Category Archives: Recipes

How Do You Eat That Vegetable? Parsnips.

Vegetable Series: When we changed our eating two years ago, I resolved to be afraid of no vegetable. Not knowing how to cut it or cook it was NOT going to keep it out of my cart. For a long time I’ve wanted to do a series of posts on all the different vegetables we have tried and what we do to the poor things. May you, too, vow to try any and all vegetables in your supermarket! Go get ’em, tiger.

 

“I LOVE those French fries!”Parsnips in basket edited

Have you tried parsnips?  Have your kids tried parsnips?  Do you or your family like parsnips?  Do you have a great parsnip recipe?  Do you know what parsnips are?

For my kids, I often find keeping dishes simple and flavors not too complex suits their taste buds more at this young age.  Plus, when you’re eating a whole, real foods lifestyle, faster and easier is much better for the cook, too!  We made parsnip “fries” to prepare for this post.  When my husband and kids came into the kitchen, I was frantically grabbing fries to stash and hide behind the coffeemaker so I wouldn’t have to make more to photograph!  I was glad the “fries” were a gastronomical success!  M5 year-old daughter said, “I love those French fries, Mom.”

This wasn’t always the case.

If you can do it with a potato…

As I’ve pointed out, we’ve only been eating this way for about two years now.  The word out there is:  If you can do it with a potato…you can do it with a parsnip.  So I tried parsnips in soups, roasts, mashes, and casseroles.  (“What is this, Mom?”  As in, they didn’t approve.)  I even made parsnip fries, which you could tell they didn’t mind, but they didn’t really eat many.  My kids were just too close to their potatoes.  Near removal of the potato and addition of parsnips on occasion, and my kids can now tally parsnips to the growing list of vegetables they’ll eat!

What am I saying?  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!  Kids need repetitive exposure and a great example.  Persist in a vegetable-rich diet for your family.  Understand it may take years.  Accept it and don’t give up.  In the meantime, just be prepared to eat a lot of vegetables yourself…

What is a Parsnip?

It is a root vegetable which looks like a fat, white carrot (one of its relatives).

  • Commonly cultivated and eaten in Europe before the potato was introduced.  (Do you know where potatoes originated from?  The mountains of Peru.)
  • Usually thought of as a fall and winter vegetable, but since it stores so well, it is available year round.
  • It is a starchy vegetable and has a sweet, nutty taste and a potato-like texture when cooked.
  • Frost and refrigeration bring about a sweeter taste.
  • Neck to neck, there’s not much nutritional difference between a parsnip and potato.  Parsnips have a little more calcium and a little more fiber.  Parsnips are a little (not much) lower on the “net carb” ladder than a potato.  The only real difference I can think of is that a potato belongs to the family called a “nightshade” and a parsnip doesn’t.  (Nightshades are excluded for people who follow an anti-inflammatory diet because some minor research indicates they may be detrimental to the lining of the GI tract, may increase the body’s production of inflammation-producing chemicals, and increase arthritis and achiness in people.  So someone on an anti-inflammatory diet could easily replace the potato with the parsnip.)

Parsnips are nice because they keep in your refrigerator forever.  I choose them and store them like I do carrots.  Often they come coated in a waxy material, so I always peel my parsnips with a potato peeler before using them to get this strange stuff off.

Then, do what you’d do to a potato!  Here’s one to try, but don’t stop here!

Parsnip Fries

Parsnips, washed and peeled
Olive oil
Salt as desired
Garlic powder and onion powder if desired

Preheat oven to 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit (191-204 degrees Celsius).  Cut the parsnips so that they resemble French fries.  Toss in just enough olive oil to lightly coat.  Sprinkle with salt and other seasonings.  Lay each cut fry on a baking sheet so that the fries have space between them.  You may need to use two baking sheets if you’re making a lot.  (If you get them too close together, they steam each other and get soggy rather than crispy.  Uck.)

Baking times seem to vary immensely.  The best idea is to just watch.  I start by baking in the preheated oven for about 10-15 minutes (but still watching them), and then I take them out and flip the fries.  I bake for another 10-15 minutes or so.  The goal is a fairly golden brown fry that isn’t burnt and isn’t soggy.  Sometimes I remove the ones that look done before the rest.Taste before serving and add more seasoning as desired.  Serve hot.  Nobody likes cold fries of any kind.  Do they?

Parsnip fries edited Cutting parsnips edit

 

Family “gustar” report: 5/5 ate these fries all gone. Will definitely try to include these more in our repertoire.

Note: Parsnips are discouraged for the GAPS/SCD diets.

So what vegetables are YOU all eating?  ~~Terri

Other vegetables in The Vegetable Series:  Rutabagas, artichokes, kohlrabi, and jicama.

Hobos

The Favorite HoboHey there!  How are ya’?  Good to have you drop by!  Do you make these?  Hobos.  Probably my kids’ favorite summer meal.  Super easy and leaves the kitchen pretty darn spotless.  Not to mention a great way to work through the ground beef you have boatloads of when you buy beef in bulk!  It is also a GREAT recipe to let the kids help with, layering on vegetables, sprinkling on spices, tearing off aluminum foil, and folding up the foil.

We use onions, potatoes, carrots, and ground beef.  But you can use sweet potatoes, green beans, chicken, pork, or mix and match!  We do these on the grill for great flavor and low mess, but you could also do them in an oven, too!  My kids don’t eat sweet potatoes all that well, so I usually opt for potatoes.  I peel them, which deprives them of some of the mineral nutrients, but right underneath the peel are “lectins.”  Lectins can lead to increased intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”) and some people have sensitivity reactions to lectins.  Since I’m working hard to reverse some of these issues (with finally some fair success, I think), I choose to peel them if I eat potatoes.  Also, for a make-ahead meal, these could be prepped ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to cook.  Or cooked ahead of time and reheated in the oven.

Here is how we make our hobos or “hot pockets.”

Hobos

This makes five packets for me, but it could EASILY make more!  I just get lazy.

2 pounds ground beef (grass fed beef imparts some extra health benefits)
1 and 1/2 onions, sliced into circles or as desired
1/2-1 potato or sweet potato per person, sliced
1 carrot per person, peeled and cut into coins, not painfully thin, but not so thick it takes them forever to cook
Salt
Pepper
Garlic powder, optional
Onion powder, optional
Olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the vegetables
Aluminum foil
Parchment paper, optional (I recently learned to use it to minimize aluminum transfer to foods cooked in foil.  Compliments of salixisme.wordpress.com)

1.  Mix all of your vegetables together in a large bowl.  Toss with just a little olive oil to coat, and sprinkle if desired with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powders.  I found if I don’t use a tad of oil, the vegetables want to stick to the foil or parchment.

2.  In a medium-sized bowl, place your ground beef.  Season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder to taste.  I probably use a teaspoonful of salt, 3-4 shakes of ground pepper, and a couple shakes each of garlic and onion powder.

3.  Lay out large rectangles of aluminum foil and line with parchment paper if desired!

4.  Place a pat of ground beef (remember this makes 5 pats for us, but it can easily be divided into more) on each rectangle of aluminum foil.  I push the pats down into irregularly shaped patties.  Top with the mixed vegetables.

5.  Fold the packets such that all the contents will stay enclosed, or draw up all the sides like a “hobo” bag.

6.  Place on hot grill for about 20-30 minutes.  (Sometimes I cheat and open one up, checking to make sure the beef is done as I like it.)  If you make them in the oven, it takes about twice as long.  You just want to make sure your carrots and potatoes are tender and the beef is done.  Steam escapes when you open so be very careful!

7.   Remove from heat, and serve in packet or transfer onto a plate.  I usually divide one in half for each of my kids.

8.  My kids like to top with mustard and ketchup.

Family “gustar” report:  100% success (5/5 of us)!  When a friend asked about what in the world to do with all of her ground beef, I suggested these.  Her family of six loved them, too!

Certainly hope you’re having a great week!

photo (7) Hobos

~~Terri

How Do You Eat That Vegetable? Kohlrabi.

 

Kohlrabi Collage

Vegetable Series: When we changed our eating two years ago, I resolved to be afraid of no vegetable. Not knowing how to cut it or cook it was NOT going to keep it out of my cart. For a long time I’ve wanted to do a series of posts on all the different vegetables we have tried and what we do to the poor things. May you, too, vow to try any and all vegetables in your supermarket! Go get ’em, tiger.

So far we’ve hit artichokes, rutabagas, and jicama in “The Vegetable Series,” all vegetables I only learned to make AFTER our family’s big eating change.  Today we’re going to add kohlrabi to the pot.  Kohlrabi takes me back to my high school, big-hair days.  I first (only) ate it at the house of one of my best friends, fresh garden-picked kohlrabi, sliced and eaten raw with a sprinkling of salt, with all her family gathered around the table.  Fun times.  Her mom was a cardiac nurse.  No wonder they ate kohlrabi.  But YOU don’t have to be a cardiac nurse or doctor to know the advantages of kohlrabi!  Uh, uh.

Terry Wahls’, MD reversed her debilitating multiple sclerosis using a vegetable dense (also meats, fruits, and other food components) diet.  One of her “rules” is that sulfur-rich vegetables must be eaten every day, about 3 cups worth.  Kohlrabi counts as a sulfur-rich vegetable, which helps regenerate a necessary pathway for dealing with “toxins”, called the glutathione pathway.  Sulfur-rich vegetables are also important for mitochondrial function, enzyme structure and function, and dealing with heavy metals.

Coal + Rob + Bee = Kohlrabi

Geesh.  Learning to pronounce the names of some of these vegetables requires more effort than learning to eat them.  So to start off, the vegetable called “kohlrabi” is pronounced to my ear like these three words combined:  coal + rob + bee.  Which is different from how I was pronouncing it before this post, a cross between what you get for Christmas if you’re naughty and a Jewish teacher of the Torah:  coal + rabbi.

A wee kohlrabi plant in our garden.  You can just see the bulb forming.  Darn rabbits about ate all the leaves until we sprayed them with red pepper mixed in water and put out cute little flower wind-catchers.

A wee kohlrabi plant in our garden. You can just see the bulb forming. Darn rabbits about ate all the leaves until we sprayed them with red pepper mixed in water and put out cute little flower wind-catchers.

Kohlrabi is a member of the same family as cabbage, Brussels, and cauliflower, the brassica (or cruciferous) family.  In fact, its name is German for cabbage (kohl) and turnip (rabi). (1)  (If you like languages, then think about “cole slaw.”)  Although it looks like a root vegetable (such as beets or carrots), it grows as a bulb above the ground.  I want to point out that cruciferous vegetables may interfere with thyroid hormone and iodine utility, however, some of my reading suggests that if you have enough co-nutrients, like selenium, this may not be a problem.  So hopefully I’ll get a post out about this as I work through the iodine posts.

Good.  Good.  How do you eat them?

Without a doubt, my favorite way to eat kohlrabi is raw.  It tastes like a radish without the spiciness and is every bit as crunchy.  However, like many, many vegetables, you can steam it, roast it, grate it for a slaw, stir-fry it, or throw it in a soup.  Fear should cause no restraint here.

How do you prepare them?

Chop off the greens.  If the greens are still fresh looking, you can sauté or steam them as you would spinach or any other green you like.  (If you’re not sure how to make greens, leave a question in the comments, and I can throw out some ideas.)  If they are not fresh looking, and you want to use them anyhow, then wash them up and toss them in some broth you may be making.  If you want, discard them.  I’ve started composting this year, so my wilted greens go here.  (I even Googled chemtrails a week or two ago.  I am so lost.  No going back now.  Please can I have my aluminum deodorant back yet?  🙂 )

Deeply peel the bulb.  Wash kohlrabi, and then start peeling.  There is a fibrous outer layer that you want to completely remove.  You can see the fibers running along the bulb, so it’s pretty apparent how deep to cut.  I use a paring knife to peel them, rather than a potato peeler, and I hack off the ends because they’re hard to peel.  Once it’s all peeled, slice it up and eat it with some salt.  Or cook it up however you choose.

Kohlrabi keeps well unpeeled in the fridge, although the leaves do not.  I’ve had mine in there before for a week or more (admittedly really a lot more).  The leaves only last a couple of days or so.

Do your kids like it?

Yes.  All three kids (girls aged 10, 8, and 5) liked kohlrabi raw.  My husband, one daughter, and I all liked the kohlrabi roasted.

Recipes ideas and recipes from other sites:

Roasted kohlrabi:  I have made roasted kohlrabi where I chopped the kohlrabi into small cubes, Cut kohlrabi for roastingadded chopped onion, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive oil to moisten, spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet, and roasted at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (204 degrees Celsius) until golden brown.  It looked like roasted potatoes, but they were not a bit starchy and had a bit of the cabbage family bite.  Three of us liked it (out of 5), but next time I would mix it with a starchier vegetable like sweet potato or butternut squash for depth of flavor and texture.

Mashed kohlrabi:  Instead of mashing cauliflower or rutabaga, try mashed kohlrabi.  Steam the kohlrabi until fork tender (boiling it may make the mash more soupy).  Place in a small food processor or blender or mash by hand with oil of choice (bacon drippings, butter, or olive oil would be good choices depending on your preferences and tolerances), just a bit of oil at a time until you get the consistency you want.  Add salt and pepper to flavor.  If you’re fancy, add some roasted garlic.  (I am not fancy, but I almost always make the effort to throw some garlic cloves tossed in olive oil to roast in the oven while I’m preparing a mash.  I think the roasted garlic makes “mashes” of any kind taste that much better, especially if you don’t/cant’ use butter and milk.)

Kohlrabi soup:  This uses dairy and flour, but these pesky ingredients can be easily substituted with coconut or almond milk and arrowroot powder for those with intolerances.

Asian Kohlrabi slaw:  Sesame oil and rice wine vinegar are the only flags I see for some folks with intolerances here.  If you tolerate those, this slaw looks perfect!

Kohlrabi curry:  We make curry like this a lot, but I’ve never used kohlrabi.  Next time I have some sitting around, I’ll not hesitate to throw it in the skillet.

Closing

If you’re proud that you or your family has tried a new vegetable, even if it’s not “exotic” or “out there,” leave a comment.  I’d LOVE to hear about it!  Broadening the taste buds certainly seems to help when it comes to “healthy eating.”  And look around you.  Listen to those around you.  Perhaps even look at yourself.  Humanity and society cannot afford to continue down the horrific nutritional path that is now common practice.  Processed foods HAVE to go.  Work on it.  If you don’t try, it will NEVER happen.  And trying isn’t just serving it once, and saying, “They didn’t like it.  They won’t eat it.”  That is NOT how you learned to ride a bike.

~Terri

Source:
1. (http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/09/discovering-kohlrabi-its-a-vegetable/)

Related Posts:

Jicama

Artichokes

Rutabagas

How Do You Eat That Vegetable? Jicama.

Vegetable Series:  When we changed our eating two years ago, I resolved to be afraid of no vegetable.  Not knowing how to cut it or cook it was NOT going to keep it out of my cart.  For a long time I’ve wanted to do a series of posts on all the different vegetables we have tried and what we do to the poor things.  May you, too, vow to try any and all vegetables in your supermarket!  Go get ’em, tiger.

JicamaJicama root Edited

If you’ve had Spanish, remember the letter “i” is always pronounced like an English long “e.”  So ideally, it’s pronounced “HEEK-ah-mah,” but annihilating language, like vegetables, is always fun and “HICK-ah-mah” will work too!  Honestly, you don’t have to know how to say it (or even cook it) to eat this crunchy root vegetable.

Texture:  It’s a very crunchy vegetable that reminds me of the crispness of a water chestnut.  Or maybe a crisper and juicier potato, as it is actually very moist.
Flavor:  Slightly (and only very slightly) sweet and a bit nutty.  Its flavor is not very pronounced at all so it lends itself well to being a filler in stir-fries, salads, and salsas.
Preparation:  There is nothing to it.  Wash the skin under warm water.  Peel the brown skin off like you would a potato.  Then, depending on what you’re going to use it for,  slice it into long slices like carrots, small cubes like you would for potato salad, or grate it as for cole slaw.
Uses:  My kids prefer it sliced and raw, cut like carrots, and I have to admit, its crunchiness is delectably lovely.  But you can also toss it into a stir-fry like you would water chestnuts, roast it with onions and garlic for an hour in the oven, or my absolute favorite, mix it with fruit and lime juice and make a unique fruit salad.

Jicama and fruitWhat do I usually do with it?  I make a lime juice based jicama fruit salad or salsa that I think is very refreshing on a hot, summer day served as a side at any summer picnic or barbecue.  I think the key is lime juice and any good sweet fruit, such as mango, strawberries, or pineapple.  Sometimes, depending on the fruit used, you may need a little sweetener of your choice.  Be fancy if you want and add in onion, cilantro, or mint to give it the flair!  (Please note:  If you are following a special diet, please see my notes at the end of the post.)

 

Jicama Pineapple Mint Salad

  • 2 jicama roots, cut into 1/4 inch sized cubes (or smaller if you would like)
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into pieces as small as or smaller than the jicama (I used the store’s pre-cored pineapple with juice in bottom of container and added the juice for sweetness)
  • 4 tablespoons of lime juice
  • Blueberries, about 1 cup
  • Mint, about 6 small sprigs, chopped finely
  • A touch of sweetener to taste if needed. I used a little orange juice but maple syrup, honey, or Stevia would work. (And I think there is no shame in adding just enough to sweeten it to your liking.  No shame.)

Mix all ingredients together and allow to chill, letting the flavors meld together.  And remember, this would be great with ripe, sweet mango instead of pineapple or as is with some ripe, sweet, in-season strawberries tossed in.  Some people like to dash in chili powder or red pepper.  I like that, too.  But no matter.  Go on.  Try jicama.  Live a little.

 

Family “gustar” report:  3/5 of us gobbled up this jicama salad, two adults and one adventurous child.  Of the two culinary-cautious children, one will eat plain jicama slices and the other spits jicama in the trash.  So there you go!

While the Experts Quibble, Eat Whole Foods

We here in the States are heading into a much-needed summer.  Summer is a great time to commit to a whole foods diet!  The produce is abundant and flavorful!  Barbecue grills lend themselves wonderfully to easy, flavorful meals.  The weather brings about desire for fresh, simple foods rather than the heavy, rich comfort foods of winter.  If I could implore you once again to look at the items you place in your cart at the supermarket–are the items as simple as they can get?  Are most of them label-free?  The experts will argue about the best diet for the human body.  You let them.  Until they figure it out (which will be never), know that the BEST diet is based on simple, whole, real foods that YOU mix, match, and create masterpieces from and which allows you to feel your best.

~~Terri

Vegetable Series:

Rutabagas
Artichokes

 

Note:  Jicama is not suitable for the GAPS and SCD diets.  People with FODMAPS and SIBO should take caution, too.  But each person’s GI tract is different!  Although I have to lay low (even “no”) on cauliflower and asparagus because of FODMAPS, jicama and I get along okay!  Jicama’s sweetness comes from inulin, an FOS–and FOS can be problematic to GAPS/SCD/FODMAPS/SIBO patients.  However, I think that jicama’s inulin can be a great addition to GI health once symptoms are improving and foods are being reintroduced!  But no matter, be patient, patient, patient, and eventually things slowly do improve!  Although, I adhered to GAPS for 18 months, I have transitioned into allowing more foods (while keeping all the other premises) and paying close attention to any symptoms.  I am much happier with the diversity.  But it took a couple of years, and I’m still working on it!

 

How Do You Eat That Vegetable? Artichokes.

Artichokes Vegetable Series:  When we changed our eating two years ago, I resolved to be afraid of no vegetable.  Not knowing how to cut it or cook it was NOT going to keep it out of my cart.  For a long time I’ve wanted to do a series of posts on all the different vegetables we have tried and what we do to the poor things.  May you, too, vow to try any and all vegetables in your supermarket!  Go get ’em, tiger.

Did you try a rutabaga?  Not yet?  Well, you’re going to get behind in this vegetable series!  Today we’re talking about trying an artichoke!

Just Steam ‘Em!

Now a fresh artichoke was new to me for sure!  Canned artichoke hearts?  Yes.  Artichoke and spinach dip?  Absolutely.  But never a fresh artichoke!  Once upon a time, my daughter and I  were shopping the produce aisle when the artichokes caught her young eye.  She began asking and begging me to buy some artichokes.  Here I am, The Vegetable Queen, making excuses to not buy those artichokes for her.  I don’t know what to do with them.  We may not like them.  They’ll go bad in the refrigerator before I figure out how to use them.  But my hypocrisy galled and sickened me, along with a smirking customer bystander who mockingly reassured me they were “quite easy to make…just steam them.”Steaming artichokes

So we bought those artichokes and we winged it!  I didn’t even look up how to make them or eat them.  I just steamed them like the good lady in the produce aisle said to do.  I’m going to tell you how we made them and ate them.  I don’t think it’s “the right way.”  But silly-sally on that.  The right way.  Pshaw.  Just get the blasted vegetable cooked.

I want you to know up front, artichokes are a process to eat–but in a good way.  Like a “family-popcorn-night” fun kind of way.  Not at all like broccoli or cauliflower where you slap it on the plate, get your fork out, and gobble it all up.  We have a lot of fun sitting around the kitchen table eating our artichokes as a family.  I hope you’ll give them a try!

Choose artichokes that are closed rather than open as they are fresher.  Also, don’t be afraid of purple markings which indicate that the artichoke received a bit of a frost in the field, which will make it more tender and flavorful.  (You can see those purple “blush” marks from frost on my photo up there.)

Steamed Artichokes

What you’ll need:

  • As many artichokes as you want.  I usually do one per person.
  • A mechanism to steam the artichokes.  I use a pot with a steamer basket and lid.
  • Oil of choice to dip the artichoke in.  Most people use butter, but we used olive oil.  Some use mayonnaise.
  • Salt to sprinkle or dip the artichoke in.

Wash artichokes.  Place artichokes (careful of any sharp spines that may prick you) in your steamer pot and steam for about 20-30 minutes.  You know they are done when you can pierce the base right above the stem easily with a fork or knife.  Allow to cool enough to handle and serve!

No cutting?

What?  No cutting?  No chopping off the tops?  No clipping the spines?  Nope.  Go ahead and do that if you want.  I don’t care.  But time is a premium commodity for me, and I’ll bet it is for you, too.  Since making these the first time, I have tried chopping the tops.  I noticed no difference with chopping the tops or not chopping the tops.  I have never clipped the spines on the leaves, although it looks really snazzy that way.  The spines soften up in the steaming process and cause no issues.  So I don’t clip those either.

(Note:  Most sites will tell you to cut off the top, trim the stems, pick off the lower hard petals, shear off the spiny tips of the petals, put some herbs in your steaming water, brush with lemon juice, and so on.  I know that may make them “better”–but what good is “better” if you never make them because that’s way too much work? And the kids love them this way–and so do my husband and I?)

So how do we eat them?

There are three parts to eat:

  • The creamy pulp at the end of each petal.
  • The artichoke heart.
  • Artichoke petalsThe stem, if you wish.

With an artichoke, you literally pull each petal off, one by one.  Dip the pulpy, whitish end of the petal in oil (or butter or mayonnaise) and sprinkle it with salt. Then, pull the end of the petal between your front teeth to scrape off the white, soft, creamy artichoke pulp.  Keep an empty plate in the middle of the table to put the artichoke refuse on.   Repeat this process until you get to the choke, a fuzzy-thistly topper to the artichoke heart.

The fuzzy choke (not edible) on top of the artichoke heart (deliciously edible).

The fuzzy choke (not edible) on top of the artichoke heart (deliciously edible).

Peeling the choke off of the artichoke heart.

Peeling the choke off of the artichoke heart.

At the choke part, you need to carefully separate the choke from the heart.  My kids always hand off their artichokes to me expectantly when it’s time for the choke to come off their artichoke.  I use a knife to carefully lift off the choke in one piece.  If it doesn’t separate well, I just use the knife to slice off the choke, but you lose a little of the delicious artichoke heart.  Whatever you do, don’t eat those thistly fuzzies.  They are not good.  Dip in oil and sprinkle with salt.

At this point, the great stuff is gone, but the top of the stem is often tasty and edible, too.  If not, and it’s too fibrous, your artichoke party is over.

The Lazy Answer:  I Don’t Know

Dr. Goulet, my intense and fierce general surgery staff doctor back in the day, always barked at us, “Don’t tell me ‘I don’t know.’  That’s a lazy answer.”  (Ow.  Trust me.  We learned to never say “I don’t know.”)  So don’t be lazy.  Don’t be cowardly.  It is JUST a vegetable.  Add to your vegetable repertoire!  Try artichokes, and then go back and try rutabagas!  I don’t care.  Try whatever you want, but break out of your spinach, carrot, and broccoli rut!  And don’t let “I don’t know how” ever be your ball and chain.

~~Terri

More in the “How Do You Eat That Vegetable?” series:

Rutabagas

Jicama

How Do You Eat That Vegetable? Rutabaga (Swede).

Rutabaga and Winnie the Pooh

Vegetable Series:  When we changed our eating two years ago, I resolved to be afraid of no vegetable.  Not knowing how to cut it or cook it was NOT going to keep it out of my cart.  For a long time I’ve wanted to do a series of posts on all the different vegetables we have tried and what we do to the poor things.  May you, too, vow to try any and all vegetables in your supermarket!  Go get ’em, tiger.

Ever try a recipe from this blog?  Check out this humorous story my friend shared with me.
My good friend’s sister:  “I made spaghetti squash spaghetti from your friend’s blog.  She said her kids loved it.”
My friend:  “Yeah?”
My good friend’s sister:  “It was horrible.  And she said it was one of her kids’ favorite dishes.  Mine didn’t look anything like hers.  I don’t know how that can be a favorite!”
My friend:  “Huh.”

Flash forward several months.

My good friend’s sister:  “You remember that spaghetti squash I said I made?”
My friend:  “Yeah.”
My good friend’s sister:  “Well, the rutabagas got put in the wrong spot at the store.  It was a rutabaga I made, not spaghetti squash.”

Well, that explains that bad recipe experience!  When I heard this story, I had not ever tried a rutabaga.  I decided to do Rabbit (from Winnie the Pooh) homage and prepare some rutabaga!  And for those that don’t know, that top photo shows a rutabaga, not a spaghetti squash.  (Wink.)

Rutabaga Mash

1 rutabaga
1 carrot
1/4 cup oil of choice (bacon drippings are our favorite, but olive oil would work, too)
2-4 cloves roasted garlic, depending on size of cloves
Olive oil, a drizzle
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Get the garlic cloves a roasting!  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C).  Leave the garlic cloves in their skins and just drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil to just moisten a bit in a small oven proof bowl, pan or ramekin.  When the oven is preheated, shove the garlic in there while you prepare the rutabaga.  Roast it about 10 minutes.

2.  Wash and peel the outer skin of the rutabaga with a potato peeler.  Wash and peel the carrot while you’re at it.

3.  Chop the rutabaga into about 1-2 inch (2.54-5 cm) pieces.  It’s easiest to cut it in half and then lay the cut half flat on the cutting board before attempting to cut the rest.  On its flat side, it won’t move around on you so much.  Taste some raw rutabaga out of curiosity.  Mmm, okay.  Not bad.  Cut the carrot while you’re at the cutting board into circles about 1/2 inch (1.3cm) thick.

4.  If you haven’t removed the roasted garlic already, do so!  Set aside and let it cool while you steam the rutabaga and carrot.

5.  Steam the rutabaga and carrot together until fork tender soft.  (You could boil them, but the mash is too wet for my taste this way.  I have one of those adjustable steamer baskets that fit into any pot size.  I love it.)

6.  Transfer the steamed, fork-tender rutabaga and carrot to a food processor.

7.  Time for the garlic cloves.  Make sure the garlic cloves aren’t too hot!  Hopefully by now they’re not.  Peel the skin off of the roasted garlic.  Place the roasted garlic in the food processor, too.  (I don’t cut off the little woody nub, but you could cut it off with kitchen shears if you want.  My food processor blends it in really well.)

8.  Add 1/4 cup of melted oil/fat of choice.  (Again, we like bacon drippings best, but olive oil, tallow, palm shortening, lard, or butter would work well here.)

9.  Blend until whipped in your food processor.

10. Serve warm as a side dish!.

Normally I give a family report as to how the rest of the family liked it.  But everybody else had eaten and I was cooking for me!  I liked them.  They were soft and whipped nicely.  Not as starchy as a potato or sweet potato.  More FODMAP friendly than whipped cauliflower.  A good side dish.  Kids will be more likely to eat this if you read about Rabbit’s rutabagas in Winnie the Pooh.  Or maybe when they ask what it is, blithely say, “Oh, some mashed carrots.”  Know your crew to plan your tactics.

Give us YOUR best rutabaga treatment!  And if you haven’t tried a rutabaga, throw one in your grocery cart next trip.  It’ll  keep a long time in your fridge until you get the energy and gumption to cook it up!

~~Terri

Cut rutabaga Roasted garlic Cut rutabaga and carrot Mashed rutabaga

 

More in the “What Do You Do With That Vegetable?” series:

Arthichokes

Jicama

Almond Flour Biscuits

This biscuit recipe is a great addition to your repertoire.  The biscuits are great with butter and jam!  Or just jam!  They can be sliced in half and made into Gluten free biscuitssausage sandwiches or used for biscuits and gravy! Crumble them up, top with your milk of choice and some lightly sweetened sliced strawberries, and you’ve got strawberry shortcake!

I’ve served these when I host coffee for the homeschooling moms and at holidays in place of rolls.  They are easy enough that my daughters made them for me for Mother’s Day one year, placing them daintily on a lovely plate with the jam in an adorable glass bowl.

My sister requested the recipe yesterday and this is an easy way to share it, not only with her, but with you!

Almond Flour Biscuits

(Makes about 12 biscuits, depending on the size)

2 and 1/2 cups of almond flour (I prefer Honeyville, but Bob’s Red Mill or another blanched almond flour will work fine for this recipe.)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).

Mix all ingredients together very well in a medium-sized bowl.  (Alternatively, you may feel free to mix all the dry ingredients in one bowl, beat the eggs a bit in a different bowl, add the wet ingredients to the egg bowl, and then mix all the ingredients together well.  I use the one bowl, mix-well method and I’m happy with the turnout.)

Use a tablespoon to drop about 12-15 rounded mounds onto Silpat or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  They don’t really expand out much so you can place them fairly close together without worry.  If you make them too large, they don’t get done in the middle.

Bake until lightly browned or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a biscuit comes out clean.  Depending on how your oven bakes and biscuit size, this could take anywhere from 12-20 minutes.  Do not overbrown.  Watch closely.

Allow to cool before attempting to slice.

Variation for savory biscuits:  Add 1/4 cup of diced onion and a teaspoonful of garlic powder.

Family “gustar” report:  A very good report.  Everybody likes them, even a finicky brother-in-law who gets very nervous when he hears the words “gluten-free.”  (However, they don’t like the savory ones as well.)

Wishing you all the best in all the things that count! ~~Terri

 

Homemade Sausage and Warm Sauerkraut

Store-bought sausage is usually laden with all kinds of fillers and preservatives.  Just reading the ingredient list practically makes me throw the stuff back into the grocery’s freezer or refrigerator case.  Here is a recipe we use that we like for “homemade sausage.”  My kids say it tastes “just like Granny’s does.”  Granny’s is probably Jimmy Dean’s.  Just pick up some ground pork and a few spices.  I love to eat it with sauerkraut tossed in the warm leftover drippings.  I let the drippings cool down to just warmer than lukewarm so I don’t kill as many of the beneficial probiotics in my “live” sauerkraut.

Sauerkraut and sausage

Homemade Sausage with Warmed Sauerkraut

1 pound of ground pork
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 to 1 and 1/2  teaspoons ground sage (I am generous with sage because I love the flavor.  To me, sage makes the sausage.)
Dash of red pepper (My kids don’t like it very spicy so I err on the low side here.)
Sauerkraut as desired, preferably one that has live active probiotics in it (not the pasteurized kind)

 

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ground pork and all the spices by hand until well mixed.  Form into patties.  I usually make about five or so patties and squish them down so they cook pretty quickly.  Cook over medium to medium-high heat, flipping mid-way through cooking.  I like a light golden brown crust to form on mine.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate.

Allow the drippings to cool to a still warm–but not hot–temperature.  Spoon in some sauerkraut (drain the sauerkraut juices if you want, but I don’t).  As far as how much of the drippings to use, you obviously don’t want your sauerkraut swimming in sausage drippings, but you want enough to flavor the sauerkraut and warm it.  I’m trusting your judgment here.  Drain drippings you want to save before adding in the sauerkraut.

Enjoy!  I do this also to sauerkraut when I make bacon.

Family “gustar” report:  All five members of my family eat the sausage very well.  It is a go-to for breakfast when I can’t think of anything else.  You can also make almond flour biscuits and make a sandwich out of them.  Or instead of making patties, brown up the pork and use in an egg casserole or soup.  Only one of my kids likes sauerkraut right now.

That’s it!  Take care!  Make the effort to simplify life.  You’ll be glad you did!  ~~Terri

Quick Dulse

Dulse packageI try to eat seaweed occasionally.  I like to hear people say, “Eeeeew.  You eat that?”  Actually, it’s because I cut out the bleached, processed, iodized sodium chloride in favor of sea salt.  I’m not picky.  Himalayan pink.  Celtic gray.  Just give me color.

But I do worry about iodine.  There’s not much in sea salt; I personally don’t believe there’s enough iodine in sea salt for my family and me to be at top health (or even fair health).  I don’t care what you think, but if you haven’t looked it up, I hope you will.  I want you to benefit from any “healthy” choices you’re making and not be making yourself “unhealthy” in the long run!  Luckily, several of my family members and I like seaweed, and we all like shrimp and other salt water fish, sources of iodine.

Iodine needs surge in pregnancy and lactation so I think this is a time to be extra aware of what really does and does not contain iodine.  Especially if you shun iodized salt, seaweed, and seafood (which is easy to do in the first trimester!).

I picked up a bag of dulse months ago and it sat there until I finally read the package and figured out what to do with it.  That’s a good thing about dried seaweed; it keeps a long time!  I opted for a quick flash fry which is easy to do for breakfast.  The taste and crunch remind me of the morel mushrooms we picked and ate in my home state of Indiana each spring (we liked them crispy).  Someone asked me once, “The hallucinogenic kind?”  Um.  No.

Quick Dulse

Dulse
Olive Oil
Salt

Heat just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a skillet over medium heat.
While oil is heating, tear off some pieces of dulse from the clump in the package and separate pieces and place in pan in a single layer, after a quick inspection for any rocks and such.
Season quickly with some salt (sea salt).
Flip the pieces of dulse over.
You’re looking for a subtle color change in the dulse.  When it starts to undergo a barely perceptible change to a lighter Crispy dulsebrown, remove it. This does not take long!!!!  Don’t burn it!!  Get it out of there!  (If you look at the photo at right, you can see some have a lighter color at the edge or end of the strip.  Don’t wait for it all to turn lighter.  As soon as I shot this photo, I scrambled to get the dulse out!)
I seasoned with a touch more sea salt.

Eat it alongside your scrambled eggs.  Not bad!

Each bite counts.  Make them full of nutrition, not just calories.

~~Terri

Paleo Wraps Just Got Better

We tried Paleo Wraps.

Hot Spots of Today’s Post

1. Paleo Inc, the makers of Paleo Wraps (a.k.a. My-Wrap-Is-Healthier-Than-Your-Wrap), stand behind their products.

2.  Paleo Wraps were discovered to be $6.99 at my sister’s local supermarket, much less expensive than the quoted Amazon price in my original review.

3.  Today’s post is a follow-up from Review From An Amazon Sucker:  Paleo Wraps.

My Blog Finally Fed Me

An excerpt from an e-mail that showed up early the next morning after the Paleo Wrap review posted:

Thanks for the nice review of our Paleo Wraps! After reading it though I became concerned when you mentioned the Paleo Wraps partially cracked. That is not suppose to happen and typically they are very soft and never break…We would also love to send a free replacement pack to you for any wraps that were like that…Please e-mail me back your address so we can send the replacement pack (s)…

Heath Squier/Owner

The e-mail further requested some packaging information, my home address–my height, weight, and eye color, along with my children’s ages and gender–and offered to send a replacement package to my home.  It appeared completely legitimate–but sure–Mr. Squier.  Sure you’re Mr. Squier.  I don’t know about giving my address out.  My husband said, “That might be a ‘Phisher.’  Are you sure it’s okay?  Don’t do it.”  He painted pictures of kidnappings and body bags in my head.

However, I kindly e-mailed back the information he requested minus the address and personal information (which he never asked for in the first place).  I called the company’s phone number printed on the package (which I had extracted from the yucky trash when I got the e-mail) a week later when my pregnancy nausea and headache allowed me off the couch, and the phone was answered by a real, live person!  She verified that Heath Squier was the owner and had indeed sent me that e-mail.

Within two days of that call, I had two more packages of Paleo Wraps.  No cracks.  Smooth and supple.  Super pliable.  Super pliable.  (That wasn’t a typo.)  Heath Squier was right; they shouldn’t crack.  My other wraps were good, even with the cracks.  These new wraps, I can see, are how they’re supposed to be.  I guess my ones from Amazon just weren’t quite right.

To further elevate my opinion of Paleo Wraps, my sister found them in her local supermarket for $6.99 a package.  That keeps them at about the $1.00 per wrap I was shooting for.

Forget Nutrient-less Bread

Lastly, due to pregnancy, I succumbed to buying tapioca-based bread (after two years without bread–go figure).  My kids just want to inhale it plain, at the expense of other well-needed nutrients.  The whole package in one day.  This is quite an amazing, interesting, fascinating phenomenon to watch.  How kids deprived of bread, any kind of bread, but not deprived of good, delicious food will still preferentially steer towards bread!  I’ll bet I’m not the only mom who has embarked on a whole/real foods journey who has observed this.  (You want some soup?  No, I ate some bread.  Want some stir-fry?  No, I ate some bread.  Want an orange?  Nah, I ate some bread.  Want some bread?  Yes!)

Because of my experience with Heath Squier, his company, and his excellent product, I will happily be sourcing Paleo Wraps for our home.  My kids enjoy them, I will be supporting a quality act, and I can stuff them with tons and tons of vegetables and nutrient-dense goodies (those wraps can handle it!).  May Paleo Inc be successful and blessed in their endeavors.  Seems like they deserve it!  (Now, if you’re reading this one Mr. Squier, could you come up with plantain wraps for people who don’t tolerate coconut?  There’s a niche for that.  Those poor people are out there…)

Food is like a drug.  With side effects particular to each person.  Take only those foods which benefit you and cause no harm.  Choose to leave the rest behind.  Eat whole, real foods.  Listen to your body.  Not the diet book. ~~Terri