Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Per your request: Carrots

So carrots are kind of a wonder food for a diabetic. It’s a root vegetable but unlike a potato or a winter squash (ok not a root vegetable), it’s very low in carbs. My diabetes class said that carrots are so low in carb you don’t need to count them in your carb allocation. The great thing about carrots is how filling they are. A side dish of roasted baby carrots (olive oil, salt, pepper and a couple tablespoons of balsamic in a 425 degree oven), is a filling, hearty and tasty starch that really isn’t a starch.

Since the diagnosis I’ve been throw grated carrots into everything. Stef, since you have the carrots sticks, you can chop them finely or run them throw a food processor until they are the consistency of grated carrots. The “grate” thing about grated carrots is that they just blend into whatever dish you’re a cooking. For example, when I’ve made pasta with meat sauce, I’ve cut back on how much pasta I am serving myself and added ¾ a cup of shredded carrots into the sauce. On a lazy night, I will heat up a can of Trader Joe’s turkey chili with sautéed onions and ½ a cup of grated carrots. That served on top of ½ a cup of brown rice and a sprinkling of lowfat sour cream and green onions FEELS like a meal. It’s warm and filling and totally satisfying.

As you can see anything that requires a tomato-based sauce is an ideal vehicle for shredded carrots. Curries can also be a great vehicle for carrots and in a curry you don’t need to grate them. I’d brown some cut up chicken thighs (skinless of course!), set the brown chicken thighs aside. Cut the carrots into bite-sized pieces, sautee them with onions and celery (ah the blessed trinity!), add the chicken and a couple of tablespoons of Thai curry paste and then ½ cup of chicken stock and half a cup of lowfat coconut milk and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Finally grated carrots bulk up ground meat like no one’s business. Meatballs, burgers all get a boost from grated carrots. You could easily get away with using a ¼ less meat (ground turkey or chicken rocks!) and substituting with grated carrots. So I am leaving you with a recipe for Southwest turkey burgers.

Makes 4 hefty burgers

½ pound ground turkey
½ cup of grated carrots
2 scallions, chopped
2 clove of garlic, minced
1 jalepeno, finely chopped
¼ cup of egg white
2 tablespoon of bread crumbs or almond flour
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt

Throw everything into a bowl, mix with your hands and form into 4 patties. In an nonstick skillet, fry the patties in Pam on medium heat for 5 minutes each side.


Laura P said...

Hello -
Thanks for the great tips! I'm a friend of Stef's from college and learned about your blog that way.
I've been also going through some healthy lifestyle changes and it's great to read about other people's journeys...
Have a wonderful day!
Laura P

Stef said...

These are great tips! I am definitely going to zoom the carrots in the processor next time I make pasta sauce. Thanks!

Stef said...

Yay! I just made a new version of meat sauce, and this time I used your trick. In my little chop-chop, I added 8 (yes 8!) cloves of garlic and 6 mini carrots and shredded the heck out of them. They definitely did add a little bulk to the sauce, and didn't affect the taste too much. This time, I also added about 1/2 tsp of balsamic vinegar to jazz up the flavor a bit, and I liked it!