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Go Underground and Take Root

Root Vegetables on the table

During the heart  of Winter, when your body is constantly fighting the chill, eating a raw cold salad may not be the most appealing, or nourishing thing to do.  Actually according to Traditional Chinese Medicine, when the weather is cold, it is quite necessary to choose foods that are warming in order to keep your digestive fire stoked, and to provide sustained energy and easily absorbed nutrients. The best foods which fit these requirements are root vegetables.  I like to think of them as edible gems from underground, because they pull valuable minerals from deep within the soil and store them. When we eat these underground gems, our bodies can delight in absorbing the richness of different minerals, vitamins, and fiber which that they provide.  They also deliver quick satiety and can even help to curb your sweet tooth by balancing your blood sugar.

The Winter is an excellent time  for slowing down and going inward.  The long nights and short days are Nature’s way to invite us  into a  deeper contemplation of life, and so She has also provided us with a gamut of fortifying and delicious root vegetables to keep us grounded and connected to the soil.

Note:  Purchasing organic, local, and sustainable produce is always important, but it is especially so for root vegetables as the nutrients they contain depends on the health of the soil in which they are grown.

The beautiful selection of root vegetables on the left are packed with nutrients and absolutely delicious when roasted in the oven.  It’s super easy. (See below for the super easy instructions. )
Oh, just in case you only recognize the carrots, don’t fret.
I will tell you what they are.  So, starting from the carrots in a clockwise direction: carrots, parsnip (taste like potatoes, but sweeter and more sophisticated), rutabaga (it’s a cross between a cabbage and a turnip), celery root (yes, it does taste a little like celery), red beet, and turnip.

I usually roast several different root veggies at the same time.  It’s a great way to sample a variety, and saves time, and energy.  Leftovers make delicious, healthy snacks.   Also great with dips,  or added to soups.

Here’s how to roast root vegetables, the super easy way:

What you’ll need ~

root vegetables (be bold and try something you never roasted, such as a turnip or rutabaga)
Baking sheet
parchment paper
olive oil
Celtic sea salt
Herbs (optional)

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment. Peel and cut the root vegetables of your choice into cubes or squares.  Cut all the pieces approximately the same size to ensure a uniformed roasting time.

2. Place the cut vegetables on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over them.  Season with salt & herbs.  Cover with another piece of parchment paper. (Be sure to cover the veggies fully, but do not crimp the edges.)

3. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  If you want to take it one step further and brown the cooked roots  for a richer flavor, switch the oven to grill (high heat), remove the parchment paper and allow to brown (caramelize) for a few minutes.

(Caution: Keep your attention on the veggies while it is under the grill because the browning process happens very quickly!)

Lightly cover vegetables with parchment

Veggies under parchment

 

 

 

 

 

The photo below shows what I ate with my roasted vegetables.  Time stood still as I reveled in every single bite!

Roasted Vegetables with Burger (grass-fed) & Sauerkraut

Download a copy of this recipe for your personal file.

For love of Food & Friends,

Karen

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