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Seasonal Eating: a Rocky Beginning

January 28, 2011

One of my actions from my post on sustainable and healthy eating was to try and eat more seasonal food. During a bit of a lull at work I decided to do some research and came across this website: Eat the Seasons. It has lists of vegetables, fruit, meat and fish that are in season (there are separate lists for UK/Europe and USA/Canada). The website also has a seasonal food of the week that is updated every Wednesday. I decided to challenge myself and incorporate the seasonal food of the week into at least one meal a week. This week’s food was parsnips.

Problem: I don’t like parsnips. Never one to back down from a challenge (even when I was only challenging myself and at this point I hadn’t even shared the challenge with anyone else), I tried to find a way of eating parsnips that wasn’t totally repulsive to me. I thought that part of my problem with parsnips was that I don’t like the texture when they’re cooked. I came across a salad recipe that used raw parsnip. I thought perhaps I might like raw parsnip … hmmm.

I got up early this morning to create my masterpiece to take to work for lunch. I even displayed it on a plate to make it look pretty for my picture (I actually took it to work in a beat up tupperware container).


I served it with sunflower seed and oat ryvita and got through about half before I started struggling and realised that I really don’t like parsnip. I tried really, really hard – I spent so long on it and it’s seasonal food of the week! I can imagine if you do like parsnips this salad would be nice and would make a great side at a buffet or BBQ in the summer. So, I will share.

Lebanese parsnip, date and yogurt salad

  • 1 parsnip, grated
  • 5 dates, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • juice half a lemon
  • pinch of salt and pepper to taste

Basically mix all together and Bob’s your uncle. I’m going to try again with carrot, because I really like the concept of this salad.

I had to have a biscuit to take the taste away (any excuse eh?!). Luckily the rest of the day’s food made up for my lunch fail. Breakfast was the best banana and oat porridge, served with milled flaxseed mixed in (I will never ever get tired of banana oaty goodness). Snacks were a Coco Loco Nakd bar, some almonds and dried pear, plus a Coco Mint Nakd bar that I got from the health food shop on my way home because I was hungry having only eaten half of my lunch.

Dinner was some quinoa with chickpeas mixed in, topped with mixed roasted veggies and a dollop of homemade hummus – AKA“operation eat everything I have in the fridge before going on holiday”.

Veggies before going into the oven:


The finished article:


I love roasted veggies, but I don’t normally get time to do it as I’m usually running out the door to some class or other. I’m having a night in on my own tonight (sad, but it’s the perfect thing to do on a Friday night sometimes) so I had the luxury of time.

I’m not letting the parsnip fiasco put me off. Roll on seasonal food of the week the week after I get back from my hols!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 28, 2011 9:55 pm

    Hey, I think the main thing is that you tried! I think we’re all allowed a couple of veggies that we just don’t on with. For me it’s celeriac and swede :-/

    I really like the idea of challenging yourself to incorporate new foods. Every week in the supermarket I try to pick up something I wouldn’t normally buy. Last week it was fennel. Over the last year of doing this, I’ve incorporated radishes, beetroot, cauliflower and celery using that method. It’s a bit haphazard, but it seems to work. Somehow!

    Also, nice vegan dinner (ahem!) 😉

  2. January 29, 2011 9:21 pm

    You’re one step ahead of most people (myself included) that don’t make the effort to eat seasonally. I think it’s a fantastic challenge you’ve set yourself and I’m not the greatest parsnip fan either, unless they’re roasted. They’re pretty good in soups with a splash of coconut milk and ginger too. I’m with Alison on the celeriac and swede: nothing can make me like them, no matter how much I try to mask the taste.


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