Celebrating the Whole Vegetable

These days some restaurants are embracing the idea of  wholeanimal dining, which I think is fabulous.  Why throw out certain parts which are perfectly edible.  My mother grew up on a farm during the depression and you can be sure they used every part.  As a result my mother regularly cooked tongue, brains, liver and sweetbreads.

My diet is more focused on vegetables than my mother’s was.  I am now thinking why not use the whole vegetable?  What about those carrot tops or turnip greens. Foods is very expensive and organic even more so.   With this in mind I came from the farmers market yesterday and prepared 2 dishes using the roots and tops.  I plan to experiment more in the next few weeks looking for ways to use the fennel fronds, maybe in a salad.  I have in the past cooked beet greens which are somewhat like chard and can be cook the same way.  I am wondering what the radish leaves might be good in  or what about the tops of the leeks I have been tossing away?  I am excited to try some new parts of the vegetables.

Today I have 2 recipes.  The first one is a Turnip and Turnip Green Soup which is actually perfect for my upcoming Nourishing Foods Fall Cleanse, which starts next Monday Oct 21,  maybe I will include it.  The white turnips in got in the farmers market had fresh green leaves.  These are only available in the fall and occasionally in the spring.  Together they make a delicious light soup. Turnips and thier greens are a nice alkaline combination.  If you make your own bone broth, this soup will provide even more healing benefits to your digestive system.  If you are vegan, a vegetable stock is also wonderful, full of vitamins. Sorry the picture is a little fuzzy, it was steaming when I took it.

Turnip and  Turnip Greens Soup

Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegan, Paleo, Nut Free, Grain Free

4-6 servings

2 bunches of young turnips with greens
3 Tb ghee or olive oil
1 onion thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
Celtic sea salt
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth

  • Remove greens from the turnips.
  • Trim and discard the stems from the greens
  • Wash and drain the greens and cut them into ½ “ strips
  • Trim the roots from the turnips.  If needed peel the turnips (taste one to judge if the skins are tough) and slice thin
  • Warm a heavy pot over medium heat Add ghee or olive oil
  • Add onion
  • Cook until soft about 12 minutes
  • Add sliced turnips with the bay leaf, thyme and salt
  • Cook for 5 minutes or so stirring occasionally
  • Cover with the broth
  • Bring to a boil, turn soup down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the turnip greens and cook for another 10 minutes or until greens are tender (if you have a lot of green only add enough to fill in the broth but not so many as to overcrowd)
  • Taste for salt and add more as needed
  • Serve

The second dish I made was Roasted Carrots and I topped them with a sprinkling of the carrot tops which have an earthy green flavor. I mixed in a little cilantro to balance out the earthy flavor.

Roasted Carrots Topped with Carrot Greens

4 servings

1 bunch multi-colored carrots with tops
1 sliced shallot
1 Tb olive oil
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp Celtic sea salt, divided
Fresh pepper
1 Tb lemon juice

Topping
¼ cup cilantro
1 tsp grated lemon zest
¼ cup minced carrot tops

  • Trim the carrot tops and set aside. If the carrots are large cut in half or quarters so they are not more than ½” thick
  • On a baking sheet toss the carrots with the shallots, olive oil, curry powder, ¼ tsp salt and pepper.
  • Roast at 425 for 20-30 minutes until the carrots are tender and lightly brown
  • Drizzle with the lemon juice
  • Transfer to a platter. Season with the remaining ¼ tsp salt or to taste
  • While the carrots are cooking make the topping.
  • In a bowl combine the cilantro with the lemon zest and carrot tops
  • Sprinkle over the carrots.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature

 

 

 

 

 

 

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