Simple Smoky Roasted Carrot Lox

When I first saw this recipe from the Olives for Dinner blog for salt-roasted carrot lox that supposedly tasted exactly like smoked salmon, I printed it out, put it in my recipe binder, and ignored it for years.

I meant to make it a million times, but what stopped me was the salt.

Using two cups of salt to cocoon just three lonely carrots in a cozy salt blanket while they softened and seasoned perfectly in the oven sounded super cool.

And wasteful.

And a big mess.

And then you still have to wait two days to eat it!

But seeing the recipe in my binder again, I got a craving for bagels slathered with cream cheese, salty salmon, dotted with sour capers.  It gave me the urge to try it again.

So I followed the recipe as written and it was divine!  Everything a bagel is meant to be.

It tastes just as delicious on toast as a bagel!

My omni husband tried it and declared it was as good as the real thing (that’s saying a lot!).

Then he said, “you must make this again!  Make it for Christmas!”

But I knew when I dumped a giant brown cake of salt in the trash that I didn’t want to do that again.

So I started looking into other methods and it turns out that salt roasting was all the rage in the culinary world a few years ago.  Which naturally got people wondering if it was worth the trouble, mess, and expense.

Turns out, it’s not.

The salt acts like a blanket to trap in moisture.  The same thing will happen with aluminum foil.

(And though I haven’t tested it yet, it would probably work in a covered roasting dish.)

I tested out the theory for Christmas and, the critics were right!  My next batch was every bit as amazing with far less effort.

The carrots were perfectly roasted, steamed, and salmon-y soft.

Without all that salt.

You still have to wait a couple days for the flavors to develop marinating in the fridge, but believe me, it’s worth it!

The marinade is super simple.

The marinade is three ingredients: olive oil, liquid smoke, and apple cider vinegar.

Of course, most people are probably wondering at this point, but what about the cream cheese?  Surely that’s not vegan, right?

Yup, it is.

I’ve used store bought vegan cream cheese from Trader Joe’s, which is pretty good, but not nearly as awesome as homemade.

It’s really simple to culture your own at home using plain non-dairy yogurt (store bought or homemade) and cashews.  And you can control how sour it ends up as you like it.

The cream cheese recipe I like the best comes from an awesome vegan cheese making book called This Cheese is Nuts!: Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home (affiliate link) and it uses aquafaba as the liquid and makes the cheese turn out incredibly creamy.

And if you’d prefer to have instant gratification, you can skip the culturing step and just make this version.

These carrots turned out so amazing that I can’t believe that I waited this long to make them!

Let me know if you try it!

Yields approximately 3 cups

Simple Smoky Roasted Carrot Lox

5 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

48 hrTotal Time

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Ingredients

  • 6 large carrots, peeled but left whole
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. Place carrots on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to create a loose cocoon around them and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Loosely seal the carrots in their foil cocoon, place on a baking sheet and roast for 45-60 minutes until very soft.
  4. When cool enough to handle, slice carrots thinly in slightly irregular shapes to resemble smoked salmon.
  5. In a glass dish, mix remaining marinade ingredients and add carrots.
  6. Stir gently to coat.
  7. Marinade covered in the fridge 24-48 hours. Best flavor and texture is after 48 hours.
  8. Check and stir occasionally to be sure the carrots are still coated with marinade.
  9. When ready to serve, be sure to bring the carrots back to room temperature so the oil is shiny again.
  10. Serve on cream cheese with capers on bagels, toast, or crackers.
  11. Will keep refrigerated up to one week.

Notes

Adapted from Olives for Dinner Carrot Lox.

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http://theplantedrunner.com/simple-smoky-roasted-carrot-lox/

 

 

Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread

I buy a lot of bananas.  I can’t help it.  When the lonely onlies are bagged up and on sale, I stock up.

Last week I got 42 bananas for $4!!!

I freeze them, dehydrate them, and bake with them.

There’s always a banana bread recipe on the back of the bag giving you ideas of what to do with all those bargain bananas.  And those recipes usually include a stick of butter, a bunch of eggs, and cups of sugar.

Not exactly what you want to be putting in your body every day.

Don’t get me wrong, I love banana bread, most of the recipes you’ll find are more like cake than bread.

Not that there’s anything wrong with cake, mind you, but I really don’t want to eat cake everyday for breakfast.

(I mean, I do want to eat cake for breakfast every day, but I really don’t!)

So I set out to make a version of banana bread without eggs or dairy, of course, but also without any sugar or oil.

Sounds dreadful, right?

I promise you, it’s far from it!

My version ends up with a crackly, crumbly crust and a soft interior busting with luscious blueberries.

If you think about it, regular whole wheat bread is typically sugar-free (or close to it) and is easily made without oil, eggs, or dairy.

I want a healthy banana bread that tastes more like bread than cake, but is still slightly sweet, and a good vehicle for a healthy smear of nut butter for protein and good fat.

And it can be made using just one bowl for easy clean up!

The trick to the one bowl method is to add the baking soda, powder, cinnamon and salt while you are mashing up the bananas.  They get evenly distributed throughout the wet ingredients and the flour gets added last.

And if you are already going to the trouble of making fresh banana bread (and it’s really not much trouble), you might as well make two loaves and freeze one.  Once they are completely cool, simply slice, put the loaf in a bread bag and freeze.

You can either remove a couple of slices at a time each day to toast up or plow through an entire loaf in a couple of days like my family does!

But I know what some of you are thinking.  Banana bread with no sugar?  You can’t be serious.

The browner your bananas are, the sweeter your bread will be naturally, but I did add an unexpected ingredient to make sure that the bread still had a hint of the classic sweet flavor:

Apple cider.

Since it’s fall, we happen to have a gallon of cider in the fridge, but feel free to sub apple juice or applesauce instead.

With only 125 calories for a 2-slice serving, you could eat 4 slices and still have room in your breakfast budget for a banana and a good spread of almond butter on each one!

And if you really, really, want a traditional, sweet and cakey banana bread, go ahead and sub the juice for sugar or maple syrup.  (I won’t tell anyone!)

Serves 2 slices

Healthy Banana Blueberry Bread

A healthy and delicious banana bread to be enjoyed everyday!

15 minPrep Time

1 hrCook Time

1 hr, 15 Total Time

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Ingredients

  • 6 very ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup apple cider, juice, or applesauce
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat)
  • 2 cups frozen blueberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two loaf pans with oil or use silicone pans dusted with a little flour.
  2. Mix the lemon juice into the non-dairy milk and set aside to curdle a bit.
  3. In a big bowl, add the peeled bananas, and all the dry ingredients except the flour and blueberries.
  4. Once the bananas are well mashed (some small chunks are fine), add the cider and the non-dairy milk mixture and stir a bit to incorporate.
  5. Next add the flour to the wet mixture, stirring just until no dry flour is visible, but taking care not to over mix.
  6. Fold in the blueberries.
  7. Divide the thick, chunky batter evenly into your prepared baking pans.
  8. Bake for 60 minutes until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Try to resist eating the warm bread right away and allow to cool completely before cutting and serving.
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Breakfast

Notes

Inspired by Fat Free Vegan Kitchen Blueberry-Banana Bread http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/06/blueberry-banana-bread.html

A two-slice serving has 125 calories, 25.8g carbs, 0.7g fat, 3.8g protein

7.6.7
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http://theplantedrunner.com/healthy-banana-blueberry-bread/