I am not the world’s best vegetable eater. I know this about myself, but I also know they’re, you know, vegetables; I need to find ways to make them taste good to me.
And friends? I have found the way with carrots. I am in LOVE with these. I’ve eaten them with lunch every day this week. This is HUGE.
I started with bacon, because so many good things start with bacon. I fried it up in a pan, then added some carrots (I used baby carrots because I had them; any kind will do). I poured in some chicken broth I had in the freezer and let them simmer a long time, because I’m Southern and I like my vegetables cooked a long time. I salted them and they were really good, but could maybe use something else, so I was digging around the fridge looking for inspiration and I found it: apricot preserves. Seriously, one tablespoon simmered in with the chicken broth and they were heaven on a plate. Please try it and let me know what you think!
Sweet, savory carrots
- two slices bacon
- half pound carrots, cut however you like them
- 2 cups chicken broth
- salt, to taste
- 1 Tbsp. apricot preserves
- In a shallow pan, fry the bacon till crispy, then add in carrots, chicken broth, and salt; simmer, covered, till the carrots are as soft as you like them
- Add in apricot preserves and simmer with the lid off, stirring periodically, till preserves are all melted in and sauce is slightly thickened
- Serve with a little sauce spooned over the top (these are awesome served over rice so the rice can soak up a little sauce as well)
My friend Lissa and her family are in town this week! So fun! We’re all about sharing recipes with each other, and we’re both definitely drawn to ones that are quick and easy but over the top tasty. As soon as I saw her this week she said she had a new one for me: macaroni and cheese cooked in a pressure cooker in six minutes. SIX MINUTES. Speaking my language, girlfriend.
The recipe originates from this bookwhich may have found its way into my Amazon shopping cart. I added some frozen mixed vegetables to it because, hey, vegetables.
By the way, this Fagor Multi Cookeris the pressure cooker I have. I’ve had it since 2009 and use it several times a week — still going strong!
Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese
- 3 cups elbow macaroni
- 1 cups chicken stock or broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. white pepper
- 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces processed cheese (I used Velveeta)
- Add pasta, chicken stock, water, butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, salt, and pepper to pressure cooker
- Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for six minutes, then quick release
- Stir in cheddar and Velveeta until melty and creamy; let everything sit for five minutes before serving if you want it to thicken up a bit (I found it didn’t really need it)
Informal poll! How many of you have a pressure cooker? What’s your favorite thing to make in it?
Kiddo is not really a huge fan of sweet potatoes (or many other vegetables), but he LOVES this. He calls it “the sweet potatoes with the eggs” and is almost guaranteed to eat it. Peanut loves it too, and this cooks up thick enough that I can cut it and give her little finger-food sized pieces. Honestly, I love it as well! I’ve yet to meet a sweet potato I didn’t like, but these are especially good.
Sweet potato bake
- 3 sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4 tbsp butter
- extra cinnamon sugar, optional
- Bake the sweet potatoes (or microwave!) till completely soft; discard the skin
- Use a fork to mash the sweet potatoes, then mix together with sugar, beaten eggs, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla
- Dot the top of the mixture with butter, and sprinkle with extra cinnamon sugar if so desired
- Spoon into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned
After baking, I slice this like a pie and freeze the pieces individually; they warm up beautifully in the microwave and are a great way to add easy veggies to lunch!
Of course sweet potatoes make me think: what is your stance on the mini marshmallows on sweet potatoes? Yay or nay?
My little Peanut, as you may have heard, is NUTS for broccoli. Like, a crazy woman. I actually thought I didn’t like broccoli for years and years — it was roasted broccoli that won me over, and now I just love it in general. Since Peanut loves broccoli all the time any time, I was looking for some new ways to prepare it to give her a little variety. These turned out to be so good that we both ate them! I dipped mine in a little ranch dressing; quite tasty!
- 8 ounces chopped broccoli, drained well
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 2 eggs
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl, then scoop out with a cookie scoop, gently shaping into patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet
- Bake at 375 for 15 minutes; flip them over and bake for another 10
Since Peanut is ALL ABOUT THE BROCCOLI I would love to hear more broccoli ideas! How do y’all use it?
I’m freezing. Are y’all freezing? It’s prime comfort food time for me, and this delivers. A librarian printed this recipe out for me once and I promptly lost the paper; I make it from memory now, and I’m not sure of the original source. Regardless of its origins, it’s hot and tasty and definitely fall-off-the-bone tender.
Coca-cola pot roast
- Chuck roast, about 4 pounds
- 2 Tbsp. oil
- 1 Tbsp. salt (coarse/kosher salt, ideally)
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 packet French onion soup mix
- 1 can Coca-cola
- Baby carrots or chopped carrots
- Preheat oven to 325F and heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat on the stovetop
- Season the roast with salt and pepper, then sear the roast on all sides in the Dutch oven till it’s nice and brown
- Sprinkle over the garlic powder and onion soup mix, pour in the Coke and add in the carrots around the roast; put a lid on it and stick the whole thing in the oven
- Cook till the internal temp of the roast is 165F; this will take about three hours or so depending on your oven and the size of the roast. Let it rest for about ten minutes before serving
… and may I suggest serving with mashed potatoes? Trust me.
Bonus: you can also make this in the slow cooker so it’s ready when you get home at night. Please to enjoy.