As a lazy cook who values one-pot meals, I don’t cook many side dishes. If a meal lacks a vegetable, I’ll usually toss together a salad and call it a day. The only time I find I need true side dishes is when dinner centers around a protein-heavy dish, like mini tofu quiches, quinoa cutlets, pistachio-crusted tofu, or meatless loaf, that needs a plethora of veggie sides to round out the plate. Simple steamed vegetables will often do the trick, but when I want a side dish that seems “dressier” but still is quick and easy to make, these lightly sweet carrots meet all my needs: sparkling with the flavors of orange and ginger, they cook in about 15 minutes and are the perfect accompaniment to any meal.
I served them with the broccoli-rice casserole I posted last week, but they really go with everything–or with nothing, as I found out when I kept reaching for them cold as a snack. Even with no fat and with much less sugar than most glazed carrots, they’re still seriously addictive. I’ve tested them with several different sweeteners (including date syrup, which I don’t recommend because it overwhelmed the orange and ginger) and like them best with agave nectar, but I’ve included a couple of other options for those of you who avoid agave. Give them a try at your next holiday meal!
Ginger-Orange Glazed Carrots
- 1 pound baby carrots or peeled carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 teaspoon ginger root, grated
- 1 teaspoon grated orange peel (plus additional for garnish)
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar, sugar, or maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (optional or to taste)
- Place the carrots in a medium-sized sauce pan and add salt and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil just until carrots are beginning to soften, about 3 minutes for very small carrots, longer for thicker carrots. Drain water and return carrots to sauce pan.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the carrots and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook uncovered, stirring often, until the liquid is reduced until very little–about a tablespoon–remains. Serve hot, warm, or cold with additional orange peel as garnish.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s) | Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per serving): 85 calories, 2 calories from fat, <1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 309.5mg sodium, 334.8mg potassium, 20.8g carbohydrates, 3.9g fiber, 15.5g sugar, <1g protein, 2.5 points.