Contents: Coconut, Carrot, Curry

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

 I have to admit although I am a veggie lover, I have never been a fan of carrots; not cooked carrots any way. The taste variations are amazing depending on how they’re cooked (or not cooked).

Carrots are always around too, yet they seem to sink into oblivion when I’m in the produce section. Orange or coral, is one of my favorite colors so I wonder how I’ve avoided carrots till now.

While perusing the web for new and tantalizing ideas in food, I zeroed in on a carrot soup presented by a fellow food blogger. The ingredients of the soup contained many that I have used and love and the chef pureed the soup which “cream-ifies” the carrots therefore making it much more amenable to my liking.

I continued searching around and discovered that carrot soup is an easy dish to make and can be made using any number of different spices and herbs. The idea of curry and coconut came to me as my mind wandered east to the flavors of Thailand where both curry and coconut are staple ingredients in their dishes.

Just an aside: I haven’t had good Thai food in quite a while and I rarely, if ever, attempt to replicate it or most other Asian dishes for that matter; sometimes you just have to eat out.

I’ve made many pureed soups before using sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkin, leeks, the usual suspects, so I am not a novice. I went with my instincts and used some of my favorite ingredients for this tasty soup that I am very proud to say, is quite delicious and of course, full of flavor!

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

Some extra soup to savor…

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

…or share?

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

 Yes, soup in the summer!  These carrots are fruity and refreshing, even in the warm weather.

Here’s the easy recipe.

Curried Carrot Coconut Soup

Ingredients:

3 C organic carrots, peeled and cut
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
¼ t red pepper flakes
2 t curry powder
¼ t salt
1 t minced ginger
5 C vegetable or chicken stock
6 oz. coconut milk
1 T brown sugar

Process: 

Sauté the following: onion, carrots, ginger, garlic; add the stock, pepper flakes, curry powder, and salt and cook until the carrots have softened (about 25 minutes); add the coconut milk and sugar; cook for another 10 minutes and allow to cool. Puree the mixture until smooth, reheat and serve.

Suggestion: Adding a squeeze of lime offers another layer of flavor.


Simple PB&O’s

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

I often crave a sweet flavor right after a meal and will turn to a teaspoon full of chunky peanut butter to satisfy that craving. (Mmmm, chunky peanut butter – the greatest invention since the grinding of peanuts.)

I’ve always found the taste of peanut butter comforting and growing up my PB & J’s always contained much more “p” than “j” probably for that reason. Yet I realized there have to be a ton of alternatives to using peanut butter in a recipe for a snack or dessert.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

While at the NYC Food & Wine Festival I sampled many prepared and pre-packaged foods. One of which was Nature Valley’s Oatmeal Squares.

While I admit I enjoyed the flavor of these I was also alarmed by the number of unpronounceable ingredients it contained. I began my pursuit for a recipe I could use as a starting point to making my own “oatmeal peanut butter bars”.

I eliminated the recipes that contained flour and white sugar and found a five-star rated recipe at AllRecipes.com.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

These oatmeal peanut butter bars are full of flavor (I plan to add more peanut butter next batch) and very simple to make.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars

This is the first time in many years that I am using peanut butter in a baking recipe, but it will most certainly not be my last.

All Time Favorite PB

Here’s the recipe.
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars
(Adapted from a recipe at AllRecipes.com submitted by Karen Heise)

Ingredients
1 C peanut butter
½ C brown sugar
½ C honey
1/3 C butter (melted)
2 t vanilla
3 1/3 C rolled oats
½ C coconut
½ C sunflower seeds
½ C raisins

Process
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line a 13 x 9” pan.
In a large bowl mix together the peanut butter, brown sugar, honey, melted butter and vanilla.
In a smaller bowl, combine the rolled oats, coconut, sunflower seeds and raisins. Add these dry ingredients to the wet mixture and stir until combined. Press this mixture into the pan and bale for 20-25 minutes.