Friday, November 19, 2010

Maple Glazed Carrots

Despite the encouragement and invitations of friends and family, I avoided Facebook for years, thinking I needed another thing to distract me on the Internet like I needed a hole in my head.  This is still true, but I did finally sign up for Facebook about two weeks ago.  And wow!  I've really been missing out!  I've reconnected with so many people, including childhood and high school friends.  One of those friends, Robin, mentioned to me that she and her family are vegans.  This made me smile because I have many stand-by recipes which are (unintentionally) vegan, and I'm very happy to share them with you all. 

This is a delicious little dish, and a great addition to your Thanksgiving spread.

The Whole Foods Market Cookbook: A Guide to Natural Foods with 350 Recipes is teeming with delicious recipes, including this one. 

Here's the printable recipe.

Maple Glazed Carrots
The Maple Glaze
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 cup orange juice
2 oranges, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped (or 1 cup of mandarin oranges, drained)
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 pound carrots, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley

To prepare the maple glaze: place the maple syrup, cinnamon stick, orange juice, and oranges in a sauce pot, and bring to a simmer.  (ENJOY THE AMAZING FRAGRANCE!)  In a separate little bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch until smooth.  Stir the cornstarch "slurry" into the maple mixture, and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, over low heat, for 30-45 minutes, until thickened.  Strain the glaze to remove the cinnamon stick and oranges.*  Cool the glaze.

Steam the carrots for 5 minutes, or boil in salted water for 6 minutes, just until firm-tender.**

Combine the carrots, maple glaze, salt, pepper and parsley.  Serve immediately.  If you prefer serving the carrots steaming hot, put them in a hot saucepan for a few minutes to heat the glaze through.

*I only removed the cinnamon stick, leaving the oranges in the glaze.  You can remove both if you prefer.

**The cooking time depends on the diameter of the carrots, the uniformity of the slices, and the size of your steamer insert.  I had to steam my carrots for about 12 minutes to get them "firm-tender."  Don't start the "carrot cooking timer" until the water is boiling, creating the steam for the steamer.  If you don't have a steamer and are boiling them, just test the tenderness of the carrots while cooking.  Mushy carrots are uber-gross in this recipe. 

From the Whole Foods Market Cookbook