Here’s how I shop for groceries.
I plan the week’s meals, check the pantry for what I have and what I need, and head out to join my fellow 21st century hunter-gatherers.
More often than I am comfortable admitting, I will show up with no plan and no list and just start putting things in the cart.
“This looks good.”
“This is on sale; why not?”
“We always need apples and onions.”
I get everything home and, if I don’t have a plan for it all, something (or many somethings) will just languish in the fridge (food morgue) until it changes state or grows fuzzy things.
Last week I picked up this beauty!
I was determined not to let it fester in the fridge.
This, my friend, is a rutabaga. Sort of like its smaller cousin, the turnip, Ms. Rutabaga here is in season right now. Loaded with vitamin C and fiber It is another example of how mother nature will supply us with what we need in the season that we need it.
They’re sweeter than turnips and way simpler to peel than winter squash. If we only knew what the heck to do with them (and have the people that live with you actually eat the things).
What to know:
• Turnips and rutabagas are root vegetables and are in season from October all the way through winter.
• Look for a firm, unwrinkled vegetable. You want the root and stem ends both intact. Avoid soft spots if you can
• The little baby turnips need to be cooked and eaten within a few days of when you bring them home. Larger rutabagas and turnips will sometimes be coated in wax to help them to keep a little longer.
• If you don’t plan to cook them soon, cut off any green stems, wrap in an airtight bag and stick it in the coldest part of your fridge. These are cold weather vegetables. They like it. Sometimes they can keep several weeks that way.
– Wash root in hot water to melt any wax off. Peel and cube (to bite sized).
– Toss with about 3 TBSP olive oil and slat and pepper.
– Arrange on a baking pan and roast at 425 degrees for about 40 minutes. They want to be soft and golden. Think roasted potatoes. You can also add potatoes into the mix for an interesting combination.
When they’re all done, check seasoning and add salt and pepper if you like and toss with chopped parsley. Super simple, super healthy
Bernadette Smith is an organic gardener, life-long tree hugger and certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach living in Patchogue, N.Y. She offers free 30-minute Health Discovery Sessions and can reached through Facebook or by emailing SimplyNourishedHome@gmail.com.
Top photo by Bernadette Smith
Featured stock photo by Creative Commons/elvissa