Cooking with roots

Last night I cooked with turnips. The pictures I took with my handydandy new smartphone didn’t turn out and since there are no leftovers….sorry. No picture.

But here’s what a turnip looks like.

Trying out new veggies and experimenting with them is a thing I like to do these days. It’s not always easy to get the kids to try my new creations but I don’t care. I want them to have the experience of seeing food prepared and eaten at home, with variety and imagination. I want them to have a healthy attitude toward real, whole foods, even if they end up not liking it. They see me make it (or shop for it even), so at least they’re aware of the variety that exists in terms of whole foods.

My kids go through picky periods. Some weeks, the only thing Ben wants to eat is pasta. But even a daily request for pasta can be accommodated – do you know how many different types of noodles exist in today’s supermarkets? Instead of the traditional durum wheat pasta, I can reach for rice or quinoa noodles, buckwheat noodles, egg noodles, or a combination of vegetables and some starch type of noodle. I can make gnocchi (or buy them) made of potatoes, squash, with or without egg…the choices are limitless.

But back to the turnips.

Because the turnip seems rather hard (it is a type of root vegetable) I first peeled the pretty purple colour off, then sliced it. Boiling the slices in salted water until tender (about 10 minutes) made them easier to cut with the side of a fork. Do not overcook as it will turn to mush. For the purpose of my recipe I needed them to hold their shape.

sliced and boiled turnips

Once they were cooked and drained, I poured some olive oil in a shallow glass dish and layered the turnip slices along the bottom, not unlike lasagna noodles. A sprinkling of sea salt and fresh ground pepper seasoned them nicely. The leftover beef-tomato sauce I had made for a pasta dish before I drizzled on top of the sliced turnips, then topped that with some quickly steamed kale (which can easily be omitted). A touch more sauce, and in the oven it went to bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes.

A nice, gluten-free dinner meal with protein.

DH and I ate it. The kids didn’t even want to try it. Next time, I will serve it to them after a hockey game when they’re starving and distracted, preoccupied about their scores and not the food in front of them. And if they ask I’ll tell them the ‘white pieces are a new type of pasta’.



2 thoughts on “Cooking with roots

  1. I love turnips, but it’s so discouraging sometimes to work so hard to make them, only to have them be completely rejected (even by my husband, who is not a fan). It takes a lot of fortitude to stick with the healthy eating/new foods plan when you just know it’s going to be another battle. Kudos to you for sticking it out!

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