I was perusing Instagram the other day when I ran across a post of a fellow gardener pulling baby carrots from one of their garden beds. And I don’t mean baby carrots like the ones you buy in the store that look like toe-nubs (sorry, but they do). The carrots they pulled out of the dirt looked just like a carrot you’d find at the farmer’s market or fine grocery store – green tops and all – just much, much, much smaller. This made me think about how my own forgotten carrots might be doing in my own garden. I had previously given up hope on them, thinking that maybe I’d planted them too late, or in the wrong soil, or just in general did it wrong. I decided to follow my fellow Instagram gardeners lead and see if I couldn’t find some baby carrots as well. Lo and behold, a little digging and whole lot of giggling later, I amassed a fairly big bunch of teeny tiny baby carrots. This led me to also pull out my itty bitty beet babies which weren’t as cute as the carrots but still just as exciting to harvest.
After harvesting, I realized that I wasn’t quite sure what to do next. I had never seen such tiny root vegetables before and wondered what I could with them, if anything at all. First things first, I ate one of the carrots, and WOW did it pack more flavor than it looked like it would. It had that usual carrot flavor but with some serious kick. I guess that’s just how homegrown vegetables are in general. They have the same overall flavor of store bought veggies, but they’re always SO much tastier. What I ended up deciding was to use the baby carrots, the tiny beets and a few other garden finds to make lunch. After all, what’s better than a meal with garden ingredients? A meal made completely and entirely from items harvested from the garden. In addition to the carrots and beets, I had a butt-load of squash, a bunch of kale, several different kinds of fresh herbs and of course the carrot and beet tops. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to make the carrot tops work, so I ended up only using the beet tops in this particular meal. I had never used beet tops in cooking before so it was a fun experiment that turned out to be even more delicious than I could have hoped. The lunch that resulted was filling and flavorful and could also be used as a side to a nice dinner or barbecue. I imagine you could even get more creative with it and throw it on top of some pasta or quinoa for an even more satisfying dish. For me, the ingredients were satiating enough for a lunch dish, so that’s the recipe I will share here.
Overall, this meal was insanely flavorful, super healthy, and all in all just so exciting to make and eat. If you have a garden at home, I urge you to just have fun with what you’ve got. Food doesn’t have to follow rules or recipes and often times I think the freedom makes things a bit more flavorful. I hope you enjoy!
Vegan Sautéed Veggies
1/2 cup carrots, cut into small pieces if necessary
1/2 cup beets, cut into small pieces if necessary
1 small yellow squash, sliced into half coins
1 handful of kale, chopped
1 handful of beet tops, chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp vegan butter
Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat vegan butter in a skillet over medium heat. Once melted add the carrots, beets and rosemary and cover, cooking for about 7 minutes or until slightly tender, stirring occasionally.
- Add squash, and a few shakes of salt and pepper, stir occasionally and cook until squash is tender.
- Lastly add the kale and the beet tops, continue to stir and cook for about 2-3 minutes or until the greens have wilted a bit. Add more salt and pepper to taste if necessary.
- Serve warm and enjoy!