Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

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On one of the coldest Saturdays of the year in North Carolina, I was determined to drive to a farmers market to stock up on needed essentials, such as sauerkraut, kimchi and carrots with ginger from Two Chicks Farm. Much to my surprise and delight, I stumbled upon a booth whose farmer grew Jerusalem artichokes. These little sunchokes resembled ginger and a root vegetable all in one. The farmer explained to me they were from the sunflower family and I could prepare them like a potato. Roasting sounded quite tempting, as I had never laid eyes on these little tubers before.

I was excited with my find and started researching what exactly a Jerusalem artichoke was. I quickly learned that they are not from Jerusalem, rather a native to North America. They grow in the winter months in the central and eastern part of the US. They are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C, Iron, Thiamin and Potassium. Even though it is considered a starchy vegetable, it has a low glycemic index due to the amount of inulin it contains. Inulin is a carbohydrate that doesn’t breakdown in the human body and may cause GI upset, namely gas, if eaten in excess. As I researched more, I came across that particular tidbit of information in almost every website I visited. I felt as though I had my fair share of warnings, with the ‘Buyer Beware’ theme floating across Google searches that included the words ‘Jerusalem artichokes’.

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Despite the mixed reviews these vegetables received, I was eager to try them. I wanted to know more about their nutty flavor, and creamy texture, apparently similar to that of a globe artichoke. When I decided to roast them with thyme, garlic powder, sea salt and pepper, I couldn’t have been more pleased. These delicate vegetables were light and creamy, had a taste of both artichoke and sunflower. I did abide with the warnings and limited my consumption to a small helping with each meal. I would purchase them again and highly recommend them to anyone who loves to be fascinated with new foods. Since I am a soup lover, these little tubers will be turned into soup the next chance I get. Bon appétit!

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Roasted Jerusalem Artichokes

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1 pound Jerusalem artichokes

¼ cup melted coconut oil

½ tablespoon dried thyme

½ teaspoon garlic powder

Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse and scrub artichokes clean with water (no need to peel), pat dry with paper towel. Slice in half or in thirds, depending on size. Place in bowl.
  2. Add melted coconut oil, thyme, garlic powder. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir to combine flavors.
  3. Place on baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, turning halfway through with spatula.
  4. Enjoy as a side dish or a delicious fiber packed snack!
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Winter Vegetable Soup

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Colder weather is upon us, which means soup season is here. There is nothing like the smell of garlic and onion sizzling in olive oil, starting the base of a hearty soup. Soup is one of those one-pot meals that once cooked, can last for days with the same sense of delight and satisfaction when eating it, as the first day. Not to mention your kitchen will have the lingering aroma of carrots, celery and herbs for a day or two.

Being brought up on canned soups, the thought of making soup from scratch was always a little daunting. Recipes were always a must to start cooking anything, making my own modifications as seemed fit. After recognizing typical ingredients and serving sizes of herbs and spices in soup recipes, I decided to embark on my own soup making adventure. The following recipe is the result of my first home-made soup recipe that I am able to call my own. I am thrilled to be able to share it with you!

Winter Vegetable Soup

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

Turkey:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound ground turkey

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ cup low sodium free range chicken broth

Soup:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pound carrots, peeled and chopped

1 pound celery, chopped

3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 ¾ cup low sodium free range chicken broth, divided

1 bay leaf

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon dried basil

Dash cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

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Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, brown the ground turkey, about 8-10 minutes.  When browned, add oregano, basil, salt and broth. Simmer over low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes.
  2. As the turkey is browning, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a six quart pot. Once heated, add in the onions and garlic. Stir the mixture occasionally until the onions are softened.
  3. Stir in the carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, 1 bay leaf and 1 ¾ cup broth to onion mixture. Stir occasionally and simmer about 5 minutes.IMG_0062
  4. Add in the remaining herbs and spices, keep at a simmer until potatoes are soft enough to pierce with a fork, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once potatoes are soft, add in and stir turkey into vegetable mixture.
  6. Add the remaining 2 cups broth to the pot and simmer on low-medium heat 10-15 minutes to meld the flavors.
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Enjoy!

** Add chopped mushrooms to soup when re- heating to give extra earthiness to the dish.

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