Monday, November 12, 2007

Turnip - Turn Out - Toss Out

I am a big proponent of the Five a Day Fruit and Veggies campaign. When doing meal planning, it's always one of the first things I consider is how to get as many different fruits and veggies into my diet as possible. It's one of the reasons I love cooking too is how many health benefits there are to getting all of those lovely greens, reds, oranges and other nature's fresh varieties of produce into your diet. I just do not understand how people can live on processed food when the fresh stuff tastes and feels soooo ... much ... better.

Lately, I have been taking it one step further and really trying to listen to my body and what fresh fruits and vegetables I am craving thinking that maybe my body will be able to detect and tell me on its own what vitamins it is deficient in and steer me to select the foods that I need. One night it was oranges so I stopped on the way home from work to pick some up and had a bowl of fresh orange slices on the side of our dinner. Another night it was fresh broccoli. I have even caught myself going across the street to the 7-11 for a banana of all things. And yesterday at the store I picked up an awesome array of fresh dried fruits from the local produce mart that my eyes spotted and my stomach said "FEED ME!"

This time of year, I also tend to crave a lot of the hearty winter vegetables. So this week I decided to try out a new recipe from Cooking light called Wine Glazed Winter Vegetables. The recipe combined one of my favorite root vegetables - Parsnips (kind of a cross between a potato and a carrot) - with a unique vegetable that I can't recall the last time I had eaten or what it even tasted like - Turnips. The honey sweetened wine glaze reduction also sounded intriguing so Sunday night we opted for an easy main dish, quick marinated Flank steak, with these hearty vegetables on the side.

I have to say that this recipe was a major disappointment. For all of it's potential, the thing that really ruined it was the cooking method. Boil the veggies until soft, drain and then return to pan with wine glaze and cook until evaporated. After trying this recipe, I'm convinced that unless it's part of a soup, these veggies were not meant to be boiled. The texture was really unpleasant and the recipe boiled most of the natural flavoring right out of the vegetables. The wine glaze did little to save the flavor either. When it comes to winter vegetables, I will stick to roasting, a cooking method that enhances the flavor rather than washes it down the drain. Like good boys and girls, Don and I ate our veggies nonperplexedly, but opted not to save the leftovers. They went down the garbage disposal too along with all that lost flavor.

For your curiosity, here is a quick rundown of the recipe.

Wine-Glazed Winter Vegetables


10 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled turnip
2 cups (1-inch) sliced peeled carrot
1 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled parsnip
8 cups water
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc or other white wine
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Combine first 4 ingredients in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until tender. Drain; return vegetables to Dutch oven. Add wine, honey, butter, and salt; bring to a boil. Cook 9 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with parsley.


8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)

Nutritional Information

CALORIES 138(21% from fat); FAT 3.2g (sat 1.8g,mono 0.9g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 2.2g; CHOLESTEROL 8mg; CALCIUM 72mg; SODIUM 272mg; FIBER 5.1g; IRON 1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 22.4g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2002

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