vegetables

Carrot Craze

prod000633
Burbee.com Carrot Varieties 
 

Who would have thought that carrots would be the next “it” veggie?

Nowadays, the quintessential orange carrot we have come to love has close competition with some unexpectedly colorful varieties. Typically found at your local farmer’s market, these beautiful heirlooms come in wonderful shades of purple, ruby, yellow and white.

 

harrisa-carrot
Harissa Roasted Carrots
 

I like to pick-up a bundle of fresh heirloom carrots, rub them with some olive oil and flavorful seasoning like Duqqa; an aromatic Egyptian mixture of toasted nuts and seeds like hazelnuts, sesame seeds, coriander and cumin, or Harissa then roast them in a hot oven and top with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a scattering of fresh cilantro. The roasting brings out the sweetness and the spices really compliment the carrot flavor. Oh and don’t be afraid to char the carrots a little – they can handle it – yum!

Of course we all enjoy carrots as the perfect snack too, sweet and satisfyingly crunchy – they are filled with antioxidants, Vitamin A and C, beta-carotene, minerals, fiber and so much more yet are still a low calorie treat. For a great appetizer, try roasting and pureeing carrots with garlic and lemon for a simple carrot hummus or blending them into a gingery salad dressing!

carrot-collins2
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
The fresh pressed carrot juice makes the color of this cocktail amazing!
 

Besides baking into a sweet carrot cake, or roasting with warm spices, I also love drinking carrot juice too! Because of their bright color and sweet flavor, I love adding fresh carrot juice to citrusy drinks like lemon – or limeades, sparkling water, and of course, cocktails.

Whether you are roasting, baking, juicing, or snacking – carrots are one veggie that won’t ever let you down. – Kathy

 

Harissa Roasted Carrots

Serves 4

12 heirloom carrots peeled and split in half, leaving about an inch of stem.
3 – 4 Tbsp Moroccan Harissa Paste
2 Tbsp Olive Oil plus more for drizzling
6 – 8 oz of Greek Yogurt
Finishing Salt to taste

 

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Combine the Harissa paste with the olive oil in a small bowl and mix together until well combined. Toss the carrots in the harissa mixture until nicely coated then add to a roasting pan, being sure carrots are evenly separated and not overlapping. Roast the carrots for 10 minutes or until the carrots are tender and have a nice char to your liking.

Once you are ready to serve, plate the carrots and dollop with Greek yogurt. I like serving this with warm couscous, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkling of finishing salt.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

Honey Mint Carrot Collins

Makes 1 cocktail
1 1/2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce Honey Mint Syrup (recipe follows)
3/4 ounce fresh pressed carrot juice
3/4 ounce fresh squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
————————————
1 ounce chilled Perrier
Garnish: Fresh Origins Micro Carrot and Micro Mint

Measure gin, Honey Mint Syrup and juices into a mixing glass. Fill with ice, cap and shake vigorously. Pour drink into a Collins glass and top with soda. Garnish.

Honey Mint Syrup
Makes about 10 ounces
8 sprigs fresh mint
3/4 cup clover honey
3/4 cup water

Combine ingredients in small saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring liquid to a boil while siring to combine well. Immediately reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let steep for 45 minutes. Strain and store refrigerated for up to two weeks.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Kathy on October 14th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Cocktails, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, appetizers, vegetables

Apples

A true sign of fall, apples are appearing everywhere right now. Think thick-caramel-coated-and-dipped-in-nuts or those sweet and tangy cups of fresh-pressed cider at the local market.

The Northwest has always been the Mecca for amazing apples from glorious Gala Apples with their wonderful perfume and sweet flavor under a lovely red and pink striped exterior, to the sexy pink ladies! The list goes on and on.

For pie lovers, nothing is as iconic as good ol’ classic American apple pie. Some of my favorite ways to switch it up is adding grated cheddar to the crust and tossing some fall cranberries into the filling. Yum!

img_8837
Photo from Kathy Casey’s Northwest Table
Who’s ready for pie? I know I am!
 

But in addition to treats and desserts, there are bushels of other great ways to cook with apples. Try a quick sauté of sliced apples, chopped bacon, and onions then finish it off with a quick vinaigrette and tossed with baby spinach leaves for a tasty and warm supper salad.

 

apples
Photo by Kathy Casey Food Studios
 

Just remember, one of the most important tips is to always keep your apples refrigerated. At 70 degrees apples break down and become soft 10 times faster than if refrigerated. And we all like that crisp apple crunch! –Kathy

 

Apple Cranberry Pie With Cheddar Cheese Crust

Makes 1 9-inch pie.

Cheddar Cheese Crust

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shredded Tillamook Cheddar cheese
1/3 cup shortening or lard
6 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in small pieces
4 Tbsp. cold water

 

Pie Filling

1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. flour
7 cups 1/8- to 1/4-inch-sliced apples, peeled and cored (about 2 – 2 1/2 lb.)
3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut in small pieces
milk and sugar for topping

 

To make the crust: In a large bowl combine flour, salt and cheddar and mix evenly. Cut in shortening and butter until particles are pea-sized. Sprinkle in cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and mix with a fork just until dough comes together in a ball. Do not overmix dough. (If dough is too soft to handle, press gently into a disk and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.)

 

Divide dough into 2 pieces then roll out into 2 circles.

 

On a lightly floured surface roll one dough piece out to a bit bigger than your pan. Brush excess flour off of crust, then gently roll up crust onto rolling pin. Unroll into pie pan and press/fit crust into pan. Roll crust over at edges, trimming off any excess dough, then crimp with fingers to make a pretty crust edge. With a fork poke the pie crust all over so crust doesn’t bubble up when baking.

 

Cover the other dough piece (the pie pastry top crust) with plastic wrap while making the filling.

 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

 

To make filling: In a large bowl toss together the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, apples and cranberries. Mound apple mixture evenly into pastry-lined pie pan. Dot apples with butter and cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges with fingertips. Make several slits on the top to allow steam to escape. For a shiny, sugary top brush top crust lightly with milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.

 

Bake in preheated 425-degree oven for 10 minutes then reduce the heat to 375 degrees and bake for about 50 minutes more or until crust is nicely browned and apples are cooked through.

 

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

 

 

Spinach & Apple Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette

This salad is delicious as a starter, or serve it as an entrée topped with grilled chicken breast and crumbled blue cheese.

Makes 6 servings as a starter salad

 

6 cups baby spinach

Vinaigrette

1/3 cup fresh-squeezed Sunkist Lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

———————————————

1/4 cup finely diced raw bacon
1 apple, cored and cut into thin slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced white onion
2 tsp. minced fresh garlic

 

Place spinach in a large, heat-proof bowl and refrigerate until ready to dress salad.

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, mustard, sugar, pepper, salt

and olive oil. Set vinaigrette aside.

 

In a small nonstick pan, cook the bacon over medium-high heat until three-quarters done, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the apple, onion and garlic and stir for about 1 minute. Add the reserved vinaigrette to the hot pan. Immediately remove from heat and pour over reserved spinach mixture.

Toss until salad is well coated with dressing, and serve immediately.

 

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®

Posted by Kathy on October 7th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, Snacks, dessert, salads, vegetables

Beets

Pickled or roasted, steamed or boiled, I adore beets whichever way they’re prepared! I even like to grate them raw into salads for some fantastic color and flavor.

Beets have always been one of my favorite vegetables and now we find them everywhere. At that trendy juice bar next to the wheat grass. Or the swanky hipster restaurant in a new cocktail. And even in that chocolate cake you are making for your kids so they will eat their veggies – but shhhh! That’s our secret!
beetingeggs

They’re great in my Beet’ing Heart Deviled Eggs!

In addition to being delicious, beets are REALLY good for you! The nutrient in beet’s red pigment called betalain is high in antioxidants, has anti-inflammatory benefits, and can even reduce your risk of heart disease. Beets are also a great source of fiber and vitamin C!

Photo from The Atlantic

If you boil or roast your beets, don’t bother peeling them before-hand. Once they’re cooked, the skins will rub right off!

Looking for a new side dish? Try my Mashed Roasted Beets with Lime, Sour Cream and Cilantro. This will turn the most resistant beet eater into a beet enthusiast in no time. The sweet flavors of the beets combined with the zing of the lime and a dollop of low-fat sour cream will make this a family favorite.

Beets – a colorful, flavor addition to your next dish! –Kathy

Mashed Roasted Beets with Lime, Sour Cream & Cilantro
This beet preparation will turn the most resistant beet eater into a beet lover. If you have time, the ultimate taste intensity can be produced by roasting the beets in a 375-degree F. oven until very tender; allow about 1 – to 2 hours depending upon the size of your beets The yield will be reduced because of moisture evaporation, so use 5 beets.

Makes four 1/2-cup servings.

4 beets (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream or 0% Greek yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
salt to taste

Wash the beets, trimming top to 1″ – 2″ and leaving root untrimmed. Steam until very tender (or see roasting note, above).

As soon as beets are cool enough to handle, slip the skins off and cut into large chunks. Place in food processor with butter and sour cream; process until smooth-like in texture but not a total puree. Mix in lime juice, coriander, pepper flakes and chopped cilantro. Season to taste with salt.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on August 18th, 2016  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Recent Posts, Recipes, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, root vegetables, sides, vegetables

Spring in to Summer Gardening

The days are longer and the sun is shining. It’s time to think about a summer vegetable garden and what to plant. So what grows best here in the Pacific Northwest?

Well, now is the time to plant those pole beans. Have you ever made a pole bean tee pee? It’s a great way to keep the growing beans contained. Be sure to plant in full sun for optimal harvesting and pick them when they are small and tender! And if you have some picky kiddos then try planting bushing “purple beans” that magically turn green when you cook them – that’s pretty fun!


Learn to make a great pole bean tent and more from Garden Therapy!

Next on my best of list is zucchini – it’s easy to grow! My mom used to make these tasty little zucchini cakes topped with a fresh tomato sauce and a dollop of sour cream. Or these days try it with Greek yogurt. Have you ever had a Chocolate Zucchini Cake? I’ve got a recipe for you!

Next on the must to-plant list are sweet 100 tomatoes – this variety loves our NW weather. And there is nothing like going out to the garden and popping them right of the vine into your mouth. I also love them skewered, rubbed with olive oil, seasoned and then grilled till lightly charred and served as a side dish or served atop a grilled steak.

My last bit of advice is to be sure plant to a few greens. Arugula is a great addition to any garden. And rainbow chard, in hues of pink, yellow, red and white will grow bountifully, keep trimming it to the base and it grows all season!

So time to get down and dirty in the garden! –Kathy

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Makes 1 bunt cake – about 10 – 12 servings

Cake
1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)

Glaze
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 oz. wt.)
1/4 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. strong brewed coffee or espresso

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a mixer cream together the butter, oil and sugars. Beat in the eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Mix into the creamed ingredients a little at a time until incorporated. Stir in the walnuts, zucchini and chocolate chips.

Butter and flour a large (10-cup) Bundt pan and pour in batter. Bake for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.

Let cake stand in pan for 5 minutes or so then remove from pan and place cake on a rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze: In a small pan heat the chocolate, cream and coffee over low heat till smooth and just melted. Pour over cake. Let set 15 minutes before serving.

Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com

Posted by Kathy on May 20th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Spring in to Summer Gardening |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Recipes, dessert, vegetables

Veggie Mash-Up

With the surging popularity of kale, brussel sprouts and even rutabagas, what’s old has become new again, especially in the veggie world! In years past, moms everywhere couldn’t bribe their kids to eat these veggies, but today, being green is now fun and good for you!

A great example of an old but “new” veggie is the gorgeous Lacinato Kale (aka black kale). It’s a beloved veggie in Italy and traditionally slow cooked into soups. It is branded at most stores now as “dinosaur kale”, which makes it fun for kids and just one way of getting them to eat it too.

 

kale

Lacinato Kale or “Dinosaur” Kale

 

Also new on the veggie hipster horizon are vegetable mash-ups! Take for example kalettes, which are a cross between brussel sprouts and kale or broccolini; a hybrid of broccoli and gai lan (aka Chinese broccoli).

 

And don’t forget the gorgeous Romanesco aka broccoflower! A lime green vegetable that takes the best of broccoli and cauliflower and marries them together in a blissful union. So delicious steamed and tossed in olive oil, lemon juice, salt and lemon zest!

Don’t have time to get to the market, then checkout Barn2Door. Founded by 2 Washingtonians. This “un-grocery” store gives you 24/7 access and a direct line of communication between you and the growers, plus access to an ever changing fresh sheet of local products. You can even message the farmers directly! How cool is that?

I have been a veggie lover since I was a kid, so it’s great to see so many people eating their greens these days. With spring on its way, our local markets will be brimming with amazing options in no time. So get your veggie on and try something new! –Kathy

 

Posted by Kathy on April 14th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Veggie Mash-Up |  Posted in Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, salads, vegetables

Juicing for Joy

As you walk the isle of the grocery store these days, you’ll soon notice the rows and rows of new juices readily available. What is all this juicy business? Well for starters, it’s an easy and d’lish way to get your recommended daily allotment of fruits and vegetables, and not to mention lots of vitamins and nutrients.

So what to do? Got the bucks to buy a bottle? It is pretty convenient to pop into a shop and pick up your favorite blend but over time it can be more expensive than your daily cup of joe.

How about buying a home juicer? Making juice from home can be an investment in time and money up front but with a little planning it truly is the best way to enjoy a juice filled lifestyle and the fresher the juice, the better the health benefits too!

Here’s a favorite blend of mine that you can play with the proportions to fit your pallet. I suggest doing 3 parts veggie or root juice to 1 part fruit juice and any salty, spicy or sour juices should be added to taste.

Beets ( In addition to being sweet and oh so pretty, they are high in antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory benefits)
Celery (It has a touch of natural saltiness, bright flavor, and it’s a natural diuretic)
Slice of fresh ginger
Apple
Lemon Juice

Want a powerful punch of antioxidants? How about whipping up a delicious Green Juice like this one from Sunkist.

 


Photo from Sunkist.com
 

Made with fresh squeezed grapefruit and orange juice, fresh pressed cider , ginger, and kale juice.  Yum!

Oh and did I mention that fresh veggie juices are great  as a mixer for cocktails too! That’s right. The juicing trend is moving into Happy Hour. Here is one of my favorite cocktails for spring: Make it with your favorite gin!

Carrot Collins
Honey Mint Carrot Collins
 

The carrot juice adds a subtle sweetness and a beautiful color, while playing well with the botanicals of the gin. Find this recipe and more at www.liquidkitchen.com

Happy Juicing!  –Kathy

Posted by Kathy on April 7th, 2016  |  Comments Off on Juicing for Joy |  Posted in Cocktails, Foodie News, Lifestyle, Recent Posts, Fruit, KOMO Radio, Kathy Casey, breakfast, citrus, orange, root vegetables, vegetables
Untitled