Category Archives: Recipes

Turmeric Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Harissa

This recipe emerged from a recipe for a Roasted Carrot Soup on the What’s Cooking Good Looking blog, but I like to chew my food and am a somewhat lazy cook anyway, so I opted out of turning the ingredients into a blended soup and created a side dish of them instead.
MY, OH MY, this did not disappoint!

Enough harissa was made to be used on grilled chicken, salmon, and other proteins throughout the week. Carrot tops are often thrown out before they get to market, but if you find a batch of carrots with tops attached, grab them and get crackin’ on this recipe!

Carrot tops are rich in vitamin A, and are rumored to have decent amounts of calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin C, iron and zinc. Carrots are a member of the same family as parsley and cilantro, and these two herbs are nutrition powerhouses so it stands to reason carrot tops may also provide a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals. 

Make this recipe on a chilly night or any time you feel your meals are lacking a little excitement. This will reset our palate and remind you how delightful vegetables can be!

Turmeric Roasted Carrots with Carrot Top Harissa

Ingredients:

for the turmeric spiced carrots:
2 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
a pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp. of olive oil

for the carrot top harissa: 
1 cup of green carrot tops, chopped
1/2 cup of cilantro
5 mint leaves
2 small garlic clove, sliced
the juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cumin
1/4 teaspoon of salt
about 2 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil

Make the spice rub, and roast the carrots:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 400º. 
  • Make the turmeric spice rub by placing all of the ingredient for the rub into a food processor and pulse until you have a consistent mixture. 
  • Place the onions and carrots onto a parchment lined baking sheet and rub them with the spice mixture. Roast for about 30 minutes, until the carrots are very soft/fork tender. 

While the carrots are roasting, make the carrot top harissa:

  • Place all of the ingredients for the carrot top harissa into a food processor (except for the oil). Pulse a few times, and then drizzle in the oil in a slow stream while the food processor is running, until you have a consistent mixture. Set aside until you’re ready to serve. 

Remove the carrots from the oven and lay them out of a platter. Serve with Harissa and extra lemon wedges, if desired. 

Instant Pot Easy Pumpkin Chicken Curry

Left with half a can of pure pumpkin after making pumpkin chia pudding, I decided to add it to a Chicken curry I was planning on making that evening. The result is a generous boost of carotenoids and a nice thickening of the curry sauce. Take it a step further by adding 1 lb. of fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, diced to 1 ½ -2 inch chunks, to the Instant Pot before cooking.

1 small onion, halved and sliced lengthwise
2 zucchini, sliced into half-moon chunks
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
2 lbs chicken thighs, skinless/boneless, cut into chunks
1 cup bone broth or chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp. red curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen brand often)
½ cup full fat coconut milk
7 oz. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix; use 100% pure pumpkin)
10 oz. frozen spinach, defrosted & squeezed out liquid
2-3 tbsp plain dairy or coconut yogurt

Blend coconut milk, pumpkin puree, stock, curry paste, tomato paste in blender.
Put in Instant Pot with chicken, onion, and pumpkin chunks. Set to manual for 12 minutes. Once completed, release pressure immediately. Stir in spinach and then serve with a dollop of yogurt.

STOVETOP:

Blend coconut milk, pumpkin puree, stock, curry paste, tomato paste in blender and set aside. In a large sauté pan, sauté onions and chicken in oil of your choice until chicken is seared. Add red pepper, zucchini, and curry sauce to the pan. Cover and simmer on medium for 10-15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Stir in spinach and let sit for a couple moments to warm through. Serve with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.

Carrot Top Chimichurri

Chimichurri is this amazing flavor enhancer that goes well on pretty much everything. A Argentinian staple, this recipe deviates from the original by replacing the parsley with carrot tops. This is by far my favorite way to use delicate carrot fronds. Chimichurri puts a touch of sparkle into eggs, chicken, pork, salad dressing, steak, roasted vegetables, and black beans (among other things I’m certain). Add a dollop to tacos, an omelet, your salad, or hummus and prepare for a flavor explosion! Thanks to rosemarried.com for the idea!

Cilantro & Carrot Green Chimichurri

  • 1 large handful of cilantro
  • Carrot greens (from 4-5 carrots)
  • 1 serrano chili, stem and seeds removed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

To assemble the chimichurri, pulse the garlic cloves and serrano chili together in a food processor or a Vitamix. Add the carrot greens, cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice and process while pouring the olive oil in a steady stream. Blend until the mixture is well combined. (I prefer my chimichurri to have a little bit of texture, so I’m careful not to over-blend.)

This also makes an excellent marinade! Enjoy!

Slowcooker Vegetable Soup

Slow Cooked Vegetable Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced ½ inch thick
  • 1 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cups frozen artichoke hearts (one 9-ounce box), thawed
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1 15-18 ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 bouillon cubes (vegetarian or beef)
  • 1 tsp. rosemary, dried or 1 sprig fresh
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 2-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind, plus finely shredded Parmesan for garnish (optional)

Directions
Pour oil into a large ovenproof pot (about 6-quart) and arrange potato slices in an even layer over the oil.
Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt. Layer in zucchini, leeks, celery, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and ¼ cup parsley; sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Pour tomatoes over the vegetables and nestle Parmesan rind into them, if using.
Stir in bouillon and spices, crushing rosemary between your hands before adding to soup.
Add water (the vegetables will not be completely submerged), cover, and slow cook on high for 2 hours or low for 3-4 hours, until vegetables are soft but not soggy.
Garnish with additional parsley and parmesan, if desired.

No Slow Cooker? Bake Soup as Directed:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Pour oil into a large ovenproof pot (about 6-quart) and arrange potato slices in an even layer over the oil. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt. Layer in zucchini, leeks, celery, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and ¼ cup parsley; sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Pour tomatoes over the vegetables and nestle Parmesan rind into them. Add water (the vegetables will not be completely submerged), cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Once boiling, transfer the pot to the oven and bake, covered, until the vegetables are tender, but still firm, about 45 minutes. Season with pepper and serve garnished with parsley and Parmesan, if desired.

SERVES 4: 3.5 – 4 vegetable servings per bowl

Loaded Cauliflower Soup

This recipe, inspired by one I saw here, serves one person and provides a whopping 4 servings of veg per bowl. Blending vegetables makes it easy to add extra servings in! Save yourself time by purchasing pre-cut cauliflower, using leftover roasted cauliflower from earlier in the week, or raiding the salad bar for ready-to-steam florets.

from Eatingwell.com

  • 2 cups cooked cauliflower florets
  • ⅔ to ¾ cup chicken broth, divided
  • 1 dash garlic powder
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. solid fat from can of full-fat coconut milk
  • ⅓ cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 1 teaspoon snipped fresh parsley
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a blender or food processor, combine cauliflower, ⅔ cup broth, garlic powder and pepper. Cover and blend until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a small saucepan. Bring just to boiling over medium heat. Whisk in coconut fat and milk with enough of the remaining broth to reach desired consistency; heat through.
  3. To serve, top soup with bacon, parsley and lemon zest.

Sneakloaf del Amore

Back when my son was a toddler he was veggie-phobic, which admittedly broke my heart bit-by-bit on a daily basis. To bypass his bias, I would sneak veggies wherever I could, hiding them in smoothies and in this meatloaf, which became a family favorite, making its debut during the inaugural Glorious Greens Challenge in 2015.
I’m happy to report by age 4 his tastes broadened and now he’s open to almost anything (except seafood, so I still have some work to do)!

Give this recipe a try to get in a little extra veg for yourself or a reluctant family member and let me know how it goes!

Ingredients

• 2 lbs of ground bison (beef, turkey, or pork can be used if bison is unavailable)

• 3 eggs, whisked

• 1/2 onion, diced

• 1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped small

• 2 tbs of olive oil (to sauté vegetables)

• 2 cups of vegetable pulp or mixed vegetables, blended until chopped fine (broccoli, chard, carrots, peppers, zucchini, whatever is in the fridge!)

• 1 tsp of salt

• 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

• 1 tsp of oregano

• 1 tsp of thyme

• 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, or ketchup

Directions

Preheat oven to 350º F. Sauté onions and peppers over medium heat in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until just tender. Add vegetable pulp, garlic, and spices to the sautéed vegetables in the pan, stir gently. Remove saucepan with vegetables from heat, set aside.

Put uncooked ground bison in a large bowl and pour the whisked eggs in and mix into the ground meat with your hands until just mixed in, then add the veggies from the saucepan and pour into bowl, mixing into the meat until it is well incorporated. Now form the mixture into a loaf shape and center in a loaf pan or meatloaf pan – it should be a little smaller than the size of the pan. You may need two loaf pans for this! Finally, pour over the BBQ sauce or ketchup to cover top and sides of the meatloaf.

Cook for 60-75 minutes. If you use a meat thermometer, the internal temperature of the meatloaf should reach 155º F. Avoid overcooking! Remove from oven and allow to set for about 10 minutes before slicing. This allows the egg to firm up a bit and prevents the meatloaf from crumbling. Add extra BBQ or your own sauce as desired and serve.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

Did you know watermelon rind is edible? I had no idea! I remember growing up being told that eating the white part would give one stomachaches, so I avoided going past the pink area for at least two dozen years. At some point in the last decade I learned the rind is, in fact, edible, and have been meaning to give pickled watermelon rinds a go ever since!

The following recipe is a great way to use the rind and introduce your family to pickled watermelon. The flavors are reminiscent of dill pickles and are well-received by young and old alike. The next time you get a watermelon, give this recipe a go and tell me what you think!

1 Watermelon rind (washed, red flesh removed and cut into strips)
2-3 tablespoons of salt
Dill (sprigs or heads)
Garlic (2-3 cloves, or more if you like it!)
1 tbsp. whole peppercorns
1 tsp. mustard seed (optional)
1 Bay leaf
1 quart mason jar or fermentation vessel

INSTRUCTIONS:
Scrape the pink flesh from the watermelon rind. Peel the outer green skin from the watermelon rind. Cut the watermelon rind into 1-inch squares.
Prepare a light brine by combining 2-3 Tbsp. of salt and 1 quart of filtered water.
Place watermelon rind strips, garlic cloves, dill sprigs and any spices you desire into a mason jar or fermentation vessel. Fill up the remaining space in the jar with the salt solution. Use a wooden spoon to release any air bubbles trapped along the sides of the jar.
If necessary, weigh the rind pieces down under the brine. I use cabbage leaves and sterilized river stones to weigh my ferments (you can sterilize any rock that will fit in a mason jar by washing it well and putting it in the oven at 300 degrees or higher while you bake or roast dinner. I just keep my rock there when not in use).
Cover each jar with a tight lid, airlock lid to prevent oxygen from entering the culture.
Culture at room temperature (60-70°F is preferred) for 3-7 days, until desired taste is achieved. If using a tight lid, burp daily to release excess pressure.
Once the culture is finished, put a tight lid on the jar and move to cold storage. The flavor will continue to develop, albeit more slowly.

Slow Cooker Banh Mi Rice Bowls

I found this recipe on the Lotus Foods website when looking for menu ideas for Forbidden Rice, a dark purple rice varietal that is loaded with polyphenols that protect the brain and heart and feed beneficial flora in the gut. I’ve adjusted the ingredients a bit to suite my palate, but the original recipe is here. Kudos to original author Kate Kordsmeier for such a delicious dinner!

(Note: There will be leftover pork; it freezes well)

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

For the pork:

  • 1 large organic pastured pork shoulder or butt (roughly 4 pounds)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup fish sauce (Red Boat has no added preservatives or sugars)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • ¼ cup coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1.5 tablespoons raw, unfiltered honey 
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves (typically at international markets – they freeze well; alternatively, you can use 1 tablespoon of lime zest)
  • ½ cup bone broth (or any broth of choice)

For the pickled veggies:

  • 3 cups assorted veggies diced and sliced (such as cucumber, carrot, jalapeño and red onion)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ lime juiced

For the bowls:

  • 3 cups cooked rice (Forbidden Rice® is rich in polyphenols which support beneficial bacteria in the gut and provide a boatload of antioxidants for brain and heart health)
  • ¼ cup chopped herbs (mint, cilantro, and Thai basil are recommended here)
  • 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce

Optional:

  • drizzle with sriracha and/or hoisin sauce

Instructions

  1. Liberally season the pork butt on all sides with salt and pepper, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Add the pork to a large slow cooker.
  2. Evenly pour the fish sauce, lime juice and soy sauce over the pork butt. Drizzle honey over the pork and throw the kaffir lime leaves into the slow cooker. Pour bone broth over top, cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours, flipping the pork halfway.
  3. Meanwhile, dice and slice your veggies of choice. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, salt, vinegar and lime juice and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add your veggies and toss to combine. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (you can go as long as you like!).
  4. When the pork is done, shred it apart with two forks.
  5. OPTIONAL STEP: place the shredded pork onto a baking sheet. Pour half of the remaining juices over the pork and broil until crispy. It should take 5-10 minutes, and it helps if you toss halfway through and flip the baking sheet so all areas are crisped equally. Pour the remaining juices over the crispy pork.
  6. In individual bowls, add ½ cup cooked rice. Top with pork, pickled veggies, lettuce and chopped herbs. Drizzle with sriracha and hoisin, if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe: Instant Pot Apple Crisp

This is one of those recipes that emerged from beginning one thing and discovering it could not be done. I set out to make wine stewed apples, only to discover that the leftover wine had been poured down the sink. I wasn’t about to open a fresh bottle, since we have been struggling to get through a bottle of wine without it going bad for months now. So instead, I took all the apples I had already had and crafted an apple crisp from a conglomeration of recipes found online and my own flavor preferences. Here’s the result; tell me what you think!

  • 5 medium sized apples, chopped into chunks (peel first, if desired)
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup gluten free rolled oats (NOT instant)
  • 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sucanat or date sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Place apples in the bottom of the instant pot.
    Add spices and maple syrup and stir to mix. Drizzle water over apples.
  2. In a small bowl, add oats, flour, sweetener, ginger, walnuts, salt and melted fat. Mix well, then spoon on top of apples.
  3. Set Instant Pot on manual for 5 minutes. Let pressure release naturally and sit for about five more minutes, so sauce can thicken.
  4. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired.

Serves 4-5

Every Day Bone Broth

Bone broth is a staple in our home. I save bones from meals out, roast chicken, and bone-in cuts of meat we enjoy at home and it all gets thrown into the Instant Pot for a nutrient rich, homemade staple that gets used in rice, for soups, or even as a hot beverage when the temperature dips below 30 degrees. I always keep a stash of broth in the freezer for quick thawing and use in the kitchen.

Bone broth is rich in minerals and collagen and, while research is not definitive, historically and anecdotally we witness bone broth as being nourishing and restorative for those who are ill, helpful in healing the digestive tract, nourishing for autoimmunity and beneficial in injury or surgery recovery. I boost the mineral content further by adding seaweed or nettles to my brew, but these aren’t necessary if you do not have them on hand. Here are some other uses for bone broth:

  • Sauté cauliflower rice in bone broth for extra flavor
  • Drink it on cold days or when you are fighting seasonal illnesses
  • Make a quick gravy whenever you feel like it!
  • Braise meats and veggies with broth instead of water
  • Use instead of water for savory quinoa or rice dishes
  • Replace chicken or beef stock from the store with homemade bone broth when making soups
  • If you have a dehydrator, try dehydrating broth to make your own bouillon powder.
  • Add it to mashed potatoes or other mashed veggies

Bone broth is rich in collagen, making it an essential food for healthy skin and bones. I drank it throughout my pregnancy and my stretch marks were minimal, despite putting 60 pounds on my 5’2″ frame in my mid thirties. I attribute this mainly to the bone broth, as I’m the oldest in my family to deliver their first born and emerged with fewer stretch marks than those in the family who had their first children between 20 and 30, and gained less weight than I did. This experience has made me a lifelong fan!

Cooking bone broth in a pressure cooker several hours or a slow cooker for 24 hours or longer will soften the bones and allow minerals such as calcium and iron and other minerals as well as amino acids that may benefit gut, skin and joint health to enrich the broth. If using a chicken carcass, I simmer my broth until I can crush the bones with my hands. This can take 18-24 hours in a slow cooker (add water once or twice throughout the simmering period) or 1-2 hours in an Instant Pot.

Over time I have deviated from the recipe below and now just add kitchen scraps (onion skins, celery, zucchini ends, etc) that I store in the freezer with leftover bones and random herbs, but the recipe below is a great place to start if you are introducing yourself to making your own broth. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Homemade Bone Broth

 

  • 1 pound of scrap bones (soup bones, chicken carcass, marrow bones, etc)
  • 3-5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, sliced lengthwise and coarsely chopped
  • 2 parsnips, cut lengthwise and coarsely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, leaves included, coarsely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1/2 onion (no need to peel or chop)
  • 3 pieces of wakame (OPTIONAL: this sea veg is rich in iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and other trace minerals)
  • 6-8 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 8 cups of filtered water
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar (critical – it’s acidic nature is key to pulling minerals from deep within bones)
  • 1 tbsp. fish sauce (adds a nice depth of flavor)
  • Salt to taste

Slowcooker Instructions:

1) Crush garlic and set aside.

2) Place veggies and bones into slow cooker pot. Add sea vegetables and spices.

3) Cover with water, vinegar and fish sauce.

4) Set slow cooker on low for 18-24 hours.

5) Strain broth, discarding vegetables. Bones may be saved and reused once if desired.

Makes 2 quarts of broth.

 

Instant Pot Instructions:

1) Crush garlic and set aside.

2) Place veggies and bones into Instant pot. Add sea vegetables and spices.

3) Cover with water, vinegar and fish sauce.

4) In Manual mode, set Instant Pot to pressure cook for 1 hour.

5) Strain broth, discarding vegetables. Bones may be saved and reused once if desired.

Makes 2 quarts of broth.