Roasted Root Vegetable Medley

One of my favorite ways to prepare vegetables is to roast them. Roasting brings out the rich earthy colors and sweet flavors of root vegetables by caramelizing the sugars found in them.  It also increases the bioavailability of nutrients in certain vegetables.  For example, you get more carotenoids from carrots if you roast them, versus steaming or sautéing.  Adding herbs, such as rosemary, brings more than just aroma and flavor to this dish.  Herbs are rich in antioxidants – compounds that help boost the immune system as well as fight disease and aging.

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This recipe is from Cooking for Baby, a cookbook of delicious recipe ideas for starting babies on solid foods.  Our whole family enjoys this dish, even my husband (though he’ll never admit it), who generally doesn't eat sweet potatoes.

Ingredients
2 sweet potatoes
1 carrot
1 parsnip
1 turnip
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
2 tsp fresh rosemary
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Peel and cut vegetables into equal size cubes.  Place vegetables in a ceramic or glass baking dish.  Mix in the coconut oil, sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.  Roast until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes (keep covered for the first 30 minutes to prevent excessive browning).

Asian Turnip & Carrot Salad

Here is another turnip salad, yet this one is quite different from the one I posted earlier.  The lime juice, sesame seed oil, honey vinaigrette and cilantro are what make this salad.  If you ask me, any salad that contains cilantro is pretty great.  It gives any dish a mix fragrance of parsley and citrus.  I have been making this recipe for quite some time and no longer remember its source. 

Cilantro is a popular herb traditionally used in Middle Eastern, Mexican and Asian cooking.  It contains many compounds that are known to have disease-preventing and health-promoting properties.  It is rich in many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, beta carotene, vitamins A, C and K.  Cilantro is also a good source of minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium.  If that weren't enough, cilantro contains chemical compounds which bind to and remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body.

 Ingredients

2 medium carrots, grated
1 turnip, grated
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sesame seed oil
1 tsp raw honey
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Sea salt to taste
Black sesame seeds, for garnish

Directions

  • Combine the grated carrots and turnip in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, combine the lime juice, olive oil, sesame oil, honey, and cayenne pepper and whisk together to make the vinaigrette.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette over the carrots and turnip and toss to coat.
  • Add sea salt to taste.
  • Cover and marinate for about 2 hours.
  • Sprinkle with cilantro and black sesame seeds prior to serving.

Turnip, Apple, Celery Slaw

Turnips are a root vegetable belonging to the cruciferous family, which also includes broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and kale. The turnip root is rich in vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant required by the body for the synthesis of collagen.  Vitamin C also scavenges the body for harmful free radicals, prevents from cancer, fights inflammation and helps boost immunity.  Turnips contain most of the B vitamins, including riboflavin, thiamin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid.  They are also a source of calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

The smaller (baby) turnips are quite delicious, tender and sweet and thus, great for eating raw in salads.  Turnip greens have a mustard-like flavor and are also highly nutritious.  They too can be added to salads or sautéed.  Here is a recipe for a refreshingly crunchy and tangy turnip salad – great for warmer weather!

1 cup turnip root, shredded
1 cup Granny Smith apples, shredded
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. 
Cover and marinate in the refrigerator overnight before serving chilled or at room temperature.