Mashed Rutabaga and Broccoli

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So, if someone were to ask me to think of two of the healthiest vegetables possible, it would be hard to narrow it down, but I can guarantee you that rutabaga and broccoli would be on the top of my list of possibilities!  Check out the following pins giving good reason as to why these two veggies are two of my favorites!

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See?  Told ya so! 🙂  Anyway, with this in mind, I wanted to find a side that included these two delightful veggies.  I’ve shared my recipe for mashed rutabaga before…after thinking about it, I figured, why not add in some broccoli and top it with a bit of shredded goat cheese and plain yogurt – best. decision. ever.

This stuff is REALLY yummy, and you just saw how packed with nutrients it is!  Best part is that it is super easy to make!  Let’s get to it!

MASHED RUTABAGA AND BROCCOLI

Ingredients

  • 1 rutabaga, washed, peeled, and chopped into cubes
  • 1 large bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
  • garlic granules
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, plus more for topping
  • hard goat cheese for shredding
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

1.) Cover the rutabaga with water in a saucepan.  Place over high heat and boil until very tender, about 10-15 minutes.  While doing this, steam the broccoli in a steamer until tender.

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2.) Place the cooked rutabaga and broccoli into a food processor.  Add garlic granules (to taste) and 1/2 cup of plain yogurt.  Process on high until it reaches your desired consistency.

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3.) Transfer to a bowl, and top with shredded goat cheese and a dollop of plain yogurt.

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Yum yum yum!  Makes for a perfect lunch, or as a side dish paired with a baked chicken breast for dinner.  Enjoy! 🙂

A Breakfast Pie for Pi Day!

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Math geeks rejoice!!! It’s Pi day!!!  Happy Pi day everyone!!!

I always love Pi day, and I always try to do something fun for my students when it comes around.  Since I am teaching strictly online right now, I decided to have my own celebration, and I started it with a delicious Rutabaga and Kale Pi for breakfast…well actually it’s a quiche, but given the day, we will call it a breakfast pi!  Regardless of what you call it, it is delicious, and rest assured, you can enjoy it on any day, not just Pi day! 🙂

To further celebrate, and before getting to the recipe, enjoy the following pin with some great, fun, and interesting facts about the number pi.

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Okay, now let’s talk a bit more about this breakfast pi!  To kick of the celebrating, I pulled out my Pi pie pan and went to work creating this delicious breakfast dish.

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This breakfast pi is delicious, and did I mention that it is delicious?  With plenty of rutabaga and kale, it is extremely good for you, and makes for a great start to your day.  Let’s take a look at this recipe!

RUTABAGA AND KALE BREAKFAST PI

Ingredients

  • 1 medium rutabaga, washed, peeled, and chopped into tiny cubes
  • 2 cups lightly packed kale, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 7 eggs or you can use 12 egg whites
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Directions

1.) Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  After chopping your rutabaga into tiny cubes, cover them with water in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.  Cook for 10 minutes or until the rutabaga is soft.  Drain and set aside.

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2.) While the rutabaga is cooking, heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan.  Add the kale and onion, and cook until the kale is completely wilted.  Set aside.

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3.) Lightly coat your pie pan with olive oil, then place the cooked rutabaga in the bottom of the pie pan.  Top the rutabaga with the kale and onion, and then top it all off with the mozzarella cheese.

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4.) In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, basil, and garlic powder till thoroughly combined.  Pour the mixture over the contents of the pie pan.

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5.) Place the breakfast pi in the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center is not jiggly.

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6.) Cut into triangular pieces, and season with sea salt and pepper.

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Yummy, YuMmY, YUMMY!

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Happy Pi Day! Enjoy! 🙂

Rutabaga Pizza Bites

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The other day, I made a batch of my rutabaga fries, and I used oregano, basil, and garlic powder as my seasoning.  The result reminded me of pizza, so it got me thinking that with a little tomato flavor, and a bit of cheese, I could probably make some healthy pizza bites using rutabaga.  Turns out, I was right!  These pizza bites are really tasty, and SO good for you!

I know I’ve gone on and on about my love for rutabagas before, but I just don’t think this delicious root vegetable gets the hype it deserves!  The following pin lists some health benefits of rutabaga.

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On top of all these great benefits, rutabagas are also strongly anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral, so they are excellent at fighting colds and flu and preventing them!  Seriously, this veggie is one of my favorites for a reason!  On top of it being so good for you, it’s also extremely versatile, and there are a lot of different dishes you can make with it!

Okay, enough about my beloved rutabagas.  Let’s get to these pizza bites!

RUTABAGA PIZZA BITES

Ingredients: (the amount of each of these is up to you, depending on how much you are making and your individual taste)

  • Rutabaga
  • Tomato
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Oregano
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Cheese of your choice (I used semi-hard goat cheese)

Directions:

1.) Preheat your oven to 410 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2.) Start by washing your rutabaga, and peeling off the skin.  Cut your rutabaga into round slices about 1/3 – 1/2 an inch thick. Place the slices on the prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Move the slices around so they are evenly coated in olive oil.  Sprinkle the slices with garlic powder and sea salt.  Place in the oven for 18 minutes.

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3.) While the rutabaga is starting to cook, slice your tomato into round slices about 1/3 an inch thick.  When the rutabaga has cooked for 18 minutes, take them out of the oven and top each one with a tomato slice.  Sprinkle with the oregano, basil and sea salt, then sprinkle a small amount of apple cider vinegar on each one.  Place back in the oven for 20 minutes.

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4.) After the 20 minutes are up, take out of the oven and top with shredded cheese.  Put back in the oven for 10 more minutes until the cheese is melted.

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5.) Transfer to a plate and use a knife to cut into bite size pieces.

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Soooooo yummy, and soooooo good for you!  Enjoy! 🙂

HEALTHY MASHED RUTABAGA WITH CHIVES AND PLAIN GREEK YOGURT

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and for many, that means mashed potatoes!  My mom is coming for a visit this Thanksgiving (weather permitting), and she recently asked me if I wanted her to make her cheesy mashed potatoes.  Unfortunately, I don’t eat any of the foods that are in that delicious recipe, so no mashed potatoes for me this Thanksgiving.  However, it got me to thinking what would be a good replacement for this favorite holiday dish!

Before getting into replacement options, first a little explanation about why I avoid potatoes (especially if they’ve been peeled, which is what mashed potatoes calls for).  Potatoes do have nutritious components, such as B vitamins, vitamin A, vitamin C, and some excellent minerals, but they also have undesirable qualities that make them less healthy than we’ve all come to believe.

1.) Potatoes are as close to a pure, refined starch as you can get without actually refining it, so as soon as we start to digest these spuds, we break them down into sugar.  When this happens, we have a refined simple carb, which is responsible for increasing abdominal fat, promoting weight gain, and setting the stage for type 2 diabetes.  Because of all this, eating potatoes can cause your insulin to spike, which spells disaster for someone suffering from diabetes or for someone trying to manage their weight.

2.) Most of the nutrients in a potato are found in the skin, so if you are making mashed potatoes, or a recipe that calls for removing the skin, you are basically just eating straight sugar.  In terms of sugar intake, a single serving of potatoes is worse for you than a 12-oz. can of Coke!

3.)  Potatoes are also slightly toxic.  Potato skins contain saponins, a toxin which can cause digestive problems if you eat it in quantity. Cooking potatoes gets rid of most of the saponins, but in general, if you have leaky-gut problems you should try to avoid eating potatoes.

4.) Potatoes are strongly inflammatory.  A 1/2 cup serving of mashed potatoes has an inflammation factor of -69 (If you are unfamiliar with inflammation ratings, a rating of -69 is NOT good).  Potatoes are also a nightshade vegetable which can cause issues with individuals who have arthritis or other inflammatory conditions.

Before going on, I definitely need to mention that I am not talking about sweet potatoes here.  Sweet potatoes have all the nutrients of a regular potato, but they have a much better carbohydrate profile and are much better for you!  Sweet potatoes are also actually pretty strongly anti-inflammatory, making these a much better choice to include in your diet.

So, as you can see, potatoes aren’t necessarily the worst thing in the world, but in general, I avoid them as there are much healthier alternatives.

Okay, so after talking with my mom, I started to think of alternatives, and I went onto Pinterest and found this pin.

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Rutabagas!!!  Yes, I love these guys!  I have a great recipe for Rutabaga fries (I also list many of the health benefits of rutabagas in this post), so it is only natural that these would be a perfect alternative for another recipe where potatoes are traditionally used.  The above pin links to a recipe for mashed rutabaga with sour cream, butter, and dill.  I changed it up to make it even healthier, and the result was magnificent!

My recipe is for mashed rutabagas with plain greek yogurt and chives (tastes a lot like a sour cream and chive baked potato!), but you can add anything you would like to the recipe to make it your own.  Add your favorite cheese, herbs, topping, etc. to make an extremely healthy Thanksgiving side dish!  You won’t be disappointed!

Alright, so here’s the recipe!  It’s super easy, and SO good for you!

MASHED RUTABAGA WITH PLAIN YOGURT AND CHIVES

Ingredients: makes 2 large servings

  • 1 large rutabaga
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbsp. chives
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

1.) Clean, peel, and chop the rutabaga into small chunks.  Place in a large sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and let boil for  30-40 minutes until the rutabaga is tender.

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2.) When the rutabaga is tender, drain and then return the rutabaga to the pan, and use a masher to mash the rutabaga.

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3.) Once mashed to desired consistency, stir in the olive oil, yogurt and chives.  Mix well, then serve.

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You gotta give these a try!  They are delicious, and a great healthy alternative to mashed potatoes!  Enjoy! 🙂

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