Monday, November 25, 2013

Food for Fuel: Roots & Veggies

The bounty of summer may be over, and with the temperatures we've seen this week, it looks as if fall may be over too. Not to worry though, as it's still possible to successfully build a diet around seasonal produce, even through the winter months!

I'm a little late in recapping my latest Food for Fuel talk at work since it took place oh, only 3 weeks ago ;) Oh well, life's been a bit busy for a few (very fun) reasons which I (might) tell you about (later). Anyways, November's edition of Food for Fuel was focused on fall-winter produce, Roots & Veggies!

Eating seasonally is a great way to enjoy the bounty of fresh produce without breaking the bank. Even though we're past the main gardening season of summer, there's still an abundance of fall and winter vegetables to choose from and experiment with. The following tips can help you to eating seasonally even through the chillier months of the year:

1. Learn to love squash... all varieties of it!

Acorn, butternut, spaghetti, hubbard, pumpkin... the list and possibilities go on and on! The most simple way to enjoy squash is to roast it in the oven. It can also be peeled and diced and incorporated into casseroles, soups, stuffings or stews. Of course, don't forget to save the seeds, season and enjoy as a delicious snack! Step outside your comfort zone and try a variety you've never tasted or heard of.

Our collection to date.
Since I haven't been a very good cook lately (read: no cooking whatsoever), the squash from our farm share has been piling up! The nice thing? It doesn't really go bad! The manager of our farm share said they would last until spring if kept in the right conditions... so I will be slowly working on picking off this pile. 

2. Fill up on greens.

Our winter farm share has been full of greens! Bok Choy, Kale, Collard Greens, Chard, etc. These greens can be eaten fresh, or sauteed or roasted. Have you tried a delicious kale salad or kale chips yet?! I've admittedly been slacking on my greens! Time to get back on track.

3. Experiment with root vegetables.

Some root veggies are more commonly used than others such as onions, carrots, potatoes, but what about rutabaga, turnips or beets? One nice thing about our farm share was that it exposed us to root vegetables we would not commonly buy. Not sure what to do with them? Incorporate into soup or toss with a little olive oil and bake for oven roasted vegetables. Beets and sweet potatoes can be wrapped in foil and baked whole. Make chips or fries, mash or make into an au gratin dish. The point is to play around, discover what you like best!

4. Satisfy with soups. 

What could be more comforting on a chilly day? Not only are soups a great way to pack a punch with veggies, broth based soups can leave you feeling fuller, longer, without the heavy calories. Add in beans, lentils or grains such as quinoa, brown rice or barley for added fiber.

Interested in learning more about benefits of and how to cook with common root vegetables? Download this fun handout :)

Recipe: Oven Roasted Vegetables

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, and since there will be no turkey for the Changs, I'll be looking to use up the massive quantities of root veggies we've been hoarding in our fridge. I made this recipe for oven roasted vegetables a few weeks back and it was delightful! Warm and comforting, perfect for the chilly nights that have now arrived. Enjoy!

Dice and combine: 

2 sweet potatoes, 1 lb white or fingerling potatoes, 3 small eggplant (I used fairytale variety), 4-5 beets, 2-3 large carrots. Adjust quantities as desired, feel free to include whichever vegetables you like best! Toss in a few (3-4) whole garlic cloves. Drizzle with 1-2 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon, oregano. Bake @ 375 F for approximately 1 hour. Easy peasy!


  1. I am now curious as to what has kept you fun and busy these last few weeks!?


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