Tag Archives: carrots

Crock Pot Pot Roast

I’m not typically a beef lover. Ben loves nothing more than a good steak [or lemony kale pasta, go figure], so we’re not always good food matches. This is why we never share meals at restaurants  much to my chagrin… unless he’s being really nice to me, I suppose! :) But sometimes I really do crave beef. A few weeks ago this was the case, so I decided to make a nice pot roast for Saturday night dinner while my parents were visiting. But as is typical when my parents are in town, my mom and I had been planning on doing a little shopping during the afternoon, so I decided to let the crock pot do the work for me.

Crock Pot  Pot Roast | The Pajama Chef

Though I had never made pot roast in the crock pot, I decided to give a popular yet simple Martha Stewart recipe a try. Though pretty basic, this pot roast is incredible! I let a three pound roast  simmer on low all day long with carrots, onions, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine, and the result was a rich, tender, flavorful roast. I’m no expert in pot roasts, but I think the key to this one was the vinegary, salty, and sweet Worcestershire sauce. As a side note, did you know that Worcestershire sauce is used in cocktails? How bizarre! Anyway, if you’re looking for a no frills, classic, and simple pot roast, look no further! I served mine with some oven roast potatoes, and their crisp skin was the perfect pairing with the tender, soft, fall apart in your mouth beef and carrots. So, so good! Enjoy! :)

Crock Pot Pot Roast [adapted from Martha Stewart]
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Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 8 medium carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 medium onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 beef chuck roast [3 pounds], trimmed of excess fat [or can use a variety of beef roasts--I used a bottom round roast]
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup water

Directions:

In a large crock pot, whisk together cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water  until smooth. Add carrots and onions, and season with salt and pepper. Place roast on top of vegetables, then season with additional pepper and salt if desired. Drizzle Worcestershire sauce on top, then pour wine and water around the roast [on top of vegetables if possible].

Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or until fully cooked [or on high for 6 hours].

Remove roast to cutting board, then shred roast or thinly slice against the grain. Serve roast with vegetables and pan juices.

Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes [15 minutes active].

Yield: 8-10 servings.

Notes: The original recipe called for cooking on low for 10 hours or on high for 6. I cooked the roast on low for 8 hours and it was done, so just pay attention to your roast and if you do have cook it over [i.e. work schedule], it’s probably best to do so on low and to add a bit of extra water/wine. You can also strain the pan juices before serving, but I didn’t do this.

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Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream

I am SO ready for spring. It’s been cold all week, and then last night we got several inches of snow. Not as much as some parts of the country, but still… I am over winter. Entirely. My sister thinks winter is the greatest, and even planned her wedding for December hoping for snow [and there was... see!]. In that case, snow was cute and pretty and fun. In this case, in March, snow is not fun. In my opinion, the only good part about this sort of weather is that it is perfectly aceptable to wear cozy warm sweaters, ridiculously old and soft sweatpants, and boots everyday. Not necessarily altogether now, but you get my drift. And for dinner, it is perfectly acceptable to have soup almost every night. At least, until your husband tires of it. Thankfully, he didn’t tire of soup before we enjoyed this fabulous Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream created by Joanne. I already have one black bean soup recipe that I adore… now I have two! One vegetarian, one meatatarian.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream | The Pajama ChefMy go-to black bean soup is thick and chunky with black beans, onion, and spinach, and gets most of its flavors from a variety of spices and chicken broth. This recipe is much simpler, and, as the name implies, heavy on the chipotle flavor. Heavy on the awesomeness, more likely. The actual soup recipe only has six ingredients: chorizo, carrots, onions, chipotle peppers, vegetable broth, and black beans, so the chipotle flavor really does dominate. Chorizo and chipotle peppers are a fabulous combo, but I wasn’t initially sure how the carrots would work in the mix, but it turns out that carrots with a bit of spice are pretty phenomenal.

Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream | The Pajama Chef

What really makes this soup pop though is the avocado cream. It’s like a creamy guacamole… but is all in all pretty healthy since the cream comes from avocado and Greek yogurt. It’s jazzed up with lime juice and cilantro, and I added a dash of crushed red pepper. Umm, yum. The whole soup, avocado cream and all, is pretty spicy but nothing I couldn’t handle. I thought it got even better, and almost a little sweeter as it sat in the fridge for a couple days. Like many dishes, the flavors improved over time. I wish I could have had a big bowl for dinner last night in the snow, but alas… I had to settle for Panera instead [tomato soup + fuji apple chicken salad!]. Panera’s good, but homemade’s better. Enjoy!

Chipotle Black Bean Soup with Avocado Cream [adapted from Eats Well With Others]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces chorizo
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 2 large onions, diced [I used 1 red and 1 white]
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 cups cooked black beans

for the avocado cream

  • 1 small ripe avocado, cut in half and pit removed
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • crushed red pepper

Directions:

Heat a large [4+ quart] saucepan over medium heat, then add chorizo to the pot. Break it up with a wooden spoon, then cook through. If the pan looks really greasy, wipe out some of the grease with a paper towel, then add carrots and onions, and cook until soft. Stir occasionally. Stir in the peppers, then cook for a minute until fragrant.

Add the vegetable broth and black beans to the pot, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, then simmer for 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare avocado cream by combining the avocado, Greek yogurt, cilantro, and lime juice in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. Season with crushed red pepper as desired.

Puree about 1/3 of the soup with an immersion blender if desired [I forgot to do this], then serve soup topped with avocado cream.

Time: 45 minutes.

Yield: 5-6 servings.

Linked up with: Weekend Potluck.

Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad

Even though I rarely post any recipes for vegetables on this blog, I hope you don’t believe that I never eat them! That’s certainly not the case. I think this dip is just one indication of how much I love my veggies! But sadly, most of the ways I eat veggies are pretty plain. At dinner, we usually eat big green salads with our main course. Lettuce, carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes… all good, but sometimes a bit boring. So I’ll mix it up with roasted broccoli, steamed green beans, or a fancy dilled carrot dish every once in awhile, but that’s about it. When a friend asked me to bring some salad over for dinner one night, I jumped at the chance to be creative. Instead of making my go-to green salad, I switched it up and made a fancy cole slaw. Now, don’t get turned off. It’s not creamy or drowning in dressing. It’s light and fresh and flavorful… simply delicious!

Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad | The Pajama Chef

This cabbage salad [I much prefer that name to cole slaw, thankyouverymuch] has a few winter veggie staples: cabbage [duh], carrots, and radishes, plus some flavorful additions like green onions and cilantro. If you click over to Jessica’s original post you’ll see that she used watermelon radishes–which look delightful, but aren’t available in Indiana… so check them out if you have a chance. :) But the best part of this salad isn’t the traditional veggies, rather it is the spicy and tangy vinaigrette dressing! This dressing is just awesome. I think it would make an excellent taco salad dressing, actually–it’s just your basic oil and vinegar dressing spiced up [literally] with cumin, paprika, pepper, and garlic. That’s it. Yumalicious! The spice in the dressing compliments the cilantro so well.

Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad | The Pajama Chef

The flavors of this salad are awesome on day 1, but they also improve as the salad hangs out in the fridge for a few days. I love it when salad’s shelf life is longer than a day…makes me so happy! Be sure to try this salad when you have a chance–I think it would be great with burgers, tacos, soup, and whatever else you can imagine. Enjoy!

Cumin-Scented Cabbage Salad [from Good Cheap Eats]
click to print

Ingredients:

  • 1 head green cabbage, chopped [I used my food processor]
  • 2 large carrots, sliced
  • 5 green onions, green & white parts, diced
  • 6 small radishes, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup cilantro,  chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, green onions, radishes, and cilantro. In a small bowl or glass jar, combine olive oil and vinegar, then garlic, cumin, paprika, and pepper. Shake or stir together, then toss with vegetables.

Serve immediately or keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Time: 10 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings.

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir-Fry

So, on Monday, I shared the fabulous recipe I use for Carnitas. It makes more than any couple or family could reasonably eat for one meal, or even for one meal plus leftovers. Seriously, this makes a ton. Thank goodness it’s so tasty!! But you know what I think possibly could be tastier?

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir Fry | The Pajama Chef

If you guessed Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir-Fry, then you would just so happen to be RIGHT! [Bet you didn't see that one coming from a mile away, huh?]

I usually shy away from combining various ethnic-type foods in a single dish. Habit, I suppose. But this meal takes a bit of Mexican food [carnitas] and adds in a bit of Asian food/preparation methods to come up with something really special. To add to the culture confusion, the combo of pork and apples is classic Americana [yes?]. Hold that thought. Just googled it… and apparently pork and apples is a classic dish for many of European descent, including the British and the Danes. Who knew?

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir Fry | The Pajama Chef

Regardless of heritage, blending traditional flavors of many cultures in a stir-fry may seem a bit weird, but give it a chance. The sauce alone–sweet, salty, deep–is worth giving this recipe a shot. The way it coats the tender, tender pork and the substantial veggies… oh man! You will want to drink it with a spoon, I tell ya! And just wait til you get a bite with some fresh ginger. Absolutely amazing! Since the ginger is grated, it’s not too intense of an experience, but it does make an ordinary leftover-remake dinner a pretty awesome meal of its own. Enjoy!

Pork, Apple, and Ginger Stir-Fry [adapted from allrecipes.com]

click to print

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 pound cooked shredded pork [leftover Carnitas]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4 cups vegetables [I used half carrots and half lima beans]
  • hot cooked rice, to serve

Directions:

Preheat wok or large skillet set over medium heat.

In a small bowl, whisk together hoisin sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, and applesauce. Set sauce aside.

In another bowl, toss together pork and cornstarch. Set aside.

Add oil to wok, then add ginger, garlic, and onion and saute until soft. Then add vegetables and cook until tender. Add pork and sauce and stir to combine. Cook until hot, then serve over rice.

Time: 20 minutes.

Yield: 4 servings.

SRC: Minty Asian Slaw

It’s a Secret Recipe Club kinda Monday! The best kind, in my opinion. :)

Secret Recipe ClubIf you’ve missed past SRC posts, the premise is this: you’re assigned a different member’s blog every month. You visit their blog, choose any recipe you want, then make it and share it on your blog. Everyone else posts about their secret blog the same day. It’s fabulously fun to try out new blogs. If you have a blog, definitely check it out and consider joining! I highly recommend it.

This month my assigned blog was Sustainable Cooking for One, which is the product of Stephanie’s passion for local, sustainable eating. Stephanie has a ton of original and adapted recipes on her site, and has even published a cookbook! How cool.

I was looking for a side dish to make for our 4th of July BBQ, so when I saw Stephanie’s twist on cole slaw, I was so excited. This isn’t just your average cole slaw… it’s Minty Asian Slaw!

Minty Asian Slaw is a refreshing twist on a classic summertime dish. Unlike most cole slaw recipes, Stephanie’s encourages the use of lots of fresh veggies and fruit [not just cabbage!], vinegar, and oil… instead of globby mayo and limp cabbage. What a great idea, me thinks! For the most part, I stuck with the recipe but I did make a few changes. The original recipe called for cabbage, carrots, and cucumber along with the minty vinegar and oil dressing. Since Ben isn’t a huge cucumber fan, I decided to take a cue from Stephanie’s other slaw recipe and use an apple for crunch instead! I also added more mint than the recipe called for… what a great decision! Both of them. :) And let me just say for the record that a bite of minty apple, no matter how weird it may sound, is pretty amazing.

This crisp Minty Asian Slaw is fresh, exotic, and perfect for summer, and that abundance of mint growing in your garden [or is that just me?], so I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Minty Asian Slaw [adapted from Susatainable Cooking for One mostly here and but also here]
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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 apple, cut into matchsticks [I used Granny Smith]
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • ~2-3 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped [I didn't measure]
  • lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • up to 1/2 tablespoon sugar, if desired

Directions:

Place cabbage in a large collandar and pour salt over. Use your hands to massage salt into cabbage, then let sit for about 45 minutes [Mark Bittman suggests 1-2 hours but I didn't have that kind of time, so I helped the process by massaging it]. Then rinse and drain cabbage thoroughly–about six times–to remove the salt. Dry cabbage with kitchen towels or a salad spinner.

Meanwhile, combine carrot, apple, celery, and mint in a large bowl. Toss with lemon juice–about 1 tablespoon. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil. Add cabbage and dressing mixture alternately so everything combines well. Taste and add sugar as desired.

Serve immediately.

Time: 60 minutes [15 minutes active].

Yield: 10-12 servings.

Be sure to check out other great SRC recipes posted today!