Quickie Dinner: Ginger Carrots + Soy-Ginger Marinade

I didn’t plan to blog last night’s dinner, but it came out so yummy that I decided to share! I made it up as I went along, so feel free to tweak it according to your own tastes. Add more chili sauce if you like heat or more sugar if you don’t. Either way, it will be tasty!

Last week, I told you about how to make the best tomato sauce in the world but today, I’ll tell you how I made last night’s dinner. We ate these delicious carrots with some basmati rice, edamame, and an equally yummy soy-marinated pork tenderloin. I’m including the recipe for the marinade at the end, as a Monday bonus!!

Oh, and as a bonus-bonus, this meal is C-H-E-A-P. As long as you have the pantry ingredients on hand, it comes out to less than $6 for dinner for two. ($3.50 for a 1-lb pork tenderloin on sale, already had the basmati but it would come out to about $.50/cup, organic baby carrots $1.00 on sale and edamame $1 for 1/2 of a $2 package)

Ginger Carrots

1 bag baby carrots, washed (or 3-4 good-sized carrots, peeled and chopped into 1-inch chunks)

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. grated ginger (about a 1-inch piece, peeled)

1/4 c. orange juice*

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. chili paste (we use Sambal)

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1 clove garlic, grated

Steam the carrots until just tender. Drain and return to the hot pan. Melt the butter and stir carrots around to coat. Add orange juice, ginger, chili paste, brown sugar, and garlic. Cook over medium heat until juice reduces down into a thick glaze (about 5 minutes). But beware, don’t make it spicy like how I ruined my chicken dish!

*Note: You can use chicken broth or even water in a pinch, but don’t use the tomato sauce that I told you all about last week. That would only ruin this dish as well!

Useful Soy-Ginger Marinade

This is the kind of marinade that works really well on any meat. Pork, chicken, beef are all amazing in this. We even double it to use it in the slow-cooker with bone-in chicken. This might give you some tones of Japanese food and correctly so. A major difference, though is that this is absolutely affordable whereas Sushi, for example, will empty your wallet pretty quickly, wouldn’t you think? Here we go:

1 lb. meat of your choice

1/4 c. rice wine vinegar

1/2 c. low-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp. dark brown sugar

1 tbsp. chili paste (we use Sambal)

1 tsp. grated ginger (from a 1-inch piece, peeled)

2 cloves of garlic, cracked

1 tsp. red chili flakes

Zest of 1 orange

1 tsp. salt, or to taste

1 tbsp. sesame oil (or less if you don’t love the taste)

Mix everything in a plastic bag and marinate your meat for at least an hour, but preferably overnight in the fridge. Reserve marinade, if desired, and reduce it in a small saucepan over medium heat until thickened. Serve over cooked meat, and please don’t waste your time!