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Mary Beth's Blog

I want to eat real food. I want my family to eat real food. Armed with this plan, I know I can do it. I am a real person, with real kids in a regular ol' kitchen cranking out dinner. Find out my inspiration for the menus, what's happening in my kitchen, and the achievements on the kid-friendly front.

Turning Leaf Project

2013-01-11 | 0 comments

It’s a New Year and time for a new perspective. I think its time to resurrect an old ritual of mine. Back in my early married days, I instituted my own social survival tool. When my husband and I married, we ‘inherited’ each others old friends, friend’s spouses, relatives, you know how that goes. Some are very cool, some just aren’t and some you want to smack. But, they’re not going anywhere so you have to deal. In order to cope, I created my yearly Turning Leaf Project. Every year, I chose one of these folks. I was resolved to find common ground for conversation and something redeemable to focus on. IT WORKED EVERYTIME. And, believe me, we had some doozies.

Ya, OK, MB, you are so groovy, what does this have to do with my meal plan? Well, throughout this year, we are going to give some much maligned foods a run through the Turning Leaf Project. How about meatloaf? Or, spinach, sausage, pot roast? Maybe offal? Just kidding.

This week’s candidate is…the parsnip. Let’s see what there is to like about them.

  • I like the family. Carrot, coriander, celery, dill, fennel, and caraway are all members of this family.
  • They hang out with other pals of mine like, basil, dill, parsley, thyme, tarragon – even the curries.
  • They are versatile – can be roasted, steamed, boiled and sauteed.
  • They are sweet and spicy at the same time.
  • Their beauty is on the inside. The parsnip is loaded with potassium, manganese, folate, vitamin C, dietary fiber, etc. They are also rich in B vitamins, iron, calcium and zinc. What’s cool is that, while being packed with nutrients, they are low in calories, sodium, sugar, cholesterol and saturated fats. They are rich in dietary fibers so, they help improve your digestive health.

Not sold?

In Roman times, parsnips were believed to be an aphrodisiac.

Now you’re on board. Cool. Choose firm and medium-sized parsnips – just like when selecting carrots. Peeled parsnips turn dark when exposed to air. You need to cook them right away or you should just keep them in water. Add a little bit of lemon juice to water.

So, welcome to the Turning Leaf Project. We are using the parsnip in our mashed potatoes and lentil soup this week – good luck to you and your new pal. Enjoy!


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