Have you noticed how crazy and prevalent advertising is these days? Especially online. Algorithms, targeted marketing, ads that are supposed to be just what the person look at them has always dreamed of. I know this is something that people are widely horrified by; but I’ve gotta admit it doesn’t really bother me. Yes, like many I don’t want to become over-influenced by advertising, and over-buy into a too materialistic culture. But, on the flip side people sell things to make a living and you do have to get the word out there. And I do want/need to buy some things. Though the line between the two [want/need] admittedly, can be difficult to discern at times.
Also, advertising can be so amusing sometimes. Take the screenshot below, which showed up on my amazon homepage the other day.
Is it just me or is that and odd juxtaposition there? I’ve gotta admit my mind immediately wandered to visions of myself as some sort secret spy with a knife sheath strapped under my long ballgown, with which I am, of course, rockin’ some fab heels. I also had visions of myself as vampire hunter, lots of leather and weapons… (Yes I’m almost 30 and still an avid fantasy reader.) However, I quickly nixed the leather idea because I’m pretty sure leather pants would not suit me. (FYI Leather pants are a requirement for all vampire hunters.)
I should mention that my husband and I both share the same amazon account. Neither of us are spies or vampire hunters. I know you are totally disappointed to find out that this blog is not in fact written by a spy. It’s a much simpler story. I like browsing clothes. He apparently is looking for a new pocket knife. Though, I think I would actually carry a pocket knife if I could find one that was littler and cute. And maybe pink. No definitely pink. Seriously how many times have you been somewhere without scissors and need to cut or open something. Just sayn’.
However, that little fact aside, I think the two of us must seriously confuse amazon’s marketing numbers. Our account sort of says: women who are almost 30 really like knives, batman, cooking, designer shoes and bags, and buy a lot of diapers. Yeah. Hope they don’t start making commercials based on that info.
So, on to the food. I promised you healthy! vegetables! that are not sucky! These carrots in fact deliver.
It sort of surprised me, but carrots and citrus pair incredibly well. As do carrots/citrus and Moroccan style spices. Think cumin, cloves, cinnamon, paprika and more! So many complementary flavors all rolled into one: you get a little tang from the citrus and vinegar, a little sweet from the carrots and cinnamon, a little smokey from the cumin and paprika, a touch of mint for freshness… it just works. Let me tell you it makes for a really fresh take on carrots! And then there is the quinoa. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know I’ve spent some time complaining about the obligatory over-use of quinoa in food blogs. I won’t bore you by rehashing, it’s enough to say I’ve become a convert. Quinoa has a a real place in certain dishes; like today’s recipe. It is, in fact, the perfect pairing with these carrots. It’s mellow nutty flavor balances out the more intense spices of the carrots. Did I mention there are almonds in there too? Yep almonds, ’cause they’re tasty. And they’re even tastier toasted up with your carrots.
One last thought for you. I think if you wanted to add some nice chunks of beef to this it would make a totally awesome meal all by itself. Or if you’re a vegetarian I’m thinking some winter-y squash and sweet potato would do the job.
Citrus and Spice Carrots with Quinoa
Adapted From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
- 1 lbs carrots
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- two teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- sea salt to taste
- 1/2 tablespoon fresh mint, cut very fine
1. Wash carrots, and prepare carrots by shaving thin with a mandolin or vegetable peeler. Set aside.
2. Rinse the quinoa, drain and transfer to a medium sized pot. Add one teaspoon of the olive oil and heat the pot over medium high heat. Toast the quinoa until golden brown. Add the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low (you want a gentle simmer). Cook for 15-20 minutes, until all the broth has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and allow the quinoa to sit while you cook the carrots (about five minutes).
3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil and carrots to the pan. Sprinkle the spices (onion powder, garlic powder, cloves, ginger, coriander, cinnamon, paprika, cumin) evenly over the carrots. Allow the carrots to caramelize and cook down slightly. Add the rice wine vinegar and lemon juice to pan. Allow the liquid to absorb, then remove the carrots from the heat.
4. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Add the carrots and fresh mint to the quinoa and mix gently. Serve hot.