Parsnips deserve more love. They’re kind of like giant white carrots, and I am quite fond of them. Having acquired about 4 good-sized parsnips, I was casting about for something to make with them aside from roasting, so I decided to consult my Rose Elliot book, and happened upon a very simple recipe for parsnip soup. Parsnip soup? How delightfully Downton-Abbey-esque! I was intrigued. I made it even more aristocratic by adding cream and dry sherry, but the original recipe doesn’t use them so if you’re not feeling particularly titled today, feel free to leave them out.
cauliflower cheese with smoky crumb topping
Low carb comfort food? Sign me up! Upon finding myself in possession of a generous amount of cauliflower, I looked through a few cookbooks and blogs for inspiration, and one of my all-time favorite blogs, Smitten Kitchen, came through with a great idea for cauliflower cheese. It’s kind of like mac and cheese, only with cauliflower instead of macaroni. Doesn’t it sound delicious? I thought so! So here’s my version. I’ve adapted Smitten Kitchen’s recipe by using Gruyére instead of Cheddar, adding some extra Dijon mustard, and topping it with some smoked paprika and crunchy panko (breadcrumbs). (But you can leave those off if you are avoiding all carbs, or substitute sliced almonds.) Continue reading
sesame soy eggplant with soba noodles
I love eggplant, and am always looking for fresh ways to cook with it. Steaming the eggplant turns it into a soft and silky sponge ready to soak up a flavorful Asian-inspired marinade. This recipe is inspired by one from the New York Times for a cold summer salad, but since it’s winter where I am, I’ve adapted it to be a lovely topping for nutty, hearty buckwheat soba noodles instead, which can be enjoyed warm, room temperature, or cold, and I’ve added baby spinach to the overall dish instead of serving it atop greens. But if you like, you can go with the original recipe’s plan of serving it over baby arugula, or perhaps over zoodles (zucchini noodles made with a spiralizer) if that’s your thing. How’s that for versatility? Continue reading
sesame kabocha soup with crunchy maple topping
Feeling like making something a little lighter, yet still comforting? Soup is your friend! Or maybe you’re looking for something to do with a random squash, like a kabocha, in your possession, and you’re ready to go beyond simple roasting. Here is a lovely and light, low-fat yet filling soup for your winter nights. Don’t skip making this topping – it is SO GOOD. It kind of reminds me of those little Asian sesame stick snacks which are my absolute favorite snack of all time – in fact, I can’t keep them in the house! And it does all this while being naturally vegan, darling. We had this with avocado toast on the side. (For avocado toast: Take a slice of hearty, whole grain toast, mash 1/2 avocado on top, and lightly salt & pepper to taste. Eat with everything!) Continue reading
pumpkin casserole with crunchy pecan topping
I love savory pumpkin dishes. Also, anything involving Ritz crackers is likely to be delicious. Perhaps not slenderizing, but delicious, especially when also featuring a savory blend of pumpkin, red pepper, onion, and garlic, with some smoked paprika and chipotle for pizzazz, topped with crunchy pecans and panko, and baked until slightly puffed and golden brown. The original recipe from The New York Times uses yellow summer squash, which one steams and purees for inclusion in the dish, but I didn’t have enough squash so I substituted a can of pumpkin for half the squash puree; you can make the whole casserole with all pumpkin instead of squash. Plus, it’s less work that way since you needn’t steam and puree the squash. Win! You can bake this in a casserole (2 1/2 quarts), or small ramekins or cocottes for a cute presentation (just bake it for less time). We had this as a main dish, but it would also be great as a side for a holiday meal such as Thanksgiving. Yay!
whole roasted celeriac
Celeriac? What’s that? I confess, the first time I saw one, I was completely baffled by this brown, rough sphere with tendrilly roots still attached. Approximately the size of a large grapefruit, it was kind of intimidating, reminding me of a creature from Doctor Who. But now we are friends! Do not judge a vegetable by its cover. Why should you get to know it? Well, celeriac has a very mild celery flavor and is crisp when raw, and creamy and soft when cooked. It is much lower in calories than potato – 42 calories per 100 grams, versus 322 calories per 100 grams for potato, but when you roast it, you feel as if you are enjoying a very large, slightly celery flavored baked potato, with a creamy interior and crispy skin. Prep is extremely quick, but roasting it takes a while, so make it on a Sunday afternoon and enjoy the delicious aroma wafting through your home. This got two thumbs up from my husband! Continue reading