Thai Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce and a Giveaway

Spring Rolls5 The Curvy Carrot

I’m pretty excited about this post.  So much good news around here lately.

If you follow this blog, you know I’m not a huge fan of giveaways for various reasons which I won’t bore you with now.  But I will say that sometimes an opportunity comes around which cannot be passed up.  I’ve told you all about my various recent adventures with Earthbound Farm (check it out here or here), and how much I believe in this company, its efforts to create a clean environment, and its dedication to providing safe, healthy organic food for everyone on a large scale.

When I visited Earthbound Farm in California last October, I had the pleasure and honor to meet Myra Goodman, one of the original founders of Earthbound Farm.   She’s one of those people that when you meet them for the first time, you feel like you’re reconnecting with a long, lost friend.  She told us stories about her father (a brilliant engineering genius), meeting her husband with whom she created the company (literally by selling greens in plastic baggies!), and the absolute joys she has found from working so hard for a cause that she truly believes in.  I was inspired by her authenticity and her candidness when discussing Earthbound Farm.  You can read a bit more about her story here.  She’s a pretty amazing woman (girl power!)

Hi Myra!

Hi Myra!

So when she said that she would be releasing a new 100% vegan cookbook in the spring of 2014, my ears pricked up (it’s featured here with a bonus recipe and coupons on the Organic Bound site-check it out!).  She said that she and her daughter, Marea, had spent a lot of time in the kitchen, testing and re-testing recipes to create this cookbook.  She said that she was feeling so much better eating this way.  And, to be honest, it gave me a bit of warm fuzzies to think of how special this cookbook would be for the two of them: a mother-daughter project that could then be shared with the world.  It’s nice, isn’t it?

Straight from the Earth COV

I already knew that I loved Myra’s previous two cookbooks; I’ve featured recipes from many of them on this blog already.  These recipes are solid.  Really.  Not too many ingredients, no crazy random expensive condiments (most of the recipes call for things that you probably already have in your fridge/pantry.), and pretty healthy to boot.   When I received an early copy of Straight From the Earth, I immediately went through it from cover to cover, dog-earing several pages’ worth of incredible recipes.

Spring Rolls4 The Curvy Carrot

This was just one of them.

I had never attempted to make spring rolls before…..well, because I found them slightly intimidating.  I wasn’t sure if they would look pretty or taste good.  The peanut dipping sauce sold me, though.  And the fact that the tofu is marinated and baked prior to making the rolls, adding a whole dimension to this usually bland protein alternative. There’s a perfect balance of crunchiness, creaminess, and flavor here.  Did I mention the peanut dipping sauce?  It’s pretty much my new favorite sauce for anything-there’s some sweetness, some tang from the lime juice, and a great peanut flavor. All together?  I ate these rolls for dinner one night and the rest for lunch the next day (they were still crunchy and definitely not soggy-a total bonus for a texture-phobe like me.)

To celebrate the brand new release of Myra and Marea’s cookbook, Earthbound Farm has generously agreed to give one  Curvy Carrot reader a set of all three cookbooks, including Straight From the Earth.  I hope you will love these books as much as I do.

 

EBF_Food-to-Live-By[2]

 

 

EBF_The-Earthbound-Cook[2]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straight from the Earth COV

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here’s the deal:

To enter the giveaway, simply leave a comment here telling me what your favorite fruit or vegetable is…or favorite dish featuring a fruit or vegetable.  Feel free to share the giveaway via various social media platforms (spread the love people!).  I’ll keep the giveaway open until midnight (CDT), on Sunday, March 16, 2014 and then a random reader will be selected.

 

Thanks for all of the giveaway entries, everyone!  The lucky random winner is Joanne, from Eats Well with Others.  Her comment was: 

“You had me at peanut dipping sauce! YUM. And hmmm…favorite vegetable…now that is just tough! Probably butternut squash.”

Congrats, Joanne!

 

Spring Rolls2 The Curvy Carrot

Thai Fresh Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

Servings: 6, makes 12 rolls

 

Ingredients

For the peanut sauce:

1/4 cup peanut butter (variety of your choosing: I used a salted crunchy kind)

1/4 cup very hot water (180 degrees)

1 tablespoon soy sauce (or tamari)

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons agave nectar

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

For the tofu:

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 ounces extra-firm tofu, cut into twelve 3-by-1/2-inch sticks

 

For the spring rolls:

1 cup cooked rice noodles, prepared according to package directions

12 cucumber sticks, 3-by-1/4-inch

12 carrot sticks, 3-by-1/4-inch

1 cup ming bean sprouts

1 ripe avocado, sliced lengthwise into 12 even pieces

12 pieces heirloom or romaine lettuce, torn into 3-by-3-inch pieces

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup cilantro

Twelve 6-inch spring roll wrappers

 

 

Instructions

1. For the peanut sauce:   In a small bowl, stir together the peanut butter and the hot water until smooth (or as smooth as possible if you use crunchy peanut butter.)

2. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, agave, lime juice, salt, and pinch of pepper and stir until thoroughly combined.  Set aside at room temperature.

3. For the tofu:  Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oil, and pepper.

5. Drain the tofu sticks on paper towel to remove excess water.

6. Place the tofu on a small rimmed baking sheet or in a casserole dish and pour the marinade evenly over each piece, making sure each side is thoroughly coated (I used tongs to flip mine over).

7. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 10 to 15 minutes before baking.

8. Bake the tofu for 15 minutes.  Remove it from the oven, flip each stick over, then bake for another 15 minutes or until golden brown.

9. For the spring rolls:  Fill a wide, shallow bowl with warm water.  Place one spring roll wrapper in the bowl and let it soak until limp, about 5 seconds.

10. Lay the wrapper down flat on your work surface.  In the upper center section of the wrapper, place one piece of lettuce (Make sure to leave at least 1 inch of the bottom end of the wrapper uncovered).

11. In a compact vertical line, arrange one piece each of the carrot, cucumber, tofu and avocado,a generous tablespoon each of the bean sprouts and the noodles, and 1 teaspoon each of the mint and cilantro.

12. Fold the bottom edge of the wrapper on top of the filling.  Then tightly (but gently) pull the left edge of the wrapper over the filling and the folded bottom edge, putting pressure on the roll with your fingertips to make the roll as compact as possible.

13. Pull and roll the left side over the right side of the wrapper, keeping the filling as compact as possible.  Press the edges of the wrapper together to close.  Repeat this process until all 12 of the spring rolls are assembled.  Serve with the peanut sauce.

 

Source:  Directly from Straight From the Earth, by Myra and Marea Goodman.

March 13, 2014 - 8:30 am

Jennifer Richardson - I love sweet potatoes! My favorite dish to make is a curried sweet potato and spinach sautée with currants and almonds. :) thanks for having the giveaway!

March 13, 2014 - 8:30 am

Tawhi K - Beautiful recipe! My favourite veg is the versatile Onion. Shared on FB x

March 13, 2014 - 8:36 am

Allison C - I’m a big fan of butternut squash and I LOVE soups made with it.

March 13, 2014 - 8:39 am

Abby @ The Frosted Vegan - I loooove broccoli, which seems weird, but it’s a favorite in everything!

March 13, 2014 - 8:46 am

Lisa @ Lisa Living Well - Raspberries are my favorite fruit. The spring rolls sound delicious!

March 13, 2014 - 8:57 am

Kelly - Fresh pineapple on the grill!

March 13, 2014 - 9:06 am

Dana - watermelon with salty cheese, sitting on the beach in the summer. nothing better!

March 13, 2014 - 9:10 am

Cate M. - I have a mild obsession with garlic…I find a way to add it to almost every recipe! It s simple way to add a HUGE punch of flavor to any dish.
The only downside are the garlic fingers you get from using it and cutting it up all the time!

March 13, 2014 - 9:13 am

Emma - I basically made these for dinner last night! I think my body is craving fresh and raw after all the wintery soups and stews. Also, my fave veg is the under appreciated parsnip!

March 13, 2014 - 9:22 am

Sabrina - Avocados! Avocados in my smoothies… on my toast… in my salads… tacos… sandwiches. Pretty much everything I can possibly put it on.
So excited to try these rolls!!

March 13, 2014 - 10:23 am

Katie - I’m always reaching for strawberries, they’re the best for adding a little excitement to so many dishes!

March 13, 2014 - 10:24 am

Heather - I love to simply saute fresh vegetables from the garden… if they make it into the kitchen without me eating them first, that is!

March 13, 2014 - 11:03 am

Rachel - These rolls look so good and I can’t wait to make the peanut sauce!
My favorite vegetable at the moment is sweet potatoes. So good!

March 13, 2014 - 11:31 am

Kathryn W. - My favorite fruit is raspberries and my favorite veg is mushrooms!

March 13, 2014 - 11:34 am

Melissa - My favorite veg is probably… oh it’s so hard… red pepper? Avocado? Broccoli? Fruit is definitely watermelon!

March 13, 2014 - 11:49 am

Kathleen - My favorite veggies are beets and butternut squash. Fave fruit is grapefruit. Those spring rolls look amazing. Thanks!

March 13, 2014 - 11:53 am

kelly @ livelovepasta - these look delicious!! making asap!!

March 13, 2014 - 12:53 pm

Kelsey - These look incredible! I usually try to eat my produce based on what’s in season, but I have to say my all time favorite is kale. Nothing like a good kale pesto for pasta, sandwiches, etc.!

March 13, 2014 - 12:59 pm

Kelly Mitchem - My favorite vegetable would have to be asparagus… maybe… it’s almost too hard to choose! I love making a frittata with asparagus chopped up inside of it!

March 13, 2014 - 1:48 pm

Rebecca - My favorite fruit is either strawberries or peaches. Come on, summer!

March 13, 2014 - 2:07 pm

J - My favorite dish to make as of late is pizza with butternut squash, kale (fav), mushrooms, gorgonzola, and peppers! Thanks for the giveaway!

March 13, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Anne - I love the look of these spring rolls!

My favorite vegetable would probably be broccoli but I love, love butternut squash. And Brussels sprouts. Ok, I like a lot of veggies:)

March 13, 2014 - 2:39 pm

Heather - I love brussel sprouts!

March 13, 2014 - 2:41 pm

Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife - Onions are my favorite hands down. You can make them sweet or savory. There is nothing better than the smell of onions caramelizing in a pan.

March 13, 2014 - 3:10 pm

Mary Beth - Spinach in everything- smoothies, salad, pizza and pasta!

March 13, 2014 - 3:10 pm

itzia - my favorite is sweet potato.

March 13, 2014 - 3:54 pm

Cindy A. - Berries – strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, etc. I have never met a berry I didn’t like. ;)

March 13, 2014 - 3:58 pm

Jason - I love Red and Green Bell Pepper wedges dipped in Ranch

March 13, 2014 - 4:52 pm

kimberly - although i never thought as i child i would say this, my favorite veggie is roasted brussels sprouts. yum!

March 13, 2014 - 5:08 pm

Portia smith - Brussels sprouts with Thai coconut sauce

March 13, 2014 - 5:10 pm

Sarah - Cauliflower!! Curry + cauliflower = Amazing!

March 13, 2014 - 5:31 pm

fran - I love mangoes!

March 13, 2014 - 5:35 pm

Emily - I love Grilled Aspargus. The crispy top gets me every time.

March 13, 2014 - 5:38 pm

Lianna - So excited about this giveaway! My favourite fruit are avocados, on toast with runny eggs, or in rolls as tasty looking as these ones!

March 13, 2014 - 6:10 pm

Emily S. - Awesome giveaway! I love tomatoes. There’s nothing better than making fresh pasta sauce from ripe, juicy tomatoes. Also: fried green tomatoes = best. thing. ever.

March 13, 2014 - 6:19 pm

Lauren - Asparagus is my absolutely favorite veggie. It’s coming back in season and this girl couldn’t be happier

March 13, 2014 - 6:41 pm

Sara @ Dear Skim - I’m going throw out there avocado — where it ends on the spectrum of vegetable and fruit, haha. The best!

March 13, 2014 - 7:23 pm

Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine - Apples! And for veggies I am obsessed with raw zucchini and raw beets at the moment!

March 13, 2014 - 7:26 pm

Bianca @ Sweet Dreaming - asparagus! yay spring!

March 13, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Laura - Rhubarb is my favorite! Combine with strawberries, peaches, or by itself – I just can’t get enough :)

March 13, 2014 - 9:11 pm

Barb - I adore raspberries, eating them as fast as I can pick them!

March 13, 2014 - 9:48 pm

Rachel Tilly - I love broccoli and asparagus. I also love strawberries and pineapple. Yummmm fruits and veggies!

March 13, 2014 - 9:54 pm

Crystal @ Dreams, etc. - These look delicious!! I love brussels sprouts. Before I discovered how delicious they are I used to think that they’d be really gross. Now they’re my favorite veggie.

March 13, 2014 - 10:16 pm

Quixotism - My love of fruits and vegetables is undying. My favorite right now? Brussels sprouts.

March 13, 2014 - 10:22 pm

Holly B - Just one? That might be impossible, but I’ve been craving strawberries lately. Can’t wait for that first strawberry pie of the summer :)

March 13, 2014 - 10:32 pm

Joanna F - Raspberries!

March 13, 2014 - 11:01 pm

Marsie - My favorite fruit: Concord grapes. Intense in aroma and flavor, easy to enjoy raw, and are also phenomenal as a juice or baked in a pie! Now I am ready for Fall, when they are ripe in my hometown!

March 13, 2014 - 11:21 pm

Melissa - This recipe looks amazing – I just pinned it! Blueberries are my favorite fruit and peppers are my favorite vegetable. Yum!

March 13, 2014 - 11:48 pm

karen - perfectly ripe cantaloupe!

March 14, 2014 - 12:30 am

Janet Oonchitti - My favorite fruit is the cherry. My favorite recipe featuring the cherry is cherries jubilee!

March 14, 2014 - 12:38 am

Mary - My favorite is avocado. I eat it sliced, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt. Yum!!

March 14, 2014 - 12:59 am

sara - We love so many fruits and veggies! Berries are tops for sure, and right now asparagus

March 14, 2014 - 1:06 am

Melissa - I love strawberries, and as for veggies, my favorite is spinach.

March 14, 2014 - 4:28 am

Becca F - I’ve been eyeing straight from the earth since it was on pre order on amazon! I adore raspberries. I could eat them all day!

March 14, 2014 - 6:53 am

Kristin - I absolutely love fresh pineapple!

March 14, 2014 - 7:34 am

Erin - I love apples! There are so many different varieties out there and they are so versatile in that they can go sweet or savory!

March 14, 2014 - 10:24 am

Amy - So hard to pick just one! Right now I am loving Cara Cara oranges. Those spring rolls look delicious!

March 14, 2014 - 10:50 am

Tamara - Even though I’ve lived on the east coast for 25 years, my favorite vegetable and fruit are both firmly linked to California, my home state. The artichoke and the avocado are wonderful prepared simply or in more complicated recipes.

March 14, 2014 - 12:17 pm

Caitlin T - My absolute favorite vegetable is asparagus. However, being from your neighboring state of Minnesota, I can say that not much beats a caprese salad with in-season heirloom tomatoes (especially brandywines), fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, and some balsamic vinegar. I’m anxiously awaiting the farmers markets to open again!

March 14, 2014 - 12:54 pm

katy - i love mushrooms and avocados

March 14, 2014 - 12:58 pm

Myra Goodman - Wow, thanks for your very kind words about me, Earthbound Farm and my cookbooks. So glad you shared the recipe for Marea’s spring rolls. They are one of my favorites. It was such a huge pleasure to meet you last fall!

March 14, 2014 - 1:10 pm

Sarah - These spring rolls look great!
It’s hard to pick a favorite fruit or veggie, but mangoes come to mind at the moment. I just made a great Mahi Mahi dish with mango-vanilla sauce from Giada’s new cookbook.

March 14, 2014 - 1:18 pm

samW - nothing beats blueberries in my book!

March 14, 2014 - 4:10 pm

Joyce Hobbs - My favorite vegetable is roasted butternut squash. I love adding this to risotto.

March 14, 2014 - 5:31 pm

Kaitie - This looks so delicious! I’ve always wanted to try making fresh spring rolls- perhaps this is the recipe I use when I finally do!

My favorite fruit is avocado! I just eat it straight from the shell with a spoon, a sprinkle of salt on top. YUM

March 14, 2014 - 5:40 pm

Lucie - My fave vegetable is broccoli! So filling so yummmay. I just so
Happened to buy rice paper wrappers so I will be making spring rolls very soon:)

March 14, 2014 - 6:11 pm

Millie - My favorite vegetable is sugar snap peas. When I had a garden as a kid I used to eat them straight from our garden – so tasty!

March 14, 2014 - 8:10 pm

Madeline - garden fresh heirloom tomatoes! Followed by eggplant

March 14, 2014 - 8:42 pm

Nichole N - My favorite vegetable is zucchini!

March 14, 2014 - 9:23 pm

Deena - I just love a good tomato :)

March 14, 2014 - 10:00 pm

Cindy - I love cauliflower, roasted, fried, mashed, smashed, raw. Any way at all!!!!

March 15, 2014 - 4:33 am

Carolsue - My favorite vegetables are peppers — red, green or yellow. I use them in so many things I cook, in addition to stuffing them with rice and other ingredients.

March 15, 2014 - 7:40 am

Katelyn - I love pineapple! I love adding it to my green smoothies in the morning or grilling it with kabobs in the summertime.

March 15, 2014 - 7:53 am

Kasey - My favorite fruit is mango. I like to pair them with yogurt or cook them in coconut oil with cinnamon, vanilla, and coconut cream for a dessert.

March 15, 2014 - 9:12 am

Becky - avacado!

March 15, 2014 - 10:06 am

Lauren - Yum!! Those cookbooks look amazing! Spinach is my fave- it can star or guest star anywhere – pasta, curry, pizza, juice, pastries, quiche….

March 15, 2014 - 11:08 am

Alina Bachman - Corn is my newly discovered favorite food! I’ll like anything with corn in. My favorite recipe is a super simple but delicious chicken corn chowder. Mmmm it’s so good. I love your blog, by the way. It’s one of my favorite things to read, thanks for doing what you do :)

-Alina

March 15, 2014 - 12:23 pm

Begem - Avocados in anything!

March 15, 2014 - 12:44 pm

Annie Block - I’ll give you both! Fresh raspberries are my absolute favorite in the spring and summer, while sweet potatoes take that role in the fall and winter. To be honest, I could eat fruits and veggies all the time! :)

March 15, 2014 - 12:53 pm

charj - Potatoes are my favorite vegetable.

March 15, 2014 - 2:00 pm

Cassie - I’m obsessed with Swiss Chard. I love the little leaves in salad and big leaves cooked in soups or gratins!

March 15, 2014 - 2:30 pm

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I assume I’m not eligible for the giveaway (out of the US, boo!) but just in case, my fave veggie is avocado! Love this recipe, especially the peanut sauce!

March 15, 2014 - 2:55 pm

Suzanne - My favorite vegetable is asparagus.

March 15, 2014 - 3:42 pm

Beverly - Avocado!

March 15, 2014 - 6:32 pm

Joanne - You had me at peanut dipping sauce! YUM. And hmmm…favorite vegetable…now that is just tough! Probably butternut squash.

March 15, 2014 - 7:38 pm

SharonF - Fresh corn or asparagus out of my garden are two of my favorites. We like then both grilled.

March 15, 2014 - 7:38 pm

Anna - Plums and strawberries are my favorite fruits, both are part of some great childhood memories (grabbing fresh plums from the tree in our back yard and my grandma’s fresh strawberry pie)

March 15, 2014 - 7:41 pm

SharonF - Fresh corn or asparagus from my garden are two of my favorites. We like them both cooked on the grill.

March 15, 2014 - 7:43 pm

SharonF - Fresh corn and asparagus from my garden are two of my favorites. We like them cooked on the grill.

March 15, 2014 - 10:45 pm

Carrie M. - Fresh, ripe, sweet strawberries!

March 16, 2014 - 1:47 am

Birdiebee - My favorite fruit is pineapple as well as avocado.

March 16, 2014 - 7:58 am

Caroline - My favourite fruit must be apples – I eat them for breakfast every day without fail

March 16, 2014 - 1:05 pm

Jasmine K - My favorite vegetable has become cauliflower after trying it buffalo-style from here! Since then, I’ve tried roasting it many different ways and it’s become a staple and the house.

March 16, 2014 - 1:48 pm

Theresa Sea - I am a major soup person, and love beefing up my soups with wonderful, in-season veggies. It’s an easy way to eat healthy! :)

March 16, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Sasha - Roasted brussel sprouts or roasted cauliflower

March 16, 2014 - 7:13 pm

Jane - My favorite fruit is watermelon.

March 16, 2014 - 9:26 pm

Sarah - Artichokes. HANDS DOWN. I could eat them for every meal.

March 16, 2014 - 10:16 pm

Jennifer - Blood oranges, oh how I love you, blood oranges.

March 16, 2014 - 11:28 pm

nicole - My favorite veggie is spinach. Love it as a salad or sauteed with garlic, olive oil, red pepper and lemon.

March 17, 2014 - 10:17 am

Carrielee - One of my favorite vegetable dishes is really simple. Fresh peas, mint, pea shoots, feta and a few shakes of S&P. So refreshing; so spring. I serve it dry but have complimented it with a simple lemon and olive oil dressing as well.

March 18, 2014 - 8:48 am

Kim K. - Tough choice. Asparagus is my current favorite. We try to eat as seasonal as we can.

March 20, 2014 - 11:02 pm

Fifty Fab & Healthy - I really like a lot of your recipes. I can’t wait to try many of them at my next dinner party.

May 9, 2014 - 5:29 pm

30 Amazing Vegan THAI Recipes - RecipeTin Eats - [...] 3. Fresh Thai Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce – get the recipe [...]

May 25, 2014 - 10:21 pm

Fresh Spring Rolls | naturally domestic - [...] Fresh Spring Rolls (slightly adapted from The Curvy Carrot) [...]

June 4, 2014 - 2:44 pm

Wendy Sue - Cauliflower! I make Cauliflower Alfredo, gluten free, almost 100% fat free, AND, get this, DAIRY FREE!!!! I’m here to tell you, it IS THE bomb! Fresh herbs are the key!

July 18, 2014 - 4:04 pm

Valerie Torres - I made these today with the peanut sauce and OMG it was amazing! There is definitely a short learning curve to making the rolls, but I did a great job! With the peanut sauce I accidentally used Tablespoons instead of TSP and it still turned out Delish! I am so impressed with myself and will make these more often! They are so pretty and will impress any guest! Thank You!

July 23, 2014 - 8:08 am

Donna Cross - I made these yesterday for my 16 year old and an 11 year old picky eater. They both loved ‘em. Ours were not as pretty, but yummy, yummy indeed!

I’m a recently converted vegetarian so veggies and fruit are all good. My favorite way to prepare my veggies are to roast them.

White Cheddar Potato Garlic Soup

Potato Soup2 The Curvy Carrot

 

Happy mid-March!

I cannot even begin to express how ready I am for summer (or at least a bit of warm weather.)  Milwaukee has been hit pretty hard this year, but, surprisingly, my friends and family back home in Indiana have had it even worse.  I’m tired of astronomical heating bills and my patio furniture constantly toppling over on my balcony.  I’m ready for my daily walk with Scout down to the lake, boats going by on the river, and generous glasses of wine out on my balcony with a book in hand. It’s slowly getting warmer, and the sun is a bit more visible these days, so I know it’s coming.  The other night I even wore a trench coat out instead of my big winter sleeping bag of a coat (which, I have to admit I like putting on when I’m wearing my pajamas still at 4pm on a Sunday and realize no one will notice with the coat on). And, there were some birds actually singing the other morning when I took Scout for a walk.  It’s on its way.  So bring it.

Although…….there are still grey and chilly nights when I need something quick and easy to make my belly full.  Especially weeknights when the days seem to blend together.  Something hearty and filling and salty and creamy. Like this potato soup.

I added in some cheese here to this soup (and added some on top-I have no regrets.) to make it a bit more flavorful, but you can omit if you are watching calories.   (The soup is still incredible without it-but with the heavy cream, it’s not exactly “light” either.  Go big or go home.)  It’s very easy to reheat (it doesn’t separate out like some soups do) and tastes even better the next day.  Feel free to add in other ingredients here-it has a chowder type of consistency that would work well with things like corn or even some greens.

 

 Potato Soup1 The Curvy Carrot

 

White Cheddar Potato Garlic Soup

Servings: 6-8

 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1leek, white and light green parts halved lengthwise, washed, and chopped (about 1 cup)

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 heads garlic, rinsed, papery skins removed and top third of heads cut off and discarded

6 cups vegetable broth

2 bay leaves

3/4 teaspoon salt

1  and 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 4 1/2 cups)

1 pound red potatoes (unpeeled), cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 and 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded

For garnish:  chives, additional cheese, Greek yogurt/sour cream, etc

 

Instructions

1. Melt the butter in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.

2. Add the leeks and cook until soft, 5 minutes.

3. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

4. Add the garlic heads, vegetable broth, bay leaves, and 3/4 teaspoon salt; partially cover the pot and bring the soup to a simmer over medium-high heat.

5. Reduce the heat and simmer until the garlic is very tender when pierced with tip of knife, 30 to 40 minutes.

6. Add both types of potatoes and continue to simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

7. Carefully discard the bay leaves.

8. Remove the garlic heads, and using tongs, squeeze the garlic heads at root ends until cloves slip out of their skins.

9. In a small bowl, mash the garlic to a smooth paste.

10. Stir the cream, thyme, and half of the mashed garlic into the soup; heat soup until hot, about 2 minutes.  (Add more of the mashed garlic if you think it needs more-I was ok with just using half.)

11. Using an immersion blender, process the soup until creamy, with some potato chunks remaining (or, puree the soup in a blender in batches).

12. Slowly stir in the cheese, mixing until the cheese is completely melted.

13.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish as desired.

 

Source:  Adapted slightly from Cook’s Illustrated.

March 11, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Katrina @ WVS - I love the idea of a garlic soup – especially with lots of potatoes and cheddar jammed in there! Yum!

March 12, 2014 - 8:02 am

Joanne - It’s officially starting to feel like spring here in the northeast, but that doesn’t mean I’m not craving big bowls of soup! Love how cheesy and comfort-full this is.

March 13, 2014 - 4:07 pm

Melanie @ Carmel Moments - Looks like a mighty good bowl of soup!

Butternut Squash Kale Lasagna

Lasagna 2 The Curvy Carrot

 

Hearty. Filling.  Cheesy.  Satisfying.

I’m describing this lasagna.

It’s a good one.  A keeper of a recipe, in fact.

There’s lots of different types of lasagnas out there.  Spinach, mushroom, veggie.  But I liked adapting this recipe because I hadn’t really tried a squash variant yet (which I know is pretty common.)  So here’s what I did:  I added in some onion and some extra mozzarella (really, I know this is supposed to be a “light” recipe, but I cannot eat lasagna without a few pieces of glorious melted mozzarella on top.)  And I loved the idea of a cheesy béchamel sauce instead of a tomato-based sauce (again…maybe not so much in the way of being “light”, but it was heavenly.)  I made a giant pan of this and then promptly froze half of it for random weeknights when I don’t feel like cooking (which might be tonight.)  It reheats nicely as leftovers, too, which is always a positive thing.

Add in extra vegetables here if you want.   Some shredded carrots or mushrooms would be great.  And play around with the cheese as well.  I know Gruyere isn’t the cheapest option out there, but I splurged and it was worth it. (Well, really, any cheese is worth it to me, so there you go.)  Enjoy.

 

Lasagna 3 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

Butternut Squash Kale Lasagna

Servings:  6-8

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

One 1 to 1.5 pound butternut squash, roasted and cooled, peeled, and cut into cubes

One head kale (doesn’t matter which type), leaves torn and stems discarded

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Pinch red pepper flakes

1 and 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic, plus an additional 1 teaspoon

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 and 3/4 cups milk, divided (I used skim.)

2 ounces Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided

1 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

One package (9 ounces) whole wheat no-boil lasagna noodles

1 cup Mozzarella, shredded  (or more, if you are heavy-handed like me)

 

Instructions

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. For the filling: In a large saute pan or Dutch oven over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and heat until shimmering.

3. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent and softened, about 5 minutes.

4. Add 1 teaspoon of the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

5. Carefully add the cooked cubed squash and cook, mashing the squash gently, until it is heated through, about 1-2 minutes.

6. In batches, add the kale until it is wilted and softened, stirring frequently.

7. Add the oregano and the red pepper flakes, stirring to combine.  Remove the mixture from the heat to cool.

8. For the béchamel: In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and swirl to coat the pan.

9. Add the remaining 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of minced garlic; cook for about 2 minutes or until the garlic begins to brown, stirring occasionally.

10. Whisk the flour and 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl until smooth.

11. Add the milk mixture and the remaining 2 1/4 cups milk to the saucepan; increase heat to medium-high.

12. Bring the mixture to a boil; cook for about 1 minute or until thickened, stirring frequently; remove from heat.

13. Stir in 1 ounce Gruyère, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt, and pepper; stir until cheese melts.

14.  Coat baking dish  or lasagna pan with cooking spray.

15. Spread 1/3 cup milk mixture in the bottom of dish. Arrange the lasagna noodles over the milk mixture; top with half of squash mixture and 2/3 cup milk mixture, followed by a thin layer of mozzarella.

16. Repeat the layers once, ending with remaining noodles and remaining milk mixture.  Sprinkle the top with any remaining mozzarella cheese.

17. Cover the with foil; bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

18. Remove the foil; sprinkle remaining Gruyère on top. Bake, uncovered, at 450 degrees for an additional 10 minutes or until lightly browned and sauce is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.

 

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

March 6, 2014 - 10:52 am

Katrina @ WVS - I like all kinds of lasagna! This one looks awesome – thanks for sharing! xx

March 7, 2014 - 11:53 am

Claire @ Simply Sweet Justice - I love butternut squash lasagna! Adding kale sounds great. Well done!

March 8, 2014 - 7:45 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I think it’s worth splurging on the cheese as lasagna usually goes a long way. Your photos have really sold this to me … pinning it!

March 8, 2014 - 7:28 pm

Joanne - I take LOTS OF CHEESE over “light” anyday! This looks like one glorious plate of comfort!

March 10, 2014 - 12:46 pm

Mallory @ Because I Like Chocolate - In my opinion white lasagna is the only way to go, I love that this does not contain tomato sauce!

March 12, 2014 - 5:04 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - I with Joanne with heavy on the cheese. It is amazing to me the spectrum of lasagna recipes! It’s like the world woke up one day and said, “Hey I have an idea! Let’s get down right Wild Wild Wild with lasagna!” Apparently it was pretty easy to get others to sign that petition. I would.

March 16, 2014 - 11:36 pm

Amber Freitas - My favorite veggie (and my 6 year o.d’s too!) is the sweet potato, or yam, I can never remember which is which :) I like the ones with the deep red/orange flesh. They are so delicious as a side dish, baked with just a pat of butter and salt/pepper. Or even as a main dish with some black beans, grated cheese, baked again to melt it then add green onions and sour cream. Yum!

March 16, 2014 - 11:39 pm

Amber Freitas - I also LOVE butternut squash, and have been getting into Kale more lately, so will def have to try this recipe, it sounds declicious (with you all on the heavy handed cheese).

June 18, 2014 - 10:57 am

dolores - I can tell this is a WINNING recipe! Why? The GARLIC in the béchamel. That’s the indicator for me. Have been focused on perfecting my cooking for many years….Garlic is the secret in béchamel. And you nailed it! Will be checking out your blog more frequently!