Tag Archives: vegetarian

Fun Colors of Spring and Oven-Roasted Carrots


It’s been a fun few days since I blogged about my blue nails.  If you missed it, check it out here! 

Thursday morning, after the blog post, my friend Bonnie arrived at Community Bible Study sporting fabulous blue nails in honor of my blog post and our friendship!  So fun!  Thank you, sweet Bonnie!

It wasn’t long after we finished Bible study on Thursday that I received a “challenge” from my cousin Jill.  She posted, “The blue is gorgeous!!! I wear blue on my toes often. I dare you to try purple sometime!”  Then Jill sent me this photo.

Jill adores spending time at the beach and so, of course, she has to keep those tippy-toes looking pretty!

The next picture came from my friend Darcia.  We were talking on the phone when she said, “I LOVE your blue nails!”  We laughed and she said, “I have my toes painted WHITE and I absolutely love them.”

In this age of instant photo-sharing, Darcia zipped off this photo to me. I hope she heard me say, “It might show up on my blog!” 😜

Saturday I spent lunchtime with dear girlfriends and my sous-chef dish-washing mom.  Before we said goodbye that afternoon, the conversation turned to my “blue nails”.  Our friend Joan said, “Here, everyone put your hands together.”

Red, blue, peach, and natural, a rainbow of color!  This is a fantastic picture of our friendship.  Diversity reigns and each one of us brings something special to our friendship. The love of Jesus is what truly binds us together. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Speaking of color, our lunch hostess Joyce, served the most incredible roasted carrots with our Hot Chicken Salad.  Did you know that before Dutch farmers bred orange carrots to honor the House of Orange in the 17th century, these root vegetables were white, yellow, green, red, and even black?  Recently, carrots of many colors have come back into flavor.  While traveling in England a few years ago we saw white, yellow and black carrots at the Borough Market in London.

After feasting on these incredibly tasty roasted carrots at Joyce’s, I couldn’t wait to check out my fridge to see if I had any carrots at home. Yep, five. Only five carrots in the crisper drawer, but that was enough to roast for our dinner!

True to Joyce’s description, these take just minutes to prepare and 20 minutes to roast.  Peel carrot, slice into chunks of similar size, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast!

I used a blood orange infused olive oil, cracked pepper, sea salt and a sprinkle of parsley.  Seriously, I can’t wait to make these again.  They are so good that we had to count them out into thirds so that my carrot-loving husband, sous-chef dish-washing mom and me could each have exactly the same number — they are just that good.  And sometimes we are just that silly at dinner!

You can use your imagination and drizzle with just about any flavored or plain olive oil you may have on hand.  I’ve cooked carrots in an orange juice and butter mixture so I thought the blood orange infused oil would be a perfect combination.  It is!  Try it, you’ll like it!

May your spring be bursting with color!

Happy Roasting!
~Catherine

Roasting Carrots and Other Fun Colors!
 
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After roasting carrots, you won't want to serve them any other way.
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetable, Side Dish, Vegetarian
Ingredients
  • Fresh carrots
  • Olive oil*
  • Sea Salt
  • Fresh Pepper
  • Chopped parsley* Optional
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel and slice fresh carrots into equal sized pieces.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil.
  4. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper.
  5. Spread on baking sheet.
  6. Roast for 20 minutes or until carrots are slightly browned and tender. Do not over-cook.
  7. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.
Notes
*Flavored olive oil works well.
I've used blood orange infused olive oil that is fantastic.

 

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes

The frost is almost upon us!  That means it’s time to harvest the herbs!


I work at The Celtic Cup Coffee House in the small town of Tullahoma, Tennessee.  I don’t have my own herb garden, but The Celtic Cup does.  I love getting to use the fresh herbs when I bake quiches, casseroles, and savory scones.

Today I harvested all the basil for the winter months.  If you’ve never processed herbs before, you probably think it’s really complicated.  At least, that’s what I used to think.  I know there are a couple different ways to do it.  Drying herbs actually does take a while, so I prefer freezing them.  I think it preserves the flavors better, too.  It’s really a lot easier and faster than I imagined.  All you have to do is snip the entire plant, wash, pluck the leaves, and freeze  on a towel-lined sheet pan.  After about half an hour, the leaves should be stiff enough to store in a plastic freezer bag for the winter.  It’s that simple!

While we’re on the subject of basil, last week I made some delicious parmesan baked tomatoes.  I love how all the local markets are just bursting with fresh fruits and veggies from the garden this time of year.  I bought some beautiful plump red tomatoes and thought I would get creative.  All they needed was some leftover basil pesto and a hearty sprinkle of cheese.  Voila! Parmesan baked tomatoes! So fast and simple, but delicious and comforting.  They taste like pizza!  You can make them as a side dish or just a healthy snack.

I’m not religiously gluten free or anything, but I think I feel better when I stay away from bread.  So, to accompany the tomatoes, I baked some chicken and made fresh broccoli salad.  This broccoli salad was at my friend’s wedding last weekend.  It was so good I had to make it for myself.

Together it was the perfect guilt free/gluten free dinner!  It only takes about 30 minutes to make, so I hope this meal will find it’s way into your week as a tasty and stress free option!

Abby Hughes

Parmesan Baked Tomatoes
 
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A quick and tasty side dish or snack.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 12 slices
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe medium tomatoes
  • ½ cup basil pesto
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
  2. Thick slice the tomatoes and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan
  3. Spread about a tablespoon (more or less to taste) of basil pesto on each slice.
  4. Bake for about 8 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top and broil on high until the cheese is lightly browned (about 4 minutes).
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

Broccoli Salad
 
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A light brunch or dinner side.
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish
Serves: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 medium red onion
  • ½ c. Craisins (dried cranberries)
  • ½ c. roasted unsalted sunflower seeds
Dressing
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ c. white distilled vinegar
  • ½ c. mayo
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Chop broccoli and cauliflower into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. Small dice red onion.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, mayo, salt, and pepper.
  4. Add chopped broccoli, cauliflower, onion, craisins, and sunflower seeds.
  5. Toss to coat all ingredients.
  6. Enjoy!

Garden Fresh Green Beans

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Have you been given a bag of fresh green beans from a neighbor or friend?  How about that basket of freshly picked green beans from the farmer’s market?  Green beans are that one vegetable that just about everyone loves to eat.

Fresh Green Beans
Fresh Green Beans

A few years ago I was standing in line at the grocery store and a woman began a conversation with me about green beans!
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My Mixed Cultures Pasta Salad Made For A Crowd

Basketful From Farmer's Market
Basketful From Farmer’s Market

This is the time of year that farmer’s markets are plentiful around the United States and other areas of the world that are enjoying summertime!  If you aren’t in the habit of shopping your farmers market I might say you are missing some of the best summer has to offer.  Most generally the vegetables and fruits are picked that day or the day before.  FRESH from the garden to your table.

From our local farmer’s market all of these vegetables came in a basket for $20!  This is a really good deal because 4 BIG ripe tomatoes came along with them, but somehow I missed getting a picture of them before I cleaned them and I promptly made bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches.

For several years I have used Pick Your Own.org website for canning directions and a lot of other information about fruits and vegetables.  They also have a tab to Find A Farmer’s Market In Your Area.  If you don’t know where to find your local market this is one place to start looking. I don’t think it is an exhaustive list because it doesn’t include the market I shop at although I am going to send them an email to include it!
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