Tag Archives: carrots

Incredible Carrot Muffins

carrot-muffins

I had some carrots that I wanted to use up so I decided to come up with a recipe for carrot muffins.  This recipe turned out GREAT!  I made 16 small muffins today and there are 3 left.  My kids and my husband absolutely LOVE them.  The best part is, because of the natural sweetness of the carrots and orange juice, I didn’t have to use much sugar.  These muffins are LOADED with carrots so they’re healthy and will make the perfect snack for school lunches and something to grab on the way out the door.

I have a feeling I’m going to be making these A LOT!

NOTE ABOUT THE RECIPE:  I used both oil and butter because I like the flavour and moist texture that using both provides.  However, using one or the other would also work!  I LOVE these with coconut sprinkled on top but you could also top them with chopped walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc. for a delicious crunch and added healthy fat.  You could also add raisins to the mix!

carrot-muffin-with-walnuts

INGREDIENTS (makes about 16 small muffins)

  • 2 small eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp canola/vegetable oil OR coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5  tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • OPTION:  1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed but any orange juice will do)
  • 3 cups shredded carrot (I use a food processor to shred it but a cheese grater works too)
  • OPTION:  shredded coconut to sprinkle on top!

METHOD

  • Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
  • Using a food processor, cream together butter, oil and sugars.
  • Add vanilla extract and orange juice.  Add eggs.
  • Combine dry and wet ingredients and fold until everything is mixed.
  • Stir in shredded carrot.  Do not over-mix.
  • Fill greased muffin tins to 3/4 full.
  • Sprinkle on shredded coconut or nuts, if using.
  • Bake in 375 degree pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before eating (if you can wait that long!).

NOTE:  For more of a ‘dessert’ taste, these are incredible with vanilla cream cheese frosting on top!!

carrot-muffin-with-frosting

Moroccan Chicken with Carrots and Olives

Moroccan chicken with carrots and olives

Moroccan chicken with carrots and olives

One of my favourite things to do is sit with a cup of tea (or a glass of wine) and read different recipes in cookbooks and/or magazines.  Whenever I need a little inspiration I pick up a magazine or one of my cookbooks and just rifle though.  The other day I was reading the complimentary TASTE magazine I picked up from the liquor store and a recipe for Moroccan lamb caught my eye – particularly the spice mix.  The best part was I actually had ALL the spices listed.

I had some chicken thighs in the freezer and didn’t want to splurge on lamb so I used the rub on chicken instead.  I tweaked the measurements of the spices slightly.  I only used half the amount of cayenne pepper their recipe called for because my kids are still too young to endure too much heat.  The spice mix still had a fair amount of heat to it with the measurements I used, but if you like things really spicy, just double the amount of cayenne pepper.  I also added garlic because I love garlic with everything.

I LOVE this spice mix.  It’s delicious.  I’m already excited to try it in quinoa and rice dishes and even on roasted vegetables.  It’s warm and complex tasting and the smell in the kitchen when I was cooking the chicken was AH-MAZING! Perfect for the cooler fall temperatures.

NOTE: If you have a spice grinder you can use the whole seeds and grind everything up together.  I don’t have one (it’s on my xmas wish list) so I just used the powdered versions I had in the house.  I made this mix in a large batch so I have it on had to use whenever I want!  

**If you need to go out and buy some/all of these spices BUY THEM FROM THE BULK BINS.  IT WILL CUT YOUR COSTS BY AT LEAST HALF!  Super Store or Bulk Barn are great places to get spices in bulk.  (I go to the dollar store to buy all my storage containers/spice jars.  They’re around $1 each)**

INGREDIENTS – Moroccan Spice Mix

  • 4 Tbsp cumin (powder or seeds)
  • 3 Tbsp black peppercorns (or ground)
  • 2 Tbsp allspice (ground or whole)
  • 2 Tbsp coriander (powder or seeds)
  • 1 Tbsp cloves (ground or whole)
  • 2 Tbsp cinnamon (or 2 sticks)
  • 1 Tbsp cayenne pepper (2 Tbsp if you like a spicier mix)
  • 2 Tbsp ground ginger powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder (optional)

METHOD

  • Grind/mix together and store in an air-tight container in a cool place.

NOTE:  If you’re using whole seeds you can lightly toast them all in a pan for a few minutes before grinding to intensify the flavours.  Just ensure you’re stirring often and watch them constantly to ensure you don’t burn them

 

INGREDIENTS – for dinner (serves 4)

  • 8 – 10 chicken boneless, skinless chicken thighs (you can use chicken breasts too.  Just adjust the cooking time accordingly)
  • 2 – 3 cup carrots, sliced on a thin bias (ensure they’re not thick or they won’t cook through on time)
  • 2 – 3 Tbsp Moroccan spice mix (enough to generously coat the chicken on both sides)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar (for the carrots)
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato (optional)
  • 1/4 green olives – sliced in half (or whatever olives you want to use!)
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley – to finish

METHOD

  • Coat chicken in Moroccan spice and marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Right before cooking, slice carrots and olives, chop tomatoes and toss all with chicken.  Season chicken, tomato and carrots with  salt.  Sprinkle brown sugar onto carrots.
  • Spread all into a baking dish and bake, uncovered, in a preheated 425 degree oven for 20 minutes.

The below picture has sausage.  I had 2 sausages in the fridge and decided to throw them in the dish because I had room!  You certainly do not need sausage in this recipe!

chicken and carrots going into oven

chicken and carrots going into oven

  • Remove chicken from baking dish.  Put in bowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
  • Turn oven up to 500 degrees and cook carrots for 8 minutes more or until they reach your desired consistency.
roasted carrots, olives and tomato

roasted carrots, olives and tomato

  • Plate chicken with carrots/olives and sprinkle with fresh parsley.

Serving Suggestion:  I served the chicken and carrots with a quick and easy creamy green onion polenta.  It was DELICIOUS.  You can make the polenta while the chicken is baking.