2 Carrots, 2 Zucchini & Why Cooking is Magic

2 Carrots, 2 Zucchini & Why Cooking is Magic

It’s easy to be in ruts these days. So easy! Watching The Office over and over (the 13-year-old that is but we live in a small house so we ALL are in it for better or worse!). Grabbing bags of potato chips every time you’re at the store and going to bed way too late . . . The ruts may not be bad but they may be dull and dulling the senses.


What can happen if you have very little time, a few vegetables, a box grater, leftover peanut sauce, a few herbs? The vegetables are two carrots and one and a half zucchini. I could have made carrots and zucchini sticks and dipped them in peanut sauce but I dislike raw zucchini and that doesn’t really sound satisfying. . .at all!


But when you grate those vegetables (a box grater makes quick work of them and is easy to wash) and saute them for 5 minutes in a large, hot skillet with some olive oil and salt, they transform into something entirely satisfying. Tender, a little caramelized but not mushy AND the perfect foil for that leftover sauce–whatever sauce or vinaigrette you might have.


I still wonder at how a few simple steps can transform something kind of blah into something so good. And we all get in cooking/eating ruts. This little lunch number broke me out of mine today. It put a smile on my face. I think I’ll enjoy this new box-grater-veg-saute-plus-sauce rut for a while though. . .


Happy cooking and be well!


Peanut/Tahini Sauce


You can make this sauce with all peanut butter too but I particularly like the tahini peanut butter combo. And this is a very flexible sauce and you can eye ball most of the ingredients and taste and adjust. It keeps well on the fridge for 5 days.


1/4 cup tahini
2 Tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
1 large clove of garlic, minced or 1 small stalk green garlic, minced
Dried or fresh hot pepper of your choice, to taste
2 teaspoons grated or finely minced, fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons water to thin out the dressing, more if needed


Whisk dressing ingredients until emulsified and smooth. Taste for seasoning. The dressing should be quite strong. Thin it out with water as needed.


4 thoughts on “2 Carrots, 2 Zucchini & Why Cooking is Magic”

  • I’m still trying to be convinced that the box grater isn’t a pain-maybe you’re a lot faster than me!
    But really more than anything I’m fascinated that your 13 year old is fixated on The Office…of all shows.

    • cookwithwhatyouhave says:

      Ha! Well I use the grater a lot but I neglected to mention in this post that I actually grated a piece of my thumb knuckle this time around which is a royal pain! But I don’t think I’ve done that in many years. And zucchini is super easy to grate. And re The Office, I don’t know what to tell you–the Jim/Dwight pranks are pretty priceless but there’s so much painful and rather awful about it too… there seems to be a wave of teens watching it right now though. Who knows?! Watching adults be idiots is probably part of it!

      • Jokes of any kind are dangerous on the internet, and we don’t really know each other but: just thought you would be amused to know that so far the big impact on me of this blog post was to decide I needed some potato chips ASAP! I realized I hadn’t had any since March and so I ordered through my usual curbside pickup situation today. I just had some and they were so delicious. So much for seasonal vegetables! Kidding of course 🙂

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