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3 Dishes that prove carrots can be a standout ingredient

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Turn carrots into the main attraction with these tasty new dishes that make the root vegetable shine

Sometimes you'll run across a side dish that can steal the thunder right from under your main dish. Each of these three carrot recipes falls into that category.

Not only are these side dishes a treat for the holidays because of their pretty colors and fabulous flavors, but you’ll love that each is so easy to make. You have better things to do with your time (like entertaining) than to stand over a hot stove or at a counter, chopping and dicing.

You may think carrots can go only so far as a side dish, but these recipes will have you cheering for the orange-hued veggie.

Turn carrots into the main attraction with these tasty new dishes that make the root vegetable shine
Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

You’ll want to dig right into this rice dish that will envelop the kitchen with its wonderful aromas. It’s creamy thanks to coconut milk, and the cashews add just the right amount of crunch.

Carrot and cashew rice pilaf recipe

Serves 4 – 6

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 15 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes


  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup carrot, diced small
  • 3/4 red bell pepper, membrane and seeds removed, diced
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1-1/4 cups coconut milk, divided
  • 1-1/4 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup toasted cashew pieces
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. To a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the carrot, bell pepper, onion and uncooked rice. Stir to combine, and cook for about 4 minutes or until the vegetables soften. You may need to scrape the bottom of the pan a bit so the rice doesn’t stick.
  2. Add 1 cup of the coconut milk and 1 cup of the water to the skillet. Add in the cumin, curry powder, salt and ground black pepper. Stir, and bring the mixture to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes. If the rice is still a bit uncooked, add the remaining coconut milk and water. Stir, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the cashew pieces, and stir.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the fresh cilantro, and serve hot.

Next: Carrot, goat cheese and honey bites recipe

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