The Inspired Cook

This little piggy ate roast beef

                Imprisoned for several days by rainy weather, my better half, Charles, recently requested one of his favorite meals, roast beef, for dinner. Since he rarely asks for anything special, I was happy to oblige.

                Reading between the lines, I instinctively realized what he really craved was a gut-busting meal, not one of the many low-caloric, low-carbohydrate ones I’d been serving him lately. So, I cooked a classic comfort meal, chockfull of calories and carbohydrates, without a green vegetable in sight.

                My menu consisted of slow-cooker roast beef with French-onion gravy, potato-turnip mash, apple nectar-glazed carrots, and blueberry cobbler adorned with a dollop of cinnamon-dusted whipped topping.  While preparing his plate, I dished out smaller portions than he would have preferred and politely mentioned there would be no second helpings. In response to his crestfallen demeanor, I simply explained there was no need to go hog wild by pigging out on a plate filled to the brim since he’d be in hog heaven soon enough after finishing dessert.

                While he ate, I sat anxiously awaiting news of whether he approved of my dinner. After his last bite, Charles eased my fears by bestowing high praise on the entire meal.

By the way, I’m happy to report that hog heaven’s population increased by one, satisfied but not overly-stuffed, man that night.

Here are the vegetable recipes I created for this meal. My inspiration for the mashed potatoes and turnips was to improve on my original recipe, which we didn’t like. As for the carrot recipe, I was inspired to impart a delicate apple flavor to my dish when I saw a couple of cans of apple nectar.

I will share recipes for my roast beef and blueberry cobbler in the near future.

Apple Nectar-Glazed Carrots


                2 lbs. Carrots, sliced diagonally into 1/2-in. pieces

                2 (11.3-oz.) cans Apple nectar

                1 t. Cinnamon

                1 c. Light brown sugar

                2 T. Butter

                1 T. Cornstarch

                1/3 c. Water


                Peel carrots. Cut diagonally into 1/2-inch slices. Place carrots into a medium-sized saucepan and pour nectar over them. Heat pan over high heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to low boil, cover with lid, and simmer for 30-40 minutes until carrots can be pierced easily with a knife.

                Add in cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar. Stir until sugar has melted. Make a slurry by mixing together cornstarch and water, stirring until no lumps remain. Pour slurry into carrots. Stir for about a minute. Cook for 10 minutes until thickened.

Yield: 6-8 servings