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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Halifax, NS Canada
I must admit fall and winter are two of my fav times of the year. There's nothing like coming home from a cool/cold day and settling down to a warm meal with root veggies.

My favs happen to be sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, parsnips, and occasionally (only when I'm making a hearty root veg soup - a regular potatoe or two). I will be posting some healthy recipes for those long cold winter nights which have root veggies as the base. In the meantime, below is an article I found on some different root veggies.

Feel free to post some recipes! :D

Get back to your roots

Most root veg are available all the year round, but during winter they really come into their own. They're perfect for making hearty warming soups, casseroles and stews, and to have with roast meats.

Lots of us get stuck in a rut, eating just a small selection of vegetables. So it's great to explore some varieties we might not normally eat. Root vegetables are probably the most versatile of all and often quite cheap. Plus, they're packed with vitamins and minerals, as well as taste.


Carrots are the most popular vegetable in the country, with 75% people saying they buy fresh carrots regularly (Mintel, Market Intelligence, May 2001). If you were told as a child that eating carrots would help you see in the dark, this isn't entirely an old wives' tale. Carrots are a good source of beta carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A, and vitamin A is important for night vision.

Carrots can be boiled, baked, fried, mashed, juiced, grated into salads or made into puddings, cakes, pies, croquettes, or souffl├ęs. They're also delicious eaten raw, but cooking helps to break down the tough membranes of the plant, which makes some of the nutrients easier for our bodies to absorb.

Parsnip, turnip, swede and celeriac

And there are lots of other tasty root vegetables you can try. For example, parsnips are delicious either roasted, or boiled and mashed with a pinch of mace or nutmeg.

When you're buying parsnips, make sure they're smooth and firm. Avoid the soft or shrivelled ones, because they can be tough and stringy.

Turnips have a subtle peppery flavour and a purple or green and white skin. Try steaming young turnips until tender and grating them into a salad, or peel, dice and boil older turnips. Turnip mash can be delicious mixed with other mashed vegetables, such as parsnips, carrots or potatoes.

And try adding diced swede to casseroles, for a pleasant nutty flavour.

Celeriac is a type of celery with a knobbly root that looks a bit like a turnip. It tastes similar to celery and goes well with fish and meat. Try boiling and mashing celeriac and mixing it with mashed potato. You can also eat celeriac raw, but remember to peel it first because the skin is very stringy.

Red veg

Beetroot is a colourful, sweet root vegetable. It's often pickled and added to salads. But it can also be fried, baked in its skin, hollowed out and stuffed with a savoury filling, or used to make borscht, the traditional Russian and Polish soup. When you're cooking fresh beetroot, leave the skin on and then peel it off when it's cooked. You can also eat the leaves.

Radishes come in all shapes, sizes and colours, though it's normally the small red and white radishes that we see in the shops. Like beetroot, radishes are usually eaten raw in salads. But they also taste good in stews, curries and casseroles, or sliced and gently fried until almost transparent.

Jerusalem artichokes aren't actually artichokes. They're root vegetables from the same family of plants as the sunflower. They taste similar to artichokes, hence the name, and they can be boiled, mashed, roasted or grated raw into salads. Try mixing mashed Jerusalem artichokes with mashed potato, carrot or turnip. They are also good for making soup.

Potato options

Sweet potatoes are edible roots, white or orange, that can be cooked in all the same ways as potatoes. They can also be used to make desserts such as sweet potato pie. Sweet potatoes contain vitamin C and the orange variety is an excellent source of beta carotene.

Cassava roots can also be prepared like potatoes. They can be peeled and boiled, baked, or fried. There are two main varieties, bitter and sweet. The bitter variety is poisonous when raw and is used mostly for making tapioca. The sweet variety is more commonly used in cooking.

Like potatoes, cassava yams and plantain don't count towards our five daily portions of fruit and veg when they're eaten as a starchy food in the place of rice, pasta or bread. But they're still a healthy choice, because we need starch to give us energy and they also contain fibre and other nutrients. Sweet potatoes and other root vegetables all count towards our daily fruit and veg portions because they're usually eaten as well as a starchy food.

For a healthier option, try to avoid adding butter, rich sauces or lots of oil to vegetables, because this will make them much higher in fat. And don't forget that we should aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and veg each day. A portion is roughly three heaped tablespoons of vegetables. It's better to eat as wide a variety of fruit and veg as you can, because this helps you get a range of nutrients. So try out some different root vegetables today!

(From www.eatwell.gov.uk)

 Post subject: No name soup
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2002 6:01 am
Posts: 2836
This evening I made a soup...below is about what I think I did:

8 cubed roma tomatoes
1 can pumpkin (about 1 1/4 cups)
1 can vegetarian refried beans
1 TBS mild green chili (diced)
1 TBS savory
1 TBS oregano
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice
1 clove garlic
1 cup barley
Salt to taste (2 tsp of kosher sea salt is about what I ended up using)
1-2 cups of water or stock (depending on desired texture & taste)

The soup was too acidic so I added:
1 tsp cocoa (unsweetened)
1/2 cup milk
1 TBS peanut oil

It was served with blue jalapeno corn bread and raspberry shrubs.

A shrub is a colonial era drink that used to involve fermenting in-season fruit under the porch with a little vinegar, stir once every few days. When ready it will have a slight alcohol content. Take the mush and strain it through a cheesecloth. Then pour over ice with soda water.

Since I have neither a porch nor the time to let it ferment I learned a much easier version a couple of weeks ago up in Vermont.

for 1 8 oz glass
1 tsp vinegar
3 tsp raspberry syrup (raspberries & sugar)
Fill glass with ice and then pour plain seltzer overtop.
Stir one more time & enjoy.

optional: 1 shot of vodka or whatever you think will help pass the time. :)

*extra reading on shrubs*

Did you show compassion today?

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Halifax, NS Canada
Here's a good one for those cold winter nights:

Carrot Soup

2 tbsp butter
1 lb carrots, clean and sliced
2 potatoes, cleaned and cut in chunks
2 stalks celery, slice
1 onion sliced
3 cups chicken stock, canned or homemade
1/4 tsp tyme
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup cream or milk

In a large saucepan melt butter and saute carrots, potates, celery and onion for 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, thyme, and brown sugar, Summer for 30 minuts until vegtables are tender. Puree mixture in blender/food process. Add cream/milk. Heat but do not boil.

Serve with homemade bread or biscuits

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Halifax, NS Canada
Another one (my mom's recipe - I used to love a bowl of this after coming in from a hard day of playing in the snow as a kid - I've varied it just a bit)

Hamburger Soup

1 lb of hamburger (lean)
1 onion
1 large can of tomato soup
1 small can of tomato soup
1 potato (here I used turnip)
2 carrots
1 small cabbage
Pepper and salt to taste

Cook hamburger and onions (drain well). Combine all ingredients and simmer for 1 hour. This soup freezes well.

(Sometimes I replace the small can of tomato soup with a small can of diced tomatoes and often I throw in a handful of barley) Enjoy!! :)

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:40 pm 
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Joined: Mon Aug 16, 1999 6:01 am
Posts: 1495
Location: Halifax, NS Canada
Root Vegetable Fritters (These are NOT low-cal!!!)

1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated parsnip
1 cup grated carrot
3 1/2 cups grated sweet potato
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese (the real stuff - not out of the can)
2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepber
canola for frying
goat's cheese or ricotta (optional)

Place flour in bowl. Add eggs and whisk til smooth. At veggies Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper and mix.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add a little oil and 2 tbsp of fritter mixture. Flatten mound gently and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side til golden brown. (You can probably fit around 4-5 in the pan at once.)

Serve warm with a smear of goat's cheese or ricotta.
They are also great with a side salad.

(Fritters can be reheated in a 400f oven for a few minutes.)

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