We are sharing a recipe that we just cooked up in our recent cooking class with our students.
It was such a hit that we thought maybe your kids (or you!) would love it too.
After seeing the ingredients that we were going to use for our class, the students were a bit hesitant to continue.
Carrot tops? Pumpkin seeds? Squash?!
Only after roasting our squash, blending up our pesto, and digging in, did our students realize that they had just created one of their most delicious meals yet!
Here’s how the transformation happened. Who knows, it might open your mind up as well!
Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
- 1 small spaghetti squash
- 3 T olive oil
- 1/2 T basil
- 1/2 T thyme
- ½ T rosemary
- 1/2 t sea salt
- 1 bunch carrot tops = 1 C lightly packed carrot leaves
- 1/2 C olive oil – add more for a smooth consistency
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 C fresh basil
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 C pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 C parmesan
- 1 T honey (optional)
- black pepper, to taste
1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 375F. Cut squash in half, place on baking sheet, drizzle oil on each, and add herbs and salt. Cook for 45 minutes, or until soft. You can also steam for 15-20 minutes, until soft. Rinse carrot tops, and basil thoroughly (sand is no fun).
2. Process: While the squash is cooking, blend up your pesto. Add all ingredients into your food processor, and blend until smooth.
3. Assemble: Shred squash into spaghetti strips (you can do this with a fork), add pesto, then mix together. Enjoy!
On a quest for healthy, quick snacks that will keep you satisfied?
Try out these nut/seed bars.
Easy to make, delicious and nutritious, these bars stick together nicely after cooled in the fridge for 1 hour or more.
This recipe makes for an excellent weekend project, to prepare for a busy week ahead.
Makes 12 bars – Prep time: 5 minutes – Total time: 10 minutes – Recipe adapted from George Mateljan
- 1 cup raw or roasted peanuts/almonds/cashews/pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 cup raisins/dried cranberries/dried apricots/dried prunes/dates
- 2 tbsp honey/maple syrup
- Blend all ingredients, with the exception of the honey, in a food processor until fine but still having some texture.
- Add honey and process just long enough for it to blend in.
- Press into a square about 3/4 inch thick on a plate or square pan and refrigerate for about an hour or more.
- Cut into 2 inch squares.
Photo courtesy of HealthAliciousNess
Transform your ordinary carrots into this unordinary salad.
It’s more delicious than you could ever imagine!
Recipe adapted from George Mateljan
Serves 3-4 Prep time: 3 minutes Total time: 15 minutes
- 6 medium-sized carrots, cut into thick pieces
- 1/2 tbsp parsley or cilantro, chopped
- 1 tbsp mint, chopped
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds or sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- olive oil to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring water to a boil in steamer with a tight fitting lid.
- Steam carrots in basket until al denté.
- Chop rest of ingredients and toss with carrots, enjoy!!
Hungry for something refreshing that will leaving you feeling energized? Try our salad recipe!
For a time saving tip, we suggest chopping up the cilantro in advance and placing it in a container in your fridge so that you can use it on all sorts of meals. Cilantro helps cleanse our body, and aids us in digestion. This lovely herb also freshens our breath and helps promote a healthy liver, and tastes fantastic in most meals!
We also suggest buying pumpkin seeds in your bulk section, and either storing them in a glass container in your fridge, or toasting them right away, as they can easily go bad if left out. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which helps strengthen our cells, hair, skin and eyesight. They are a versatile seed, that tastes great in granola, trail mix, pesto, topped on fish, mixed with rice or ground up in a mortar and pestle.
- Beets, grated
- Carrots, grated
- Pumpkin seeds, toasted
- Olives, chopped
- Cilantro, chopped
- Salad greens
Toast your pumpkin seeds over medium heat in a pan on your stove top. Make sure to toss them frequently so they get evenly cooked. Once fragrant, lightly browned and puffed up, remove them from your pan and place in a bowl to cool down (you will hear some fun crackling noises!). Place your salad greens in a big bowl (if using heads of lettuce, rinse, dry and chop them up). Rinse your beets and carrots, then grate them over your greens. Cut up your olives. Pluck off your cilantro leaves from the stems, and chop them up as well (or use our time saving tip).
Mix together with a simple honey-mustard vinaigrette (makes 1/2 cup):
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, or canola oil
- 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Are those bushy carrot tops edible? What do they taste like? What in the world can you do with them?
We delved into these questions with our food + garden summer campers last year, after buying a few bundles of carrots from the Union Square Farmers Market to prep for another recipe. As we were having fun chopping up our carrots, we saw some of our campers heading over with the tops to the compost bins. We caught them right before they were given to the worms, and asked our campers if they thought the tops were edible. Some said yes, others said no. So we decided to do an experiment. We rinsed some carrot tops and passed them around. With open minds we all tried it, and much to their surprise they liked it and compared its taste to parsley. We then went on to blend up a carrot top pesto, which they creatively entitled “Peaceful Bunny Food Pesto.”
Here is what we came up with:
- 1 bundle of carrot tops
- a handful of pumpkin seeds
- 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
- Salt and pepper
Cut off the carrot tops from the tips of the carrots. Rinse the tops under cool water to remove any sand or dirt. Over low heat, toast the pumpkin seeds until lightly browned and fragrant, let cool. Remove the skins of the garlic cloves. Place carrot tops, seeds, garlic, oil, salt and pepper into your blender or food processor and pulse until you reach a pesto-like consistency. Taste along the way and adjust seasoning and the amount of seeds as you go.
This unusual, yet versatile pesto makes a great addition to pasta dishes, rice, quinoa, sandwiches or salads. Now you can rest easy knowing that the entirety of your carrots have been put to good use!