Saturday, October 15, 2016

On the subject of Fall superfoods...

Turnips?? Really?? Yeah, turnips. They're one of the little known superfoods--in fact, Dr. Mercola includes them in his list of Fall superfoods.

Like my okra dish, this low-cal, high-fiber, super-nutritious meal is one of my go-to meals when I am afraid I'm going to binge, and I need to fill myself up on something that is good for me and hits my satiety quotient. This dish will leave you so satisfied, you won't be able to eat anything else--and it's so good for you, you could probably eat as much of it as you want.

One bowl of this stuff will give you over 60% of your RDA of Vitamin C and over 90% of your Niacin RDA, plus a host of other vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Now, don't throw away the turnips greens atop this nutritious root, because they are even more nutritious. Read my earlier post: Thank God for good directions and turnip greens...

Now, in the recipe below, you can omit the chicken if you like and it's just as delicious. Really. This is one of the meals on my Vegetarian (Sort Of) list. It's a way to make a meal out of vegetables. You can eat it by the bowl, alone, or on a plate over rice.

You can also pick up a rutabaga or two to replace some of the turnips, and it will give it an even sweeter flavor, and add a different (but similar) breakdown of nutrients. Both are cruciferous vegetables in the brassica family. My dish photographed is not exactly the recipe below since I replaced one turnip with a rutabaga. You don't have to peel the turnips, but since rutabagas are waxed, you definitely want to peel them.

We all know cruciferous vegetables, especially those in the brassica family, are super-good for us, but among all those commonly-eaten mega-health veggies, Dr. Mercola points to research that shows turnips have the highest level of glucosinolates, which are "sulfur-containing compounds found in turnip sprouts, may also have anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-parasitic, and antibacterial benefits. According to the November 2012 issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, turnip has the second highest level of glucosinates (next to white mustard sprouts) among nine different cruciferous vegetables studied."

Both turnips and rutabagas made Dr. Mercola's list of fall superfoods:

Superfood Meltdown Buttery Cajun Chicken &Turnips

This is the kind of everyday dish Cajun grandmothers cook at home on a weekday. It never makes it onto the cooking shows or cookbooks. But they don't know what they're missing. If you've never had turnips, they turn kind of sweet when you cook them, especially cooked with onions. This dish has a lovely sweet-savory blend of flavors. If you can't stomach the idea of turnips, try replacing the turnips with sliced carrots or chopped cabbage. All three ways, it works. Grandma used whatever was available from the garden. C'est bon!


Turnips, 3 cup, peeled and cubed
Onions, raw, 2 cup, choppedScallions, raw, .5 cup, chopped
Chicken Breast (cooked), no skin, 2 breast, bone and skin removed (ideally organic)
Grass-Fed Butter salted, 1 pat (1" sq, 1/3" high)
Tony Chachere Cajun Seasoning: you can find it in most national grocery store chains and it makes this dish. It has more pepper than salt in it. If it's not salty enough for you but it is peppery enough, you may need to add salt instead of adding more Tony's. (And of course, if you can't find Tony Chachere, just salt and pepper to taste)


    Season chicken breasts with Tony's and cut into bite size pieces, and sautee in saucepan with pat of butter. While chicken is browning, chop turnips, onions and scallions. When chicken is browned, add onions and bring them almost to the point of carmelization before adding turnips and 1/2 cup water (or chicken stock/broth). Season mixture with more Tony's, cover and allow to simmer. Add water or chicken stock as necessary to keep mixture moist and simmering but not soupy. When turnips are tender, taste to see if you need more salt or more Tony's. Stir in chopped scallions and turn off heat. Dish can be served over rice (I like it with brown basmati rice), but if you're watching your carbs, just ladle it into a bowl and dig in.

    Serving Size: 3 hearty bowls, eat 1 freeze 2 (or share with others)

    Below is what it looked like raw, when I was just getting started, and the photo above is when it was done and about to be served. And yes, I ate the whole plate. That looks like a serving platter, but it was actually turnips-and-chicken-for-one. And for way less calories than one single child's hamburger (no cheese) at McDonald's. I was stuffed and filled with nutrients and this meal didn't make me fat or unhealthy.

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