Friday, April 19, 2013

Ode to Carrot Top

You’re a stand-up kind of root

Yet I don’t find you such a hoot

Beyond the pale, your dim routine

Could use more beta-carotene

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vegan Tzimmes and Apologies to Grandma

Stewed carrots, sweet potatoes, apples and dried fruit looks homely but tastes heavenly.

Dear Grandma,

I haven't seen you in 30 years, but I can't forget the tzimmes you used to make with the carrots, sweet potatoes, dried fruit and short ribs that was to die for. I couldn't wait to visit you when I was a kid and watch you in action. You were the queen of kosher cuisine in that little Dallas apartment of yours. But I'm not really down with the short ribs these days. So Grandma, I hope you're still lying down because I've gone and done something that'll make you roll over in your grave. I made your beloved tzimmes without meat or dairy. Yup, Grandma, it's vegan (I'll explain what that means to you later).

By the time I got around to asking you for the recipe, you were deep into your Lawrence Welk phase and busy repeating what you had said five minutes earlier. Not that there's anything wrong with that other than the recipe was mostly stored in your sweet, yet unreliable head. But I found some of your notes in your big recipe file, and I made it once, years ago, with the short ribs. Mmmm. I can still recall the moment the fatty carrots and sweet potatoes slid down my throat. And I mean slid, Grandma. It was so rich, it could've paid for my tuition at the Culinary Institute for the Guilty. See, in the last 30 years, they discovered something called clogged arteries and another thing called factory farming (What do you mean, feh?).

So while this isn't really your recipe, Grandma, the inspiration was all you. And with the fruit and a little coconut oil, it's delectably sweet and satisfying even without meat, butter or sugar. And the good news is it's both rabbi- and PETA-approved. So you can stop rolling over now.

Sleep well,
Your Guiltless Granddaughter

Vegan Carrot and Sweet Potato Tzimmes

As a main or side dish, this tzimmes is pareve for any course.* 
Makes about 6 healthy servings.

Coconut oil
½ large onion, diced
1 pound carrots, cut in rounds diagonally
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in rounds diagonally
1 pound apples, (sweet like Gala) peel optional (I left them on), cut in ½-inch cubes
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup dried apricots, quartered
1 medium orange, zest and juice
½ tsp cinnamon
A few tsp water

Sautée the onion in a little coconut oil until they’re lightly browned. Add the remaining ingredients, stir and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. You can add salt and pepper if you want. I didn’t think it needed them.

*Even makes a good breakfast or dessert

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