I've become really interested in eating locally and seasonally. I have realized that eating seasonally is a way for me to become more present and connected to the earth, besides the obvious factor that in-season foods taste better and are fresher, therefore, more nutritious. Since local food has to travel fewer miles to reach our plates, ideally, it saves fossils fuels. (This is not always the case because of how far some farms are from cities.)
This week I challenged myself to focus on winter vegetables. Local Bounty: Seasonal Vegan Recipes was a great help for this. Here's a handy chart:
I came across this recipe for root vegetables in 1,000 Vegan Recipes and it looked delicious. I do not think I have ever used sugar before when cooking vegetables so I figured this would be an interesting experience. Ok, let me pause here for a moment.
I have a confession. I have never eaten parsnips or turnips before today. Why? I guess I didn't know what to do with them. These were not part of my vegetable experience while growing up and we're always a little cautious of the unfamiliar.
However, this recipe is amazingly sweet, tart, and tangy. These veggies are still a little too scary for Ashley, but maybe one day they'll make it into the Ash Picks. I used half the amount of sugar recommended and mine still turned out quite sweet.
Makes 4 servings.
2 tbsps olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium shallots, halved or quartered
3 large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 large parsnips, cut into 1 inch chunks
3 small turnups, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 c light brown sugar
1/4 c water
1/4 c sherry vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for 1 minute to soften. Add the carrots, parsnips, and turnips and cook, stirring, until lightly brown and softened, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the water and cook, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the remaining two tablespoons of water and and the vinegar and simmer for 2-3 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low until the vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Soy free, gluten free