11/04/2013 08:00 EST | Updated 01/23/2014 10:52 EST

New ways with root vegetables: Parsnip rosti, chocolate beet cake, veggie chips

Here are some recipes using root vegetables in new ways.

Parsnip Bacon Rosti

Parsnips offer a sweet variation to this traditional Swiss dish, which is usually made with grated potatoes. It makes a wonderful appetizer or side dish.

375 g (12 oz) parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 pieces

3 strips lean bacon, cooked and crumbled

175 ml (3/4 cup) shredded old cheddar cheese

1 egg

30 ml (2 tbsp) all-purpose flour

2 ml (1/2 tsp) each salt and pepper

0.5 ml (1/8 tsp) nutmeg

125 ml (1/2 cup) panko or regular breadcrumbs

50 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil

Sour cream

Pickled beets

In a steamer, cook parsnips until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool; grate and/or mash.

In a large bowl, combine parsnips, bacon, cheese, egg, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Use about 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the mixture to form a 4-cm (1 1/2-inch) cake. Coat in panko. Repeat until all the mixture has been used.

In a large skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat; fry rosti until nicely browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towel.

Serve garnished with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped pickled beets.

Makes 18 to 24 rosti.

Nutritional information per 1 piece: 71 calories; 2 g protein; 5 g fat; 5 g carbohydrates; 1 g fibre.

Source: Foodland Ontario.


Chocolate Beet Cake

This is a dense, moist and not too sweet chocolate cake, despite the addition of beets.

175 ml (3/4 cup) butter

250 ml (1 cup) chopped chocolate

3 eggs

250 ml (1 cup) buttermilk

250 ml (1 cup) sour cream

250 ml (1 cup) grated raw beets

425 ml (1 3/4 cups) flour

250 ml (1 cup) sugar

5 ml (1 tsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) baking soda

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

Heat oven to 180 C (350 F) and lightly grease or spray a 23-cm (9-inch) cake pan.

Melt butter and chocolate together over hot water.

In a bowl, mix together eggs, buttermilk and sour cream. Stir in beets.

In a separate bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Lightly mix flour mixture into egg mixture, being careful not to overmix.

Carefully stir in chocolate mixture.

Pour into prepared cake pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Let cake cool and remove from pan.

Makes one 23-cm (9-inch) cake.

Source: Chef Andrew Winfield, River Cafe, Calgary.


Vegetable Chips With Roasted Pepper Cream Dip

These nutritious and delicious crisps are easy to make. When completely cooled, they can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two days. Recrisp in a warm oven before serving. The dip also makes a great garnish for soups or salads.

2 each peeled carrots, beets, parsnips and potatoes

45 ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil

Salt, to taste


250 ml (1 cup) cream cheese, room temperature

125 ml (1/2 cup) sour cream

15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice or vinegar

3 roasted red peppers

2 ml (1/2 tsp) grated orange rind

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped chives, plus extra for garnish

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ground cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

Chili sauce (optional)

Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

Using a vegetable slicer, cut carrots, beets, parsnips and potatoes into very thin slices.

Keeping beets separate, toss all vegetables with oil to coat thinly.

Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; arrange vegetable slices in a single layer on sheets. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 120 C (250 F); bake for about 45 minutes longer, turning slices at least once, or until crisped and browned. Sprinkle with salt.

Dip: In a food processor, puree together cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, peppers, orange rind and garlic. Stir in chives, cumin, salt and pepper. Top with a swirl of chili sauce, if using, and more chopped chives. (This can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.) Serve with vegetable chips.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Nutritional information per 1 serving when recipe serves 6: 310 calories; 5 g protein; 24 g fat; 18 g carbohydrates.

Source: Foodland Ontario.


Southwest Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

This healthy, colourful dish is kid-friendly and vegetarian. For a little extra flavour, roast the corn along with the peppers. If you like a little heat, serve with hot sauce.

4 medium sweet potatoes, about 375 g (12 oz) each

Vegetable oil

250 ml (1 cup) cooked corn kernels (about 2 cobs)

250 ml (1 cup) canned black beans, drained and well rinsed

125 ml (1/2 cup) diced roasted sweet red pepper

3 green onions, sliced

15 ml (1 tbsp) ground cumin

1 ml (1/4 tsp) each salt and pepper

125 ml (1/2 cup) shredded jalapeno havarti, cheddar or mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).

Scrub sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Brush cut sides with a little oil. Place, cut side down, on parchment paper-lined shallow baking sheet; bake until tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool enough to handle.

Scoop out flesh, leaving a 1-cm (1/2-inch) shell.

In a large bowl, mash scooped-out sweet potato until smooth. Fold in corn, beans, red pepper and green onions. Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Spoon filling into shells and return to baking sheet.

Sprinkle each half with 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the cheese. Bake until heated through and cheese melts, 5 to 10 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional information per 1 serving: 345 calories; 12 g protein; 9 g fat; 56 g carbohydrates; 10 g fibre; 345 mg sodium.

Source: Foodland Ontario.