While we don't often repeat meals unless they are really good or we are really busy, it is easy to get into a rut and always eat the same "healthy" foods in different meals: kale, baby spinach, the same old baby greens mix, carrot or celery as snacks, etc.
It is kinda boring eat the same things and I'm always reading about other foods that are really great for you, so my goal (which will last for as long as I can remember it), is to include one food that we don't typically eat per week. It doesn't have to be something new, although that is welcome, but my overall goal is to incorporate more of the veggies, fruits, grains, and beans that I only cook with once in a great while.
This week, it was parsnips! I have used them maybe twice before and really liked them, but just don't find a place for them in my normal diet.
I wrote before about how I had a lot of things I wanted to make over my winter break, one of which was a shepherd's pie. I decided on this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Choosing Raw, featured on the Food52 website: Vegan Lentil Shepherd's Pie with Parsnip and Potato Mash.
The parsnips got mashed in with the potatoes to give the topping a little extra flavor beyond normal mashed potatoes (which is helpful when you aren't adding butter or cream!). We had a lot of topping because our parsnips and potatoes were both huge. I actually ended up only using three parsnips instead of six since ours were absolutely monstrous. Aaron decided we still needed six of them when I was in a different section of the grocery store, so I'll have to find another way to use the other three.
Aaron and I both loved this dish. There is something especially great about mashed potatoes on top of a warm mix of veggies. We followed reader suggestions and seasoned well at each step, as well as broiling to get the top to brown. It made a ton of food as well, so although it takes a while on one day, it is worth it for all of the leftovers. We ate it for dinner two nights in a row and have lunches for the week.
Overall the parsnips were a success and I would definitely enjoy the potato and parsnip mash as a side dish (or dinner with some spinach mixed in). Some other great ways to cook parsnips are roasting with carrots or making them into "parsnip fries." The sugar in them caramelizes really well to get a coated fry effect.
Next week I'll be buying some bok-choy, another veggie thats really good for you that we only eat once or twice a year.