Posts tagged ‘carrots’

Carrot and apple breakfast cookies

IMG_3373Here is my attempt at a healthy(ish) breakfast cookie. As much as I love a sit down breakfast, it’s just not possible some days. I usually gravitate toward muffins for a grab-and-go breakfast, but lately they have felt too heavy, too crumbly, and sadly, sometimes even two minutes of warming in the toaster oven is not realistic/desirable mixed in with all the morning things that need doing. There is also something about coffee and cookies that I can’t get enough of – a small indulgence to start the day.

These batter for these cookies will look a little gooey – the carrots and apple provide a lot of moisture. The result, though, is a lovely texture: a cross between a gingerbread cake and an oatmeal raisin cookie, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I started experimenting.

Try them on the run with a piece of fruit, or pack them for a mid-day treat. Or make them on a Saturday, like I did, and enjoy eating cookies for breakfast.

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Carrot and apple breakfast cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 apple, finely chopped (I left the peel on for texture and colour)
1 carrot, grated

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter/coconut oil, brown sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and stir into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake them for 12 to 14 minutes, taking them out when the edges are “done looking” edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. It’s a little tricky to tell because of the dark molasses colour – if they smell great and look almost done take them out (always better to undercook rather than overcook). Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.

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February 6, 2016 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Salmon soba salad

 I love how easy it is to eat salad this time of year. All the greens and veggies are so tasty, and so easy to grow in your own garden or to find at farmer’s markets. And patios and warm weather are made for healthy food like salads and fish…no need for warm soups or pastas baked with a blanket of cheese right now.

I made this salad with some leftover cedar plank salmon that we cooked on the BBQ. Cedar plank cooking was popular a few years ago and I feel like it dropped off the radar too quickly. It’s still trendy at our house…so delicious and so easy.

In baby-land, we have just started on solid foods. We are trying the baby-led weaning approach to food, which basically means that little ones get to eat what the grown-ups are having without too much interference (no pureeing, etc). It is still mostly mucking about instead of real eating, but it is a lot of fun watching him try different tastes and textures. It’s hard to believe that there are three of us at the dinner table now – babies grow up so fast. Avocado, salmon and cucumber have been a big hit so far, so this salad is perfect for sharing.

Salmon soba super salad

Serves 2

Salad:
2 salmon fillets, grilled or poached
6 cups spinach or mixed greens
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 large cucumber, diced or cut into long chunks for baby
1 carrot, grated
1 bundle of soba noodles
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Dressing:
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablepoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons water

Assemble salmon, greens and veggies in individual bowls or plates. Cook soba noodles in a pot of boiling water – be careful not to over cook as they only take a few more minutes. Drain the noodles and add to the salad.

To make the dressing, saute garlic and ginger in sesame oil on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour warm dressing over salad and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Healthy yum! Any extra dressing can be saved in a jar for another salad.

June 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Cupcake Day! Carrot coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

carrot cupcakes with eggs

Thanks to everyone who donated to Cupcake Day for the SPCA! I made several dozen cupcakes this month, and I’m happy to say I surpassed my fundraising goal. Hooray for the animals!

Of all the cupcakes I made, these are my favourites: carrot coconut with cream cheese frosting. I cannot be left alone in the house with them, so I am very happy to be boxing them up for delivery to my generous donors.

Usually I tinker with recipes to make them more healthy, but you’ll see below that this is not the case. I wanted my cupcakes to be as delicious as possible so people would feel good about handing over dollars. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, there are no calories when you’re raising money for animals.

Be sure to use SPCA Certified or cage-free eggs – especially important when you’re baking in support of animal welfare!

SPCA Certified eggs

Carrot coconut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
Adapted from the Rebar Cookbook
Makes 12 cupcakes or 24 mini-cupcakes

Cupcakes:
2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup shredded coconut
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white or cane sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1-1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of each: cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger

Frosting:
1/2 block (227g) cream cheese
1-1/4 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350F. Combine carrots, coconut and walnuts in a bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together eggs and sugar until the mixture triples in volume. Stir in vegetable oil and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder and soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and fold into sugar-eggs mixture. Fold in carrot mixture. Spoon batter into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes.

For frosting, combine all ingredients and whip together until smooth. Spread on cupcakes once cooled and sprinkle nutmeg on top (freshly grated nutmeg is a beautiful thing if you have it).

These cupcakes are delicious with coffee. At our house we made a French press with some of the Kona coffee beans we brought home from Hawaii – so good that it convinced me to eat cupcakes for breakfast one day (so bad!).

carrot cupcakes3

February 24, 2014 at 8:32 am Leave a comment

Carrot oatmeal raisin muffins

I am not much a carrot person. This might seem funny for a vegetarian, but it’s true. Boiled carrots, roasted carrots, carrots in stirfries – I’ll eat them, but only because I know they’re good for me. I love most vegetables, so I’m not sure what it is about carrots that doesn’t work for me.

Raw carrots pulled fresh from the garden are a completely different matter. Those I love. Those I could eat all day. The rest of the time, though, I grate carrots and bake them into muffins and cakes. Carrot cake, carrot loaf, carrot muffins – carrot-filled baked goods are among my favourite treats.

Carrot oatmeal muffins
Makes 12 muffins

1-1/2 cups flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons each cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups grated carrot
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped
1/4 cup flaxseed meal

Combine dry ingredients. Whisk together water, egg, vegetable oil and grated carrot and add to flour mixture. Gently fold in raisins, coconut, walnuts, ginger and flaxseed meal. Spoon into greased muffin tins and bake for 20 minutes in a 375F oven.

November 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm 1 comment

Saturday at the market

This is the kind of Saturday I live for all year long. The sun is shining and it was 20C by 9am this morning when we pulled up to the West End Farmer’s Market. Cherries, raspberries, blueberries, spinach, kale, carrots and soft ripe apricots all followed us home, along with a wedge of cheese flecked with carraway seeds and the salmon and halibut we picked up from our share in Skipper Otto’s community supported fishery.

It’s all a bit predictable, finding bliss in the Saturday market and all of its bounty, but it never seems to get old.

July 14, 2012 at 12:45 pm 1 comment

Cream cheese pasta

At the risk of sounding like a shill for the cream cheese company’s latest campaign, I have to say that I have been “cooking with philly” lately with good results. Good in the sense of convenient, easy and reasonably tasty. I won’t call this a recipe, but here is my freestyle method for throwing together a cream cheese pasta for two people with whatever ingredients are kicking around the fridge or freezer. It takes as long as boiling pasta plus five minutes of stirring things together. (more…)

February 28, 2010 at 1:28 pm 2 comments

Sunchoke soup

It’s soup season again, always a reassuring time of year. Today I made sunchoke soup with some carrots and potatoes, all grown within our 100 mile range. It was a very simple thing to do.

Peel 1 cup sunchokes and coarsely chop. Peel 2 cups potatoes and coarsely chop. Add to a pot of boiling water along with 2 cups coarsely chopped carrots. Let the water boil down as everything softens and add in 1/2 cup finely diced onion for the final 10 minutes of cooking. Drain off some of the cooking water into a measuring cup and then puree the vegetable mixture in batches, adding in a bit of the reserved cooking water to get the texture and thickness you like. Add it all back into the pot, season with salt and pepper, heat through and serve with some cheese and crackers.

A bottle of pinot noir is also a tasty addition if you have it handy.

November 16, 2009 at 9:27 pm Leave a comment


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