I have a friend who is trying to go gluten free and vegetarian. He also claims to be a bad cook. He asked me to post up some recipes for him; today seemed like a good day to oblige
I was down in the root cellar this afternoon. Some of the turnips were going wrinkly-soft (as opposed to rotten-soft), and some beets, too. The carrots are still going strong, but I grabbed a few anyhow. I also grabbed a bag of parsnips – we bought a bunch on sale back in October, but keep forgetting to use them. I also grabbed a couple of sweet potatoes. Several onions. Two cans of chick peas. A head of garlic that was starting to sprout.
Really, this recipe is awfully flexible. As far as vegetables go, the critical bits are a couple of onions, a sweet potato or two, and whatever other root veggies you have on hand and/or need to use up. Today, I used three onions, two sweet potatoes, four or five parsnips, four beets, four carrots, and most of a head of garlic (I cut each clove in half, and sprinkled it over the veggies); however, any of these things are pretty optional. You could also add white potatoes, if you wanted. Just chop everything into sticks or bite-sized chunks and spread them out on a cookie sheet (or, like me tonight, two cookie sheets). Make sure to chop the sweet potatoes into bigger chunks than everything else, since they cook a fair bit quicker; conversely, you can cook everything else for twenty or thirty minutes first, then add the sweet potatoes – your choice. Being lazy, I just cut things to different sizes – turnips and beets in little chunks, sweet potatoes in big sticks.
Once everything is chopped, spread it out on the cookie sheet(s) and pour a generous amount of olive oil over top. I’m talking a few tablespoons per cookie sheet. Toss the veggies around a bit to get them covered in oil, then sprinkle with salt and Italian seasoning. Be generous with the Italian seasoning – maybe a tablespoon or two per cookie sheet. Give everything another stir, then throw it in the oven, uncovered, at 350F for about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on how small you chopped your veggies. At that point, they should be still a little crunchy – basically not-quite-cooked. Drain a can of chick peas per cookie sheet, and stir them into the mix. Put the veggies back in the oven, and start your rice.
For this particular recipe, I used to make couscous with a bullion cube (or two, depending on how much couscous I was making) and some fresh-grated ginger. Of course, couscous is not gluten free, so now I just boil up a pot of rice with a bullion cube (or two). You could use vegetable bullion, onion bullion, or chicken – whatever you prefer – or nothing at all. It is just to keep the rice from being too bland.
By the time the rice is done (about 20 minutes, by the time you boil the water and let the rice cook 15 minutes), the veggies should be cooked. Serve immediately.
This is a favorite around here, because it only uses stuff we have on hand in the winter, and it uses up any root cellar veggies that are starting to go soft, but are still edible. The leftovers are awesome – the flavors have extra time to blend – but this particular recipe does not freeze well.
This is probably a terrible recipe if you want to lose weight, but it’s a seasonal winter recipe that’s vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, and very, very tasty!