Meatless Monday Recipe: Citrus and Avocado Kale Salad with Farro and Hazelnuts

Happy Meatless Monday!

Today I wanted to share an absolutely gorgeous, bright, and seasonal salad favorite: Citrus and Avocado Kale Salad with Farro and Hazelnuts. This simple, yet decadent salad celebrates the vibrant flavors of a (finally!) waning winter with juicy blood orange and grapefruit segments, accentuated by creamy avocado and crunchy hazelnuts. I serve this salad with farro, but if you are unable to find farro at your local market feel free to substitute brown rice for an equally delicious experience. This salad makes 6 healthful servings and can easily be made in advance, left undressed so the kale stays crisper, then packed as a lunch throughout your workweek.

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Spring Clean Your Eating and Your Pantry

Spring reminds me of renewal and rejuvenation.  It’s a great time of year to give everything a little tune-up, including your eating habits.  When spring arrives, it inspires me to freshen up my menu with foods from the Earth.

I love the idea of “spring cleaning” your eating habits and believe it or not, I think the “cleaning” starts with literally organizing your pantry and kitchen!

Read on to learn how to refresh your meals and add flavorful nutrition to everything you eat with quality foods and ingredients.

Spring Cleaning on TV in D.C. and Baltimore
I recently appeared on WBAL and Let’s Talk Live with fresh and fun food ideas. Watch both clips for my tips and check out the highlights below.

Featuring: McCormick spices flavor tips and zesty spring salad recipe, Sunkist citrus and tangy star ruby grapefruit avocado salsa recipe, overnight apple pie recipe with Grape nuts, almond milk, and chia seeds, Silk water conservation info and smoothie ideas, and my favorite KIND snacks.

 

Featuring: Delicious fruit & veggie Silk smoothie recipe, Sunkist mandarins and curry chicken mandarin and cashew salad, and Gulf shrimp and citrus grilled shrimp recipe.

Spring Clean Your Pantry

One of the first things you should do with your pantry is toss anything that’s expired, or if it’s growing something… get rid of it.  Also double check your spices to make sure they are still fresh and flavorful.

Herbs and spices are smart for, “spring cleaning”, because they help you add flavor to meals without adding salt, sugar or fat.  McCormick has an infographic on their Pinterest page that shows when you should consider tossing your spices and refresh them with new ones. To see if your spices are fresh:

  • Look for bright vibrant colors – faded color could mean the flavor is faded too. (use with chili powder spice)
  • Rub the spice in your hand, you want a nice aroma – weak aroma indicates it time to toss. (use with cinnamon spice)
  • Taste your spice – if it’s lacking flavor it’s past it’s prime. (use with garlic powder

Another “spring cleaning tip”:  I love reaching for garlic powder instead of the salt shaker – anywhere you would use salt, using garlic powder instead helps reduce sodium.  When you refresh your pantry with McCormick spices, it helps make healthier meal prep easy.

Lemon Pepper Spinach Salad Gimme Some Oven_Recipes_1007x545.ashx

Lemon Pepper Spinach Salad with Chicken Recipe. Photo credit: Ali Ebright from Gimme Some Oven.

I really love this Lemon Pepper Spinach Salad with Chicken. It’s a lighter, more refreshing dish than some of those wintery “comfort foods”.  It’s full of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and flavor with the McCormick “perfect pinch” lemon pepper spice.  McCormick has a whole line of salt-free Perfect Pinch products that make meal prep easy while reducing salt.

McCormick’s website, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook page are great resources for more information and recipes to add flavor this spring!

Stock up on Citrus Fruit

Make sure your kitchen has a fruit bowl to make it super-easy to reach for a healthy piece of fruit to snack on.  Adding fruits to meals and snacks is a simple and easy choice to instantly “spring clean” your eating.  Citrus is one of my favorite fruits to keep on-hand because it’s healthy, versatile and  delicious.  If you’ve been eating heavier foods in the colder weather, now is the time to lighten up the recipes.

Sunkist Sticker Co-op Logo (2)

Sunkist offers more than 40 varieties of premium quality, fresh citrus year-round including oranges, lemons, and grapefruit available in organic and specialty varieties. So there’s something for everyone!  Grapefruit and

img-grapefruit-varieties

Grapefruit provides antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, and promotes heart health and healthy skin.  It also plays a supporting role in helping you with weight management due to its fiber and water content. You get a greater feeling of fullness and stronger appetite control when you add grapefruit to a day.

Add grapefruit to ANY meal, breakfast, for lunches – try grapefruit in wraps and salads. For dinner grapefruit is delicious with grilled foods.  This is an easy grapefruit salsa made with avocado, red pepper, green onion, and cilantro. It would go fabulous with eggs at breakfast or anything you make at lunch or dinner.  The vitamin C in the grapefruit will help keep the avocado green so it will stay pretty.

curry chicken and gold nugger cashew salad2Early spring is prime time for mandarins like Sunkist Smiles, a sweet, seedless snack that you and your kids will love,
and late season Gold Nugget mandarins, that is only available for a couple months.
Mandarins are easy to peel and separate into segments, making them great for lunch boxes or snacks.
With their incredibly juicy taste, they also brighten up salads and recipes. You can use them anywhere, any meal – even a very simple, nutritious dessert. This curry chicken mandarin cashew salad is an easy lunch you could make ahead and eat all week.

You can get this, and hundreds of other recipes, at Sunkist.com.  Their Pinterest and Facebook page also have loads of great information and recipes.

 

Power up with Plants

For a “spring clean” refrigerator, consider adding in Silk plant based beverages as a choice that’s healthy for your body AND the planet.

I love the idea of a morning smoothie.  This Get Your Greens On Smoothie is easy and a good opportunity to get some plant-based nutrition into your breakfast.  It’s loaded with kale, cucumber, and banans plus 1 cup of Silk unsweetened vanilla almond milk, which provides delicious, plant-based nourishment. You could also try Original Silk soymilk or coconutmilk in this recipe.  

Get Your Greens On Smoothie. Photo credit: http://silk.com/recipes/get-your-greens-smoothie

If you’re too short on time for a smoothie or like the idea of an option of “pour and go”, try Silk Almondmilk Protein + Fiber

Each serving contains five grams of protein and five grams of fiber that can help promote a feeling of fullness. This is available in Original and Vanilla.

You can also enjoy Silk with breakfast cereal or in smoothies where you would use dairy milk.  You can many delicious plant based recipes at Silk.com as well as Silk’s Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

April is also Earth Month – a timely reminder that we can do our part to conserve water.  Silk saves a lot of water. For every half gallon of Silk Original soymilk, almond milk, or coconut milk you swap for dairy milk, you save 500 gallons of water.  That’s like brushing your teeth 500 times, 20 showers, or 10 loads of laundry.

‘Spring’ Into Seafood

The Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans eat 8 ounces of seafood per week, including fish and shellfish. Look for wild-caught Gulf shrimp from the Gulf Coast at your grocery store. It’s a lean source of protein, which helps you feel full and satisfied at mealtime.

Gulf Shrimp

I like to make Boiled Gulf Shrimp in advance, keep it in the refrigerator, and then use it all week, adding it to salads, wraps and for dipping in hummus and guacamole as a snack!

I especially love using Gulf shrimp on the grill because it’s so easy and flavorful. This Grilled Citrus Gulf Shrimp is marinated in citrus juices, mint and lime for about 30 minutes – then toss it on the grill for just 3 minutes per side and you’re done. I like to serve it over brown rice, which is whole grain, and to save even more time, I use the microwave steamer bag of brown rice, then stir in some cilantro and serve the shrimp and rice with a side of grilled vegetables.

Visit Eat Gulf Seafood.com for recipes with delicious Gulf Coast seafood. And Check out Gulf Coast Seafood on Facebook and Twitter.

Refresh Your Cereal

Overnight_Apple_Pie_Breakfast_Pudding_W_thumbnail

Overnight Apple Pie Breakfast Pudding

Cereal can be an easy morning breakfast, but many cereals are lacking whole grains and have added sugar that rival a candy bar. I love Grape Nuts for the “spring pantry” because it’s a classic cereal with crunchy whole grain and it’s filled with fiber.

Grape-Nuts recently did a national survey and found that more than 70% of Americans feel their meal plan needs a makeover, and 86% admit they replace meals with snacks.  In the spirit of healthy snacking, Grape Nuts offers recipes that integrate hearty whole grains into portable, delicious options.  This Overnight Apple Pie Breakfast Pudding, made with apple, almond milk, chia seeds, and cinnamon, offers a great morning protein boost.  It has apple, almond milk, chia seeds, and cinnamon.  You can get this recipe and more at GrapeNuts.com

 

Be KIND to Yourself

Snacks are a vital part of my day, and I always choose higher quality packaged foods when I need to grab something quick and easy (and recommend that my clients do the same).  “Spring clean” your snack drawer by choosing healthy snacks – I love KIND snacks because they have ingredients you can see and pronounce and they taste absolutely delicious.Kind Vanilla Blueberry

This Friday, April 11, is National Read Your Nutrition Label Day and it’s a good reminder to pay attention to what exactly is in your food.  Try  KIND Healthy Grains Clusters and KIND Healthy Grains Bars for a wholesome, tasty snack that you can feel good about; both have whole grains as the first ingredient – like oats, quinoa, and buckwheat.

Clusters are great for yogurt toppers, cereals, or just a crunchy snack on their own.  I adore the Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with flaxseed, which is high in fiber and contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Healthy Grains bars come in varieties like maple pumpkin seeds with sea salt and peanut butter dark chocolate.  KIND also has a flavorful “nuts and spices” bar that contains only 5g  or less of natural sugar – no “fake sugars” in these babies. They come in wonderful flavor combinations like Madagascar Vanilla Almond, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, and Cashew Ginger Spice.

Both the Healthy Grains bars and Nuts and Spices bars are great for on-the-go healthy snacking at the office, in your car, or your gym bag.  I have at least one with me pretty much everywhere I go!

Check out the KIND website, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter for more info and fun facts.

 

Thanks for checking out my favorite ‘spring cleaning’ tips! I’d love to hear  what  some of your favorite ways to fine-tune your diet in the spring?

 

Disclaimer: I was compensated by McCormick, Silk, KIND Snacks, Post Cereal, Gulf Coast Seafood, and Sunkist to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Time for Happy Hour! (No, it’s not what you think)

A few weeks ago, I taped some interview segments for The OWN Show – web exclusives for the Oprah Winfrey Network (that’s right, Oprah!!). The host of the show and I talked about a variety of health and nutrition issues, but the one theme we kept landing on was the influence of happiness on your health. You can watch the full clips below and comment on the OWN Facebook page!

There’s More to Health than Diet and Exercise

Watch these videos to find out how setting your own “happy hour,” “me time,” and editing your to-do list can improve your health and happiness, without an ounce of guilt.

Happiness & Healthy Choices

Take a Break from the To-Do List

What makes you happy?

I have a busy nutrition and health counseling practice here in Washington, D.C., and one of the things I work on with my clients is identifying things that are more important than weight when it comes to good health.  We talk about bloodwork, cholesterol, exercise, sleep, time management, stress, eating enough protein, fruits, and vegetables, getting some down time, and many other things … but the one thing we always end up talking the most about are the things that make us happy.  Why?

Well, when you’re happy you’re more likely to stick to your healthy habits like getting good exercise and eating well, which in turn engage the hormones and neurotransmitters that influence your happiness.  When your mood is down, you’re more likely to skip workouts, do some heavy-duty emotional overeating, and have difficulty sleeping.

Schedule a ‘Happy Hour’!

happy-47083_640So, one thing I ask my clients to do is schedule a once-a-week “Happy Hour.”  And, no, I’m not suggesting they scope out 5 o’clock drink specials (though, I’m not opposed to that every now and then)!   What I mean by Happy Hour is, I ask them to schedule one hour a week — just one hour a week — to do something that makes them happy.

You can’t cancel it, you have to protect it on their calendar, and I kinda prefer you not make it family-related.

I can just hear some of you now:  but, I’m already overscheduled!  I don’t have an hour!  I have too many commitments!  My family needs me!  My kids need to be driven places!

I understand.  I really do.  I work full-time (and have to travel a lot), I’m a mom, I have a husband I adore and another baby on the way.  I like to see friends, and I like to go do things with the people I love.  I have family far away that I worry about and want to see more.  And, I have a hard time balancing everything my life.  I do.  I’m not gonna lie.

But, I found that if I actually, physically scheduled that one hour a week, I really used it and it made a difference in how the rest of my week went.  Otherwise, I might’ve just hung around on Facebook a little longer, or done some housework, or just paid attention to everyone else but myself.

Practicing What I Preach

I make sure I schedule a Happy Hour every week, just like I tell my clients to do.  I make sure that hour is mine, all mine, and I do different things each week, depending on my mood:quote

  • Sometimes, I go for a walk outside because it helps me feel energetic, and I crave the Vitamin D from the sun.
  • Other times, I’ll watch TV alone in bed.
  • I’ll call a friend and just gab and laugh for an hour.  Laughter supports the immune system, lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, and promotes organ health.
  • Every now and then, I’ll go out for a coffee with a girlfriend and have a doughnut (or two).  What!  It makes me happy.  Even nutritionists eat doughnuts sometimes!
  • I’ll make a playlist and just sit and listen to songs I love and sometimes dance around.
  • Sometimes, I just take a nap.
  • One time, I spent an hour going through my HUGE to-do list and just crossed stuff off I knew I was *never* gonna do.  That felt amazing and lifted my spirits.

Scheduling a Happy Hour once a week is a great first step toward creating healthy habits that last a lifetime.  The world won’t end if you say “no” to them and “yes” to yourself. This is your Happy Hour and you need it. You deserve it.

Tell me what YOU are going to do with your very own Happy Hour!

Leave a comment below and tell me what you’re going to do during your own “Happy Hour”! Don’t forget to tweet your #HappyHour ideas to @ScritchfieldRD and #OWNshow!

Exercise for the Health of It

Spring is in the air which means its time to come out of hibernation and start movin’! During April I will be promoting the Exercise Attitude Adjustment Challenge! This challenge encourages you to focus on exercising for the health of it, rather than trying to be the next olympic gold medalist! Remember-progress, not perfection-every little bit of effort counts!

We all know that the recommendation is to do 60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week for optimal health. In reality, Americans only exercise for an average of 17 minutes per day. So what is slowing us down?

I believe that the key problem is exercise attitudes. Maybe you don’t have time in your busy schedule to set aside an hour for exercise. Or is it that you just can’t get yourself motivated to run on the treadmill? Many of us have unrealistic expectations about the changes we want to see to our bodies. The first step towards being physically active is an exercise attitude adjustment. Get rid of that negative thinking and turn your stroll into a skip!

Staying active is all about making it work for you and your lifestyle. Keep these three tips in mind as you race to meet your exercise goals.

1. Choose activities you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to go on a 10-mile run if that’s not your thing! It may be hard to believe, but some of the activities you probably already enjoy doing actually count as exercise. For instance, daily activities such as vacuuming, gardening, raking leaves, walking the dog, or even just picking up kids toys force us to get up and move. Personalize your exercise by discovering what makes you happy, whether that is dancing, yoga, biking, playing a sport or going for a walk with a friend. One exercise routine does not fill all!

2. Tailor your exercise to fit with your schedule. Making time for physical activity does not have to be stressful. Simple changes can make a world of difference:

  •       Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  •       Park at the far end of the parking lot or get off a stop early on the subway.
  •       Break up your exercise with a quick 15-minute morning yoga session, a 30-minute lunchtime brisk walk, and a 15-minute evening workout video- the combination is just as good as exercising for an hour straight!
  •       Multitask. Walk on the treadmill while returning phone calls in the evening or catch up on reading while on the stationary bike.
  •       On the weekends plan activities with family or friends that gets everyone moving. Organize a family bike ride, embark on a morning hike, sign up for a yoga class with a friend, or go for a swim.

3. Discover what motivates you. Whether you find a workout buddy, sign up for a group exercise class, or invest in a device to track your activity, everyone needs some sort of encouragement. Allot time for exercise on your daily calendar and make it a routine!

Your Turn to Share

Now that I’ve shared the secrets to achieving an exercise attitude adjustment I want to hear your ideas. How do you get motivated? What activities do you do to get moving? Tweet, Post, Instagram or Pin your favorite exercise tips, quotes, or activities to help others get on board!

  • Use the primary hashtag #SelfCareChallenge in your messages
  • Be sure to “follow” me on Facebook , Twitter or Pinterest. I’ll be posting motivations, tips, and responding to your questions EVERY SINGLE DAY.
  • If you have a blog, write about your experience and share those links.

Spring into Health

Now that spring is in the air it’s time to turn over a new leaf and shake off those winter blues! Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with CNN’s Karin Caifa to share my ideas on how to make some healthier switches as spring approaches – switches that won’t be too drastic, dramatic or too easy to abandon! Watch the clip below or read on to learn about my tips.

The key to succeeding when making a change is to start small and start simple. The most important thing is being consistent. The more you are consistent these new behaviors they will eventually become habits (good ones). Here are a few tips to help freshen up your eating this spring.

  • Add any fresh produce to your menu. You can’t mess it up. Spring is a great time of year for fresh apricots, cherries, kiwi, grapefruit, swiss chard, green beans and all types of lettuces.
  • Add herbs and spices to help make healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains more flavorful without adding salt, sugar, or fat.
  • As the weather gets warmer, eat more cold foods like salads with fresh fruits, lean meats or tofu, and beans. Make your own dressing with herbs and spices, olive oil, and vinegar.
  • It’s not too early to fire up your grill for a flavor boost without added salt and fat. Grill vegetables and lean meats like fish, chicken, or beef seasoned with herbs and spices. Check out these delicious grilling recipes: Asian Turkey Burgers or Grilled Tofu with Ratatouille Vegetables 

Don’t forget about Spring Cleaning!

  • The first thing you should do to eat healthier is “spring clean your kitchen” to make cooking easier.
  • Make room in your refrigerator for new fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods you can make ahead of time.
  • Refresh your pantry by stocking up on herbs and spices that will allow you to flavor your foods without adding extra salt, sugar, and fat.
  • Add some nutritious canned foods like beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, olives, and canned tuna and salmon to help you get healthy meals on the table quickly.
  • Simplify cooking. You don’t need to prepare a 3 course meal every night! Try this easy and healthy Lemon-Parmesan Broccoli as a delicious side dish.

What should we spring clean out of our diets?

  •  Reduce your intake of “empty calorie” foods and beverages, such as desserts, sugary drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
  •  Swap fresh fruits like citrus and berries, which are in season for desserts. I love freezing sliced bananas or a handful of grapes for a sorbet or ice cream substitute.
  • Drink water or sparkling water infused with mint, fresh cucumber, or lemon instead of caloric beverages.
  • Cut back on sodium by preparing your meal at home and checking food labels for hidden sources of salt.
  • Sauces, seasonings, and marinades can be high in sodium. Try making your own with herbs, spices, citrus, vinegar, and healthy oils.
  • Avoid higher calorie fried foods and rich foods, which tend to be difficult to digest and make you feel sluggish. Instead, grill your vegetables and lean proteins, which will add flavor.

What are some of your favorite spring time foods and activities?

Leave a comment below and share your spring time tips with us! Happy Spring!

 

 

My Exciting Partnership with the Oprah Network

Drumroll please.

Roll out the red carpet – I am one step closer to Oprah!

I am absolutely thrilled to announce that I am working with the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) on a series of short segments about health, wellness, and weight.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts and perspectives on what it means to be healthy, common dieting mistakes, and how to make time for your very OWN happy hour every week.

If you know anything about me, then you probably know how I feel about dieting and finding the best weight for yourself.  When OWN asked me to share the #1 mistake women make when dieting, it was pretty easy for me to narrow it down: the fact that they are on a diet in the first place!  Throughout these segments we identify the common mistakes people make to derail their diets efforts. I explain the facts about the downfalls of dieting and bring focus to the different ways people can change their perspective on health, wellness, and dieting.

DIET DERAIL–Learn How to Be Happy in Your Body

SIZE DIVERSITY–Find Your Healthy Size

Here are some key takeaways

  • Dieting is not the same as healthy eating.
  • When you deprive yourself from foods you love it can often lead to overeating.
  • When you under eat and over exercise your body’s metabolism slows down and tries to prevent fat loss for survival.
  • Our DNA is what makes us unique, and there is no one perfect size for everyBODY.  We are not all meant to look alike.
  • Size diversity comes down to science and our genetic footprint.
  • If you are trying unsuccessfully to lose weight and are wondering what the problem is, maybe there isn’t one.  Maybe your body is happy there and your challenge is to become happy there, too.
  • Focus on balanced and realistic plan and avoid drastic, quick fixes. Ask yourself can I do this for the rest of my life?
  • Check yourself. Would you recommend your diet to your daughter or best friend?

Make your voice heard

I know I am not the only one who feels strongly that finding your best health and wellness is about more than a size;  it’s about finding a healthy balance, learning how to cultivate healthy habits, and accepting ourselves as we are.

Lending your voice can have a powerful influence on those around you.  Please help to encourage this positive attitude and spread scientific evidence-based information by sharing this video and with those you know and love.  We all would benefit from a better understanding of size diversity.

Feel free to share your comments and questions on social media. We’re using these hashtags and handles:

#OWNShow

@OWNTV

@DanishaDanielle (the host who interviewed me)

and, of course, @ScritchfieldRD (that’s me!)

I look forward to sharing my opinions throughout this series.  I hope that my messages will educate viewers on the negative impact dieting has on our health, happiness, and well-being.  Is there something you’d like to learn more about?  Leave a comment or tweet to share your topic ideas for upcoming segments – the cameras will be rolling again in April!

Produce of the Day: Parsnips

All this month I’m making it fun to eat better with my 30-Day Challenge “Half Plate Produce” in the spirit of National Nutrition Month’s theme “Enjoy the taste of eating right!”

Tweet, Post, Instagram or Pin your favorite pics and recipes that help make it fun for YOU to eat better. (Use #30DayChallenge and #NNM in your messages.)

Image Source: edenbrothers.com

Image Source: edenbrothers.com

From late fall to early spring, parsnips are at their peak.  You can snatch them up in many grocery stores and farmers markets.  These root vegetables are related to carrots, celery root, parsley, and fennel.  They look a lot like a white carrot, and they have a sweeter flavor than carrots.

In the middle ages, parsnips were thought to be aphrodisiacs and to cure sore feet and toothaches.  I’m not making any guarantees that parsnips are going to make you any better in bed, but they are good for your heart, gums/teeth, and muscles.

Here’s how:

Folate

Folate is a water soluble B Vitamin that is naturally found in fruits, vegetables (especially dark green leafy ones), liver, and beans.  Grain-based products, like breads and cereals, are required to be fortified with 25% of recommended daily folate.

Folate is important in energy metabolism and DNA synthesis.  Deficiencies in folate can lead to birth defects, so this nutrient is especially important for women of child-bearing age.

Antioxidants

Parsnips are rich in falcarinol, which is a type of phytonutrient with antioxidant properties .  Falcarinol is linked to decreased incidence of cancer cell formation and decreased inflammation.  Chronic inflammation is associated with many conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and Alzheimer’s.

Potassium

Potassium is an electrolyte that helps balance water and minerals in the body, maintain normal blood pressure, contract and build muscle, transmit nerve signals, and regulate the body’s pH.  Most American’s do not get enough potassium in their diets, so it’s important to try to include potassium-rich foods, like parsnips, often.  A diet high in potassium is associated with reduce risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

Parsnips are also rich in soluble fiber and vitamin C.

How parsnips can help make half plate produce:

Roast Them

I love roasted parsnips – the high heat from the oven caramelizes the sugar in the parsnips to bring out their naturally sweet, nutty flavor.  Plus, roasting is quick and easy and it requires no fancy kitchen skills, so anyone can do it.

You can roast parsnips by themselves or add other root veggies, like carrots, turnips, and rutabaga.  I like to slice mine into matchsticks, toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast them in a 425 °oven until they’re just starting to brown (20 -25 minutes).  After I take them out of the oven I drizzle them with pomegranate molasses (about 1 Tablespoon) – the sweet/tart taste brings the parsnips to a new level.  Serve the roasted vegetables as a side with your favorite protein.  Leftovers make great additions to any salad!

Add them to soup

You can use parsnips pretty much anywhere you’d use carrots.  Making chicken noodle soup?  Try dicing parsnips up instead of/ in addition to carrots.

Parsnips puree nicely, so they’re wonderful in creamy soups as well.  This recipe from Martha Stewart uses just a touch of cream and tops the soup with crunchy toasted almonds.  A small bowl would be an elegant first course, or serve as the entrée with whole wheat bread, green salad, and fresh fruit – that’s way more than half a plate (or bowl) of produce!

Image Source: marthastewart.com

Image Source: marthastewart.com

Mash them Like Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are one of the ultimate comfort foods – they’re decadently rich, creamy, and buttery.  One of the reasons mashed potatoes need so much butter and cream is that they don’t have much flavor on their own.  Parsnips, however, have loads of flavor and make a great mashed side dish that doesn’t require so much fat.  This recipe modifies a Julia Child method for making delicious mashed .  If uses only a touch of butter (definitely less than what Julia used!) and the cooking liquid from the veggies to add loads of flavor.

Your Turn to Share

I’ve shared my tips and now I want to hear yours!  What are some of your fave ways to add parsnips into your diet? Did I miss any of your favorite tricks? Tweet, Post, Instagram or Pin your favorite pics and recipes that help make it fun for YOU to eat better. (Use #30DayChallenge and #NNM in your messages.)

(Disclosure: I did not receive compensation for this blog post.)

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