Some foods don’t seem to get the attention that they are due; either because they’re not “pretty” looking, or because you’re not sure how to cook them, but underneath all of their root-vegetable charm is something special! I don’t know if you do this, but sometimes when I go to the store and am doing my groceries, I’ll see something that I know I can find something good to do with it, and I’ll just buy it as a little challenge with myself to figure out something to make with it before it goes bad. And I am so glad that I did it. This week, I bought a yellow turnip(commonly: rhutabaga). (It was on sale, and I unashamedly like turnips).
Some people are put off by the wax coating on the skin, or because it’s an irregular color (purples and yellows make it look…bruised), but under it all, and when cooked well, it can be a very lovely addition to any dinner! (promise). Some people don’t care for the taste; but with the right complements, it can really shine! I know that once you try it, you’ll agree too. Turnips can be nice.
This baked dish goes together easily, is open to customization, and can be an excellent side dish, maybe even at Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving is coming up this weekend! I love Thanksgiving!) And it has all the joys of comfort foods without the horrible parts (lard and sugars and weird things that you’re not meant to eat…. I’m looking at you MSG). It’s savory and warm, and very comfortable indeed. (My chief taste-tester even liked it! He is discerning; and very truthful with new recipes that I’m testing.)
Rhutabagas are actually a cruciferous vegetable, and are a cross between a white turnip and a cabbage. They originated in Russia, but grow all over North America. They are full of antioxidants, Vitamin C, fiber, potassium and can be a great aid to digestion.(1).
Rhutabaga Cutting Tip:
Being round and thick-skinned can make a rhutabaga a little intimidating to cut into. I find that the easiest way is to use a large, sharp kitchen knife and cut the bottom off, then using that as a base, trimming down the sides to remove the wax-coated skin.
Elegant Autumn Root Vegetable Savory Bake
Prep: 30 minutes (it took me a while to cut the rhutabaga)
Cook: 45-55 minutes
Makes: 1 pan (9×13 inches)
- 1 Rhutabaga (peeled and diced into small cubes)
- 2 Carrots (washed and sliced into half-circles)
- 1 Zucchini (washed and sliced into half-circles)
- 1 Cauliflower head
- 1/4 C Nutritional Yeast
- 3 Yellow Onions (small)
- 4 tbsp Oil
- 2 tsp Thyme (dried)
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- Black Pepper ( 3/4 tsp, or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 tsp Parsley (dried)
- 1/4 – 1/2 C non-dairy milk of choice (I used soy)
- Dice the carrots, zucchini and rhutabaga and layer them in the bottom of a 9×13″ glass baking dish.
- In a large pot, steam the whole head of cauliflower until it is cooked through.
- Drain the cauliflower and set it aside.
- In the same pot, saute the onion in the oil until it becomes translucent.
- To the sautéed onion, add the nutritional yeast and mix thoroughly, until the oil is full absorbed and it is browned slightly.
- Mix in the spices and non-dairy milk and cook until it becomes thick and creamy.
- Add the cauliflower to the pot, mash it roughly, and mix it into the mixture.
- Spread this cauliflower mixture over the diced vegetables in the pan, and spread it evenly over the top.
- Bake the pan in a pre-heated 375F oven for 45-55 minutes, until the rhutabaga is soft when pierced with a fork.
Leave me a comment below, and let me know what your favorite fall vegetable is, and how you like to use it! Also, leave a message on the Facebook page, or on Twitter. You’re also more than welcome to come and follow me on Pinterest.
(Note: You’ll notice in the pictures that I used some Daiya topping, but I found that the dish didn’t need it, and was very good all on its own!)
I will be at the Durham District School Board Wellness Fair Tomorrow! I hope to see some of you there, but if you’re not able to come, I will be on Twitter as I’m able throughout the event! You don’t want to miss out on the great opportunities and fun things there will be to do!
I’ve also got a special blog post coming out hopefully later this week, but here is a hint about what it is going to be about! (Can you guess where it was taken?)
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