Rooting for Fall
Ah, Fall, how I love you and everything you bring. Slightly cooler temperatures. Anything involving pumpkin. An excuse to wear my Uggs again. Lots of cuddling on the sofa. And although I desperately miss my fresh summer fruits and berries (so long until next year!), I truly enjoy cooking more in the Fall- hearty soups, stews, and roasted vegetables.
What you are going to find now in season are lots of root vegetables. By definition, a root vegetable is exactly what is sounds like: the edible root part of the plant that grows underground. Examples include beets, carrots, parsnips, radishes, turnips, etc. They’re super healthy and nutrious, and I recommend eating LOTS of them this season.
In alternative health and nutrition, root vegetables are known to be very grounding for our energies, empower us and keep us firmly connected to the earth (not literally, obviously, but figuratively, of course!). If you’re feeling spacey, confused, lost, and “all over the place,” as Matt says, try adding some root vegetables to your diet.
Here are some of the more popular root vegetables you’ll see at your farmer’s market or supermarket:
*Beets: Have the most sugar, but only 35 calories in one-half cup serving
*Carrots: Fabulous source of beta-carotene.
*Parsnips: Relatives of the carote (without beta-carotene). Good source of vitamin C, folate, and potassium. One of my faves since it’s so sweet.
*Turnips: Don’t be scared by their funny shape! Perfect pureed, mashed, roasted, or added to soups and stews.
*Radishes: Sounrce of vitamin C and phytochemicals. Low calorie snack with hummus.Known to be detoxifying. My favorite restaurant offers fresh radishes with homemade butter and salt. Um, holla!
To get you started on your quest to become more grounded, here’s a great recipe for roasted root veggies. This is Matt’s Fall specialty. The great part about roasting is that you can rarely mess up the recipe! Enjoy!
Roasted Root Vegetables by Wolfgang Puck (Find original recipe here)
- 8 to 12 slender carrots, peeled and trimmed
- 8 to 12 baby turnips, peeled
- 6 to 8 fingerling potatoes, scrubbed and cut lengthwise in halves
- 1 or 2 large parsnips, peeled, trimmed, and cut diagonally into 1-inch-thick slices
- 1 or 2 medium onions, trimmed, peeled and halved, each 1/2 cut into quarters
- 1 or 2 large beets , peeled and cut into thick wedges
- 1 or 2 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and cut into thick wedges
- 1 celery root, trimmed and halved, halves cut crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices
- 1 whole head garlic, separated into cloves, unpeeled
- 2 or 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, sage, or thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Put all the vegetables and the herb sprigs in a large baking dish. Season well with salt and black pepper, drizzle generously with olive oil, and toss them with your hands to coat them evenly.
Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until they are tender and golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve the vegetables from their baking dish or transfer them to a platter to accompany a roasted main course.