Friday, August 3, 2012

38 Power Foods, Week 8 -- Carrots -- On the Loose

I have no idea what you'd do without carrots.  I think I just couldn't cook without them.
I don't spend a lot of time thinking about, "Oh, I love carrots," but there isn't a week that goes by that I don't buy them. I can't imagine my crisper without carrots.  But I don't think I ever thought much about them before.

Two carrot stories come to mind...after this gorgeous salad:

Moroccan Carrot Salad
 We were camping in Texas once where we spent long days tubing on the Guadalupe River.  (Folks floated by with six-packs tied to their inner tubes.)  It was so hot the ice was a constant puddle in the coolers and we worried about our food.  (Why didn't I sell ice in south Texas?  Once again I had chosen the wrong profession.)   Insert bad language; there were six of us to feed three times a day for a week.  One poor woman stopped to say only one thing to me, "Even my carrots rotted today."   I knew how she felt; I was down to cabbage, potatoes, and onions, though I always have cans in the back of the van.  If your carrots betray you, you're in trouble.  She was heartbroken and I understood why.

And the other story....

Once, when I'd been on Weight Watchers forever, Dave said,

I liked you a lot better when carrots were no points.

You see, carrots, along with all the other vegetables in the world, were FREE--point-wise, that is.  Until one year, somebody smartened up and figured out they had a little sugar.  Wowee-zowee; they were then 1 point.  Broke my heart.  (Since then, a WW friend reports carrots are once more free.  I'm breathing a bit easier though I simply use to track my weight and exercise now.  Love that site and there's an app for it.)

Took this at Pike Place Market.  Gorgeous sentiment, "Carrots on-the-loose."
Carrots make nearly everything taste better. Without them, how could you make soup?  If you skip them and just add the onions and celery to flavor the broth, it's just not the same.  What about stew?  Roast chicken with vegetables?  Salad?  Veggie tray?  Pot Roast? Carrot cake? 

I make carrot cake cupcakes at Easter; recipe here.  It's for the sheetcake, but works just the same.
 How about...
Alyce's  Egg Salad?


Split Pea Soup for One?

Pasta out of the Frig and Pantry??

Lentil Soup?

Could you bring potato salad?

Make your own Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch?

Chicken Noodle Soup in Under an Hour (above)  has morphed into a soup with a 30 minute finishing time for cookbook I'm working on...It works. Just wait and see how.

Unless you have spent a lot of time thinking about it, you've just realized the cooking world
would be a very different place without carrots. (One note: if you like them in spaghetti sauce or marinara, be careful; too many and you've ruined it.  I sometimes like just a bit of carrot in my marinara.)   Naturally, they're good for you.  Didn't your mother tell you to eat your carrots so you could see better?  A deficiency of vitamin A can cause night blindness, according to several sources, but it doesn't appear carrots truly help you see better. 

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of potassium, and contain vitamins C & B6, copper, folic acid,thiamine and magnesium. The high level of beta-carotene is very important and gives carrots their distinctive orange colour.
Carrots also contain, in smaller amounts, essential oils, carbohydrates and nitrogenous composites. They are well-known for their sweetening, antianaemic, healing, diuretic, remineralizing and sedative properties.
In order to assimilate the greatest quantity of the nutrients present in carrots, it is important to chew them well - they are the exception to the rule - they are more nutritious cooked than raw.

Did I mention they keep a good long while?   How long?

2-3 weeks fresh in the refrigerator
12-18 months blanched and stored well-wrapped in the freezer

Read a poem about a pea who wants to be a carrot here.
National Carrot Day?  February 3,  naturally. 

 38 Power Foods is a group effort!   Stop by these other blogs and see what they're cooking each week as we team up to bring you some of the healthiest cooking available.

Ansh –  
Jill – SaucyCooks 
Sarah - Everything in the Kitchen Sink
Anabanana -
As we go along, I'm guessing we'll get some other writers involved.  If you're interested in joining the gang writing each week, get in touch with Mireya from My Healthy Eating Habits:

two-dog kitchen and around the 'hood
Our eastern view the morning after the big rain storm.  Roads washed out and a bridge collapsed.

Next afternoon, more rain while our house was being painted.  I just can't capture the rainbows in Colorado, but here's my try.  This is just off to the southeast from the mesa up on the west side of Colorado Springs (up above I-25 if you've ever driven through north to south in the state.)

My temp office to write the book.  I love being alone to write.  We moved out the bedroom furniture to give me space.

One of two soups I worked on this week:  Alyce's Spicy Cucumber-Feta photographed in my tiny herb garden.

Sing a new song; chew your carrots up, honey,


  1. Alyce, love all the ways you cook with carrots - carrots are definitely overlooked and so versatile. I've got a stash of fresh carrots in my fridge - so sweet. During the cooler months, I love adding carrots to soups and stews.

  2. I am with you, Alyce on carrots, and use them weekly, as well. Each of your dishes look terrific and makes me soup. I guess, Autumn will be here sooner than later and I have to go back to work, so I will enjoy carrots in salad and in cakes, for now.

    It is funny, we are doing carrots, this week. Just yesterday, I checked out an refrigerator we kept, for extra storage and found a bag of carrots, hubby put there from April. I am glad you wrote the storage limits so I did not have to feel guilty, saying goodbye to those hairy carrots.

  3. @Casey Ah! That extra frig! I call it the "Lost and Found!"
    Where we live in St. Paul, it's called "The Beer Frig."
    In our Colorado house, where we spend less time, I finally went out to the garage and put a thermometer in the thing to see if I could store in it a big pork loin I bought on sale. I have to admit the COLD-COLDER knob
    broke off about 1997. Beer is one thing; meat is another. (Temp fine.)

    Fall...soup..sounds good, though I've made a couple of cold food processor soups lately that have been perfect. Happy Weekend!

  4.'s truly heart breaking when carrots betray you by rotting! I've had it happen while we were camping. Great post and I absolutely love the pics!!!

  5. Love the fact that carrots being sweet can be made into sweet or savory. Love them.. points or no points :d

  6. @ Margo: Thanks!! @Ansh: I like that carrots can be sweet or savory, too. Great food.

  7. Oh yes, too many carrots in the marinara sauce will definitely ruin the pot. I also love the carrots in carrot cake, lentil stew, and split pea soup. (I couldn't see the photos).

  8. @Mireya: Are you still in Spain? Porque no los tiene los fotos?
    (Spanish is pretty rusty.)

  9. Ah, where would we be without carrots? Many of the dishes you show are personal favorites. I just learned this week that my sister hates cooked carrots. I really worry about her!

  10. @Martha: Tell your sister to come visit me; I'll make her some cooked carrots. I steam them and then saute them in butter with salt, pepper, and HONEY.


I can't wait to hear from you!

When you click on "Comment as," you have a choice of google id, etc. If you don't have a google id or a blog, choose ANONYMOUS. When you type your comment, you can sign your name there. Thanks!