Tag Archives: recipes

Carrot cashew romesco sauce for the goose (or hen or hog)

Traditionally, romeso sauce is made with roasted red peppers and almonds.

But when you’re ordered to stay at home, and the only vegetable in the crisper draw is carrots, you improvise. I whipped up this recipe last week, and I enjoyed it very much. Maybe you’ll like it, too.

I enjoy romesco sauce as a way to jazz up a boring pork loin, but this version made with carrots is just as good. You can roast the pork loin or pork chops along side the carrots and garlic for an easy meal. I think it would be just as good on chicken breasts.

Carrot Cashew Romesco Sauce


  • 2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise into halves or quarters (you’ll need only about a half pound for the sauce; serve the rest of the carrots on the side of your protein)
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed and skins removed
  • 3 mini orange peppers, seeded (optional; I had these in the bottom of the crisper draw and they fit the color scheme)
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (or more to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons pan drippings or chicken broth or water (more for a looser sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
romesco carrots roasting

Here are my carrots before I popped them into the oven. Note the peppers and garlic in the bottom right there.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange carrots and peppers in a single layer on sheet pan. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil plus salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Add garlic cloves in one corner. Place pan in oven for 45 minutes. Stir at least once. You can roast your protein–pork chops, chicken breasts–in the same oven. Remove garlic cloves if they begin to burn.
  2. romesco carrots blending

    My roasted carrots and other ingredient, pre-blending.

    In blender, add roughly one quarter of the carrots, the peppers (if you used them), the garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil plus all other ingredients. Blend until smooth. Add more drippings, broth or water to achieve the consistency you desire.

  3. To serve dollop sauce on protein and serve with a side of roasted carrots. Yum!






romesco served

Here’s my dinner: Pork chop on a bed of broccoli-cauliflower rice, topped with romesco sauce, with a side of roasted carrots.

Cherry tomatoes: Sauce for the cook (and the eater, too)

This tomato sauce is the best EVER!

Of course, it begins with fresh ingredients — I picked the cherry tomatoes and peppers this afternoon — but I’m a sucker for using the blender.

My version blends the tomato seeds and skins right into the sauce — more texture for the cook, I say.

Here’s how: Roast a cookie sheet of whole cherry tomatoes, five small peppers (deseeded), two carrots (cut into sticks), half a red onion and a couple garlic cloves at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Season with a generous amount of grape seed oil, salt and pepper. Allow to cool 5 minutes, then scrape the whole mess into a blender. Add a half cup chicken broth and a handful of fresh herbs (parsley, mint and basil) and blend until smooth. Turn into a pan and simmer on low heat while you prepare pasta.

I’ve enjoyed this sauce twice this week — once over quinoa spaghetti noodles and once over mushroom ravioli — it’s so good (and I’m trying to use up my garden harvest). Try it.


Quinoa: Different, but not too weird

Have you tried quinoa yet?

It’s a high-protein grain, sort of the consistency of couscous (which probably doesn’t help some of you, but imagine tiny al dente pellets of pasta). It’s pronounced keen-waa, and sometimes it’s tough to find in the supermarket — try the health foods aisle.

It cooks up in chicken broth in about 15 minutes, and I like it warm, on salads. You’ll like it for the texture, but the flavor is rather bland (easy to take for super tasters).

I liked it so much, I ate the same salad two days in a row this week. Let’s call it …

Quinoa Salad

Start with chopped romaine lettuce, chopped cucumber, sliced green onion and halved cherry tomatoes. Top with a bit of corn (which I also warm up a bit in the microwave) and diced avocado. Spread a third to a half cup warm, cooked quinoa on top and sprinkle with feta cheese (or shredded Monterrey jack if you prefer) and pumpkin seeds. Pour vinaigrette over the whole thing (I like Newman’s Own sun-dried tomato vinaigrette).

Good and good for you. Try it!

Cold treatment: Hot toddy

I’m coming down with something. Or I’ve been coming down with it all week, I guess. I’m not sure it’s here yet.

While blowing my nose on the phone with my mother last night, she prescribed a hot toddy:

  • A shot of brandy in hot water
  • A tablespoon or two of sugar (a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down)
  • Honey (a generous squirt)
  • Nutmeg
  • Drink and go directly bed.

You’ll feel better in the morning, Mother said.

It worked. I’m not over whatever it is that I have, but I did manage to run 5 miles this morning.

Thanks, Dr. Mom.

Enjoying harvest meals

I’ve been eating like a queen this week.

I came home from my mother’s house earlier this week with tons of fresh raspberries and vegetables. While in Minnesota, we also made a stop at Morey’s Fish House in Motley and picked up some smoked salmon.

So for supper on Tuesday night, I enjoyed fresh broccoli and kohlrabi and mashed red potatoes, all from Mom’s garden and supposedly picked by my nephew Logan. Kohlrabi is a “cultivated cabbage whose stem above ground swells into an edible, bulblike formation.” After peeling and slicing, I steamed it and added butter. Nothing better.

For supper last night, I enjoyed smoked salmon spaghetti with fresh peas and mint (the butter, feta cheese and sour cream in threw in for a sauce was delish). The mint was from “my” garden, which is responsibly tended by my Beloved.

For breakfast today, it was fresh raspberries and a zucchini-and-tomato frittata.

For lunch today, I whipped up a smoked salmon Nicoise salad (normally, this French creation is made with tuna). It included fresh red potatoes from Mom and the most delicious cherry tomatoes from my garden. I skipped the green beans because I do not particularly like green beans, and I didn’t get any of those anyway. (My Beloved said, “What’s Nicoise?” and I said, “It’s a town in Italy.” Wrong, it’s a town in France. And an interesting salad.)

For supper tomorrow, or possibly this weekend, we’re having wild rice soup made with celery I have sitting in my crisper drawer and fresh carrots from Mom. Nothing like a visit to Minnesota to remind you how much you miss wild rice.

Also on upcoming menus: BLTs made with fresh tomatoes, shrimp and corn bisque (fresh Illinois sweet corn can’t be beat) and fried green tomatoes.

Now, I also have some smoked trout from Morey’s, and I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with that. I also have a ton of jalapeno peppers from my garden. Ideas welcome!

Bonus May days

Loved having a bonus May weekend after Memorial Day this year. What a treat! Here’s how I spent it:

  • Went grocery shopping.
  • Made banana chocolate chip muffins.
  • Made five beautiful cards at stamping class.
  • Saw the most fabulously relaxing Little League game in the field behind a church. While listening the Twins (lose) on XM radio.
  • Watched “Frost/Nixon.”
  • Was reader at church.
  • Watched about four hours of taped “Medium.”
  • Made some sort of deluxe macaroni-and-cheese casserole (found the recipe in the newspaper). It had gemelli pasta, bacon, artichokes and mushrooms.
  • Walked the dog.

Wish I took a nap.

Can’t believe June is here.

Two months of the Major League Baseball season is behind us.

Cas has 13 more days of school (ridiculous, but true).