Hello all, happy New Year!
I am Rita, a young (oh well, 30 years old) Portuguese living in Cambridge, United Kingdom. I am an archaeologist but I have so many other passions such as nature, health, people, and…living! I am looking forward to unravel what this exciting New Year has to offer us.
There is nothing as beautiful as living and we should make the best of our lives. Like yourselves, I was always very inspired by Lisa and Prospero. Their positive and bright energy is so uplifting and is with this uplifting and loving energy that I want to start the year with. I think there is no better way to do so than sharing! It is with a lot of love that today I am ought to share with you a simple but delicious recipe that gathers love, respect and care about the cycle of life, about nature and environment and about our own bodies: delicious Jerusalem Artichokes and Squash roast! And what a great to start a New Year with seasonal and organic amazing ingredients!
Eating seasonal foods is a great way to have a sustainable lifestyle. It is as well a great way to guarantee better quality, higher nutritional value, cheaper prices, and more ethical farming. Buying foods in their season guarantee us better quality, higher nutritional value, they will be fresher, and with stronger flavours. They are also much cheaper, and there is a higher possibility of being grown in a more ethical farming and organic way (e.g grown without/with fewer or no pesticides).
There are many other ways where buying seasonal foods will help the environment. On one hand, local shops will probably be packed with those veggies and fruits, which will normally be sold without packaging (unlike those found in most of the supermarkets).
On the other hand, buying local seasonal foods means that there will be a much lower carbon footprint necessary for the transportation of the ingredients from the producer to the market. You’ll be supporting local businesses reducing the probabilities of supporting massive scale farms or importing products. It will also mean that you can easily track down all the production steps until the product is on your hands: if they respected the environment during all the production steps, how and where do they grow their foods, where do they stand ethically, and the contact and feedback between you and the producers will be far more direct.
Nature always knows how to treat us best, providing us with the best options of foods to keep us healthy and strong: for instance, during the summer you’ll find all of those high water content fruits to keep you hydrated, whereas during the winter you’ll find the citrus fruits that will provide you with Vitamin C to help you stay away from flues.
It is wintertime, and the seasonal veggies and fruits are a great way to warm up our bodies, to provide comfort and deliciousness. Since I moved to the United Kingdom I started to discover new vegetables that I have never seen before, neither in Portugal nor Spain. My top number one is the Jerusalem Artichoke. Ever since I first tried them I became obsessed with them. Although winter is not my favorite season, I always get excited about the idea of having them again.
As you might have guessed by now, Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes at all. In fact, they don’t even look alike. They are rather a species of sunflower, also named as sunchoke, sunroot or earth apple, with the scientific name of helianthus tuberosus. Is native from North America and brought to Europe from the early colonialists. The reason for this name is unknown, although it was once named sunflower artichokes – as they belong to the helianthus family. Their leaves are rough and of a hairy texture. Their flowers are yellow and their tubers are the edible part, normally elongated and similar to ginger root. They have a sweet nutty taste and can be eaten both raw and cooked, and it is a great source of fibre. Once planted, the Jerusalem artichokes persist for a long time.
I personally find them delicious and I love cooking them with other sweet kinds of vegetables with spices that contrast this flavour. This recipe’s protagonists are both Jerusalem artichokes and squash. It is incredibly simple to cook and packed with flavours that will make you feel good and satisfied.
Here’s the recipe:
All of the ingredients will be tender, golden and delicious, and the spices will contrast the sweetness of the Jerusalem artichokes and the squash. You can sprinkle it with sesame seeds or fresh dill when you serve it. Enjoy your meal.
JERUSALEM AND SQUASH ROAST
gluten-free, lactose-free, soy-free, plant-based (vegan)
Level of difficulty: easy
Preparation time: 15 min (+ 30 to 40 min cooking time)
- 1 ambercup squash;
- 8 pieces of Jerusalem artichokes
- 2 carrots
- ½ courgette;
- 1 parsnip;
- ¼ of red sweet-pepper;
- 1 garlic clove;
- 2 tsp of paprika
- 2 tsp of dry dill;
- 2 tsp of garlic powder.
- Peel the skin from the carrots and parsnip and roughly chop them into thumb size rough pieces.
- Without removing the skin, chop the courgette into similar pieces.
- Remove the skin of the squash and cut it in half. Scoop out the seeds and cut them in rough pieces.
- Remove the seeds from the red pepper and slice it into tiny stripes.
- Peel the skin from the Jerusalem artichokes and cut them into rough thumb size pieces.
- Put all the ingredients in a baking tray. Add the olive oil and salt to taste along with the spices and mix it all well. Put it in the oven for about 30-40 minutes in 180º.