Winter Immunity Boost: Roast Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

Honey-Mustard Glazed Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

Honey-Mustard Glazed Parsnips and Sweet Potatoes

Flu season is upon us.  Am I going to get it?  Nope!  Not going to do that.  Cold season?   No, get outta here with that stuff.

Feeling achy?  Sniffles?  Congestion?  Don’t have time for it!

There’s no guarantee, of course, but I’m doing everything I can to keep the sickness ‘bugs” away from our door.  How, you might be asking?  I’m preparing as much healthy produce as I possibly can and shoving it into our mouths 2-3 times a day.

In the morning it could be a green smoothie,  for lunch a salad with both cooked and raw veggies, throw in some citrus for good measure; and for dinner at least two veggie side dishes per meal.   I haven’t  fallen in love with every combination I’ve put together, but there have been several that I will be making again.  This is one of them.


Parsnips are a late fall vegetable, harvested after frosts have set in, as they need the cold weather to convert their starches into sugar.  They are not a vegetable that I cook with any frequency, since up until now, I hadn’t found a way to prepare them that was terribly appealing.  In this dish, however, the parsnips are combined with sweet potatoes;  two vegetables that each have their own kind of sweetness.  Roasting them concentrates and blends their flavors, and then just before serving you pour a simple glaze of honey and Dijon mustard over them and toss to coat.  Well, that sauce is the magic that makes this dish sing.

I went from “not sure I’m going to like this” to “Wow, I love these”.  As I write this, it’s two days since I made the original dish and this evening  I’m making it again.  That’s how much I loved these veggies.  And Mr. D. loved them too!!  So I know I’ve got a winner in this dish.  Won’t you try it and see if you agree?


Yield:  Serves 6


  • 1  1/4 pounds parsnips  (about 3 large or 4 medium)IMG_8954
  • 1 1/4 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • chopped parsley (optional)


1.  Preheat oven to 425*F.  Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

2.  Prepare the vegetables.  To cut parsnips:  Trim tops and bottoms; peel, and slice in half crosswise to separate thick and narrow parts.  Halve or quarter thick parts lengthwise, until all parsnip pieces are roughly the same size. Then cut on a diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick pieces.

Cut the narrow end from the thick end, then quarter the thick end.

Cut the narrow end from the thick end, then quarter the thick end.

 To cut sweet potatoes:  quarter them lengthwise so they are about the same thickness as the parsnips, then cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick pieces.

3.  Put the parsnips and sweet potatoes in a large bowl, and add the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat evenly.  Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Spread seasoned veggies on a baking sheet.

Spread seasoned veggies on a baking sheet.

Roast until tender and golden, tossing once or twice, about 30 minutes.  Transfer into a serving bowl.

4.  In a small bowl, stir together honey and mustard.

Whisk together the honey and mustard.

Whisk together the honey and mustard.

Pour over vegetables, toss to coat.  Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.  Serve immediately.


Isn’t this dish brightly colored and beautiful?   I mean… vitamin C,  vitamin A…..   There’s no way a cold is getting us down.   Knock on wood!


SOURCE:   Martha Stewart Living




Autumn Pot Roast

This is one of my all-time favorite ways to cook pot roast.  I use my slow-cooker and start it in the morning.  When the weather is chilly, I am comforted by the aroma coming from my kitchen, especially if I have been out all day.   A home cooked meal without a lot of fuss.

Autumn Pot Roast

Autumn Pot Roast


Yield:   Serves 6


  • 1 boneless beef chuck roast (3 pounds)IMG_5583
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ chunks
  • 2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2-inch  pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can (14.5oz.) reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine or additional reduced-sodium beef broth


1.  Sprinkle roast with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.   In a large skillet heat olive oil.  Add beef and brown well on all sides. Remove from skillet to a platter.

2.  In same skillet, add onions, and other vegetables.  Sauté lightly just to get them browned.  Transfer to the bottom of the slow cooker.  In the same skillet, pour in about 1/2 cup beef broth.  Heat and scrape up any browned bits from the pan.  Pour into the slow cooker.

3.  Place meat on top of vegetables.   Combine remaining beef broth with the red wine, dried thyme, bay leaf, minced garlic and remaining salt and pepper.  Pour over meat and vegetables.

4.  Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or until meat and vegetables are tender.  Skim off fat.  Discard bay leaves.  If desired, thicken cooking juices, or serve along side meat and vegetables as “au jus”.

Mashed potatoes served with this meal make this about the most comforting “comfort” food that I know of.  The meat will be falling-apart tender, and the vegetables are tender with a deep rich flavor from the beef broth and wine jus.



Shepherd’s Pie with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

Shepherd’s Pie with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

This recipe takes me back–way back–to when I was growing up.  Shepherd’s Pie was a casserole dish that my mother made frequently  because it was a favorite of my father’s.  He also loved horseradish, and often told my brother and me about how his grandfather grew horseradish, and ground it fresh, so it was really tangy and hot, with no added ingredients to tame it down. So he grew up with a taste for the real thing fresh from the garden.  Maybe I have a “gene” for horseradish, inherited from my father.  However I came by it, I like it  pretty well too, and I use it like relish to garnish some meats(like corned beef), and add it to other dishes just for the flavor it imparts.  Mashed potatoes is one of those dishes.  So—combine horseradish flavored mashed potatoes with a meat and vegetable pie and you’ve got one deeelish dish.  However if the thought of adding horseradish to your mashed potatoes doesn’t appeal to you just leave it out.

The other thing this casserole has going for it is parsnips.  Yep, parsnips.  Not a vegetable that gets a whole lot of press, and that’s a shame because parsnips add a lot of sweetness to whatever they are cooked with, or they are wonderful on their own either roasted or baked.  As a matter of fact, I will most likely be cooking parsnips again soon as I now have half a bag to use up after making this dish.




  • 5 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks.
  • salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive oil
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 pounds ground beef sirloin
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 Tablespoons chopped green onions or chives


1.  Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold water and bring to a boil.   Salt the water, lower the heat and simmer until fork-tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain, then mash with the milk, egg and horseradish, until light and fluffy.  Season with salt and pepper.

Sautee the onions a little.

2.  In a deep, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, parsnips, carrots and bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp tender, 8 – 10 minutes.

Add carrots, parsnip and bay leaf.

3.  Crumble the beef into the pan and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.  Sprinkle on the flour and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Crumble in the beef, then sprinkle flour over the top.

Stir in the beef broth and cook until thickened, 1 to 2 minutes.  Season with Worcestershire sauce.  Taste and adjust seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed.  Discard the bay leaf.

4.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Grease a shallow, medium casserole dish;  add the meat mixture and top with the mashed potatoes.  Bake until golden and heated through.  Sprinkle chives or green onions on top before serving.

Hot out of the oven, ready to be served.

SOURCE:   A Carolyn Original