Apple Carrot Amaranth Bake

by Maria Theresa Maggi on February 21, 2014

Apple Carrot Amaranth Bake with Mustard

You may remember the mention I made in my post Then and Now: My Art Opening Night of the raw carrots and apple slices I had asked for as part of the food to nosh on while mingling and looking at the art. After the reception was over and we were packing everything up, Sandi asked me if I’d like to take what apples and carrots were left home with me. Of course I said yes.

The carrots were the “baby” ones–organic, but peeled and shaved down to a munchie size, with no skin. Honestly, this isn’t my favorite way to eat raw carrots. I’m such a vegetable nerd that pretty much every day I do a good imitation of Bugs Bunny: I love to just take a whole carrot out of the frig and bite into its unpeeled whole goodness. I get the earthy taste of the vitamins in the skin, and I guess that also means I’m not slicing it in a way to lessen the nutrients. (I’m not cooking it either, which in some circles is the only way to enhance some of the carrot’s nutrients, but I’m getting a good amount of vitamin C, and what I call a cheerful shot in the arm on a gloomy winter day. And I get to crunch, which I love to do.) In fact I love to eat carrots this way so much that I regularly buy the 5 lb bags of organic ones meant for juicing, only I just chomp on them one at a time. Sometimes I eat 3 or 4 a day, but almost always I have at least one.

All this to say that I wasn’t particularly thrilled to eat these carrots raw day after day. So I decided to come up with something easy that would combine both the carrots and the apples, before I ate all the apples, and didn’t know what to do with the carrots.

Since the apples were already sliced and I had sprinkled a little lemon juice into the bag they were in, they were basically ready for anything I wanted to do with them. Being the lazy cook I am these days who would rather draw or paint than make a complicated recipe, I hoped the shaved little mini carrots would not need to be made smaller or thinner. But just for good measure, I sliced the larger ones in half, so they might have a chance of catching up in cooking time with the apples.

This dish is more of an opportunity than a recipe. But it was so sweet and good and  unusual that I’ll do my best to write it up in recipe form so you can try it out if you like. It reminds me of a name one of my friends gave herself years ago as we were all sitting around eating vegetarian food at a women’s gathering potluck. Some were saying whether they were vegetarian all the time, or if they ate meat sometimes. She piped up brightly with the exclamation that she was an “opportunivore” and we all laughed.

It’s hard to be an “opportunivore” when you can’t have meat, dairy, added oil, soy, gluten, or any number of things (like processed sugar) that don’t work for your particular digestive system, or are off the plate for ethical reasons. So I was especially pleased when I saw this “opportunity” and that it was easy and fun. And just to be sure, I plied my neighbor Ashley with some before posting it here. She gave it the thumbs up and said I should post it. How can I refuse a face as sweet as this one?

Ashley by Maria Theresa Maggi


Even after all this, I still had some of those baby carrots left over. In my next post I’ll share a “vegan version” of what I did with them.

And here’s just one more shot of the whole wall at the art opening, which I forgot to put into the last post:

Maria Theresa Maggi's Art Opening at Moscow Food Co-op Overview

Bon Appetit!

Maria (moonwatcher)


Leave a Comment

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Silvia February 22, 2014 at 1:47 am

I share your taste for raw carrots in the skin! I often crunch them at work.
But I also love them steamed. Just like that. Carrots are vegetables that work for me even without spices. But I love them in stir fries too.
They are the one vegetable I can eat without adding salt and not missing it.

I love your skill in putting things together in your recipies, simply looking at what you have on hand. It is really inspiring! I started to do that too and I am quite happy with the results. It is simple, saves time an I like it!

Thanks for sharing these things!
And by the way, I would have loved to buy one of your pictures! I don’t wonder you sold so many!

Greetings from Silvia in Germany


2 moonwatcher February 22, 2014 at 9:19 am

Thanks so much, Silvia! So fun to hear you like raw carrots in the skin as much as I do! Nice I have a “carrot sister” across the globe. 🙂 I so appreciate your calling my putting what I have on hand together into something a skill–I am really glad you find it helpful. After 6 years of eating this way, things just seem to get more simple. And thank you for the lovely compliment about the art, which makes me very happy. Of course you are always welcome to inquire through e-mail about what has sold and what hasn’t, but alas, the shipping to Germany would probably be in the $25-35 dollar range.


3 Silvia February 23, 2014 at 3:30 am

Unfortunately there is customs and duty to pay and that goes also for shipping costs which is really hard!
So I have to pass on your pictures.
And I am a fan of the beets and understand completely that they sold so early!
But thanks for offering, Maria.


4 moonwatcher February 23, 2014 at 9:17 am

No worries, Sylvia–you are my patron in spirit, and that’s equally lovely!! So happy to know you liked the beets as well. 🙂


5 Susan Voisin February 22, 2014 at 1:32 pm

Maria, this looks so interesting! I keep having to remind myself that it’s not a dessert because the amaranth on top looks so much like brown sugar.


6 moonwatcher February 22, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Thanks Susan! It does look like brown sugar doesn’t it? Amaranth takes well to sweet things, so this could be made into a more conventional dessert if the carrots and onion were left and it was made with just apples, or pears, or even peaches, and the conventional “dessert” spices for baked fruit.


7 Veronica February 22, 2014 at 3:49 pm

Looks awesome!! Another creative win for you. 🙂 An inspired combination to get rid of leftovers – I’ll have to try something similar with what’s left in our fridge/freezer!
I usually peel carrots I get from the store (even organic), just for neurotic reasons, but the ones from the CSA and home-grown – I never peel. Definitely tastier and more nutritious!
Love the pictures, too!


8 moonwatcher February 22, 2014 at 4:23 pm

Thanks, Veronica! So glad you like the pictures and the idea of inspiration for leftovers. And oh the CSA and homegrown carrots!! You are really making me miss summer to mention those–they are the best ever!! 🙂


9 Cheryl R February 24, 2014 at 9:51 am

Can’t wait to try this! Thanks, Maria!


10 moonwatcher February 24, 2014 at 7:39 pm

You’re welcome, Cheryl! 🙂


11 Molly (Based on a Sprue Story) February 25, 2014 at 5:20 am

This sounds like a very tasty combination bridging the gap between sweet and savory! (Maybe it could become a breakfast/brunch bake…?) “Opportunivore” is a great word; I used to go by “flexitarian,” but I like opportunivore better. Either way, being fully vegetarian now and further restricted by being gluten-free, I like you don’t have many opportunities to seize opportunities (or be especially flexible). Glad you were able to take this one when it came your way!


12 moonwatcher February 25, 2014 at 8:06 am

Thanks, Molly, I’m so glad to hear this “bridge” between sweet and savory appeals to you! And so glad you enjoyed the word play with opportunivore–and yes, now that I, like you, have to be much more strict with food choices than I once was, I “relish” the opportunities that come my way to dance on my limitations. 🙂


13 Nicole O'Shea February 26, 2014 at 11:58 am

Very interesting! What are the two white things on top in the picture? I can’t figure that out, LOL




14 moonwatcher February 26, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Hi Nicole–I’m thinking you might mean two dabs of salt-free dijon mustard? I think I mention that I liked this with a little mustard on it somewhere in the post or recipe. 🙂


15 Nicole O'Shea February 28, 2014 at 10:16 am

Ah , yes! Must be that. I did not see them as the mustard, they looked like marzipan to me! lol


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