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Enjoying fall’s bounty

Posted September 18, 2013 in Advice Column, Downtown

Fall is my favorite season of the year, and it’s right around the corner. Fall to me means sweatshirt and jeans weather, tailgating and football games, the changing colors of the trees and the great fruits and vegetables that it has to offer.

As the seasons change, so do my eating habits. I know that I tend to eat the same colors that you associate with fall like orange, yellow and red. My favorite fall vegetables are sweet potatoes and parsnips. Sweet potatoes and parsnips pair so well with each other and are fantastic when you roast them in the oven together. You can eat them for breakfast adding an egg over the top, mash them up for a tasty side or even grate them together and make a delicious bread that tastes like dessert.

Not only are sweet potatoes and parsnips tasty, but they have many health benefits that make you feel good about eating them. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, important in maintaining healthy eyes and skin. Parsnips are low in calories and a good source of fiber and potassium, which may help lower the risk of high blood pressure and stroke.

Try out my tasty fall recipe below for a side dish or a vegetarian entrée.

Root vegetables with gnocchi — serves 6

All you need:
3 cups 1/2-inch-cubed peeled sweet potatoes
2 cups 1/2-inch-cubed peeled parsnips
3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 Granny Smith apple, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 (16 oz) pkg. gnocchi
1 clove garlic, minced
4 leaves kale, deveined and sliced into 1-inch strips
1/2 cup apple juice
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
3/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves
3/4 tsp. cinnamon

All you do:
1. Turn oven to 400 degrees and place sweet potatoes and parsnips on a sheet tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil and roast for about 25 to 30 minutes or until soft. Set aside.
2. Place apple cubes on a separate tray; place in the 400-degree oven for about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.
3. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
4. Sauté the gnocchi in a large sauté pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil and garlic for 1 minute. Add the kale and cook on medium to high heat for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale starts to wilt and becomes bright green in color.
5. In a separate bowl mix the apple juice, honey, salt, pepper, thyme and cinnamon together. Pour over the gnocchi mixture, stirring until all incorporated, and heat for 1-2 minutes.
6. Add the sweet potatoes, parsnips and apples. Mix and enjoy.

Information provided by Stacey Wertzberger, Hy-Vee Chef, 4605 Fleur Drive, Des Moines, 515-285-7266





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