Now that summer’s over and we’re nearing the end of Fall in Colorado, our thoughts are turning to meals with a bit more substance. We’ve got lots of ideas for you today.
Roasted Vegetable Mélange
Autumn is finally here and the mornings and evenings are crisp and refreshing. I went hiking with a friend this week and saw golden aspen leaves shivering in the cold and we found snow on the north face of Pike’s Peak!
Each of God’s seasons brings epicurean delights and He has provided mineral rich root vegetables for our cold months.
This recipe melds two old favorites (carrots and sweet potatoes) with two roots (parsley root and celery root) which may not be all that familiar. Parsley root looks like a smaller parsnip but is sweet like carrots and has a mild parsley flavor. Celery root is that scary looking ball of brown roots that you have often wondered if it was really food. Well, it is food and has a deliciously mild celery flavor. Imagine that! When choosing celery root pass over the small ones that feel very light. They are often dehydrated and tough. Look for a large heavy bulb that feels moist. If you can’t find parsley root or celery root, you can substitute parsnips, turnips, rutabagas or kohlrabi. The proportions or the vegetables are not critical. Use more or less of each vegetable according to your own personal taste.
You will need:
3 or 4 Carrots 2 Tbs. Olive Oil
4 or 5 Parsley Roots Salt
1 Large Sweet Potato Pepper
1 Large Celery Root Bulb 1 Tbs. Tarragon
- Put a sheet pan in your oven on a middle shelf.
- Preheat the oven, with the pan in it, to 500 degrees.
- Cut the tops off the parsley root and chop a tablespoon of the leaves to be used for the garnish.
- Peel all the vegetables.
- Julienne the peeled vegetables; cut them into sticks about ½ inch square by 1 ½ inches long.
- Put all the vegetables into a mixing bowl. Pour the oil, salt, pepper and tarragon on top and toss/stir until all the vegetables are coated.
- Turn the heat of the oven down to 400 degrees.
- Pull out the sheet pan. (Remember, it’s hot!)
- Spread the vegetables on the pan. It should sizzle.
- Place the pan with the vegetables back into the oven and roast for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, turn the vegetables over with a spatula.
- Roast for another 15 minutes, or until they are fork tender.
- When you are ready to serve them, sprinkle the parsley on top.
Food for Thought:
Creativity with Vegetables
In times past I remember reading about the poorest of the poor who lived in ancient woods and had only one thing to eat—turnip soup. I couldn’t imagine that being tasty. But today Dale is using turnips, along with other root vegetables for a side dish that turns out to be very flavorful. Last year he created a soup of different root vegetables. It was warming and delicious, and very nutritious.
We all know that the consumption of vegetables is a key ingredient to good health. Root vegetables, for example, are rich in vitamin C which protects us from cancer and inflammation by boosting immunity. But most of us don’t eat as many vegetables as we should because, well, we simply don’t like they way they taste.
The trick to enjoying Vegetables is being creative: using interesting seasonings, dressings, and mixing and matching different vegetables and fruits.
My son Stephen arrived from California recently, and he brought his juicer. He regularly concocts a vegetable juice of cucumbers, limes, kale, spinach and apples, and reports it gives him a zap of deep energy that makes him glad.
Dale and I like to make crudités plates of blanched green beans, asparagus, sugar snap peas and red pepper strips, instead of the usual celery carrots and broccoli. Our cookbook includes a simple recipe for a dill dip that makes the colorful array even tastier.
Our side yard has produced bumper crops of carrots and apples this year. So we looked up a recipe for carrot/apple juice and now we are in the business of making carrot-apple juice spiced with ginger. Yum!
Dale speaks of the surprising celery root that you might shy away from because it is so ugly. On the outside it reminds me of a monster with distorted brown and white features. But inside, it is an appealing pale green. Peel it, cube it, boil it, mash it. Then add salt, pepper and butter, and you have a subtle celery flavored dish that you can substitute for mashed potatoes.
You may say a taste for vegetables has to be acquired. Yes, but there are ways to coax it along. Here are a few way we enjoy. Try steaming fresh spinach and then topping it with crumbles of feta cheese. Roast slightly oiled and salted cauliflower florets in the oven. Then when you take them out, sprinkle them with red pepper flakes. This was an idea I found in one of Martha Stewart’s magazines.
Two original ideas are to add julienned fennel bulb to steamed carrot sticks. Also add tarragon and onions to a mess of green beans.
One website I looked at while working on this essay talked about “powering up” with vegetables. Christ wants us to be powerful for Him. One way to do that is to remember that “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God. . .You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).
So let’s get started by trying Dale’s Roasted Vegetable Mélange. Add your own tweaks, and you’ll be on your way to better health and a more powerful testimony for God!