March Madness Of Irish Grub

by Gavan on March 3, 2008

Just when you thought I had checked out, I’m back with a vengeance! I started a new job last week which kiboshed me from doing any blog stuff but I’ve got some excellent ideas brewing for the entire month of March. In honor of my favorite holiday St. Paddy’s Day (big shock) I am dedicating March the month of the Irish (which should be most months but we’ll just take one!). I’ll be cooking some delicious food that I ate growing up as well as some ‘healthified’ traditional grub. I’ll even throw in some factoids and sips of Guinness along the way….how else would the Irish do it?!
On the board this week:

Ya, it’s all about parsnips! The lovely parsnip…a staple in all kitchens growing up. Don’t know much about them? Here’s what’s not on the box;

The ancient veg is thought to have originated around the eastern Mediterranean region and believed that the Celts brought them back from their forays to the east. In Medieval Europe sugar was rare & honey expensive. Moreover the starchy potato had not yet arrived; the only alternative was the sweet, starchy parsnip. Introduced to North America by early settlers they were used as a sweetener until the development of the sugar beet in the 19th century. In Italy, pigs bred for the best quality Parma are still fed on parsnips.

Parsnips are richer in vitamins & minerals than cousin carrot and are sweeter & almost nutty in taste. They are packed with fiber, offering more than that found in many ready-to-eat cereals. They are low in calories, but that depends on how you cook them, of course. Though they get along famously with butter and honey I’ve got some tricks to cook them without adding all the extra calories while keeping all the flavor. Thanks to Wikipedia and Innvista.

Now that I’ve introduced you to Sir. Parsnip, stay tuned all week to see the recipes!

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