Lately, Derek and I have made it our goal to buy a new vegetable from the grocery store every week. First, it was parsnips (I was very hesitant of these), then we were on a kale kick and just recently we've been drawn in by the colorful rainbow carrots.
When you really look at the vegetables in the produce section of the grocery store there are so many! Different colors, different shapes, different flavors and so many different nutrients! We always make sure to get our staples (cabbage, squash, zucchini, broccoli and spinach) but it's important to also try new things and include variety in your diet.
Not only is it important to eat many things from different food groups (i.e. grains, lean meats, dairy, vegetables, fruit) but it's also important to eat different foods within each food group because each food has varying levels of nutrients. Some vegetables have more manganese and folate (parsnips) while some vegetables have more Vitamin A and fiber (rainbow carrots) and still others have more Vitamin K and calcium (kale). If you only eat one type of vegetable or one type of meat/fruit/dairy/grain you will miss out on all the other nutrients that eating a variety of those foods will provide.
Below are recipes for 3 quick and easy side dishes using parsnips, kale and rainbow carrots! Sitting in my fridge for experimentation next are a couple of watermelon radishes, we'll see what we come up with next!
1-2 parsnips (depending on size) cut into long, thin fries
1-2T olive oil
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place foil on baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Toss parsnips, olive oil and dill in bowl to evenly coat. Spread on pan so all fries are laying flat and salt. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes.
1 bunch of kale
1-2T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place foil on baking sheet and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Remove kale from stems, chop into small pieces and place in bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Massage oil into kale and place on sheet in one flat layer. Bake in oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Bourbon & brown sugar glazed rainbow carrots
1-2 bunches rainbow carrots
2T brown sugar (we use Splenda brown)
Splash bourbon (we use Jack Beam)
Salt to taste
A little bit of butter and/or olive oil (less than a tablespoon)
Dice carrots into thin disks. In a skillet over medium high heat add a little bit of butter and/or olive oil and carrots. Saute for about 3-5 minutes then add brown sugar and saute for another 5 minutes. Add splash of bourbon and cook just long enough to cook the alcohol out (about 3 minutes) and salt to taste. Carrots should be tender enough to stick fork easily through them and the sauce should be caramelized.
Pair any and/or all of these sides with my Honey, rosemary & balsamic marinated pork chops for the perfect meal!