Simply Healthy Family: Orange and Honey Roasted Carrots with Candied Pecans: Healthy Easter Sides

18.4.11

Orange and Honey Roasted Carrots with Candied Pecans: Healthy Easter Sides

















One of these days I'm gonna get the hang of this whole food blogging thing. I'll be able to throw together simple meals and snacks without completely devastating my kitchen or taking ten times longer than it should. I'm also in high hopes that my food photography will, in the words of FoodGawker be 'Better Composed' and have 'Better Lighting'. It's true, cant' say I blame em', there are some pretty amazing foodie sites out there who really seem to have it all together. (Do they have a kid-free home? A team of professional food stylist following them around? A Master's degree in Food-ology? That's gotta be it! ;)


What I have going for me:

I know the foods I make are actually really delicious and usually super simple. I take basic, healthy recipes and give them more flavor. Mamma likes flavor. I take common 'kid friendly' and 'comfort' foods and make them healthier without sacrificing flavor.

The dishes and snacks on Simply Healthy Family are do-able. Real Food for Real People. There may be some foods or ingredients you haven't tried before but everything's found at your neighborhood grocery store, nothing fancy. Not that I don't like gourmet, I'm just not in a gourmet point in my life at the moment. *sigh

The foods I end up posting on Simply Healthy Family are all Kid Friendly and Busy Mommy/Person Friendly. I have 4 kids and so I know all to well the 'Dinner Time Show Down' with getting kids to eat veggies, beans, grains ect. That's why I created this blog. To help people with these issues. Give you new and simple ideas, ones that actually taste good.


So sometimes, regardless of how simple my recipes are, the finished picture doesn't turn out as planned. Poor lighting and composition is usually to blame (according to FoodGawker), but I like to also blame my kids for this. What loving mother wouldn't?  ;) 

Let me explain. I'm losing my mind you see. Plain and simple. The with-it-ness is being sucked out of me little by little. I used to be a with it girl, spunky and smart. Never used to forget anything. Those days have sailed, approximately 2 or 3 kids ago to be exact.




We are lucky in that we have very big families on both mine and my husbands side. So holidays are always busy and fun and with tons of good food. This means I usually have to cook very little or not at all. More importantly, there's less to clean up! We celebrated yesterday because my dad and step-mom are going to be at their house in Mexico on Easter weekend. I thought I'd bring a healthier veggie dish to share. I didn't want to freak any one out by bringing steamed spinach or kale chips however, baby steps.

I decided to bring these Orange and Honey Glazed Carrots with Candied Pecans. Besides, they'd look good in my beautiful new ceramic pot from Italy. ;)  All day Sunday we were busy doing some much needed Spring cleaning and I didn't get started on my dish until about an hour before we had to leave. So in the rush to throw things together and take a picture to share I forgot to sprinkle on my beautiful candied pecans. Dangit! I also discovered that the carrots shrunk a bit while roasting and didn't come near enough to feed 15 people or to fill my pretty pot. Oops.


Imagine how good the candied pecans taste with these Honey-Orange Carrots!


Soooo, at the last minute while Jim was throwing kids in the car, I'm pressure cooking some more carrots and throwing them into the pot and drizzling some honey over them and a bit more orange zest. Voila! Disaster averted, sort of. There are still no pecans in my picture so now they just look like plain ol' carrots,
The Shame! Oh well, I gave you my disclaimer so you understand right? Right?


They tasted really fabulous and got rave reviews and so you must try them. I recreated this recipe from some very basic ones around the Internet. Steaming them for a couple of minutes before roasting them quickens the cooking time and helps them not to dry out I think. I used my pressure cooker at the 1st red ring for just ONE minute then released the pressure by running cool water over the lid.



What are your favorite healthy side dishes?

 
SERVES  6-8 as a side dish      TIME 40 MINUTES
Ingredients:

4 lbs baby carrots (pretty heirloom carrots with little stems still attached would be lovely but I used mini-carrots to save money)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 TBSP Organic honey
zest from 1 orange
2 TBSP orange juice
small handful of fresh curly parsley
1 TBSP fresh chives, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 400F
In a large pot (I used my pressure cooker, see above note if you have one)  add lemon juice to 2 cups water. Steam carrots for just 2 minutes. Drain. Add carrots to a large bowl and toss with olive oil, honey, orange juice and zest. Spread onto a shallow baking dish lined with foil. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 20-30 minutes till fork tender. Remove from heat and toss with chopped parsley and chives just before serving.

Top With Pecans! ;)


FOR THE CANDIED PECANS: Make these ahead of time (unlike me ;)

1 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup turbinado (Raw) sugar (use white if you must ;)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 egg white

Pre-heat oven to 300F. Line a shallow baking pan with wax paper.

In a small sauce pot, combine water, sugar and vanilla. Over medium high heat bring to gentle boil, whisk occasionally. Bring to simmer and cook for 5-7 minutes whisking occasionally. Remove from heat, whisk in cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, whisk egg white. Add pecans, toss to coat. Pour sugar mixture over pecans, toss to coat.
Spread pecans on prepared baking dish trying not to let them touch if possible. Bake at 300F for 12-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them being careful not to let burn. Turn with spatula if necessary. (I didn't have to)
Remove from oven, break apart any pecans stuck together. Set aside.







So, I guess I didn't make the cut to be on babble's Top 100 Mom bloggers of 2011.
That's o.k. *sniff sniff    I'm totally o.k. with that and congrats to those who did, I look forward
to visiting each and every one of your sites!
Now onto my next Goal/Wishful Thinking favor.
Maybe I can at least get on the list to be voted for on Saveur's Best Food Blogger Award.
Ya think? Maybe....
If you do, please 'nominate' me


Nominations end April 22
Voting for the finalist *crossing fingers  starts April 26
Much Thanks!







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23 comments:

  1. I've never submitted to Food Gawker, but I get rejected by Tastespotting on a regular basis! Oh well. I really appreciate blogs with simple recipes that are posted for their quality and not for how trendy they are or how well they photograph.

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  2. Thank you so much for that! Me to. I try not to get caught up in all that ;)

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  3. Hi sweet lady. I think your photos are gorgeous. And I get turned down by Foodgawker ALL THE TIME. So I feel your pain (and I don't have kids!) Thank you for sharing your carrots with me today. My favorite side is roasted root veggies. Yum! Your creations and your appreciation for good food and a full life are inspiring. It is always a pleasure to visit you. I hope you have a bountiful week!

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  4. Oh! This is a perfect side dish for Easter meal...love the idea of the citrus flavor in it. Beautifully presented. Have a great week :-)

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  5. Ah, the Foodgawker blues. Several months ago I could get into Tastespotting fairly easily, but Foodgawker was stingy. Now it seems to have reversed. And there are still times where I have no idea why my photo got rejected and some of the other ones got accepted. It's all subjective. Try not let it get to you. (I try not to, but it still does sometimes.)

    About Babble... They chose the 100 a couple of months ago. All of the "voting" that's been going on was to get nominations for next year's 100. You're still in the running for 2012! (It's up to a committee anyways and not solely voting, as far as I could tell.) You're on their radar now! I think the Babble list is kind of silly anyway. I don't know why they picked me and left out other fabulous blogs (like yours!) who should have had a spot.

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  6. P.S. I'm trying those carrots. I'm in love with your pot, too. :)

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  7. These carrots look SO amazing! I know what you mean about needing to take better pictures, at least I need to, your pictures are beautiuful! Miram@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters
    P.S. I'm following you now :)

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  8. Thank you!
    @Natalie, thanks for the heads up and nice compliments. ;) It doesn't really bother me about Foodgawker ect I know the point is to pick only fabulous food pics and am honestly sortof surprised they've accepted any of mine ;)
    Tastespotting I think really prefers sweets and treats which I don't make much of. ;)
    Oh, good to know about babble. It is totally subjective, I can see ;) Your site is amazing however and should be Top of the list! ;)

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  9. I actually get rejected on foodgawker pretty frequently for very similar completely non-specific reasons. I think that it's completely random. Well, not completely, but it's definitely dependent on what kind of mood the editor is in that day!

    Plus, I love your photos. And your recipes. And your writing. So I'd say don't change a thing! the carrots look fabulous. i"m always looking for ways to dress them up since we ALWAYS have them around!

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  10. Looks delish! I am enjoying your blog so much! Actually, check out my latest post - I had to do a little shout out to you and this posting. Hugs and enjoy!

    http://kitchengroovy.blogspot.com/2011/04/easter-dinner-blog-cop-out.html

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  11. Oh yum - your carrots look like the perfect healthy side dish. Beautiful photos too!
    Thanks so much for stopping by!
    Alissa

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  12. I really wish I had seen this before I settled on the carrot recipe I made for Passover! I mean, they were good, but I like this better :) Next time!

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  13. This is my kind of dish, a favorite vegetable done up just right. I am glad you linked this to My Meatless Mondays. It is the perfect recipe for it.

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  14. Oh my YUM! Thanks for the recipe, and awesome photos! I am bookmarking this one for future use, and I stumbled this post.

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  15. I have been wanting to do carrots with honey for some time now but the most recent side dish with carrots is gently steamed with garlic and cilantro. :)

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  16. The carrots look yummy. BTW - I would not worry about the FoodGawker as long as you like your work. I am certainly that they get enough photos to make their eyes cross.

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  17. Just put the carrots in the oven for Easter dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

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  18. Don't give up Gwen, your recipes AND photos are fantastic in my book! I have found some "second tier" foodie eye candy websites that are more forgiving and feature great recipes that maybe don't look like they came out of magazine! Plus, you get to share your recipes with people who might not have otherwise known about them (not alot of people, but converting just one more person to healthy eating is totally worth it riht?!!?).

    Take a look at the "Foodie Eye Candy" list on my "about" page:
    http://www.hippressurecooking.com/p/about.html#morelinks

    Happy Pressure Cooking and have a great Easter!!

    L


    hip pressure cooking
    making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Don't give up Gwen, your recipes AND photos are fantastic in my book! I have found some "second tier" foodie eye candy websites that are more forgiving and feature great recipes that maybe don't look like they came out of magazine! Plus, you get to share your recipes with people who might not have otherwise known about them (not alot of people, but converting just one more person to healthy eating is totally worth it riht?!!?).

    Take a look at the "Foodie Eye Candy" list on my "about" page:
    http://www.hippressurecooking.com/p/about.html#morelinks

    Happy Pressure Cooking and have a great Easter!!

    L


    hip pressure cooking
    making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Just put the carrots in the oven for Easter dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  21. P.S. I'm trying those carrots. I'm in love with your pot, too. :)

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  22. The carrots look yummy. BTW - I would not worry about the FoodGawker as long as you like your work. I am certainly that they get enough photos to make their eyes cross.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I've never submitted to Food Gawker, but I get rejected by Tastespotting on a regular basis! Oh well. I really appreciate blogs with simple recipes that are posted for their quality and not for how trendy they are or how well they photograph.

    ReplyDelete

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