Monday, January 9, 2012

Meatless Monday - Boring Veggie Alternatives

In the winter-time, we usually get stuck in a rut when it comes to veggies.  Without local farmers displaying their goods at the market, we turn to the grocery store where we stock up on carrots, potatoes, cauliflower and other standbys.  Not that there is anything wrong with them, but without variety, things can get boring.  Here's a list of alternatives that are in peak season now, from the February Runner's World to "help tide you over until tomato season":

Clockwise, from top: parsnips, fennel, jicama, sunchokes, rutabaga, and celeriac.
Source:  Runner's World

Instead of cauliflower...try rutabaga.  Rutabaga is a sweet root that has a hint of pepper.  One cup contains more than half your RDA of vitamin C and 4 g of fiber.

Instead of carrots...try parsnips.  Very similar in appearance to carrots, except ivory in color, parsnips have a nutty and slightly sweet flavor.  Parsnips, however, provide 60% more dietary fiber than carrots.  In addition they also contain potassium, an important electrolyte for brain and nerve function, as well as proper muscle contraction and fluid balance.

Instead of onions...try fennel.  This licorice-flavored veggie has more fiber and vitamin C than onions.  Cooking mellows the flavor and softens the texture.

Instead of celery...try celeriac, also known as celery root.  Not the prettiest of veggies, celeriac tastes like a blend celery and parsley and one cup contains 80% of the RDA of vitamin K.

Instead of radishes...try jicama (pronounce hik-a-ma).  Crunchy and refreshing, jicama tastes like a cross between cucumber, pear and water chestnut and has lots of fiber and vitamin C.

Instead of potatoes...try sunchokes, also know as Jerusalem artichokes.  Not at all similar looking to regular artichokes, these gnarled starchy tubers provide 28% of your daily iron quota and also well-endowed with the soluble fiber inulin.

For the complete article which includes storage and preparation tips, check out the February 2012 Runner's World.

Do you have a favorite alternative winter veggie?

Winner will be announced this Friday.  
Good luck!

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  1. Hmmmm other than jicama, I'm afraid I haven't been adventurous enough to give your other alternatives a try....yet. I have been combining the usual veggies in unusual ways though: roasted sweet potatoes and pineapple is amazing!

  2. Now we just need recipes. :)

  3. Actually...maybe we could just stop by for dinner! :D

  4. these are way out of my circle of vegetables for sure. Except for maybe Jicama...

  5. these are way out of my circle of vegetables for sure. Except for maybe Jicama...

  6. these are way out of my circle of vegetables for sure. Except for maybe Jicama...


Have you tried this gear? Something similar you like better? Something I should try? Let me know by leaving a comment!

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