This is a quote from one of my information loaded cookbooks: “Eating a carrot a day is like signing a daily insurance policy. You may be surprised to know that cooked carrots are better for you than raw ones. This is because the cellulose-stiffened cell walls are partially dissolved, making the nutrients more readily available. (Got that?). Three and a half ounces of cooked carrots contain a form of calcium that is easily absorbed by the body, as well as a whopping 15,000 units of Vitamin A. The newer and slimmer they are, the sweeter the carrots will be.” We eat a lot of carrots and get all that good stuff, but, the slim part doesn’t fit in this picture for my garden. Who would ever guess that? When I was at our garden this morning, I pulled a bunch of carrots and couldn’t find a slim one! This may help you when using carrots in recipes: One pound equals 3-1/2-4 cups, sliced or diced. One pound serves three to four people, depending on the size of the carrot.
ZIPPY BAKED CARROTS
5-6 c. sliced carrots (about two pounds), cut 1/4-inch thick
6 sliced Swiss cheese, divided
1 small onion, minced, about 1/3 c.
1/4 c. butter or margarine
3 T. flour 1/2 t. salt
1 t. chili powder
2 c. milk, warmed
1 c. soft bread crumbs
2 T. butter or margarine, melted
5 sliced bacon, fried crisp and crumbled
In a saucepan, cook carrots until crisp-tender; drain well. In a shallow two quart baking dish, layer half the carrots. Place half of the cheese over carrots, repeat layers. For sauce: In a saucepan over medium heat, saute onions in butter for two minutes. Stir in flour, salt and chili powder. Slowly add warm milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Cook one minute, stirring. Pour sauce over cheese. Combine crumbs and butter, sprinkle over top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Makes eight servings.
RICE AND VEGGIE SIDE-DISH
1 c. uncooked long-grain rice
2 c. water
3/4 c. diced onion
2 c. frozen peas, thawed
1 medium carrot, coarsely shredded
1 t. chicken bouillon granules
1 t. salt-free herb seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste In a saucepan, cook rice in water for 10 minutes; add rest of ingredients, bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low; cover and continue to cook for 5-8 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Drain any liquid. Makes six servings.
BAKED CARROT FRIES
8 medium-sized peeled carrots (about six inches long)
3 T. canola or vegetable oil
1 t. each, sugar and salt
1/4 t. pepper
Cut each carrot in half, cross wise. From each piece, cut thin strips, lengthwise. Put in a large bowl. Combine rest of ingredients in a small bowl; whisk together. Pour over carrots, mixing well to coat carrots. Spread onto a baking pan. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until crisp and golden. Note: You may use a seasoning of your choice as in cayenne pepper, garlic powder, etc. I put the carrots on a parchment paper-lined baking pan
1 c. coarsely grated carrots
1 c. diced celery
Couple dashes onion powder
2 hard-boiled eggs, cooled, peeled and chopped
2-5 oz. cans tuna, well drained
3/4 c to
1 c. salad dressing
1 large can shoestring potatoes
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, except potatoes. Refrigerate two to three hours. Just before serving, fold in potatoes. Makes six servings Do you know what the nutrient, beta-carotene is? I wasn’t sure either. It is the most common and powerful form of carotene, the name given several hydrocarbon pigments. Carotene got its name because it was first found in carrots. A chemical action in the body converts it into vitamin A. Let’s hear it for carrots! Thought for the Day: Tired of peeling carrots? My “info Guru” says to drop them into boiling water; let stand for five minutes, then drop them into cold water. The skin should slip off. Only do this if you’re going to cook the carrots.