Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Coconut Curry Beet Sauce {Recipe ReDux}

Who doesn’t love leftovers? Cook once, eat twice…or three, or four times.

Instead of just reheating the leftovers, though — c’mon, you know that gets boring — why not repurpose them into a completely new and delicious dish?

That’s what we were tasked with doing for this month’s Recipe ReDux:

Two for One

We’re all about cooking once and eating twice. In short, double dinners are better. Show us how you take a favorite recipe already on your blog – and ReDux the leftovers into a new dish. Or, whip up a new healthy recipe and give suggestions on how to make it a second meal. For example, slow cooker pot roast could become shredded beef tacos; or grilled chicken breasts might morph into chicken salad.

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A few weeks ago I made this delicious {vegan} Coconut Curry Beet and Butternut Squash Soup, and I packaged the leftover soup into individual containers and then stuck the containers in my freezer for future soup-eating occasions.

Now, the soup was delicious, don’t get me wrong, but after eating it for a week straight, I was completely beet souped out. And I still had a couple containers left.

What’s a girl to do??

(#firstworldproblems)

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MAKE IT INTO A SAUCE! And drizzle that sauce onto the most perfectly-roasted rainbow carrots.

Did you know that carrots started off as PURPLE — not orange? Some think that orange carrots were first bred in the Netherlands to honor King William of Orange, but whatever the real story, the orange color has seemingly stuck since that time.

I like all carrots, but rainbow carrots are just so gorgeous! And the different colors mean that they have a variety of nutrients — beta-carotene (vitamin A) in the orange carrots, anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants) in the purple carrots and Xanthophykks and lutein (linked with cancer prevention and eye health) in the yellow carrots.

Roasting them brings out their natural sweetness and earthiness. I could eat them straight out of the oven (with a little sea salt), but the addition of this beet sauce completely elevates them and will totally impress your dinner guests.

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Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Coconut Curry Beet Sauce

Serve this delicious veggie dish with grilled chicken or steak — or keep things vegan with marinated/roasted tofu. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. carrots, preferably organic rainbow carrots
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 3/4 cup leftover Coconut Curry Beet and Butternut Squash Soup
  • 1 Tbsp. lime zest (from organic limes)
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked sea salt (regular, non-smoked sea salt would also work)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Wash/scrub carrots and cut the ends off. Lay carrots on a baking sheet and drizzle with melted coconut oil. Toss the carrots a few times to evenly coat them with oil.
  2. Roast carrots for 30-40 minutes, or until tender. Transfer the carrots to your serving platter.roasted_coconut_carrotsroasted_rainbow_carrots
  3. Using a spoon, drizzle carrots with leftover beet soup, then sprinkle with lime zest and pecans.

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Check out the link below for infinite leftover meal ideas from the members of Recipe ReDux. Enjoy!

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Farmers Market WTF: Week 3 – Carrot Tops

For most people, hearing “carrot top” conjures up images of a skinny comedian with bright red hair who totes around a trunk full of props.

For me, I imagine the leafy greens atop my carrots and think, ‘What can I do with these?’

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Purple carrots from the Green City Market

After asking the farmers at the market without much help, I took matters into my own hands to research what, if any, uses there were for my carrot tops. Check out the Carrot Museum website for some great recipes. I really loved their idea for a carrot top pesto, though I didn’t actually follow their recipe since I didn’t have the ingredients on hand.

Normally I would let you know about the fantastic nutrition of carrot tops before I delve into recipes and the like. However, there were no reputable sources to be found on the topic. That doesn’t mean that carrot tops aren’t nutritious, however. If I had to use my nutritional knowledge and background to estimate the nutrients found in carrot tops, I would say that there is potassium (promotes heart health among other things), vitamin K (involved in bone health and maintenance as well as blood clotting) and iron. Again, this is my estimation of the nutrients found in carrot tops and should by no means be taken as fact.

So, on to the recipe:

Carrot Top Pesto:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup carrot tops, rinsed, with any large stems removed
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, rinsed
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil (or more if you want a thinner pesto)
  • 3 Tbsp nuts or seeds (I used pepitas because that was all I had. Pine nuts or walnuts would be best)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until creamy.

Carrot top pesto made an excellent topping to my turkey meatballs at lunch…

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Turkey meatballs (lean ground turkey with red onions basil and herbs) over sauteed veggies and purple kale, topped with carrot top pesto. Yum!

Carrot top pesto is great on toast, too!

Spotted at the Green City Farmer’s Market: Carrots

Branch out of the carrot and dip rut!

After finding some great carrots at the Green City Market, I wanted to experiment with this Vitamins A- and C-packed veggie. You really can’t go wrong with carrots: bake/roast, grill, saute, steam, raw: they are all delicious. While carrots have a natural sweetness, they are low in calories and sugar/carbs (30 calories, 7 grams of carbs and 5 grams of sugar per large carrot or ~1/2 cup). Below, you’ll see two of the winning creations: Sage Carrot Chips and Carrot-Ginger Salad (with scallop “sushi”). Enjoy!

SAGE CARROT CHIPS

After falling in love with kale chips, I wondered what else I could turn into a chip and carrot chips seemed to be a great idea. So, I scrubbed the carrots, cut them on the bias (diagonally) and tossed with olive oil, sage (from a friend’s garden), garlic powder and black pepper. I baked at 375 for 15-20 minutes. Depending on how crispy you like them, you can bake for more or less time. The result was delicious!! Note: the carrots do shrink up quite a bit after baking (see before and after pictures below).

Before baking. This was about 4 medium-sized carrots worth.

Carrot chips after baking. See how much smaller they got?

Makes about 1 cup carrot chips

Ingredients

4-5 carrots: organic carrots recommended

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp crushed dried sage

1 tsp garlic powder

Black pepper to taste

Directions

Rinse carrots and peel if desired (I used organic carrots and scrubbed them well, so I left them unpeeled). Slice carrots diagonally across, so that you get large “coins.” In a medium bowl, toss carrots with remaining ingredients, transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes, or until desired crispness.

Great compliment to grilled chicken, pork or as a side for your sandwich.

CARROT-GINGER SALAD

I have been on a major ginger kick…for the last six months. So, I decided it was time to buy ginger root and use the fresh stuff. Ginger is an excellent compliment to carrots (just think of sushi). I wanted to combine the two into a salad and also play around with the shape of the carrots. Thus, carrot strings were born! Looks dramatic on your plate, but super easy to make! If you don’t have fresh ginger, I have found a great stand-in: jarred ginger. Just like you find minced, jarred garlic, there are jars of minced ginger (I use the brand Christopher Ranch).

Makes about 3 cups salad

Ingredients

4 medium-large carrots

1 cup shelled edamame (didn’t have it, so I used Trader Joe’s frozen Soycutash blend)

1 cup rice wine vinegar (no sugar or salt added)

2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp peeled, grated ginger (or used minced jarred ginger)

Directions

Cut off the ends of the carrots. Using a vegetable peeler, create carrot “stings” by continuously peeling the carrots until you reach the core. You can use the leftover end bits to munch on or throw them into a veggie stir-fry. Mix carrot strings with remaining ingredients, mix and let refrigerate at least one hour (the longer the better).

To go along with the carrot-ginger salad, I made seaweed-wrapped scallop “sushi” using thawed frozen scallops from Trader Joe’s. I took TJ’s roasted seaweed snack, soaked it in a bit of water (just a dunk in water should do) so that it was soft and then wrapped it around the scallops (it stuck on its own). I sprinkled each side of the scallops with black pepper and broiled for ~3 minutes on each side. I served them over a bed of tri-color quinoa (also from TJ’s) with the carrot-ginger salad on the side. Literally took me 15 minutes total for the salad and scallops and was truly delicious and packed with flavor!

Scallops wrapped in seaweed atop a bed of tricolor quinoa with a carrot-ginger salad.