I’m very excited to be participating in Affairs of Living and Diet, Dessert and Dogs‘ Sweet or Savory Kitchen Challenge for the month of November! Every month, AoL and DDD team up to create a new challenge for the vegan community which requires cooks to create a dish–sweet or savory–with their special ingredient. And the secret ingredient for November is….PARSNIPS! (Clearly, I am trying to evoke the spirit of Iron Chef Chairman Mark Dacascos. Allez Cusine!).
Parsnips, as described on the Affairs of Living page, contain a host of nutrients, offering an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, pantothenic acid, copper, and manganese. They also contain good amounts of niacin, thiamine, magnesium, and potassium. And although they are a root vegetable, they provide more fiber than potatoes.
In terms of taste, I think they have a great flavor! They are sweet like carrots, but have a tangy bite to them–not as bitter as a turnip, but provides a similar “I can’t believe that taste comes from something out of the ground!” kind of reaction. Because they are naturally sweet, I knew I wanted to turn them into a savory dish.
Everyone loves mashed potatoes, and everyone loves sweet potato casserole, but not everyone loves the starchy aftermath of our beloved spuds. And because parsnips are white, I knew they’d be a good substitute—-folks tend to be more willing to try things that at least look similar to the original, hence all the newbie vegetarians that live off Boca burgers (bleck). If you make this dish and watch “Uncle Joe”–(Angela’s name for the token family member who rants and raves about the lack of turkey on your palte; we all have one!)–eat it up with delight, you’ll get to make use of one of my favorite terms from the 90s that I’m trying ‘bring back’: “PSYCHE!” Not potatoes. Parsnips. Psyche! Love it.
So what all goes in this magical mash?
1 large (or 2 small) parsnip(s)
4 small stalks celery
1 can white beans
1 T olive oil
1-2 t rosemary
1-2 t basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c vegetable broth
First, chop up all your veggies! Pour the olive oil into a large pot and add the onions and spices. Stir for about a minute, then add your parsnips and celery. Mix so everything is coated with spices. Next add your beans and broth, and give another stir. Cook with the lid on over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes (or until soft).
Turn off heat and blend with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, get one. JK. (i mean, not really jk, because, like, they are awesome. so, srsly. go get one). If you don’t have one, transferring this to a blender *might* work, but no promises.
Here’s what it might look like on your Thanksgiving table.
What’s your favorite healthy-spin on a Thanksgiving classic?