RSS Feed

Tag Archives: carrot

Carrot and cumin dip

Nicholas, who doesn’t like carrots, has really enjoyed the ‘orange dip’ we’ve been eating for most of this week, as have both hubby and I. We’ve dipped in various vegetables and also had it spread on flat bread.

vegetable

It’s quick and super easy to make, and would be perfect party food as you can easily make a lot of it. This is definitely a recipe I’m going to be making lots more of in the future, and not just because it’s a stress-free way of getting Nicholas to eat carrots.

The original recipe is from Taste.com.au and makes 8 servings using 1 kilo of carrots. I quartered the recipe (if you can say that!) and it produced 2 very generous adult servings.

The amount of cumin in the original recipe and mine is conservative, giving just a mild flavour which is perfect for little ones. If you’re making this for adults, I’d add more.

CARROT AND CUMIN DIP

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 5-30 mins (depending on how your cook the carrots)
Makes 2 very generous adult servings
Can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in an airtight container in the fridge

250g carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
15ml (3 tsp) olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Salt and pepper

Cook the carrots your preferred way (I steamed them in the microwave).

Put the carrot, oil, cumin and garlic in a mini food processor, and process until smooth (this can take a little while and you need to keep scarping down the sides of the bowl).

Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Eats-Amazing-Fun-Food-FridayI’m linking up to Eat’s Amazing Fun Food Friday, a weekly round-up of fun and creative food. Check out the other fun creations on Grace’s blog.

Advertisements

Carrot, spinach and cumin muffins

It’s National Baking Week here in the UK and many people across the UK are baking up a storm to raise money for the wonderful Great Ormond Street Hospital.

I thought we’d try another of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s savoury muffin recipes to start our week of baking, as we all loved his courgette and pine nut muffins. And his combination of carrot, spinach and cumin didn’t disappoint! Savoury muffins are such as great finger food for little hands and mouths, and you really can pack them full of wonderfully nutritious vegetables.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Usually for me, savoury muffins just have to have some kind of cheese (is that just me?). Cheese makes pretty much everything taste better! Yet, amazingly, I didn’t miss the lack of cheese in these at all.

The only thing I’ve changed from Hugh’s original recipe is the amount of spinach. He uses 150g of spinach, while 100g was enough for me (and left me with spinach leaves to throw into other dishes for the rest of the week).

If it’s difficult finding the time to cook, try to toast the pumpkin seeds ahead of time, even the day before. If you don’t have pumpkin seeds (they add a fabulous extra texture to the muffins) you can use sunflower seeds or a mixture of the two (Hugh’s suggestion). You could also cook the onion mixture ahead of time.

The batter is quite a stiff mixture, but still produces lovely moist muffins which freeze wonderfully (great to have in the freezer to add to lunchboxes).

CARROT, SPINACH AND CUMIN MUFFINS

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 18-20 mins
Makes 12
Freezable

80g unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus extra 10g for frying
1 onion, finely diced
2 tsp ground cumin
100g spinach, tough stalks removed and very finely shredded
250g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
275g whole milk yoghurt
150g carrots, grated
40g pumpkin seeds, toasted

Heat the oven to 200C and line a muffin tray with paper cases.

Warm the 10g of butter in a large frying pan and sauté the onion with a pinch of salt until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes.

Add the cumin, stir for a minute, then add the spinach and stir until wilted and soft. Leave the mixture to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

In a jug, whisk the cooled melted butter, eggs and yoghurt.

Pour the wet ingredients over the flour and stir with a spatula until just combined. Fold in the cooled onions and spinach, the grated carrot and seeds.

Spoon into the prepared cases and bake for about 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

How are you celebrating Baking Week?

Carrot and coriander soup

You can’t beat carrot and coriander soup. It’s simple, yummy, filling and cheap. My recipe isn’t very different to most you can find, but this is one recipe not worth experimenting with!

carrot and coriander soup

CARROT AND CORIANDER SOUP

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes 4 adult servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
500g carrots, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the onions and carrots, and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften.

Add the ground coriander, some salt and pepper and cook for another minute.

Add the stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the carrots are soft.

Take off the heat, add the fresh coriander and purée until smooth. Check if you need to add any seasoning.

Roasted carrot soup for the whole family

Happy International Carrot Day! Bet you didn’t know that even though this year marks a decade of celebrating the root vegetable. I certainly didn’t!

After our Easter indulgences, I though it was time to return to my mission of getting as many vegetables into Nicholas as possible (and soup’s the least stressful way). I’m sure the exhausted Easter bunny would also happily relax with a large bowlful.

This is a super simple soup (try to say that quickly as many times as you can!) the whole family can enjoy from weaning babies (omit the seasoning) to adults. It freezes well and can also be used as a pasta sauce for a quick healthy lunch.

roasted carrot soupRoasting the carrots and onion, before adding them to the stock, creates an extra depth of flavour. Ordinary carrot soup becomes something more interesting to the palette. While roasting the vegetables means the cooking time is longer, you can always roast them earlier in the day (if you’re at home) or even the day before.

Like most soups, don’t be too worried about exact measurements; slightly less or slightly more carrots won’t make much difference to the end result. If you don’t have enough carrots, add some other root vegetables like parsnip, turnip or potato.

If you’re not serving this to a baby, you can add some warming spice like coriander (you could sprinkle some ground coriander over the vegetables before roasting).

ROASTED CARROT SOUP

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Makes 4 adult servings
Freezable

750g carrots, roughly chopped
1 large onion, quartered
1 tbsp olive oil
1 litre vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Lay the chopped carrots and onion in a single layer on a roasting tray. Drizzle over the oil, and season with salt and pepper (if using). Roast for 3o minutes or until the vegetables start to turn golden.

Heat the stock in a medium to large pot until lightly boiling. Turn the heat down to low, add the vegetables and thyme, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Take the soup off the heat and let it cool a little if you have the time. Purée until smooth. Check if you need to add any more seasoning.

Variations:

  • use a mixture of carrots and parsnips
  • sprinkle the vegetables with ground coriander before roasting (you can also add fresh coriander later)

Other Uses:

  • Mix through some cooked pasta (or rice) for a quick lunch

Spiced carrot muffins

spiced carrot muffins

Nicholas loves making and eating ‘muffles’ (that’s muffins to you and I!). I’m not sure he understands that what he’s stuffing into his mouth are the fruits of his zealous stirring and pouring, but that doesn’t matter; we both like eating them.

While these muffins aren’t sugar-free, I have reduced the sugar a lot. With the healthy carrot, seeds and sweet raisins inside, as well as some wholemeal flour, I think the amount of sugar is ok. And adding a pinch of extra sugar on the top makes them seem much sweeter than they are 😉

You can easily leave out the seeds, but I like the different texture they add to the muffins. I also like sprinking a few more over the tops before baking.

SPICED CARROT MUFFINS

Prep time: 10-15 mins
Cook time: 18-20 mins
Makes 12 regular-sized muffins
Freezable

150g white self-raising flour
100g wholemeal self-raising flour
75g golden caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
30g raisins
20g pumpkin seeds
20g sunflower seeds
125ml vegetable oil
125ml milk
1 egg
1 large carrot, grated
Extra golden caster sugar for sprinkling

Preheat the  oven to 180C and grease your muffin tin with a little oil or cooking spray (or line your tin with paper cases to avoid washing the tin).

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the white and wholemeal flours, the caster sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Stir in the raisins, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, until evenly distributed.

In a jug or another bowl, whisk the oil, milk and egg together. Squeeze the excess liquid from the grated carrot and stir it through the milk mixture.

Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined (mixing too much will make your muffins heavy and dense).

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 18-20 mins until golden on top and cooked through when tested with a skewer.

spiced carrot muffins

Variations:

  • add chopped walnuts or pecans instead of the pumpkin and sunflower seeds

Tip: soak the raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes beforehand to become plumper and avoid them drying out while cooking.

Spider web carrot and lentil soup

Growing up in Australia, I never remember doing anything for Halloween and it still surprises me how much of a deal it has become here in the UK. But it is a great excuse to let your imagination run free and add some fun to your meals, something that Nicholas is appreciating more and more.

I saw the idea for the olive spiders on Pinterest quite a while ago and loved how simple yet effective they are (I so adore Pinterest for getting the creative juices flowing!). And where there are spiders, there has to be spider webs, and ‘drawing’ a yogurt web on a bowl of soup is super easy.

I was originally thinking of making a butternut squash soup I regularly make in the colder months, but then I came across the lovely Blue’s recipe for a wonderfully thick and lightly spiced carrot and red lentil soup. It’s the perfect soup to continue my ‘crusade’ to add some spice to Nicholas’ palate!

I usually use homemade stock for soups, but if you use the freshest ingredients, you can actually get away with just using water instead of stock (add a bit more seasoning though).

SPIDER WEB CARROT AND LENTIL SOUP

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Makes 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
A pinch of chilli flakes
600g carrots, washed but not peeled, coarsely grated
1 onion, roughly chopped
140g red lentils
1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
125ml milk
Salt and pepper
Plain yoghurt to serve
Black kalamata olives to decorate

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the cumin, coriander and chilli flakes. After a minute or so, when you can smell the spices, add the chopped onion and carrot. Season to taste. Stir and let fry gently for a couple of minutes.

Add the hot stock, lentils and milk. Bring almost to the boil then drop the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and cooked. Check if you need to add more seasoning.

Puree the soup until smooth.

To serve, use a spoon to make a spiral of yogurt on top of each bowl of soup (or use a piping bag if you want to be more precise). Then make more yogurt lines starting in the centre and lightly dragging them to the edge to create a web-like pattern.

Decorate with olive spiders by using half an olive for the body and slices of the other olive half for legs.

How are you letting your creativity shine for Halloween?

Mini beef burgers


I also think of these as mini burgers with hidden veg. You could add lots of different vegetables. Parsnip and sweet potato immediately come to mind, and of course onion. Cooking the vegetables first means you can cook the burgers fairly quickly. Of course, add which ever herbs you like, fresh or dried. If you don’t want to fry them you could bake them in the oven.

They’re a great finger food either on their own or dipped into homemade tomato sauce. Or keep them round rather than flattening them, and add them to pasta and homemade tomato sauce for a version of spaghetti and meatballs.

Another great meal to have in your freezer.

MINI BEEF BURGERS

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Makes about 25
Freezable

250g beef mince
1 medium carrot, finely grated
1/2 courgette/zucchini, finely grated
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 egg yolk
some breadcrumbs (optional)

Put the grated carrot and zucchini in a microwave-safe bowl together with 1 tbsp water. Cook for 2-3mins on medium until tender. Drain off as much liquid as possible.

Mix all the ingredients together except for the breadcrumbs. Season if you wish. If the mixture is too wet to hold its shape when formed into small balls, add some breadcrumbs a spoonful at a time. Shape into small balls about 3cm in diameter.

Heat a small frying pan over a low heat (otherwise the outside of the burgers will burn before the inside cooks). Place the balls in the pan, flattening them out into burgers. Fry them in batches about 5 minutes on each side until cooked through.

Variations:

  • add other vegetables like grated parsnip or grated sweet potato
  • use fresh herbs (chopped parsley or oregano)
  • use lamb mince to make mini lamb burgers

Other uses:

What other meals do you cook for your little ones with minced beef?