If you’re at all like us, at this point in the New Year, you’re finding it challenging to stick with your resolution to make food choices that are healthier for you, your family, the environment and your community.
“You may find yourself like me, staring blankly in the produce aisle, having an internal debate about the price, both monetary and environmental, of fruits and veggies imported from around the world and shipped across the country,” according to Nicki Milgrom, organizer with the Ecology Center’s Healthy Food in Health Care program.
Eating healthy and serving fresh vegetables can be especially difficult at this time of year, she says. “It seems easier to reach for your ‘go-to' veggies, the ones you're comfortable cooking and have an easy time working into your meals,” she says. But if what you’re really hungry for is something new and different, maybe it’s time look at the abundance of root vegetables in the market.
“Roots are all too often overlooked and, I'll be the first to admit, they can seem intimidating if you haven't used them before,” Milgrom says. “But I've found it’s all about finding the right, meaning ‘simple,’ recipes and easing your way in.”
This month, “to warm you up on a chilly winter day,” Milgrom is recommending a very simple parsnip soup from Le Pain Quotidien cookbook. “Don't let that unfamiliar shape and white-ish hue deter you from trying parsnips,” she says. (The photo at right is from the Burpee seed catalog, in case you'd like to try to grow your own.)
“It’s a great way to get your toes wet with these local winter veggies, plus a good way to get in a surprising number of important nutrients and daily servings of veggies, which can seem most difficult in the heart of winter.”
Milgrom picked up the cookbook after eating at one of the Le Pain Quotidien restaurants in New York. “Their philosophy and commitment align nicely with values of our program,” she says. “In the authors’ words, this book is about ‘simple, wholesome and sustainable food, to share with your friends and family around your own kitchen table’."
“They might not be as pretty, but parsnips contain more vitamins and minerals than their cousin, the carrot,” they say about this recipe. “They are particularly rich in potassium, and make a luxuriously smooth and silky soup.”
Parsnip & Parsley Soup
EcoLink — January 2015
An online publication of the Ecology Center
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