Sunday, November 15, 2009

Carrots! Carrots! Carrots!

I recently made a 3 tiered carrot cake and processed a bit too much carrot, so I found some ways to put the extra grated carrot to good use in two delicious ways...and by the way, I did not post the recipe for carrot cake. It was delicious, but carrot cake is only attractive/photogenic in the deft hands of a pastry chef!


I like an accompaniment to a sandwich or grilled/roasted meats and fish. Traditionally we have used potato salad, slaw and lately we have cleaved to a variety of salsas. Salsas have gained in popularity, largely because they wake up our taste buds and have more complexity of flavor and spice than traditional potato salads and slaw. They do require a few more ingredients than the accompaniment I am sharing today, which is why I love it. This salad was inspired by Phyllis Meras book, Carry-Out Cuisine. There is a recipe from McMead's a carry out shop that was in Coconut Grove, FL. It was a "Honey Glazed Carrot Salad," whose kick came from the healthy addition of dijon mustard and ginger. Of course, being the "adaptable" cook, I made some revisions to the original recipe, but kept the total amount of ingredients to 6 plus salt and pepper. I hope you try it with any grilled meat or fish and it is a great wake up topping for a grilled burger.

6 cups grated carrots
1 cup dijon mustard
1/2 cup honey
1 T.+ freshly grated ginger, or 1 t. ground ginger
1/2 c. golden raisins
Juice of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Thoroughly mix all ingredients, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Chill in refrigerator and enjoy. My favorite way to enjoy is with roast/grilled chicken, only to be topped as a hamburger topping. Scrumptious!

...And expanding on our "carrot" theme, my favorite/only daughter, Ashley, loves avocados! So with some left over grated carrot on hand, I decided to incorporate them into a vegetarian sandwich I knew she would enjoy. I used to make a variation on this sandwich many moons ago when I had a carry out shop. The difference then was that I used sprouts instead of lettuce, no whipped cream cheese and eliminated the Monterey Jack cheese. Sprouts scare me now, so I stay away from them. Color me coward!

The Californian Sandwich

Vegetarian sandwiches can truly be filling, flavorful and imaginative. The use of high fiber whole grain breads lend a density to the sandwich, and a good dressing helps. Because vegetables hold so much water, liquid oozing can attempt to turn your fresh and tasty sandwich into a soggy mess. Mayonnaise is not an effective barrier to this moisture, and while it does lend flavor to the sandwich it will not retard moisture seeping into the bread. This requires a bigger "fat" barrier that you can traditionally obtain with butter spread on both slices. I opted in this sandwich for a different profile, and used whipped cream cheese, in lieu of two fat laden ingredients like butter and cheese.

Ingredients: Serves One
2 slices whole wheat/whole grain bread of choice
1/2 - 3/4 cups of grated carrot
2 T. Whipped cream cheese
1 avocado, sliced
salt and pepper to taste
Curly lettuce (arugula works well here also)
Lemon Mustard Vinaigrette


Smear whipped cream cheese on both slices of bread, and pile on grated carrots on one slice of bread.

Arrange the avocado slices on top of the carrots, and salt and pepper to taste.

Add your lettuce or arugula, top/close and enjoy your vegetarian sandwich!

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