BALSAMIC CHARRED GARLIC CARROTS

To add a bit of an edgier flavor to carrots I use balsamic vinegar and then char them crisp.  Flavored balsamic vinegars work well also.  Tonight I used a pineapple coconut white balsamic vinegar.

BALSAMIC CHARRED GARLIC CARROTS
2 pounds carrots, sliced on the diagonal or smaller carrots halved lenghtwise
2 cloves garlic, minced or sliced paper thin
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon garlic oil (avocado or olive work well too)
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

  • Heat butter and oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add carrots and garlic, stirring to coat well.
  • Cover and simmer 5 minutes until carrots begin to soften.
  • Uncover and continue to simmer until carrots begin to char.
  • Add balsamic vinegar and stir to coat well.
  • Cook 2-3 minutes more until carrots are charred, cooked through and most liquid is absorbed.

BRAISED GREEN BEANS & POTATOES

BRAISED GREEN BEANS & POTATOES serves 6

1 teaspoon avocado oil
2 strips bacon, chopped
2 shallots, halved and sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 cups chicken stock
FRESHLY ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds small red and/or white potatoes, with a strip peeled around the centers
1 pound green beans trimmed and sectioned

  • Cook bacon over medium high heat until crispy.
  • Remove bacon from grease with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper toweling.
  • Add avocado oil to bacon grease.
  • Add shallots, stirring occasionally until tender, about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and red pepper, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chicken stock, salt and potatoes. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes or JUST until potatoes are tender enough to be fork pierced, but still firm.
  • Add green beans, cover and simmer 6-7 minutes until tender.
  • Remove potatoes and green beans with a slotted spoon to a serving dish.
  • Bring liquid to a boil and reduce to 1 cup.
  • Spoon over vegetables and gently fold to mix.
  • Sprinkle with bacon and serve.

SWEDISH MEATLOAVES with MASHED POTATOES, ROASTED CARROTS & LINGONBERRY JAM with HOUSE SEASONING

Meatloaf is really just an oversized meatball. So, why not make it a personal size so you can get more finished edges covered in delicious gravy?

Swedish Meat Loaves are spicy beef meatloaves smothered in a rich tasty gravy served over mashed potatoes with roasted carrots with Lingonberry jam on the side—in other words, Thanksgiving for the rest of the year.

SWEDISH MEATLOAVES with MASHED POTATOES, ROASTED CARROTS & LINGONBERRY JAM

2 Carrots, peeled and sliced into thick coins
3/4 pound Yukon potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/3 cup minced yellow onion
several sprigs Parsley, finely chopped
1 slice white bread
3 tablespoons + 1/4 cup milk
2/3 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup beef consomme
2 tablespoon Lingonberry Jam
1 tablespoon avocado oil
2 tablespoons butter
FRESH ground salt and pepper, taste

  • PREHEAT oven to 425° and adjust rack to upper position.
  • Toss carrots on a baking sheet with a drizzle of oil and a large pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Roast in oven for 15 minutes.
  • Add potatoes to a medium pot with a large pinch of salt and enough water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to empty pot off heat.
  • Place bread and 3 tablespoons milk in a medium bowl. Break up bread with your hands until pasty.
  • Add in beef, 2 tablespoons minced onion, half the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper and salt to taste. Mix by hand gently until thoroughly mixed.
  • Shape mixture into two 1-inch-tall loaves.
  • Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add meatloaves and cook until browned on surface but not yet cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Once carrots have roasted about 15 minutes, remove sheet from oven and give carrots a toss. Add meatloaves to same sheet and place back in oven.
  • Bake until meatloaves are cooked through and carrots are tender, about 15 minutes more.
  • Melt 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan you browned the meatloaves in over medium heat.
  • Add remaining minced onion. Cook, sauteing, until soft, about 2 minutes.
  • Add flour and cook, stirring, until pasty, about 1 minute.
  • Slowly whisk in beef stock and 1/4 cup milk.
  • Bring to a simmer, then whisk until thickened, about 1 minute.
  • Season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg to taste.
  • Add more water if too thick.
  • Place pot with potatoes over low heat.
  • Add 1/4 cup milk and 1 tablespoon butter mashing until smooth. Add more milk if too stiff.
    Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.
  • Plate potatoes and meatloaves.
  • Drizzle with gravy.
  • Add carrots and jam to the side.
  • Garnish with remaining parsley.

HOUSE SEASONING MIX

1/4 cup fine sea salt
1/4 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon FRESH ground black pepper

  • Combine in a small bowl until well blended.
  • Store in an air tight container.

CARROT ORECCHIETTE

For a nice change of pace in the spring and summer I try to make lighter AND healthier dishes. I ran across this recipe at the dentist office and instantly fell in love after a few adjustments for our tastes, especially with my new restrictive diet! I’m ALWAYS looking for more flavor and it has been hard to come by – until now!

CARROT ORECCHIETTE serves 4

1 pound large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
2+2 tablespoons cup avocado oil
4 ounces dry orecchiette pasta
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3-4 sprigs FRESH thyme
2 tablespoons FRESH chopped chives
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 475°.
  • Cover a baking sheet with foil or a silicone mat.
  • Add carrots to a large bowl.
  • Drizzle with 2 tablespoons avocado oil.
  • Generously season with the salt and pepper.
  • Toss to coat well.
  • Spread carrots onto baking sheet in an even layer.
  • Nestle thyme sprigs randomly into carrots.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until tender and carrots are beginning to curl at the edges.
  • While carrots are roasting cook pasta per package directions. DO NOT ADD THE SALT OR FAT.
  • Drain pasta WELL.
  • Add pasta to large mixing bowl.
  • Add vinegar, 2 tablespoons avocado oil.
  • Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Toss to coat.
  • Remove thyme sprigs.
  • Add carrots and GENTLY toss again.
  • Divide among the plates.
  • Top with chives and Parmesan cheese.
  • ENJOY!