of which source from one of my favorite online recipe journals.

My husband is often dismayed by the amount of time I spend scouring this site for new healthy baking ideas.

“What’s the point of eating a cookie,” he wails, “if they taste healthy?”

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It’s easy for him to say. The guy could swim open-mouthed through a river of gravy twice a day without gaining a pound.

Lucky for me, I have an open mind about these kinds of things. Obviously I would never turn down a blessedly butter-rich, crispy and gooey chocolate chip cookie. But if you ask me, there is something very rewarding about eating a cookie that tastes a little more interesting. A little more… yeah, healthy.

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This cookie recipe calls for carrots. I know what you are probably thinking… but stay with me. These cookies have that pleasantly crispy edge from the coconut oil, a nice chew from the carrots, oats and raisins, and will fill your house with the sweet fragrance of maple syrup baking into whole wheat flour.

My toddler son, I should note, loves these. Especially if yogurt-dunking is involved. I love them with coffee or tea.

Also, when it comes to dessert, I tend to make small batches. The recipe I have posted below yields a batch of roughly 12 little cookies. Feel free to double it or triple for a crowd.

Wishing you all a happy long weekend!

SONY DSC Carrot Oatmeal Cookies

Yields: about 1 dozen cookies

  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unrefined coconut oil, warmed until just melted

Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and oats. Add the raisins and carrots. In a separate smaller bowl use a whisk to combine the maple syrup, and coconut oil. Add this to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Drop onto prepared baking sheets, one level tablespoonful at a time, leaving about 2 inches between each cookie. Bake in the top 1/3 of the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden on top and bottom.

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with salad

 

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Though buying them in bulk is so much cheaper, I have had my qualms with dried beans. Don’t get me wrong. Grocery shopping feels like a small victory when I slide up the bulk handle and watch hundreds of marbley beans fall into my bag for only a few dollars. But I have learned the hard way that sometimes, when dried beans have been loafing in those bins for too long, the seed membrane can become extremely hard and never, ever soften. Therefore, the battle of crock pot vs. old bean has an unfortunate and predictable end (I’ll give you a hint… crunchy bean chili… crunchy bean tacos… crunchy bean non-paste).

Also, there is all the buzz about soaking your beans… whether or not soaking away the small amount of the phytates and tannins is worth also soaking away the… eerm..  flatulence-related substances.

Whatever, people. Black beans have their value either way. They have an ever-amazing protein-plus-fiber content that helps regulate the digestive process and blood sugar. Black beans also contain an impressive amount of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients which reduce the risk of certain cancers, particularly colon cancer.

Most often, I buy them canned because, as stated before, I have learned to not trust those bean bulk bins. I often wait until I see someone re-filling them , or if I can find a processing date that is fairly recent… like the last six months. But usually, canned beans and I are friends.

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Carrots. I recently learned (from Martha Stewart Living’s May addition, thank you) that Carotenoids, the antioxidant that gives this root vegetable its orange pigment may protect against heart disease, cataracts, and certain cancers. It’s a good thing, too. Because carrots are one of the few veggies I can confidently feed my son without have to guise with cheese.

We have all heard that brown rice is better for us than white… that white rice is just naked brown nice, almost fully stripped of its nutrition. By removing the hull (the outer most layer of the grain), you are also removing almost all of the Vitamin B, Vitamin B1, and Vitamin B6. You also lose half the manganese, phosphorus, iron, dietary fiber and essential fatty acids.

I mean, in my house, we still like white rice. We like our Arborio rice made into creamy risotto, a bed of long-grain white rice for grilled meat and vegetables, and Jasmin rice, fluffed with coconut and served with walnuts or cashews. It is hard to beat the easy and fluffy texture of well-prepared white rice. Regardless, with the help of black beans and carrots, the heft and heartiness of brown rice certainly has a place to nutritionally shine in this salad.

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This salad is a really nice one to have around for a quick pick-me-up snack, a filling on-the-road meal, or those its-late-and-I-don’t-want-to-think-about-dinner nights. I have enjoyed it under a fried egg, wrapped in a warm whole wheat tortilla, and cold, straight from the fidget. I think my son likes how tangy the dressing is because he rolls his finger around the bottom of the bowl to collect every drop. I also like how just a little of this salad fills me up for a long, long time.

You could probably substitute the rice for another grain, like farro, amaranth, or quinoa (or, you know, white rice;)). You could also swap the kale for another dark, leafy green or even chopped cabbage. All salads are adaptable! Let me know how your salad adventure goes!

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Black Bean and Brown Rice Salad with Roasted Carrots

Yield: 2-3 servings

  • 1 15 oz. can  black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (approximately ½ cup uncooked)
  • 5-6 medium carrots
  • ½ Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ Tablespoon maple syrup
  • Good pinch sea salt
  • ½ small yellow onion
  • ½ large handfuls baby kale
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

Dressing

  • 1 ½ Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 glug (eye-ball a teaspoon) maple syrup
  • Good pinch sea salt
  • Good pinch ground paprika

Cook brown rice and allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash and remove tops from carrots, but leave the skin on.  Slice them however you like so long as the pieces are the same size so that they can cook evenly. Toss carrots with cumin, olive oil, maple syrup and salt. Lay out on a baking sheet and roast until carrots are fragrant and soft, about 20 minutes.

While carrots roast, prepare the rest of the salad. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside. Fold the cooled cooked brown rice and black beans with kale and onion. When carrots are cool, add them as well.

In a dry skillet, roast pumpkin seeds over medium-high heat until they pop. Allow them to cook before adding them to the salad.

Drizzle dressing over salad. Enjoy.