Tag Archives: carrots

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carrot potatoes

Today is Day 13 of 31 Days of Surviving Chronic Illness.  You can read Day 1 here.

For the last few days we have been talking about nutrition and feeding our bodies healing foods. For some of you this is a welcome challenge or a return to the healthy lifestyle you used to have.  The rest of you are having a panic attack.  You can't cook, you don't know anything about nutrition, you don't have time.

Don't freak out, you can do this.

I'm not proposing that you immediately clear out your fridge and pantry of all suspicious foods, run out to Whole Foods and restock it all with seaweed chips and mushroom burgers.   What you need to do is start small.  Just one little lifestyle change at a time. Start reading the labels of the foods already in your pantry; if you come across an ingredient you don't recognize, look it up.  Next time you run out of Cool Ranch Doritos, don't replace them. Add a fresh salad to your weekly meals.

Salad are a great way to start adding fresh vitamins and minerals into your diet, no cooking involved.  Every grocery store in America now carries pre-chopped and washed lettuces. Pick up an extra veggie for your salad, something colorful like yellow bell peppers. Toss in some cherry tomatoes, add your favorite dressing or just a drizzle of olive oil and squeeze of lemon juice.  You, my friend, are now eating your colors.

As for cooking, it can be intimidating but I assure you, there are shortcuts. Once you get a "method" under your belt, it can be the springboard to lots of quick, easy and nutritious meals.  I'm going to share with you one of my all time favorite methods for cooking a pile of veggies quickly and most deliciously.

All you need to remember is this: 425 for 25

Here is the general method: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. cut up some veggies (I'll explain that further below) and drizzle them with some olive oil. Sprinkle in salt and pepper then toss it all together with you hands.  Spread the veggies in one even layer and roast in the oven for approximately 25 minutes.

Now, let's apply this method to a real recipe, roasted carrots and red potatoes.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Take 2 handfuls of baby carrots (the ones in the bag) and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. Take about 7 small red potatoes and cut them into quarters, place them with the carrots.  Drizzle the veggies with 2 tablespoon of olive oil then sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.  Using your hands, toss the carrots and potatoes lightly to evenly coat them all with oil then spread out in 1 layer in the pan.  Roast in the oven for 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are just lightly browned.

The beauty of this method is that you can use it for so many vegetables: carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, asparagus, squash, onions and more.  Just adjust the cooking time as needed, up or down.  I like my veggies tinged with crispiness on the edges (blackened, actually) so I usually cook them for 35-45 minutes.  But feel free to cook them less if you like them more firm or only lightly toasted. I will roast 1 whole pan of vegetables on Sunday night and end up with about 3 days worth of delicious vegetables for lunch or dinner. All I have to do is warm them back up.

You can experiment with seasonings, too. Along with the salt & pepper you can add Italian seasoning, chile powder, herbs de Provence, lemon pepper, grill seasoning, etc.

Don't let "heath food" scare you, it's not rocket science.  Just start exploring the delicious possibilities.

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photo by Ezra Pound Cake

photo by Ezra Pound Cake

I like the flavor of pork: pork chops, pork tenderloin, country ham, bacon… it’s all yummy to me.  But I have to admit, I don’t have a lot of pork recipes up my sleeve although my brother and I have worked out a really great pork chop recipe, I’ll have to share that soon. 

When I saw this recipe for an oven roasted pork loin I knew I had found a winner.  Carrots and potatoes are favorites too but a pork loin is just so versatile, it handles spice so well.  And if you cook it right, can be really moist.  Low fat too,  3 oz. of a pork loin has about 48 calories and only 2 grams of fat!

Bonus: this recipe uses a big cast iron skillet, which I have.  I love to use my cast iron.

The recipe comes from Ezra Pound Cake and is an adaptation from a Barefoot Contessa recipe.  No wonder I was so drawn to it!  You can get the whole recipe here but the gist of it is this:

Take some garlic, dijon and thyme and schmear it all over the pork loin.  While that’s resting, cut up your veggies and start cooking them in the cast iron pan.  After those have cooked for a bit, add the pork loin on top and finish in the oven for about 45 minutes.  As Ina says, “How easy was that?!”

I’ve got a lot on my plate this weekend but I’m going to enjoy every minute of it!  Have a great weekend friends!

PS:  If you haven’t popped over to the home page lately be sure to go look at the new design bits!

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My Internet is still down so this is going to be a quick iphone update on the garden.

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Due to our unusual cold weather most of the summer it took forever for the serranos to grow. But once they did man there was no stopping them. Maybe I should blend them up and save them in the freezer because a girl can't make salsa every day.

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Tomatoes are still coming off but are definitely starting to slow down and the weather is already turning cool again so I don't think I will have fresh tomatoes for much longer.

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The basil... Well... it is still hanging on for dear life but it did not do as well this year as last. I don't know if it was the pests or the soil or the weather but it was a bit disappointing. In an effort to salvage one plant that was turning pale and weird, I lopped it all the way back to the nubs and it is growing back healthier. Go figure.

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I have to show you this and explain: at the end if the spring I tossed some carrot seeds in a pot hoping at least a few would make it. One seedling emerged. ONE. This is it. I have no idea when to pull the little booger up! Just for contrast, here is a picture Wonder Twin sent of her carrots:

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All that Washington rain is good for something, I guess!!

I'm getting ready to pull out the plants that have lived out their destiny, amend the soil and figure out what to plant this fall. Head lettuce? What else grows in the cold?