Beta Carotene Buzz

My current late winter obsessions include:
-Vitamin D
-Jake and Amir
-The Dresden Dolls
-The Rocky Horror Picture Show
-Maritime Law
-Step Class
-Making valentines
.... and apparently, orange food.

Carrot-Ginger-Cashew Pasta
*This recipe is casual with portions, because it can easily be stretched. I usually use about 3 carrots and 2 handfuls cashews.

-Raw, unsalted cashews
-Carrots, peeled and chopped
-1-2 cloves garlic, peeled
-1" ginger root, peeled and sliced
-1/2 tbs agave nectar
-Whole wheat pasta
-Kale or swiss chard, loosely chopped

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil for your pasta. Bring a small pot of water to boil for your veggies.
2. Using a steamer insert, put equal parts carrots and cashews, along with the garlic and ginger in a pot to steam. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and steam for about 5 minutes, or until carrots can easily be pierced with a fork. Meanwhile, cook desired amount of pasta.
3. (Carefully) add steamed veggies to food processor or blender. Add a dollop of olive oil, a splash of braggs, and agave nectar. Blend until smooth-ish.
4. Once pasta is al dente, pour over kale or chard. Then toss with carrot sauce, adding a tiny pasta water if desired.

Butternut Squash Risotto with Sage

-1 Butternut Squash, halved and de-seeded
-4 cloves garlic diced
-13 sage leaves, julienned (roll them up and run your knife through them)
-Olive oil
-Earth Balance
-1 small onion, diced
-1 c. Arborio Rice
-1 c. white wine
-4-6 c. vegetable broth

1. Pre-heat oven to 375. Set up the prepared butternut squash in baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Rub in with your hands, then sprinkle over about half the garlic, all the sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Stick it in the oven. Then, get rest of ingredients ready.
2. After 30-45 minutes, or when squash is fork tender, remove from oven and let cool. When suitable to handle, scrape out squash in small clumps into a bowl. Drizzle any pan juices over top. Set aside.
3. In a large pot, melt 1 knob of earth balance along with 2 T EVOO at medium low. Add in the garlic and allow to cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add in the onion, stirring to coat. Cook until soft, about 3 more minutes. Then, season well with salt and pepper.
4. Meanwhile, put the broth in a small saucepan and place over medium low or low heat.
5. Add the rice to the large pot and stir to coat for a minute or so. Then, add in the wine and raise the heat to medium. Stir until rice has absorbed the wine.
6. Now comes the portion of risotto-making called "ladle and stir." As in, ladle some of the warmed broth into the rice, and stir with a wooden spoon until it has been absorbed. This is going to continue until the rice has lost all of its crunch. If and when you run out of broth, use warmed water.
7. When rice is soft and each grain is encased in a creamy sauce, your risotto is ready! Stir in butternut squash, more salt and pepper if wished, cover and reduce heat to low. When ready to serve, stir one more time.

Song of the Day: Dresden Dolls- Night Reconnaissance
(Listen HERE)


allularpunk said...

that risotto sounds so good! a couple weeks ago i made a butternut-leek risotto and the squash makes it so awesome. i can't wait to try yours out!

jessy said...

you know, i've never seen The Rocky Horror Picture Show. i have no idea how that's possible, but it's true. sad, but true! i think i need to change this! i'd also like to add that step class sounds hard! damn! ;)

i never would have thought to combine carrots & cashews - the combination looks so good & sounds deeeelicious! i love me some raw cashew goodness! mmmmm! i've gotta try it out!

butternut squash & sage were meant for each other. i haven't had a risotto in forever and it's about time i made one!

hooray for beta carotene!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

The Rocky Horror Picture Show! I haven't seen that in ages, but I now have "Dammit Janet" stuck in my head. :-)

I am loving the food! And that butternut squash and sage risotto...oh my. I actually have a few butternuts that need to be eaten, along with some arborio rice. And hey, lucky me, I also have sage growing!

Bianca said...

Both of those dishes look incredible! I love orange food too! And though I've never made risotto, I think I might start with this recipe.

Bianca said...

Oh, and I love Rocky Horror too! I went as Janet the last time we had a screening here...so I had to go to the theater in my bra and slip!

I ♥ puggies said...

It looks so yummy! I love orange food too.

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I have to watch out that I don't overdo it on the orange foods! It's hard to believe that som peoplehave a difficult time getting enough vitamin a!

Anardana said...

Holy crap that pasta sounds good!!

Anonymous said...

I want me some orangy love right now! That risotto has my name all over it! And Rocky Horror Picture Show = :)

Anonymous said...

Meals in bowls, meals in bowls!!!! How did you know I love meals in bowls? Greens, grains, veggies, sauce = yummy! I am making this next week!!

Liz² said...

ohyum! I am shall we say strapped for cash these days and looking for recipes JUST like that carrot goodness. I'll get back to you on how good it was! :)

jd said...

I am completely unable to get over how delicious that Carrot-Ginger-Cashew Pasta looks!


Just, mmmm!

Anonymous said...

I made your Carrot Cashew Ginger Pasta last night for dinner. It was delicious!!!! I used soba noodles and replaced the greens with broccoli, but otherwise kept the recipe the same. I will be making this a staple meal because it is so very simple and yummy and kind of pretty!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!!