This past week, I focused on carrots. I now understand why Bugs Bunny was always chewing on one.
A carrot is such a wonderful and versatile vegetable. You can eat it raw and dipped in something delectable like hummus or ranch dressing. You can boil them up and add it to a stew. You can sweeten them up with cinnamon and sugar.
You can do just about anything with them, including sneak them into recipes that you want your children to try. Or if your loved ones love carrots, just add them in without any pause.
Here are two recipes that were a huge success among my family and several of my new friends - Lean & Spicy Sloppy Joes and Carrot Cinnamon Bread!
Lean and Spicy Sloppy Joes - they aren't spicy if you use the mild salsa
1lb lean ground turkey
1 - 16oz jar salsa (I used mild since I fed it to my toddler. But you can go spicier if you like).
1 ¼ cups shredded carrots (3 medium)
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 small can tomato paste
1 tsp basil, crushed
½ tsp oregano, crushed
¼ tsp salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
In a skillet, cook meat over medium heat until brown, stirring to break meat into pieces. Drain fat. Stir together meat and remaining ingredients. Simmer then reduce heat. Cook about fifteen minutes Serve on whole grain rolls. Serves 6 – 8.
(Note: If you double or triple this recipe, you could feed an entire football team or perhaps the Duggar Family).
Carrot Cinnamon Bread - (This is THE BEST bread I have ever eaten!!!)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 Degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, beat together the sugars and oil. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into the bowl while stirring occasionally. Beat the eggs together, and gradually stir into the batter until everything is combined. Mix in carrots, pecans, and vanilla until well combined. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake on middle rack for 60 minutes, or until it tests done. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, cut and serve.
Your kitchen will smell wonderful. Enjoy this divinely sweet bread! I cut mine up into squares and served them on muffin papers at a holiday party. They were a big hit!
If you have any good carrot recipes, please share them! As Bugs Bunny would say, "What's up, Doc?" And Seasons Greetings too!