Citrus Honey Glazed Vegetables

So yesterday, I went to every grocery store in town and then a few in other towns.  I arrived home with a car full of food, to which the BOY replied.  ‘Why do we need all that food?  It’s Passover…won’t we just eat my mom’s leftovers?’

 

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Welcome to my world people!

Last night, I got started on my Passover baking with some Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies and Banana Bread.  The banana bread just might be how I survive the week!  I also made a batch of Date and Almond TrufflesAnd let’s not forget a large batch of Matzah Toffee.

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That left the heartier foods for today.  I started with everyone’s favorite Fruit Compote and then got started on the veggies.  I was considering roasting a huge batch of asparagus, but instead decided to try something a little different.

 

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I went with Citrus Honey Glazed Vegetables, a recipe I found online.  This recipe has a few of my favorite veggies (sweet potato, carrot, and parsnips) and a new (to me) veggie, orange beets.  I found these guys to be super dirty and challenging to transport (they made a huge mess in my shopping cart), but in the end I had a beautiful, yet fairly monochromatic, array of diced vegetables.

 

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I followed the directions for my glaze and since I didn’t have a big enough bowl, I used a huge Dutch oven.

 

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Unfortunately, I don’t think that I am a good tosser and did not get everything coated evenly.  This left a lot of citrusy honey on my second baking sheet, which not surprisingly burned, instead of glazed.

 

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My other and luckily larger pan turned out well though and so there are more than enough veggies to share at tonight’s dinner.  I did toss the veggies with Kosher salt throughout as I felt they needed a little extra flavor.

 

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I’m hoping that everyone likes this new Passover side!  If not, I also made a Matzah Kugel with addition of some of my Israel seasonings!

 

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This is the kind of recipe that you can easily add into your rotation of sides year round and you certainly don’t have to be celebrating Passover to enjoy!

 

 

Citrus Honey Glazed Vegetables

From The Shiksa in the Kitchen

    Ingredients

    2 large sweet potatoes – about 2 lbs total

    3 large yellow beets (about 1 1/2 lbs total)

    1 lb carrots

    1 lb parsnips

    1/2 cup honey

    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    1 tbsp orange juice

    2 tsp grated orange zest

    Salt and pepper

    Kosher salt

     

    Directions

    Place racks in the upper third and lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with foil. Cut the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch chunks.

    In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, olive oil, orange blossom water or orange juice, and grated orange zest.

    Place the cut vegetables into a large mixing bowl and toss them with the honey mixture till evenly coated.

    Spread the vegetables out evenly across the two cookie sheets, making sure to leave space between the vegetables. Don’t overcrowd the pans. Sprinkle the vegetables lightly with Kosher salt and black pepper.

    Cover both sheets with another layer of foil. Place the sheets into the oven. Let the vegetables cook for 35 minutes. Halfway through cooking, uncover and stir the vegetables, recover, then switch the baking sheets on their racks.

    After 35 minutes, uncover the baking sheets and stir the vegetables again gently. Allow the vegetables to roast another 10-15 minutes till they are glazed and caramelized.

    Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve warm. These vegetables can be made ahead early in the day, then reheated in the oven or microwave just before serving.

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Autumn Medley-Fall Crockpot Recipe

As many of you know, I LOVE my crockpot!  So, when the weather started to get cool, I pulled one of my favorite crockpot books off of the shelf and began reading through the recipes.

 

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I’ve tried a few recipes from this book, and I’ve been impressed with everything I’ve eaten!  Typically, I am a soup and stew girl, but when I saw this side dish loaded with sweet potato and parsnips, I added the ingredients to my grocery list.

 

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That was last weekend…

 

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And today, I finally had time to chop up some veggies and throw everything into the crockpot.

 

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I followed the recipe, but added in some cinnamon.  And instead of apple cider, I used water and sugar free cider packets (2).

 

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Which worked out perfectly!  I know this isn’t the best picture, but I wanted to show you how soft and mushy all of the veggies get after spending the day in the pot.

 

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The veggies have the perfect balance of flavor…not too sweet but with a hint of cinnamon and apple.

 

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I was so excited when it was finished that I almost didn’t read the rest of the recipe to see that you are supposed to use your immersion wand.  I liked the chunky veggies (even the celery root), but the blended version is even better!

 

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It was the perfect compliment to my delicious dinner (leftover grilled salmon and roasted broccoli).

 

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I think I have a new favorite side dish!  This is so good that you could serve it for your Thanksgiving, and it makes enough for leftovers later in the week.  And, I think there is potential to throw in some of your other favorite root veggies and squashes.

 

Here are a few other fall crockpot favorites…

(I told you I was a soup and stew girl!)

Ultimate Vegan Chili

2 Ingredient Pulled Chicken

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Root Vegetable Tagine

Red Chicken Chili

Basic Beef Crockpot Chili

 

Do you have a crockpot? How often to you use it?

 

 

Autumnal Rich-Roots Medley:

Sweet Potatoes, Parsnips, and Celeriac

From 150 Healthiest Slow Cooker Recipes on Earth

8-10 servings

 

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch dice

3 parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch dice

1 small celery root, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch dice

2 red cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup apple cider (I used 1 cup water and powdered sugar free cider)

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

(I also added in some cinnamon)

 

Directions

Combine the sweet potatoes, parsnips, celery root, and apples in slow cooker.

In a small bowl, whisk together the broth, cider, nutmeg, salt, cinnamon, and pour over all.  Cover and cook according to slow cooker instructions, until vegetables are tender.  Partially puree with an immersion wand and adjust the seasonings to taste.  The celery root will be firmer than the other veggies, but should not be crunchy.

You’ll Never Look at Parsnips the Same Again

I have discovered a new food this winter…the parsnip!  It started with the parsnip chips, which I tried on a whim and have made many times since.  Then I discovered this fabulous Carrot Parsnip ‘Cakes’ at Whole Foods.  They are in the prepared section near the Mac ‘N Cheese balls.  It is kind of like a potato pancake with shredded carrots and parsnips. I have searched the web, but can’t find a recipe anywhere.  I will have to figure it out for myself.  Next time you are at WF, check them out!  I usually heat mine in the microwave…yum yum!

During one of these searches, I happened to come across this recipe for Spiced Parsnip and Apple Muffins on the Whole Foods website.  Above you can find the link to the original recipe and then below, I will share with you some of the modifications that I made in an attempt to ‘clean’ them up.

The first step is to toast your pecans at 350 degrees.  I bought my pecans already chopped in order to cut out a step.  Toast for 10 minutes.  You will know they are ready because the kitchen smalls wonderful!

Then start shredding the parsnips and apple.  My grader has two sides and I chose to use the finer/smaller side.  This was definitely an arm workout!  Luckily the apple was easier to shred. Since the apple is peeled, the two mixtures look the same, but the texture is very different.

Then combine dry ingredients.  I substituted whole wheat and spelt flour for the white all-purpose flour.  I also cut the sugar in half and used Sucanat, a sugar used in many clean recipes.  Stir in toasted pecans and golden raisins.

Whisk together eggs and remaining ingredients.  I used 1/2 cup safflower oil and 1/4 cup applesauce.  Fold the wet mixture and parsnip/apple mixture into the dry ingredients.  This was a little harder than I expected because I had to make sure that  all 3 mixtures were combined without over mixing.

I got these adorable Paula Deen muffin cups at Michael’s.  They had a few options to choose from and they were only $0.99.  Go check them out, they will add some exciting color to your baking.  I used a measuring cup to pour the batter into muffin cups.  I think I didn’t fill my muffins high enough because I was able to get 24 muffins.  They baked for ~25 minutes.

I was so excited to try the muffins, I was barely able to let them cool.  The muffin is probably drier than if I had used the white flour. It has a hearty taste and the pecans and raisins are a fun twist.  My final outcome…these muffins will make a great, healthier breakfast option, but I might use a little more apple (or bigger sized pieces) next time.  AND, if I were bringing them to a brunch, I would use half whole wheat and half white flour and play with the amount of sugar (between 1/2 cup and 1 cup) depending on preference.

The real THM (Take Home Message) is never be afraid to try new foods, such as parsnips, and experiment with fun recipes.  One website that I read said that you can replace your shredded carrot in cakes and breads with parsnip…something I will definitely be trying soon!

Let me know…what new foods are you loving this year?

A Chilly Run Followed By A Warm Soup

So I finally got myself back outside for a run this morning.  It helped that the gym was doing an AM run club so I was motivated to get up early,  layer on the clothes, and be at the gym by 8:00AM.  I must say it was so nice to run with people as opposed to on my own. I also met some runners doing the marathon, who I am hoping to recruit to log those long miles with me.  In the end, the sun was shining and I finished my almost 5 miles with too many layers of clothes and a smile on my face.  Looking forward to some (relatively) warmer days and some more outdoor workouts.

Coming back indoors, I was ready for a warm meal.  My blogger buddy had made a two bean soup (as seen HERE) based on a CL recipe that you can find HERE.  I have been looking for new soup recipes and this one peaked my interest.  It was different and quick…plus, it had Kale the superfood, which I have been wanting to try.  I used ideas from both soups to make my own fabulous (and healthy) bean and kale soup.  It is definitely a keeper!

Grabbing carrots, parsnips, celery, and onion, I got to work.  The parsnip was Meredith’s idea and a great addition.  I used 4 carrots, 2 parsnips, 4 stalks of celery and 1 onion and combined them all with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in my dutch oven (recently found during a kitchen cabinet clean).

When I added my 3 cups of low sodium vegetable broth, it was obvious that I was going to need more liquid AND a bigger pot.  Luckily, a close family friend bought me a HUGE soup bought during a soup lesson in Memphis, so I was good to go.  I ended up adding 2 cups of water to the broth to make enough room after adding the Kale.  In the end, this didn’t lessen the flavor at all.

Just a FYI, I found the kale at Whole Foods. It was the same price as the Jewel (local grocery) but looked greener and much fresher.

With the added liquid

An interesting piece of this soup recipe calls for blending 1 can of cannelini beans with the remaining 1 cups of broth.  It made this horrible looking liquid (that probably shouldn’t be posted on blogs), but I am guessing it was meant to thicken the soup.

I added the cannelini bean mixture, 1 can of light red kidney beans and another can of cannelini beans.  The CL recipe recommends low sodium beans.  Other than black beans, I find it hard to find low sodium options, but I have heard that rinsing and draining the beans drastically cuts the amount of sodium.

After simmering for about 5 minutes, I added the last little bit of Kosher salt, pepper, and since I didn’t have red wine vinegar, I added balsamic vinegar.  I was shocked at how flavorful the soup turned out considering its easy preparation.  I was also amazed at how soft the veggies were after such a short cook time.  The parsnips bring an additional flavor to the soup and the texture of the kale fits nicely with the beans (which I wouldn’t normally eat alone).  I ended up with 10 1-cup servings of the soup.  Typically, I would freeze half, but I have a feeling it won’t last long and I have family and friends to share it with during these cold days.

One thing that I learned after making this soup is that I am apt to follow a recipe line by line, especially the first time around.  I should be less afraid to change recipes to fit my tastes and to explore new foods, such as kale and parsnips.

NEXT UP…to follow this incredibly healthy food…some not-so-healthy Valentine’s Day goodies!

Dinner Tonight

With the week’s dinner in the crock pot, it was time to get started on tonight’s dinner.  I was inspired by a friend to use my leftover parsnips for Parsnip Chips.  I don’t think the BOY was as excited as I was to try them, but he’s a trooper.  To go with our chips, I wanted to make Black Bean Patties from my favorite clean author Tosca Reno.

I started by collecting all the random ingredients that go into these burgers.  This is a simple recipe that involves piling everything into the food processor.

I started adding ingredients

And then added some more…

And was beginning to get nervous that everything would fit…

But with the touch of a button…

I had this awful looking mess. Luckily, I’d made the burgers before, so I knew they would taste good even though they looked pretty gross.

The BOY added some cheese to his burgers.

And then a whole bunch of sauces…

After some thought and debate, I used my slicer to cut the parsnips.  This is part of my salsa maker (that also does like 5 other things) and works real well when making sweet potato fries.  I cut two parsnips and covered them with olive oil and kosher salt.  I think next time I may add some other spices as well.

I baked them for around 25 minutes.  I started at 375 degrees because they went in with the burgers and then increased to 425 degrees.

Although they smelled different, I thought they tasted pretty good.  Steamed green beans rounded out the meal.  The BOY said his burgers were ‘ok’ and moved his ‘chips’ onto my plate.  He was happy to have leftover cheesecake for dessert!!!

Root Vegetable Tagine

So you are probably asking yourself, what is a Tagine?  According to Wikipedia (which seems to be the place to go for definitions these days), "A tajine or tagine is a Moroccan dish, which is named after the special pot in which it is cooked."

 

I found this recipe in a Weight Watcher slow cooker cookbook and I love it.  I’ve made it so many times that the book opens right up to this page.  It is a healthy and easy vegetarian recipe that goes in the crockpot.  And as you know (or will soon learn), I love my crockpot!

 

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Begin by slicing the onion.  Add to pot with oil and garlic.

 

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Take the pot off the heat and stir in the spices.  They really make the flavor of this dish!  Place onion mixture in crock pot.

 

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Add chopped vegetables and prunes on top of onions.

 

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Stir low sodium vegetable broth with honey.  I used 4 cups of broth since that is what comes in the container.  Pour broth mixture into crock pot and stir.  I set my crock pot for the 8 hour setting and off I went to my 90 minute deep tissue massage!

 

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When I returned, the house smelled wonderful and I had a fabulous dinner waiting for me.  I serve this dish over couscous and sometimes add the almonds.  The recipe is meant to be divided in half and can be frozen up to 2 months.  This dinner reheats easily for leftovers, and I will look forward to my dinner when I get home from work this week.

 

Now…just wait until you see what I try with my leftover parsnips!

 

 

Root Vegetable Tagine

 

Ingredients

2 teaspoons canola oil

1 onion, sliced

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon ground ginger

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

2 carrots, sliced ½ inch thick

1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

½ cup pitted dried plums

3 cups vegetable broth (I used 4 cups)

1 tablespoon honey

¾ cup whole wheat couscous

¼ cup sliced almonds, toasted

 

Directions

 

-Heat oil in medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5-6 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat; stir in cinnamon, cumin, and ginger.  Transfer onion mixture to 5-6 quart slow cooker.  Add potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, parsnip, and dried plums.  Combine broth and honey in a large bowl; stir into vegetable mixture.  Cover and cook until vegetables are fork-tender, 3-4 hours on low or 6-8 hours on high.

-About 15 minutes before cooking time is up, cook couscous according to package directions, omitting salt if desired.  Cover with almonds before serving.