As my husband has learned over the years, what I say we are having for dinner is not always what we end up with. I always have a rough idea of what I am going to make, but most of the time it evolves as I actually begin to cook. Last night was a prime example of that. I set out to make pasta with chicken, lime and capers, but ended up making Margarita-Marguerita Pasta instead. At the dinner table I was listing the ingredients and the hubby asked if it had capers …….. to which I replied, “Not tonight. I changed it. Capers will be next time.” His thoughts? “Of course you did.”
Continue reading “Margarita-Marguerita Pasta”
The radishes are staring at you, and you are staring at them. What in the world will you do with 6. You can slice one or two up in a regular green salad with dinner, or perhaps use them in some coleslaw with the cabbage you received this week, but better than that you can get rid of the whole bunch plus your cucumber and any stray carrots left in the ‘fridge with this zesty sweet salad! (You can really tell we focus on 100% basket consumption around here!)
The carrots that lent a great pop of color to the veggie baskets today are no modern innovation. In fact, the original color of the carrot was deep purple- not the orange we all expect. The orange carrot that we know and love is actually the result of a royal whim. Yes, generations ago when Holland was the lead distributor of carrots, King William of Orange was fighting for his nation’s independence. Having never been very fond of the color purple, and in an attempt to increase national pride, the King instructed the royal carrot breeders (apparently that was a pretty important job back then) to breed the purple OUT and increase the orange shades. As the new orange-only carrots were shipped around the world consumers (particularly the Europeans) took quite a fancy to them and orange became the color of choice.
Today, modern growers recognize the increased health benefits and heirloom varieties of carrots including purples, whites, reds, are easier to find. These “Rainbow Carrots” are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber. The colored carrots have similar (many would say identical) flavor and texture to the standard orange and can be used in exactly the same way. Of course, if you are looking for something to really make that color stand out, you can always try this recipe for purple carrot cake.
CARROT FUN FACTS FROM www.todayifoundout.com
- It is actually possible to turn your skin a shade of orange by massively over consuming orange carrots.
- Orange carrots get their bright orange color from beta-carotene. Beta-carotene metabolizes in the human gut from bile salts into Vitamin A.
- The origins of the cultivated carrot is rooted in the purple carrot in the region around modern day Afghanistan.
- When cultivation of the garden style orange carrot lapses for a few generations, the carrots revert back to their ancestral carrot types, which are very different from the current garden variety.
- In ancient times, the root part of the carrot plant that we eat today was not typically used. The carrot plant however was highly valued due to the medicinal value of its seeds and leaves. For instance, Mithridates VI, King of Pontius (around 100BC) had a recipe for counteracting certain poisons with the principle ingredient being carrot seeds. It has since been proven that this concoction actually works.
- The Romans believed carrots and their seeds were aphrodisiacs. As such, carrots were a common plant found in Roman gardens. After the fall of Rome however, carrot cultivation in Europe more or less stopped until around the 10th century when Arabs reintroduced them to Europe.
- British gunners in WWII were able to locate and shoot down German planes at night due to the invention of radar, which the Germans knew nothing about. To cover up the invention and extreme effectiveness of radar, the British spread about an urban legend that said that they massively increased the night vision of their pilots by having them consume large amounts of carrots. This lie not only convinced the Germans, but also had a bonus effect of causing many British people to start planting their own vegetable gardens, including planting carrots. This urban legend has persisted even to this day.
- The largest carrot every grown was 19 pounds; grown by John Evans in 1998 in Palmer, Alaska.
- The Vegetable Improvement Center at Texas A&M recently developed a purple-skinned, orange fleshed carrot called the Beta Sweet. This carrot is specialized to include substances that prevent cancer. It also has extremely high beta-carotene content.
- Almost one third of all carrots distributed throughout the world come from China, which is the largest distributor of carrots in the world. Following them on gross production is Russia and then the United States.
- Although the orange carrot was not cultivated before the 16th and 17th centuries, there is a reference in a Byzantine manuscript around 512AD which depicts an orange rooted carrot, suggesting that at least this mutant variety of carrot could be found at this time.
A couple that I know just celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. The key to their success? Well, according to the husband their happy marriage is all because his wife has packed him his lunch every work day for their whole married life. At first, this revelation made me feel really…guilty. I can honestly say that in 13 years of marriage I have never sent my husband off to work with a homemade lunch. Sure, this has meant he has some extra candy machine visits or drive-through stops, but how can I squeeze in making lunch for a man who leaves the house at 5:45 each morning? Already I have a house to clean, meals to cook, four kids to home-school, and sometime in there I have to get a shower (really, won’t he appreciate a clean wife more than lunch?) The old man’s marriage advice was fresh in my mind when I saw pictures of layered, jarred salads on the Bountiful Basket’s Facebook page. These seemed healthy, fresh, and most importantly easy. And so, in an effort to keep our happy marriage happy, and armed with an arsenal of salad-in-a-jar recipes, I have decided to try packing lunches this year.
Continue reading “Lunch in a Jar”
Gayla shared a recipe for these amazing carrots on our main Facebook page, and graciously agreed to share here. Her version uses coconut oil instead of extra-virgin olive oil, and she made some adjustments to seasoning. The final product is amazing!
Continue reading “Roasted Cumin-Lime Carrots”
Pesto is one of my favorite things to eat. There is just something so refreshing about it. However, I do NOT have a green thumb, and I can’t grow basil for anything. And basil is super expensive at my local grocery store – when they even have it. What’s a girl to do?
Punt. That’s what.
Continue reading “Carrot Top – Radish Top Pesto”