SIDE DISH

Caramelized Orange Parsnips

I wrote this as I am wrapping up my 30-something-th episode of the Jane the Virgin on Netflix. That’s right, I’ve been binging but not in a hands covered with potato chip crumbs and chocolate smeared on my face kind of binging. But if I was binging on chocolate covered potato chips, would it be wrong? Those things are so yummy! Admittedly, the inner teenage girl in me fantasizes about romance (will Jane ever realize she wants to be with Rafael?? He’s such a hunk!) and relates to the trials and turmoil of early 20-something life (sorry, I still think Michael’s hiding something). Trust me, I’d rather watch it on TV than be living out baby-daddy-mamma drama (but can you even BELIEVE Petra did that??) so don’t judge me. Any fellow Jane watchers, I want to hear from you – but no spoiler alerts, please! I have two more seasons to watch.

When I thought about what recipe I wanted to share most this week, I thought about my favorite thing to make right now. Orange-glazed parsnips. This is what first came to mind. If you have tried my Orange-Roasted hens then this recipe is very similar, except you I’ve adjusted the ingredients and baking time to making the parsnips as their own dinner side dish. Or lunch. Or breakfast. I will eat roasted vegetables with all meals, especially when they taste freaking delicious.

 

When I was at the grocery store picking up ingredients for this recipe, the guy at the checkout eyed a mysterious looking bag of produce. Turns out, he did not know what in heck these white vegetable-things were. He tossed the bag aside and said I could have them for free. Sucks for him (dude, you are missing out!), but yay for me. I recommended that he give them a try. “Tastes like a sour carrot,” is how I always describe them. However, showering them with carmelized orange takes out the sour. Instead, it creates a sweet, citrusy glaze that will make you wonder why you waited so long to give parsnips a chance. They will appreciate you for it. I will appreciate you for it. They deserve some loving.

 

If you’re like the kid at the checkout and are a parsnip-virgin, let this recipe be your first (of many) parsnip experience.

 

Already a parsnip fan? I hope this encourages you to reach for something in the produce section that is  new!

 

As always, Don’t forget to leave me a comment below and share your feedback if you try this recipe.

 

Caramelized Orange Parsnips

 CaramelizedOrangeParsnips

 

Ingredients

 

About 1 pound of fresh parsnips, washed
1 orange, quartered
1 TB garlic powder
Sea salt, to taste
Avocado oil
Optional: fresh thyme

 

Directions

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. With a sharp knife, slice the ends off parsnips and set aside for composting or for bone broth. You can optionally peel the parsnips but I prefer to leave the skin on. Quarter each so that pieces are close to the same size. This is important to make sure all of the veggies roast evenly. Place all parsnips pieces onto baking sheet or oven-safe glass container. Coat liberally with avocado oil. Season with garlic powder and sea salt to taste. Place the quarters of orange on the pan, cut side up and slide into the oven!

 

Set a time for 15 minutes. At this point, I like to use tongs to carefully squeeze 1 – 2 of the orange quarters over the parsnips and give them a gentle stir. Check on the parsnips again in 10-15 minutes. Let them cool on the counter for 5 minutes before trying to squeeze the last of the orange over the parsnips and stirring once more to cover all pieces with the juice, as this is what will caramelize them.

 

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Easy 4-Ingredient Honey-Glazed Carrots

This week I’m giving some major face time to a vegetable that’s most known for sitting it out in the sidelines. In the band, but never the star of the show. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride. If you haven’t guessed (as if the name doesn’t give it away), I am referring to carrots! We always have carrots in our house. I like to toss them into my mixed green salads, chop them up for dipping, or even throw them into my egg casseroles and soups. This time, though, I made them their very own side dish.

As simple as it seems, I have tried many times to perfect glazed carrots and they never seemed to come out how I wanted. They were either too dry, too greasy, or too tough despite cooking for 30+ minutes. After some experimenting, I finally have the right combination of sweetness, not too greasy or “wet” and the perfect amount of cooked through without being mushy! Just a side note, the latter will always depend on how evenly you quarter the carrots and the overall thickness of the carrots.

EasyHoneyGlazedCarrotsPrep

Here’s my secret to the BEST tasting carrots – choose organic. There are so many other reasons to choose organic (over conventionally-farmed) produce but in the case of these guys, the natural sugars are much more distinguishable and pleasing on the palate. You can taste this difference the most when they’re raw of course, but I’m convinced this translates to cooked carrots also.

EasyHoneyGlazedCarrotsSliced

My motto in the kitchen is dirty up as little as possible while being as efficient as possible. Therefore, for recipes like this one that are pretty simple I do not always measure exact teaspoons each time. Every 3rd or 4th time I cook (NOT bake) for myself I will test my “eyeballing” skills and they’re usually spot on. If you’re not comfortable with eyeballing our your measurements for items such as olive oil and honey yet then no sweat. Simply place your carrots in a large bowl and measure out oil and honey, stirring for an even coat before placing onto nonstick baking surface.
Now, let’s get cooking!
What You Need
Whole, organic carrots
Organic Extra virgin olive oil (I like this brand!)

Easy 4-Ingredient Honey-Glazed Carrots

EasyHoneyGlazedCarrots

Ingredients
  • 1 pound carrots, rinsed and quartered
  • 2 TB EVOO
  • 1 TB honey
  • Pinch sea salt

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prep carrots by giving them a good rinse, using a vegetable brush if you have one. No peeling necessary! Chop the tops off and quarter into even slices the best you can. Place slices in a pile on your cookie sheet or baking dish.
3. Pour olive oil over top of carrot pile and very carefully mix them together. Use your hands to get carrots evenly coated, which will ensure they glaze up perfectly. Spread carrots in a single layer across cooking surface.
4. Drizzle honey in a sweeping motion across carrots. Use a spoon to stir carrots, if necessary.
5. Place carrots in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. Check at halftime and stir/flip carrots if it looks like some are roasting at a faster rate than others.
6. Serve warm with your favorite entree. Enjoy.
Ideas for Leftovers: These go surprisingly well with breakfast the next day.

 

Orange-Roasted Cornish Hens with Veggies

Today, I’m bringing you a wonderful recipe for roasted chicken in the oven that will warm your whole house. This recipe also happens to make some of the best parsnips I’ve ever tasted. The secret is in the caramelized orange 😉 Aside from tasting amazing, this is a one pan meal which means there’s minimal cleanup and everything cooks at the same time so less work! Following the recipe quantities as shown below will yield two full dinners and extra veggies to have another night

RECIPE:

  • 2 pasture-raised Cornish hens  *
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, whole
  • Handful of fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 orange, quartered
  • 4-5 carrots, whole or halved
  • 3 parsnips, quartered
  • 3/4 pound petite medley potatoes, each pierced with fork or cut in half
  • Ghee and olive oil (optional)
  • Bird Spices: onion powder, dried rosemary, dried parsley, sea S&P (Amount of spices will vary depending on how large your hens are and whether you use the same recipe for a full-size chicken.)
  • Veggie spice:  1 TB garlic powder and Sea S&P to taste
  • Meat thermometer

Preheat oven to 375. Pan hens dry with paper towel and remove any innards if they came inside the cavity. Stuff each hen with half the amount of garlic, rosemary and thyme listed above. “Seal” each bird cavity shut with an orange quarter like shown before tying off the legs with kitchen twine. Use the back of a spoon or your hands to cover birds liberally with room temperate ghee and add bird spices listed above. Place hens in the tray breast-side down and roast for about 10 minutes while you get the parsnips, carrots and potatoes ready to add to the same pan.

Prep your veggies while the birds are in the oven getting a jump start on cooking. The vegetables will only take about 20-25 minutes to roast so we only want to add them at the end of the cooking process. Toss in olive oil or melted ghee and add to the pan before seasoning with the spices. Place the 2 remaining orange quarters in the corners of the your pan.

Cook for about 25-/+ minutes until birds reach an internal of 160 degrees when meat thermometer is placed in breast. If the veggies start to look done before the chicken then cover with foil or remove them from the pan. Once all is cooked, use tongs to squeeze your caramelized orange quarters over all the veggies and the birds to get the orange flavor. You can also do the same with the orange in the hens when they’re served. Enjoy!

*You can also try this recipe on a full-sized bird by bumping the temp up to 425, doubling the bird spices and giving it longer to cook through. I would estimate an 1 to 1.5 hours but using a meat thermometer is the best way to gauge when your meat is fully cooked.