You go to the grocery store, and no matter your intentions, you find yourself in the same aisles, picking up the same products, and then, cooking the same dinner that night. Life is busy enough without changing what already works, right?
But then, there is this tiny voice that whispers, “Stacey (or Katie or Michelle or Doug), why don’t you try something new? You cooked chicken and Brussels sprouts three days ago, and three days before that.”
And that voice is almost always coming from the odd, scary looking vegetables in the produce section. You know the ones. They’re round and bumpy, with weird roots growing out of them. They come in all different colors – red, pink, white and ugly. You think to yourself, I wonder if anybody actually buys those things?
Well guess what? Last week, I was that girl. The ones who buys the weird ugly vegetables. And I am SO glad I did.
This past weekend, I became good friends with the Rutabaga and the Turnip. We chopped, we roasted, we seasoned; and then, we made a dip. It was fantastic.
So why should you listen to me (or your voice) and try these awesome veggies? Well, besides the fact that I can help you make them taste delicious, they are – SURPRISE – really good for you! You ready for the breakdown?
Why Rutabagas and Turnips Are Awesome.
IN A NUTSHELL: A rutabaga is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, while a turnip is just a turnip (it came first). Both are cruciferous vegetables with high nutrient content. Rutabagas are larger with creamy orange flesh, and a sweet flavor when roasted. Turnips are white with a purple-red top, and a peppery taste.
They have lots of:
Vitamin C (53-54% of your daily recommended value!), zinc, fiber, thiamin, potassium, manganese, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous.
Which help you:
With your immunity (Vitamin C baby!)
Form collagen and thyroid hormone (which in turn protects cell damage, heals wounds, fights infections, promotes healthy bones, teeth, gums, and blood vessels)
Get ENERGY (potassium and manganese)
Absorb calcium (magnesium)
Combat stress (magnesium again)
Metabolize proteins and sugars (phosphorous)
Fight cancer (American Cancer Society recommends that Americans increase their intake of cruciferous veggies because they’re so awesome)
With digestion/weight loss (all that fiber)
Okay, okay. I’ll eat them. How do I do that?
Roast them, fry them, sauté them, boil them, add them to soups and stews, mash them into a delicious dip, or just eat them raw (yeah, that’s allowed).
IMPORTANT NOTE: You should always peel the rutabaga first, as they have a wax coating.
You guys in? Great! Because I’ve got an awesome recipe for you to kick off your new cruciferous habit.
Rutabaga Roast – Paleo and Vegan
These have been a great get-home-from-work snack. If I can grab these over a chip or a cracker, I'm a happy camper. They're also a new and different addition to salads.
- 4 Rutabagas
- 4 Turnips
- 1-2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil
- Fresh chopped herbs (I used fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage, but I also think simple parsley would be lovely)
- Preheat the oven to 425 and prep your baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil
- Wash and peel rutabagas and turnips
- Cut them into 1 to 2 inch cubes
- Put them in bowl with melted coconut oil, herbs and S&P
- Toss on baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes
- Flip over with a spatula and roast for 10-15 more (or until your desired texture – I like when they still have a little crunch)
Turnabaga Dip – Paleo and Vegan
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have fallen in love with this dip. It’s slightly sweet, slightly peppery, creamy, and seems to be the perfect compliment to everything I’ve eaten this week. I highly recommend it over a slice of beef or duck. SO freaking delicious.
- 2 Rutabagas and 2 Turnips, roasted (see above – I used half of my batch)
- ¼ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (eyeball it as you go)
- 2 Teaspoons of Tahini
- 1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
- 2 Sprigs of Rosemary
- 2 Sprigs of Thyme
- Toss roasted rutabagas and turnips in to the food processor
- Add in tahini, lemon juice, herbs and S&P – I have provided you with lesser measurements because I want you to add to taste. This is how I always make my dip because the best way to get it just right is to start small, and add as you go. Experimenting is part of the fun.
Pulverize in your food processor, pouring in Extra Virgin Olive Oil as it processes
The more you can keep this kind of food around in your kitchen, the less you’ll eat processed, packaged snacky food. I don’t know about you, but I HAVE to snack when I walk in the door. Especially when I’m cooking. I’ve been eating this dip by the spoonful, and with all that nutritional content, it not only hits the spot, it’s really good for me.
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