Top 10 Ways to Embed Carrots Into a Recipe

I’m happy to welcome Wild Rose Press author Julie Howard. Today, Julie shares tips on embedding carrots into recipes and her novel, Crime and Paradise.

Here’s Julie!

Okay, this is a strange topic. But Joanne has this “top ten” list theme on her blog, and this came immediately to mind.

I love carrots. I love my children. But when my kids were little, they didn’t like carrots. As any good mother would do, I tricked them at every opportunity into eating plenty of these vitamin-laden vegetables. Over the years, I became an expert into sneaking carrots into recipes.

My children are now grown, but I still sneak carrots into a variety of dishes where they wouldn’t normally belong. Now I deal with a husband who hates cooked carrots, so I’m still up to my old tricks.

1. Chili – I dice them up and toss them in. They get soft during the hour or so the chili is on the stove or crockpot. With all the other strong flavors in chili – from garlic to red peppers – the carrots add a delicious hint of sweetness.

2. Enchiladas – Chicken enchiladas with a verde sauce is my favorite, but I love adding a hefty variety of vegetables to the mix. My enchiladas are 2/3rds veggies to 1/3 chicken, and of course I never forget the carrots.

3. Zucchini or pumpkin bread. It’s easy to add a little extra veggie to these breads, and grated carrots keep them moist.

4. Lasagna – Same as enchiladas. I dice them up, give them a quick saute, and sprinkle some in. I love adding a few extra veggies to lasagna, even zucchini or spinach. I’m careful not to overdo it though as too many veggies can make your lasagna watery.

5. Potato latkes – I don’t make these too often, but when I do, I grate some carrots in. They add a nice color to the savory pancakes and a bit of sweetness. I’m not sure why more people don’t do this.

6. Smoothies – You need to cook the carrots first so they are soft and will blend well into the rest of your ingredients. I’ll make a fruit smoothie and add in a carrot for extra vitamins, and you’d never know it was there.

7. Salads – I’ll grate a raw carrot and add to a salad. Those tiny orange tendrils add a beautiful color to a green salad without overwhelming the flavor.

8. Stuffing – This isn’t weird at all! I’ll microwave a carrot until it’s soft, dice it up and add it. Stuffing can be so bland so it’s just begging for some variety – like some carrots!

9. Jello salad – I’m not the first in my family to trick kids to eat carrots. My mother added shredded carrots to Jello salads all the time. This is a tried-and-true way to get kids to eat their vegetables.

10. Carrot cake – I’m going end this on a sweet note. I love carrot cake, a dessert that is unabashedly carrot-based. I learned quickly not to call it “carrot” cake when my kids were little. Anyone want some cake?

Voila! And eat your veggies.


Meredith has been uprooted to the middle of nowhere with two kids and an abusive husband. After she fantasizes about ways to kill him, he ends up dead. Despite all the evidence pointing to her, Meredith finds an unlikely supporter and friend in the county sheriff. Together, they uncover some ugly truths about her husband and this small, isolated town.

Can Meredith make this place a new home for her family, or will the real secret behind her husband’s death send her away for good?

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About the Author

Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime and Spirited Quest series. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. Now she edits an online anthology, Potato Soup Journal, and spends many delightful hours writing her books.

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Navigating the Food Court

Shopping in the mall can be challenging, especially if you are hungry and tired.

Ideally, you should eat before going to the mall, but sometimes that isn’t possible, and you need to eat on the run. Most food courts offer a wide variety of foods from around the world. Take some time to carefully examine each menu and select the best low-fat, nutritional entrées.

Here are some suggestions…

Italian: Pasta with tomato sauce, vegetable soup, or salad with dressing on the side are good picks. The best pizza choice is vegetarian–get double vegetables instead of double cheese. Avoid garlic bread, cream-based sauces, Caesar salad, and chicken parmigiana.

Mexican: Select chicken fajitas, enchilada, beef soft tacos, or vegetarian burritos without the high-fat toppings. Avoid high-fat nachos with cheese and guacamole.

Greek: Order chicken souvlaki and a salad with dressing on the side.

Chinese: Try egg drop and wonton soups, mixed vegetables, steamed dim sum, steamed rice, or stir-fries. Avoid deep-fried egg rolls, chicken balls, chicken wings, and fried rice.

Burger Outlets: Order a plain hamburger or veggie burger dressed with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and onions. Consider grilled chicken on a bun, a stuffed pita, or a wrap. Avoid the special sauces, bacon, and cheese toppings.

Submarine Shops: Order a six-inch sub on a whole wheat bun with turkey, beef, chicken, or seafood, lots of vegetables and low-fat mayonnaise. Avoid club subs and those with meatballs or deep-fried chicken.

More tips to keep in mind…

• Take advantage of late shopping hours. Head out after an early dinner at home.
• Wear comfortable walking shoes and leave your coat in the car. You won’t be as tired or on the lookout for a snack to cool you down or revive you.
• Try shopping downtown where you can stroll the streets and eat a healthy meal at a local café.
• Bring your own food: bottled water, a snack bag of nuts, protein bar, and an apple.
• Indulge and buy a single truffle at the chocolate store. (There are several women in my circle who can limit themselves to a single truffle)

Any other tips to share?