I am a purist when it comes to vegetables. If I like a certain veggie I want to taste it when I eat it. I don’t want it loaded with sauces or spices. I do believe that sometimes less is more. Here are the basics for cooking a few of my favorite healthy root vegetable recipes. They many not be one hundred percent healthy, but they are pretty close in my book!
Healthy Root Vegetable Recipe -Turnips
* 3 or 4 good sized turnips
* Butter to taste
* Fresh Parsley for garnish
Peel the turnips and cut into large chunks. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook turnips until fork tender. Drain the turnips. At this point you can either just add a dab of butter and some pepper and serve them, or go the extra mile and mash them. My mother used to mash turnips with potatoes. I believe that was done a lot during the depression to stretch the food dollars. I grew up eating and loving turnips.
Healthy Root Vegetable Recipe – Carrots
*1 bunch of carrots
* Cooking spray (or olive oil)
* Rosemary for garnish
Clean the carrots and either leave them whole or cut into chunks. Put them in a bowl and drizzle with honey and toss well to coat. Spray an oven safe baking dish with a quick shot of cooking spray. Layer the carrots in the baking dish. Sprinkle a little pepper and bake at 350 degrees until fork tender. To serve sprinkle with just a small amount of brown sugar.
Healthy Root Vegetable Recipe – Radishes
*1 bunch of radishes
*Cooking spray (or Olive Oil)
*Fresh Chives for garnish
Wash and clean the radishes and cut them in half. Spray an oven proof baking dish with cooking spray. Layer the radishes and sprinkle with a small amount of garlic powder. Cut butter into small pieces and place through the dish. Bake at 350 until done. Radishes will cook fast so keep an eye on them. When ready to serve add some black pepper and fresh chives. This is a nice colorful dish for a holiday table.
Note: For the turnips, carrots and radishes if you bake them in one of the pretty glass or Pyrex baking dishes you can serve directly from that dish. It will look pretty and the veggies will stay warm longer, not to mention one less dish to wash!
Healthy Root Vegetable Recipe – Sweet Potato (or Yam)
* One sweet potato or yam per person
* Brown Sugar
Wash the potato right before you use it. Poke a few holes in it with a fork. Wrap the potato in a paper towel and microwave for about 5 minutes on high. Let it sit a minute or two then split the potato in half and add a dab of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon on top. I do not bother with salt or pepper as the sugar and cinnamon combination makes it taste more like a pumpkin pie. You could also add some chopped walnuts on top.
Note: Since it does not take long to cook the potato using the microwave, I usually remove the paper towel after it is cooked. Then I re-wrap the potato in foil and let it sit until the remainder of the meal is ready. It will stay hot for a long time.
Any root vegetable can be baked, broiled, fried, sautéed or grilled. You can dress them up or down depending on the situation. If you are trying to eat a little healthier and want a baked potato, then skip the sour cream and go for a little butter instead. You will note salt is not mentioned, as I have eliminated as much salt as possible from my cooking. It may not be the true definition of ‘healthy’ but my version of Healthy Root Vegetable Recipes not only taste good and look appetizing, they are healthy for you.