Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Parsnip Pancakes

{Here's a link to an improved and more-approved version of this recipe:  Click Here.}

Kid Rating:  0 out of 3 like them, but 2 out of 3 will eat them
Do Again:  Yes, because they are delicious, and I believe the kids will acquire a taste for them.  One condition, the shredding is time-consuming (20 min.) and painful, so I would prefer to do these with a food processor.

Parsnip pancakes look like hash browns, but they don't taste like hash browns.  I'm wondering if that is what threw my family off.  I love the light, sweet flavor that has a hint of gingerness.

My friend made these for us for brunch, and I thought they were fantastic.  I wanted to eat the whole tray of them.  My batch paled in comparison (I don't think I steamed them correctly), but I thought they were still good.  They are definitely worth trying, again, and helping my kids get used to the new flavor.

1 pound parsnips, peeled and shredded (buy small to med)
1 large carrot, shredded (I used 1 1/2 medium sized)
1 shallot thinly sliced (original recipe* calls for 2 scallions)
1 egg 
1 T flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I used Kosher)
1 T vegetable oil (I used light olive oil)

Parsnip stubs:  I did not like shredding the
darn things.  I shredded my thumb in the
process and vowed it's time to invest in
a food processor.

I sliced up the stubs, steamed them for 5,
and munched on them while finishing
the rest of the parsnip recipe.
1.  Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
2.  In a steamer or colander set over a pot of boiling water, steam the parsnips and carrot for 5 minutes or until softened but not mushy. Set aside to cool slightly.  (My friend put her batch in a big, metal colander in a dutch oven pot with boiling water and lid for 5 minutes, which is what I should have done).
I didn't steam them correctly.  I was afraid the
holes were too big, so I put them in the colander.
Then the lid didn't fit, and the steam escaped.  :-P
I think the steamer holes would have been fine. 
3.  Transfer vegetables to a medium bowl and add the scallions shallots, egg, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir until well combined.

4.  In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tsp of oil over moderate heat. Using a 1/4 cup measure (I used an ice cream scooper -- my grandmother's), spoon mixture into skillet (may have to do in batches).  Cook for 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.  Transfer first batch to a large baking sheet (I sprayed with cooking spray).

After adding scoops, I flattened them and
patted the loose sides in.

5.  After finishing the batches, bake the parsnip pancakes for 7 minutes or until they are heated through and lightly crisped.

They are a beautiful color (which the photo
doesn't do it justice), pale white with specks
of bright orange (except for the ones I overcooked).

11 y.o. - ate it, didn't like it
10 y.o. - ate it, didn't like it, she says she doesn't like cooked carrots
5 y.o. - spit out first bite (didn't like it -- ya think?)
Hubby - was expecting hash browns but was okay with it when once he knew it wasn't supposed to be hash browns.
Me - I liked it although not as much as when my friend made them.  I really liked the steamed sliced stumps.

Next time:
Use scallions, steam correctly, lower skillet heat, maybe use a different cooking oil, and get a food processor!

*"Parsnip Pancakes with Scallions" from Reader's Digest Eat Well, Stay Well, 1998, p. 89.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easy Baby Lima Beans

Kid Rating:  2 out of 3 will eat them
Do Again:  Sure

{8-31-12 Update:  I really like this other recipe (click here) but I haven't tried it on frozen Lima beans, yet.}

I tried lima beans once as a kid.  Once.  Then never again until today.  I based the recipe from  I would describe them as mashed potatoes in a bean.

In 1/2 cup serving, you get 5 g fiber, 6 g protein, 15% needed Vit.C, 8% needed iron, and 4% needed calcium.

1 pound bag frozen baby lima beans, rinse
1-2 tsp butter (optional)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups of water*
1 1/2 tsp Better Than Bouillon* (chicken)

*sub with broth if you have it

Melt butter in sauce pan (or use cooking spray, a different oil, or water)
Saute onions a few minutes until they begin to brown/soften

Add the water and bouillon (or broth).  Bring to a boil.           Add lima beans (and more water to just cover them if needed -- I didn't need to).                   Return to boil.                    Reduce heat to LOW.  Cover.  Simmer 30 min.

Family Review
11 y.o. -- He'll eat them (but probably not request them)
10 y.o. -- Seemed to like them.
5 y.o. -- Nope.
Hubby -- Favorable towards them.
Me -- Nice flavor.  Smooth and creamy.  The texture caught me off guard, but once I likened them to mashed potatoes, I was fine with these nutrient-packed beans.  I'll make them again to have a variety.

Cooking less my help.

The package listed 240 mg of sodium (ingredients:  beans and salt), and the bouillon also has sodium.  I didn't need to add more salt to the recipe.  If you grow your own beans, a little salt may be desired.