Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots

IMGP1894I admit it: I’m recycling. If you follow this blog, you know I write about roasted root vegetables ad nauseum* because I consider them a dieter’s best friends.

Then, to add insult to injury, I am also recycling a spice mix from Spiced Sweet Potato Round and (A Little Bit of) Squash Heaven.

It happened this way: I was staring at a 3 lb. bag of carrots and asked myself, “If that spice mix is so great with sweet potatoes and squash, why wouldn’t it be equally great with carrots?” Yes, such are the profound, metaphysical questions that mark my days.

And, happily, the universe went along because the answer was a resounding “Yes,” not only from the spouse, but also from two grandchildren (aged 13 and 14) who gave it a definitive thumbs up.

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Spiced Sweet Potato Rounds

How do you feel about persnickety recipes?

You know—the ones that require extra time because they have a special presentation and/or taste. Some people love fiddling around, but I’m not one of them. Life is short, I say, and I refashion recipes to make them less finicky.*

Interesting to make, fun to serve, and delicious!

So…what exactly was the siren call that prompted this creation? Well, we were having a guest for dinner, but I’d really chalk it up to my love for sweet potatoes as compared to white potatoes: their taste, their lower WW points, and their **lower glycemic index (important for those of us who are pre-diabetic or have Type 2 diabetes). Plus the presentation intrigued me.

And, I’m happy to report, these rounds are truly keepers! Bite down. First, you hit the sweet crunch of sugar mixed with a complementary hot spiciness. Yum! Then you’re into the creamy sweetness of the potato itself. Yum, yum! By the way, I did sprinkle these with green onions, which happily added to the crunch and complex flavour of the topping, but only just before serving and, alas, there was no time for a photo.

Oh, and they look very impressive, don’t you think?

*Want to make a really easy version of this recipe? You could add the spices to mashed sweet potatoes or make a Spiced Sweet Potato Bean Bake with Green Onions for a low-cal lunch or snack.

**Want to know more about the nutritional value of sweet potatoes? “Are Sweet Potatoes Just Orange-Colored Regular Potatoes?“is a great article.

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Steamed Cauliflower: Variations

First of all: Many thanks to Jeff from jeffs kitchen for this post.

Jeff had read the cauliflower-tasting story from my post, Can Our Tastebuds Have Orgasms?, and clearly felt sorry for the spouse who ate the cauliflower I had served plain. Why plain? Because I thought that beautifully fresh cauliflower would taste great on its own.

And it did! To me, that is.

Anyway, Jeff wrote a great comment on that post with ideas for spicing up the cauliflower that I want to pass on to you.

Jeff steams his cauliflower whole, but you could also steam florets or roast them (see Roasted Veggies Redux) using these spices.

How to Steam a Cauliflower Whole

  1. Cut out the core from the bottom of the cauliflower.
  2. Place the head in a large cast-iron pot.
  3. Add about 1/2 inch of boiling water. (You can also add flavours to the water—see below.)
  4. Sprinkle spice generously over the cauliflower head (see possibilities below).
  5. Reduce heat so that the water is simmering.
  6. Cover pot and steam for 10-20 minutes. The amount of time will depend on the size of cauliflower and how soft you prefer it.

Jeff’s Spice Possibilities:

  • Allspice: Also add 1 tbsp. coconut milk to the boiling water.
  • Curry: Also add 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar to the boiling water.
  • Garam masala: Also add 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar to the boiling water.
  • A good quality paprika: Also add 1 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar to the boiling water. According to Jeff, “I’ve experimented with smoked paprika, and it tastes like I did it in a pot on a grill. The paprika adds a layer of flavor, and using smoked paprika adds yet another layer.”

I can think of other variations such as using cumin or fresh dill. Have you done something interesting with cauliflower that you’d like to share?