PARMESAN ROASTED PARSNIPS

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With this post comes some exciting news; Christmas came early for me for this year as Santa decided to surprise me with a new camera lens, one that I’ve been ogling over for months! The quality of the new photos may be subtle to some, but I really notice a difference and I couldn’t be happier with the results. Another piece of news I’d like to share is that over the next 4 weeks, I’ll be collaborating with Fresh City Farms, a local and organic food delivery service and farm in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area. I will be creating 4 delicious recipes, each with a locally-grown focal ingredient, starting with parsnips. If you’re a Fresh City customer, be sure to look out for the recipe cards attached to each basket over the next few months, as they will carry the recipes posted on my blog.

Parsnips, though unfamiliar to many {including myself, as this was the first time I’ve cooked with them} are quite the amazing vegetable. Typically harvested throughout winter months, these carrot-like veggies are crunchy and sweet and packed with health benefits. Parsnips are filled with soluble fibre, potassium and vitamins C, E, and K and are also low cost, making them a smart addition to your grocery bag.

This recipe turned out much better than I expected, it had the perfect amount of crunch from the baked Parmesan on the outside, while soft and sweet on the inside. There’s no doubt I will be adding this recipe as an appetizer to my vegetarian Christmas feast. Here’s to the perfect Holiday snack!

The Ingredients {Yield: 4 side servings Total Time: 40 minutes}

  • 8 parsnips, cleaned & peeled
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh ground s&p

The Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2. Cut parsnips into wedges or halves, depending on thickness. I found that cutting them in half lengthwise, followed by cutting them in half crosswise, worked best

3. In a large bowl, mix egg whites and dried herbs. Whisk until frothy

4. Working with half the batch, toss parsnips into egg whites then gently roll in grated Parmesan cheese. Place parsnips on covered baking sheet, making sure not to overlap

5. Sprinkle on fresh thyme and dash of s&p. I also sprinkled on extra Parm, because, yum

6. Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes or until the parsnips are beautifully golden. Dig in!

*Optional, serve with homemade marinara sauce {simmer diced tomatoes and garlic with a pinch red pepper flakes and salt}

LAVENDER HOT CHOCOLATE

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December is upon us and with it brings the many holiday festivities, parties, and gatherings. While I plan on sticking to health-conscious food choices over the coming weeks, I like to think that with this season comes a little more wiggle room for indulgences. To satisfy my sweet tooth while keeping in mind the balance of good and good for you, I opted for almond milk instead of cow’s milk {a given, as I find cow’s milk to be slightly off-putting; which I plan to eventually write about}, and skipped the whip cream and marshmallows.

This simple hot chocolate recipe offers rich creaminess with a subtle hint of calming lavender; the perfect sleepy-time treat.

The Ingredients {Yield: 2 servings Total Time: 10 minutes}

  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 3 oz. 70% dark chocolate
  • 1 oz. milk chocolate
  • 1/2 teaspoon lavender buds

The Directions

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, add milk and lavender, whisking occasionally until simmer

2. Remove from heat and let steep for 5 minutes

3. Strain lavender buds and return milk to saucepan

4. Over medium heat, add chocolate and stir until melted and smooth. Quickly whisk mixture for 10-20 seconds to froth

5. Pour into your favourite mug, top with froth and enjoy!

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