A Vegetable Even a Meat-eater Should Try

I don’t think everyone in the world has to be vegan.  I don’t even think that everyone in the world should be vegetarian.  But, I do think everyone in the world is missing out if they don’t eat a wide range of fruits, vegetables, grains, and rice.  The whole reason we originally tried to go vegan was so that we could discover what we were missing.  Boy, have we ever.

So let me introduce you to a vegetable I had never had until we went vegan-ish last year:  Rutabagas.  Don’t stop reading—rutabagas are cheap, delicious, relatively easy to prepare and last for weeks without being refrigerated.  Plus, they are part of the cruciferous family of vegetables and provide phenomenal nutritional value.

In case you’re like me and you didn’t grow up eating rutabagas, here’s what one looks like when you buy it at the grocery store.

Doesn't it just look healthy?

You’ll need to cut the ends off it and peel it to prepare it.  It’s not hard to peel though.  I just take my potato peeler to it.  It’s crunchier than potatoes.  Even when it’s fully cooked, it’ll be firm.  I like that about rutabagas.  They never get mushy.

If you’re interested in trying out some rutabagas for yourself, here’s an easy recipe:

Roasted Winter Vegetables

I promise this tastes better than it looks. I suck at food photography.

1 pound of diced rutabaga

½  pound of baby carrots

½  pound of broccoli florets

2 large onions, chopped in wedges

¼ c olive oil

The juice of 2 lemons

1 tablespoon of fresh, snipped rosemary

2 teaspoons each of sea salt and black pepper (more to taste)

 

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Place vegetables in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Mix oil, lemon juice, and rosemary together in small bowl and drizzle the mixture over the vegetables.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover the dish tightly with either a lid or aluminum foil and bake for an hour.  Uncover and bake for another hour or until vegetables can be pierced with a fork.

For best results, let vegetables chill in the fridge overnight and reheat and serve the next day.  They’re always better after the flavors have sat for a while.  I like to have this one in the oven while I make another dinner on the stovetop.  Then the next night I serve these veggies with rice.

I sprinkled a little curry over all of it.

You can add just about any vegetable you want too.  I used fennel, parsnips, turnips, cauliflower, garlic, potatoes, and even apples before.  I mean, what doesn’t go well with lemon and rosemary?

By the way, cruciferous vegetables are superfoods.  They’re high in vitamins A, C, K, folic acid and fiber.  In fact, “about 100 calories worth of cruciferous vegetables provides about 25-40% of your daily fiber requirement,” according to research conducted by the George Mateljan Foundation.  Guess what?  They’re a great source of protein and they have alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is the building block for those elusive Omega 3’s.  All this for less than $1.50 a pound!

You don’t have to roast them with other cruciferous veggies though.  Here’s two websites that feature great recipes of rutabagas all by themselves.

Rutabaga Fries from Epicurvegan.com

 

Roasted Rutabaga from PenandFork.com

I hope you’ll enjoy experimenting with rutabagas as much as we have!  Mangia, Mangia!

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sarah on January 16, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Ah, rutabagas. Love ’em. Hate trying to prep them for cooking. Yours look so good! I love the idea of the curry too. I need to cook the roasted winter veggies dish, don’t I? 🙂 I will.

    I agree, especially as I get older, trying to veggies and fruits is enlightening. You never know what you’ll discover if you don’t try something.

    P.S. Your food photography does not suck. 🙂

    Reply

    • My neighbors’ kids think we’re crazy for eating foods like rutabagas and soy tempeh. I’ve heard my kids bragging about our “weird” food. I love it.
      My food photography sucks. you’re kind. I’m working on it though.

      Reply

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