food

Five fast, veggie-filled recipes for your family.

Just Veg
Thanks to our brand partner, Just Veg

My kitchen happily revolves around vegetables. I’m always thinking about what’s in season, which veggies I should use up first, different ways to serve them to my family and why I’m the only one who seems to appreciate the deliciousness of a crispy green capsicum.

My family will eat a lot of veggies but green capiscums…well, they’re not quite there yet.

There are just so many delicious vegetables available in Australia, particularly at this time of the year and for as long as I can remember, my parents have grown a huge variety of them in every backyard of every home we’ve ever lived in. I was one of those kids who used to pull pea pods off the vine and eat them raw.

I still do that, although my parent’s garden is much smaller than it used to be. It still has zucchini, corn, lettuce, strawberries, basil, rosemary, broccoli and citrus trees. And chickens.

It’s not that I don’t know how to grow my own veggies, I just have so many things I’d rather do. Being part of a family of five is insanely and delightfully busy. Sometimes when I’m busy looking after my kids and running them around it’s hard to find the time to prepare healthy snacks.

"My family will eat a lot of veggies." Image: Supplied.

Thankfully Just Veg. is a range of Aussie-grown carrots that have been washed and cut so you can dip them straight into the hummus, throw them into the kid's lunchboxes, or put together a delicious and colourful dinner. They’ve been sliced into sticks and shredded, so it’s fast and easy to add them to your day. There’s even a multi-pack of lunchbox-sized carrot snacks – five in a bag, one for every day of the week.

The Just Veg. range was created by the carrot farmers’ wives. They wanted to find a home for all the wonky, misshapen carrots that can’t be used whole. All those poor, ugly carrots now get a complete makeover in the form of Just Veg. Their carrot destiny is being fulfilled and food waste is being reduced. That’s a win-win.

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The farmers’ wives are all busy working mums and subsequently the range is well thought out as a perfect solution for busy families who want to eat fast and healthy meals and snacks. Just Veg. cut carrots are quick and easy and work as a snack, or as a way to boost the veggie quota in your meals. They go from paddock to packet in hours so are super-fresh.

There are so many amazing ways to add carrots to your day. Try these five fast and easy recipes recommended by the Just Veg. farmers' wives to immediately increase your family’s vegetable intake and introduce them to some new tastes and flavours.

VIETNAMESE CARROT SALAD by Melanie Lionello.

It's hard to think of a meal that doesn't do better with a fresh and zesty salad. This carrot salad is a perfect mix of sweet, salty, spicy and sour and it takes only 10 minutes to make! Use it for lunch or as a side-dish at dinner.

"A fresh and zesty salad." Image: Supplied.

Ingredients

  • 1 pkt Just Veg. Carrot Shred
  • 2 tbs fish sauce
  • 2 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • juice of two limes
  • 1/4 red cabbage, sliced finely
  • 1 birdseye chilli, sliced finely (more or less depending on your preference)
  • 1/2 packed cup mint
  • 1/2 packed cup coriander

Instructions

Make the dressing by combining fish sauce, coconut sugar, salt and lime juice. Stir until dissolved then set aside. Combine all other ingredients in a large bowl then dress when ready to serve.

GRILLED CARROT CHIPS by Melanie Lionello.

Forget potatoes. Carrot chips are THE BEST. This is a brilliant go-to recipe for kids when they get home from school and a much healthier alternative to most snacks they'll usually grab.

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"Forget potatoes. Carrot chips are THE BEST." Image: Supplied.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pkt Just Veg. Carrot Sticks
  • Spray olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 2 tbs semolina

Instructions

Preheat grill inside oven. Place semolina, salt and paprika into a cup and combine. Place carrot sticks on baking paper lined tray. Spray with olive oil. Sprinkle over the semolina mixture. Grill for 5-10 minutes (depending on how hot your grill gets, just keep an eye on it) until the tops begin to colour then serve.

HUMMUS & STICKS by Jane aka Hummus Queen.

My son and I are OBSESSED with hummus and things we can dip into it. Carrots are number one, closely followed by any other vegetable stick and then corn chips, if we are feeling fancy. This snack has gotten me through many work projects and prevented me reaching for something that would only leave me feeling sick and regretful.

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Hummus and carrots are the perfect pair. Image: Just Veg.

Ingredients

  • 1 tin Australian chick peas
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp of paprika
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 1tsp Cumin
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine all ingredients and mix together in a food processor. Add more oil to achieve desired consistency. If you like your hummus with bite, add some chopped fresh chilli. Serve with Just Veg. Carrot Sticks.

ONE POT CHILLI CON-CARNE by Melanie Lionelleo.

This one is the ultimate multi-tasking dish. Have it for dinner, for lunch or freeze it to save for a night when you need something delicious but you don’t have the time for the pesky preparation. Perfection.

"This one is the ultimate multi-tasking dish." Image: Supplied.

Ingredients

  • ½ pkt Just Veg Carrot Shred
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion, skin removed and finely diced
  • 1 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 400g can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 400g lean beef mince
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • ¼ cup Mexican-style seasoning (see below)
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • Avocado, lime, coriander and chilli to serve.

MEXICAN-STYLE SEASONING

The Mexican-style spice mix is really easy to make up from the usual culprits in your spice rack and it keeps for ages in the cupboard. It’s also great to make up into little jars for Kris Kringle gifts or stocking fillers for any of your friends that are also passionate home cooks!

  • ¼ cup smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs cumin
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper

Combine everything in a jar and shake. Use for taco seasoning, chilli con carne, guacamole seasoning or spicy carrot chips!

Instructions

Heat heavy based saucepan on medium, add olive oil and onion. Saute for five minutes until onion begins to turn translucent. Add mince. Cook, breaking into smaller pieces, until browned. Add Mexican-style seasoning and saute for a minute until fragrant. Add tomatoes, beans, carrot, salt and tomato paste with half a can of water. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until water has evaporated and sauce is thick. Serve with toppings!

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SPEEDY RICE PAPER ROLLS by Vicki.

Rice paper rolls are such an impressive dish to serve to guests, not to mention a perfect lunch or snack for anyone of any age. You cater to different tastes by using different ingredients, like saving the chillis for the grown-ups and making them nice and colourful inside so the kids love not only helping you make them, but eating them afterwards.

"An impressive dish to serve to guests." Image: Supplied.

Ingredients

  • ½ bag Just Veg. Carrot Shred
  • 200g cooked chicken cut into strips or shredded (great way to use up left over roast chicken)
  • 200g vermicelli rice noodles, soaked until soft (follow packet instructions)
  • 1 pkt rice papers
  • chives/parsley/coriander/mint to taste
  • bowl of warm water

Instructions

Submerge rice papers in warm water briefly, and lay flat on plate or board. Arrange carrots, chicken, noodles and herbs near top of rice paper; fold in the left and right edges of the rice paper and then roll it up. This is the fun bit, be as creative as you like. Keeping your hands and fingers damp with water will help stop the rice paper ‘sticking’ to you.

TRADITIONAL DIPPING SAUCE

Ingredients 

  • 50ml  fish sauce
  • 50 ml water
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 clove of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tbsb sugar
  • chilli to taste

Instructions

Combine ingredients in a bowl and stir.

OR

PEANUT DIPPING SAUCE

Ingredients

  • hoisin sauce
  • crushed peanuts (or peanut butter)
  • water
  • garlic
  • sugar
  • chilli

Instructions

Combine ingredients in a mixing bowl to taste.

Find more incredible carrot recipes at JustVeg.com.au.

How do you incorporate carrots into your recipes?