Carrots do not taste good. There is no convincing me otherwise. Anyone who observed my face contorted in discontent while eating a carrot stick can attest to the futility of the argument. However, friends of vegetablesarefriends, do not despair! While I stand by the above fact, I also must include this hopeful addendum: carrots (thankfully) are easily camouflaged. After I initially discovered that despite their jolly color and excellent supply of vitamin A, carrots are entirely unpalatable, I spent the rest of the week looking for the best ways to disguise them, and came up with some that work well and some that don't.
For starters, there was ranch dip. Ranch dip is very tasty, and initially tasty enough so as to hide the carrot. The problem comes in when the liquidy ranch dip dissolves long before the dense-as-lead carrot, leaving behind the offending taste. I tried speed chewing the carrot in a race to beat the swallowing of the ranch dip, but in the end, it was a pointless pursuit. I also tried just eating smaller bites of carrot and reapplying ranch dip liberally, but this too proved silly as it begin to seem more efficient and enjoyable (though hardly as healthful) to just dispense with carrots all together and eat the ranch dip with a spoon.
Clearly, stronger measures were needed. Enter: curry. A friend and I made a chicken curry as I normally would, but mixed things up a little by adding carrots. The carrots were a little underdone, but had there not been that mild crunch (which could be eliminated as I grow more comfortable with proper carrot cooking times), I don't believe I would have noticed them at all. This same principle proved true with the curry carrot soup I tried a few days later (thanks to terryt for recipe...and phone call to talk me through said recipe!). Once curried and souped, the carrots lose all power to offend and yield their healthful benefits without a fight. Mmm, love that beta-carotene!
I also made the carrot salad mentioned in the comments (thanks susan!). I was worried at first that the peach yogurt would not be strong enough to do curry's job, but I now stand corrected. The salad was excellent and not at all tasting of carrots. Or perhaps a little tasting of carrots, but then then the yogurt brought out the sweetness that people keep insisting that carrots have, and the effect was even pleasant.
I wanted to test my night vision at the end of the week because I seem to remember learning in health class, though this may not in fact be backed by science, that carrots help with that. Unfortunately, the friend who I suggested go tramping through some dark woods with me, brought up the point that as I hadn't made any test of my vision prior to beginning carrot week, I really have no frame of reference. I can see the logic to this, but for the record, and without conducting any formal test, I'm going to go ahead and say I can see better at night.
As I final reflection on carrot week, check out this cuteness:
One final thing: an alert reader (who is, in fact, my mother) has suggested that my readers might be interested in knowing of my upkeep of past vegetables of the week. To that end, I can say that I am doing well with spinach and in fact had some spinach for lunch this very day! I continue my enjoyment of tomato soup, and bought more carrots to use with the rest of my curry paste.
Next week: bell peppers!