recipe: parsnip and toasted walnut soup

Parsnips are an absolutely wonderful root vegetable and one of the least appreciated!  It is packed with health benefits just waiting to be taken advantage of.  Parsnips are lower in calories than carrots and potatoes.  They’re naturally sweet and their calories come more from natural sugars vs starch like in a potato.  High in folic acid and vitamin B6, they’re an excellent food choice for women who are trying to conceive or pregnant.  Other vitamins and minerals that parsnips provide are vitamins C and E, copper, maganese, lots of potassium, fiber, and niacin.  Parsnips have been known to be used as a diuretic, antioxidant, aid in reducing obesity, a treatment for kidney disease, and is beneficial for those dealing with asthma

What is not to love about this superfood?  For all its benefits, it’s worth incorporating into the diet.  Last night, we made soup from parsnips that is easily vegan/vegetarian friendly. 

 

Parsnip and Toasted Walnut Soup

Ingredients:

2 med sized or 1 giant carrot, chopped into small pieces
3 large parsnips, chopping into small pieces
(the two should equal roughly 4 cups when chopped up)
1 med onion, chopped and diced
1/2 cup olive oil
3 generous handfuls of walnuts (maybe 1 1/2 cups?)
4 cups broth (vegetable or bone)
2 1/2 tbs potato starch (or other thickener of your choice)
3 1/2 tbs thyme
2 tbs nutmeg
1/2 tbs corriander
salt
pepper

Method:

Chop up your carrots and parsnips and set aside.  Heat 1/4 cup of your olive oil in a large skillet/sauce pan and sautee diced onion till soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add in walnuts, stir, and toast/sautee another 5 minutes.  Add in your chopped carrots and parsnips and remaining olive oil and sautee for approx 10-15 minutes.  Add potato starch and stir well into the mixture and allow to soak in for about 3 minutes.  Pour in your broth, stir, and simmer.  Cover and simmer, stirring every few minutes, for another 10 minutes.  Make sure the carrots and parsnips are soft and well cooked.  Set aside and allow the mixture to cool down enough to pour into a blender or large food processor.  Pour entire mixture into your blender/food procesor and pulse till liquified.  Return the liquid soup back to the pot/skillet and add in all your spices, stir and blend.  Heat through for about 5 minutes to allow the flavors to absorb.  Serve.

This recipe is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, egg free, soy free, and can be vegetarian and vegan if you choose vegetable broth.

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Recipe: roasted butternut squash with walnuts and goat cheese

I love fall and winter squash.  There’s something about the texture of roasted squash on a cold day — it’s so filling and seasonally delicious.  It’s also nutrient dense!

Winter quash if FULL of carotenes — and the more vibrant the color, the more the carotene.  Carotenes have been known to help fight against certain cancers, heart disease, and diabetes.  They’re also full of vitamins such as folic acid, vitamins B, C, niacin, and potassium.  So…. what’s not to love?!

Also, I’m a big fan of goat cheese.  You’ll probably see a lot of that around here.  I use it ever time I can find an excuse!  The creamy, rich texture of the goat cheese pairs perfectly with the warm, soft textures of squash and the flavors pair smashingly!  It’s delicious.  Trust me.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Walnuts and Goat Cheese:

Ingredients:

One peeled and cubed butternut squash
1/2 cup pure olive oil
1/4. cup pure maple syrup
1 cup chopped walnuts
Spices (to taste — I’m terrible at quantifying spices!)
— Cinnamon
–Cardamom
–Ginger
–Nutmeg
–Clove
Crumbled goat cheese for topping

Method:

Preheat oven to about 375 degrees.  Place cubed squash in a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil, maple syrup, and spices.  Toss to ensure they’re well coated.  Stick in the oven until squash is tender — approx. 45-55 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a pan on the stovetop, toast the chopped walnuts.  Careful not to let them burn!  Set aside.  Stir and turn squash several times through the baking process.  Once baked, top with toasted walnuts and crumbled goat cheese.  Serve immediately.

This recipe is gluten free, egg free, soy free, wheat free, vegetarian, and can be made vegan by leaving out the goat cheese.