A recent survey showed that carrots are our country’s third most popular vegetable after corn and potatoes. (I wonder if this could refer to raw carrots rather than cooked carrots?) I do remember that carrot sticks were packed in practically every brown bag lunch that I ever ate when growing up. I can’t say that I loved the carrots, but I did tolerate them. Recently, Marie made a delightful carrot salad which is a delicious way to serve this vegetable. Marie’s recipe combines carrots with golden raisins and pineapple for a flavorful combination. And I used pre-shredded carrots to make this an easy “one-bowl” recipe. So while we are cookin’ at home, here is an easy variation of Marie’s recipe.
Last summer, I took a trip back to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia for my high school class reunion. In addition to visiting with classmates whom I hadn’t seen in years, I made time to stop at the town’s farmers market. It is interesting that the farm vegetables which are ripe in Virginia are several months behind the ones that are ripe locally in Louisiana. Carrots, potatoes, beets and early English peas filled the stands in the market in Virginia in June. Of course, I brought back some of these vegetables. Although it is now winter again, some of these vegetables –such as carrots — are easily available all year around.
Back in my hospital food service catering days, we prepared and served a dinner for the Board of Directors each month. I liked to change things up — partially for boredom’s sake and little for spite as it meant I had to work late that night. So one month I served carrot cake — trying to pack a little nutrition into the dessert. Much to my surprise, one Board member came to me after the meeting and said, “that very large piece of cake was the best dessert you’ve ever served — it was delicious.” And Carrot Cake is delicious. It should be moist, with just a little spice and nutty flavor. Topped with a cream cheese icing, it makes a great dessert for the holidays. And so I’m making my carrot cake again this year.
Bonnie brought the most delicious breakfast muffins to our April weekend girls getaway at the beach. As she gave me the recipe, she said “whatever you do, don’t leave out the parsnips.” What? Parsnips in muffins? Yes, these muffins contained plenty of healthy ingredients — and you wouldn’t guess it. The spices blended with the all the “surprise” ingredients and the muffins were moist and irresistible. This is spicy muffin recipe is perfect for cool autumn days.
Every five years, “Dietary Guidelines for Americans,” is revised by the US government. The report gives guidelines for a living a healthy lifestyle including a nutrient-rich diet. Eat more vegetables fits into this, so my recipe this week is for Chinese Carrot Relish.