I used to make the classic, potato version of this all the time. It was an easy, fresh side dish, and as I have mentioned before, potatoes are my spirit animal (inspiring, I know). The thing about potatoes is, despite their high levels of potassium (a good thing) they have a high glycemic index (less good) that makes eating them all of the time (sadly) not the greatest idea, especially when cancer is involved.
We all have our favourite potato dishes, and I would like to challenge you to do what I have done here, and sub out the potatoes for a different, lower gi, more nutrient-rich root veg (or squash or cauliflower). Tell me you wouldn’t order oven baked beet ‘fries’ in place of real fries if you were given the option. Baked sweet potatoes (not even from the same family as white potatoes) topped with guac are one of my favourite easy and affordable meals. Sunchoke & leek soup makes a pretty awesome version of vichyssoise. Cauli/parsnip mash (turned into this magic) is pretty amazing too. All inspired by what was originally a potato dish.
I am boldly using rutabaga (aka swede) in place of the potatoes in this Greek-inspired dish. Rutabagas are great for digestion and are also very warming. They are a cross between cabbage and turnip, and their flavour speaks to both of these veggies. They are from the Crucifer family (broccoli, kale, cauliflower) which means they contain anticancer and antioxidant properties (although, be careful with this veg family if you have thyroid issues). The younger they are the sweeter they are, but I like the old cranky ones too -we could all use a little more bitterness in our diet (my theory is it eliminates it from the rest of our lives).
The lemon juice cooks with the rest of the ingredients (this is key to really infusing the lemon into the rutabaga), which probably eliminates much of it’s vitamin c. Feel free to reserve some to add post-roasting to ensure a solid vit C kick (if you’re having a big salad with it or do lots of juicing this step is less important). I have mentioned before that I have lemon juice running through my veins, it’s like I have a daily requirement. If you regularly find things overly tart (or if cancer treatment is doing less than wonderful things to your taste buds), cut back on some of the lemon juice (or possibly the sliced lemon on the bottom of the dish) and replace it with water.
I have added chickpeas to the dish for some extra protein and fiber (and they do reeeeally well with these ingredients, you may be fighting over them). The olive oil stays fresh and green (and undamaged) by adding it at the very end once you remove the dish from the oven.
Enjoy with a traditional Greek salad (extra olives, hold the feta), a bed of greens, this tasty tabouli or by themselves because you’ve secretly always wanted to order lemon potatoes and nothing else. I won’t tell anybody.
In the comments below, I would love to hear how you have switched out potatoes for other veg in potato-themed recipes!
- 2.5 lb Rutabaga, (2 large) peeled and cut into wedges
- ½ c Chick peas, cooked
- 6 Garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp Oregano (dry)
- 2-3 Oregano sprigs (fresh)
- ¼ tsp dried Turmeric (1 tsp if using fresh)
- ⅓ c fresh Lemon juice (reserve the zest)
- 1 Lemon, thinly sliced (optional -see below)
- 1-2 c water (Depending on the size dish you use. The water should come at least halfway up the sides of the rutabaga wedges)
- 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Several Grinds of Black Pepper (to improve turmeric absorption)
- Sea(weed) Salt to taste
- Olives (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325*F
- In a rectangular (approximately 9x14") non-reactive dish (glass, porcelain, enameled) lay the sliced lemon out in the bottom of the pan. (this part is optional, it adds some complexity, but if your taste buds are wacky and emphasizing bitterness, this will not taste good, so just leave it out)
- Lay the rutabaga out on top, try not to overlap the wedges so that they get even liquid absorption.
- In a bowl, mix together the lemon juice, dried oregano, garlic, turmeric, pepper, sea(weed) salt and chick peas.
- Pour evenly-ish over the rutabaga.
- Roast for 25 minutes and then pull them out, flip the rutabagas over and roast for 20 more minutes or until they are tender. (If the liquid looks like it might be drying up before they are finished cooking, add a splash more. There should be little to no liquid left by the end of cooking though)
- Once removed from the oven, tear up the fresh oregano and scatter it on top, along with the lemon zest and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. You can add some olives at this point too.
- Mix around to evenly coat the rutabaga and chick peas.
- Enjoy with traditional Greek salad, on top of a bed of greens or by themselves (you know you want to)