Baby carrots might be nice for kids, but when it comes to cooking, I say go big or go home! Actually there’s almost no relationship between size and flavor in carrots. Carrots prefer cooler weather, so they do well in Western New York. Even in summer we can get enormous carrots without any loss in flavor or texture.
Carrot RecipesQuinoa with Moroccan Winter Squash and Carrot Stew
This is probably my favorite carrot recipe of all time. You can also use up some of the butternut or honeynut squash you have hanging around
Pickled Carrot Sticks
The perfect winter pickle
Roasted Carrots and Beets
It doesn't get any simpler than this! Add your favorite herbs for extra flavor.
Beets are one of those things that some people either love or hate. However, I’m still convinced that people who hate them had a bad experience with canned salad bar beets. Fresh roasted beets are an entirely different animal (or vegetable as it may be). I go through ups and downs with beets, but I made Roasted Beets with Carrots and Cumin for a thanskgiving appetizer and it made me fall in love with them all over again.
Here are some storage and preparation tips for beets:
6 Ways to Enjoy Beets
Some people liken parsnips to a pale carrot, but they are so much more. Their sweet and nutty flavor allows them to pair well with both sugary and savory dishes. The cold weather only intensifies the natural flavor in parsnips, and they are one of the few veggies that improve with size (they stay tender rather than getting fibrous or unflavorful as some veggies do when they get too big).
Keep parsnips unwashed in the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag. They should last for several weeks stored this way. If they start to get a little wrinkly, you can always just throw them in a bowl of water and let them sit in the bowl in the fridge to a day or so.
To prepare parsnips, wash and peel if desired. I never peel my organic carrots because it wastes good flesh and fiber. You really don’t need to peel these parsnips either, but it’s up to you. If you plan to steam them, the skin will fall off pretty easily once they are cooked. If you want to freeze your parsnips, you will probably have the best luck cooking and then pureeing them first.
Half a cup of sliced, cooked parsnips has 3 grams of fiber and only 55 calories. They are a source of vitamin C (11% of RDA), folate (11% RDA) and manganese (10% RDA).
Although we sometimes call them sweet potatoes “yams” they are actually a different plant. Yams, which are native to Africa and Asia, are not found in North American. Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes because they have more vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Beta Carotene, Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. They also add natural sweetness to many dishes.
Storage and Preparation
Sweet potatoes should be kept in a cool, dry, and dark place; not in the fridge! Sweet potatoes will keep for 1-2 weeks when cool and dry. Scrub sweet potatoes under water before use. Scrub sweet potatoes under cool water just before use. Keep the skins on for extra fiber!
Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes because they have more vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are a good source of Beta Carotene, Vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. They are also fat and cholesterol free and can add a natural sweetness to many dishes.
Their hearty texture makes mushrooms a perfect stand-in for meat in many vegetarian recipes. Vegetarian cookbooks are filled with many mushroom recipes including a few of my favorites from The New Vegetarian Epicure (adapted here).
Storage and Preparation
Keep these mushrooms in a bag in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. Do not wash them. They will last for about 1 week as long as they don’t get wet. These oyster mushrooms are grown in pasteurized straw and organic millet. It’s a very clean process with no dirt involved so there really isn’t any need to wash them. You may want to remove the very tiny amount of straw at the base where they were cut, but the whole thing is edible.
While they look fairly exotic, these mushrooms can stand in for white mushrooms in most recipes– we just wouldn’t recommend stuffing them, though you can…