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  • Hui Hui Lee, RD/LD

Special ways to enjoy CARROTS



Hello April~ It is BEAUTIFUL out here! I love the steady warmer temperatures lately (minus the allergies, LOL). How are you doing, my friends? Did you do anything fun during Easter (last Sunday)? This year, I spent my Easter in the kitchen preparing several mouth-watering carrot-related dishes.


Carrots are definitely one of the most commonly available vegetables in the grocery store, and they have a wider range of usage in our diet. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors (orange, purple, white, and yellow), but the most common types are baby carrots and regular-sized orange carrots. There is something we need to know about prior to talking about carrot recipes: Carrots are one of the root vegetables which are high in fiber, and rich in vitamin A, beta carotene. Other than that, carrots also contain vitamins B, C, and E, as well as some minerals like potassium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, and calcium (Roof, 2013).


Carrots are great to eat raw as a snack or in a salad, but I enjoy them more when they are cooked. Cooked carrots are much sweeter, velvety, and have a deeper hue. All right, the carrots 101 session is over now, let’s get our hands busy preparing some carrot dishes! There are six extremely delicious carrot recipes I am excited to share with you.


Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich: It is a super easy but delightful sandwich recipe, which is packed with complex flavors! I made them with two different protein options: tofu and lemongrass chicken. The sandwich is made with a protein of your choice, pickle shredded carrot and radish, thinly sliced cucumber, herbs (cilantro, mint, and/or Thai basil), and spicy mayo (if you are not a big fan of Mayo, like my friend Jessica, try ranch dressing). The overall recipe (including the five-spice tofu) is adapted from Feasting at home. For the lemongrass chicken, the recipe is adapted from the wok of life.





Carrot ginger dressing: This is one of the salad dressings served at restaurants a lot. It is a zingy, refreshing dressing, and making it at home is WAY healthier than store-bought dressing. Not only is it a tasty refreshing dressing, it is also super easy to prepare. The recipe is inspired by Just one cookbook.




Roasted carrots with tahini sauce: Alright friends, I have gotta admit to you that when I saw this recipe, I almost skipped this one, thinking it looks just too simple. But I am wrong about this, I TOTALLY UNDERESTIMATED this roasted carrot recipe. This is not an ordinary boring roasted carrot recipe. It is packed with delicious flavor, and the tahini sauce is a MUST, so I recommend you not to skip it. I paired these gourmet roasted carrots with seared Ahi tuna and Moroccan lentils. The recipe is adapted from Feasting at home.




Pasta with creamy carrot miso sauce: This is a very special pasta recipe that is vegan friendly, I am surprised how well it actually turned out. One thing I need to point out to you, is that the herby Gremolata sauce is definitely a MUST, it takes the dish to the next level. The recipe called for orecchiette pasta, but I had a hard time obtaining this type of pasta, so I ended up using shell pasta. The recipe is adapted from Feasting at home.




Lentil Bolognese: Not all bolognese sauces have to incorporate ground meat, we can also make it vegan friendly. Using lentil in place of ground meat helps add fiber to our diet. I highly recommend this lentil bolognese recipe to you (even to our friends, who are meat eaters). The recipe is inspired from Feasting at home.




Carrot ginger turkey buns: I must admit this recipe requires some skill and time, but I promise you it is worth all the effort you put in while making this. I followed exactly what the recipe calls for, except using ground turkey instead of ground pork (personal preference). There are two ways to cook these carrot ginger turkey buns: we can either steam or pan fry them. Although the recipe does not indicate the dipping sauce, I served the buns with homemade dumpling sauce. Oh, one more piece of advice to my friends who are interested in making these buns, do not attempt to overfill the dough with carrot ginger turkey filling. The recipe is inspired from the wok of life.





Reference

Roof, B. (2013). Carrots: A tale of two soups. Today’s Dietitian, 15 (9), 106. Retrieved from https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/090313p106.shtml




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