C is for CARROTS

Am I the only one who struggles to come up with healthy Mexican side dishes?  It seems like Mexican food is always served with some variation of the following:  rice, beans, pico de gallo/salsa, queso, and tortilla chips.  Often, Mexican food will come with lettuce, too, but I only eat that if I have ordered tacos or taco salad--something that uses lettuce.  Maybe it is just Mexican food in the South...

The short, stubby carrots are from the Farmers Market; they had amazing flavor.  :)

So I decided to do some research and came across a Mexican carrot recipe.  I honestly did not know carrots were part of Mexican food; I have never seen them in a Mexican restaurant that I can recall.  The reviews of this recipe were great, so I decided to give it a whirl.

Pickled Carrots
2 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thin
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
5 bay leaves (I will probably cut this down a bit next time)
4 peppercorns (The same goes for these)
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cups vinegar
3/4 cups water
as many pickled jalapeños as you want

Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the garlic.  Add the carrots and sauté for 2-3 minutes.  Add the vinegar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the water and jalapeños and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Maybe this is where I went wrong because I didn't let these cool and refrigerate them overnight before serving.  Warm carrots just sound so much better than cold ones.  Perhaps refrigerating them would have cut down on the spice because these babies were HOT.  But I have a feeling it would have only amplified the flavor.  I liked them but could only handle a small amount on the side of my rice and bean burrito.  Zach did not like them--he said they were way too spicy.  (He kept apologizing for not liking them, and I had to draw out what he didn't like; I told him I needed to know so I wouldn't make another spicy pickled vegetable next time.)  I will have to make them will less bay leaves, peppercorns, and jalapeños next time because I think this recipe is a keeper!  (I figure my husby can try them one. more. time.  ;)  I know my mama would love these because we used to keep a jar of peppers and vinegar in the fridge to sprinkle on greens when I was growing up.

Happy eating, folks!

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