One of the things I love most about my SPUD produce box (besides the fact that the groceries come to me and they use local and organic producers first) is that my cooking strategy changes from "what do I feel like making" to "how can I use the contents of my produce drawer?" It forces you to get a bit more creative which is good for your health and good for your taste buds.
I have been staring down some parsnips for a while and wasn't sure what I wanted to do with them. Parsnips, called "carrots with attitude" by Rachel Ray, are a local root veggie that have a sharp spiciness to them that lends well to a bit of time in the old oven. Even though they lack colour, parsnips aren't just nutritional filler: they are a source of fibre, heart loving potassium, bone building calcium and folate for a healthy nervous system. I figured I would sweeten them up a bit so my husband might like them. He thinks that this would be a nice side dish for some pork tenderloin but I served it, of course, as a vegetarian main course over organic quinoa. The nice thing about this recipe is that it can be a completely 100 mile meal with a few adjustments.
Here is what resulted...I had a photo but it turned out so badly I thought I wouldn't bother putting it up. I am hoping Santa will deliver a new camera.
Recipe: Winter Apple Parsnip Bake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
4 medium parsnips, cubed or sliced
2 medium apples, cubed or sliced
1 medium leek, sliced
2 cups canned or precooked chick peas, drained
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (substitute butter for a 100 mile recipe)
1/2 cup demerara sugar (substitute honey for a 100 mile recipe)
2 tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
In a 9x9 baking dish or a 9 inch pie plate, combine all ingredients except for butter and toss well. Then add butter on top. You could cube the parsnips and apples so they are uniform with the chick peas or slice them.
Bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for 15 more minutes or until parsnips are tender. I think this would also be tasty curried: Add 1-2 tbsp curry powder and reduce sugar by half and add 1/4 cup raisins if you like them.
Serve over your favourite whole grain like quinoa, barley, brown rice or buckwheat.