Turnips are one of the unsung heros of the vegetable world. Like all veggies it’s low in calories, but the nutrient density of turnips ranks very high! They are loaded! You have almost the entire alphabet! Vitamins A, most of the Bs, C, E, K and minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, magnesium and copper.
What does a turnip taste like? It has it’s own unique flavor but some say it can taste a little like a rutabaga. There is a slight bitter taste but I believe it’s due to the nutrient density. And it’s not just the turnips that are nutrient dense, the greens are also loaded.
So how should I eat this vegetable? You can slice and cook it in water like you would beets, but the latest trend is roasting.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut the greens off the turnips and save. Use a scrubber to wash turnips and cut them into cubes. Toss in a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and garlic and spread them out on a pan. Bake for 15 minutes, shake them around to turn them and then cook them for another 10 minutes, or until they are tender to a fork.
Sauteed Turnip Greens:
For this recipe I prefer butter over olive oil for the flavor. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan. Saute some diced onion and pressed garlic in the pan, adding salt and pepper. When onions turn translucent add the greens, chopped. Continue cooking until the greens have wilted to your liking.
As most people know, fish is one of the healthiest forms of protein you can eat with it’s lower calories and heart healthy omega 3 oils. What do you do when a family member won’t eat fish? Make something you know they can’t resist!
Most people will eat tuna salad……..even someone who hates fish like my husband. I’m sure it’s due to smothering the tuna in mayonnaise. You can’t even taste the fish! My challenge as a dietitian is how to reduce the mayonnaise and still make it taste good.
After using my husband as a lab rat, I’ve come up with the optimal tuna salad that will transition any family member into a fish eater………REALLY ! IT WORKS! Today my husband even tastes a little sushi every now in then, although he prefers his fish battered and deep fried.
First, what will every dietitian tell you to do to improve your diet? EAT MORE VEGGIES! Its the staple answer but it’s so true. Everything you need to survive you can find in veggies. Dense with vitamins, minerals and fiber you can’t go wrong! Plus, if you pick the right combinations they are super tasty!
My recipe starts with a bowl of chopped up veggies. Half tuna and half veggies to reduce the fishy taste and increase the health benefit.
I use an even amount of finely chopped onion, celery, bell or sweet pepper, zucchini or yellow squash and a few tiny chunks of carrot for sweetness. Add a can of tuna for 2 people, or 2 cans if you have more than 2 people. Add a heaping teaspoon of sweet relish, a dash or 2 of seasoned salt and pepper. Mix in a tablespoon of mayonnaise per can of tuna, or just enough to lightly cover all the ingredients. You can use your tuna salad on top of a salad, using the mayonnaise as the dressing, or make a sandwich with it.
How do you get your family member to the next fish eating step? Baked fish sticks are good, especially if you get the high quality version that has more fish than breading. The step after breaded fish is a mild fish like cod, orange roughy or Talapia and baked it with a heavy salsa or marinara. Sushi is another animal. When a non-fish eater realizes that raw fish doesn’t taste fishy at all (which it doesn’t) they may actually prefer raw tuna over cooked tuna! At least it worked in my home, with a lot of patience!
Is lasagna one of your favorite comfort foods in the winter? It’s definitely one of mine. It’s nice to make a large casserole dish full, eat one meal and then box up the rest to reheat for lunch at work.
I know what you are thinking. “But, isn’t lasagna fattening? The answer is it depends on how it’s made and how much you eat at a time!
Want a gluten free or healthier alternative? Try making your next lasagna using 1/4 inch thick slices of zucchini rather than noodles. Why 1/4 inch? The noodles will stay firmer at this thickness resembling more of a noodle. Even the skeptic of the house was happy with the way it turned out.
Cut your pieces into 3″X 3” squares to prevent eating too much. You can also get multiple meals this way.
Here is how I make my lasagna:
Sauce – saute the vegetables, add the tomatoes and paste and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
1 Tbls Olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced zucchinni
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small jar of quartered artichoke hearts chopped
1 can tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 Tbls dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 dash of ground thyme
Cheese Filling – thoroughly mix together
1 carton of low fat ricotta or cottage cheese (non-fat if you can find it)
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup ground Parmesan
1/4 cup dried parsley
Low fat Mozzarella Cheese slices
Brush a little of the sauce on the bottom of the pan to keep from sticking.
Cover the bottom of the pan with slices of Zucchini. Cover with 1/2 the sauce followed by mozzarella slices, 1/2 cheese filling and then back to the Zucchini slices. Repeat the assembly saving a little sauce to sprinkle over the top.
Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool for at least 10 min. before cutting or the pieces will not come out neatly.
I don’t know about you, but next to a snow storm, what I hate most about winter is the lack of variety of quality organic fruit. Pretty much my choices are apples, oranges and bananas, especially if you are on a budget or vowed to only purchase in season. Those couple months after the grapefruit and pears have gone dry is so hard for me!
Here are some tricks that should hopefully brighten up your fruit in the winter:
Try your hand at juicing – Have some tasty fun experimenting with online recipes. You may be surprise how good it tastes this way. Even adding some vegetables can make life even more interesting.
Make a fruit salad – I don’t know why, but cutting up the fruit and mixing it together makes it taste better to me. Buying a small container of berries and tossing it on top make it seem even more special. If you don’t have oranges in your salad, make sure to add some lemon or lime juice to keep the fruit from turning brown.
Make fruit desserts – Slip the fruit into desserts like apple cobbler, banana splits, chocolate covered bananas or even bananas foster. Look that one up online. It’s really good!
With a little imagination you can get rid of the winter fruit blahs and make sure you get in your 5 servings of fruits or vegetables everyday.
There is nothing as good as Rhubarb pie made from fresh Rhubarb straight out of the garden. It’s even better when it’s made the old fashioned way. Simple and straight forward, I had mine in the oven within 30 minutes. Here’s how to make it:
Preheat oven to 450 degress.
Remove leaves from Rhubarb as they contain toxic compounds and should never be eaten.
Slice rhubarb into 4 cups of 1/8 inch thick slices.
Toss with 1/4 cup of corn starch and 1 1/4 cup of sugar.
Pour into a pie pan lined with a pie crust.
Cover with second pie crust and seal the top and bottom together, crimping with your fingers.
Cut a few slits in the top to release steam.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn down the oven to 350 degrees and bake another 40 minutes.
Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before cutting.
Rhubarb is very good for your health. It contains high amounts of Vitamin K, Calcium, Lutein, Fiber and it’s loaded with Antioxidants. As a matter of fact, cooking rhubarb results in a high amount of Lycopene.
Health benefits include preventing heart disease, reducing cancer risk, boosting of the immune system and improving eye health.