Asian Winter Root Vegetable Bowl- $4.93 recipe/$1.23 serving

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After the holidays, which for my family is basically a three day eating marathon, I always crave some vitamin rich, low-fat, detox food. This bowl is filled with sauteed parsnips, carrots and sweet potatoes in a fragrant garlic ginger sauce- and it rests on my favorite homemade beet noodles. I love how this recipe takes advantage of all the winter produce available this time of year, but with a much lighter twist. Usually root veggies are heavily baked with butter or cream, but this really lightens up the starchy gems of winter. This recipe makes 4 servings, but to be honest I would double it the next time I make it because it was so good.

Ingredients – Makes 4 Servings

1 parsnip ($0.75)

1 carrot ($0.37)

2 tbsp. fresh ginger root, grated ($0.64)

1 yam ($0.78)

1/2 head garlic ($0.36)

2 beets ($1.62)

4 tbsp. vegetable oil ($0.20)

3 tbsp. soy sauce ($0.15)

1 tsp. 5 spice powder ($0.03)

1 tsp. sriracha, or other Asian hot sauce ($0.03)

1/3 cup water (free!)

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1. Peel your carrots and parsnips and slice into delicate matchstick slices. Also peel and finely dice your yam. Set vegetables aside.

2. Mince your garlic and grate your ginger. Set aside.  

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3. Peel and spiralize your beets. Set aside. 

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4. Saute ginger and garlic with 2 tbsp. vegetable oil on low heat for 5 minutes. 

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5. Add in soy sauce and water- now throw in the parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes. Cover pot and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. 

6. After 10 minutes of cooking, add Chinese 5 spice and sriracha to the pot, mix well and cook for about 5 more minutes. When done, set aside. 

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7. Now, in a separate pan, saute your raw beet noodles with 2 tbsp. vegetable oil over high heat for 5 minutes. Set aside. 

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Now assemble your bowls and serve! I ate mine as is, but you could garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro, or additional hot sauce based on your taste.

Garlic Hasselback Sweet Potatoes- $2.90 recipe/ $0.73 serving

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Hasselback potatoes are a pretty celebration of one of my favorite root vegetables. The garlic and sage draw out the natural sweet molasses undertones of the sweet potato, and the texture of the slices is irresistible. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a holiday dinner. It looks and tastes like a complicated side, but it’s almost stupidly simple.

Ingredients

4 small sweet potatoes ($2.50)

4 cloves garlic ($0.03)

2 tbsp. oil ($0.32)

1/2 tsp. sage ($0.05)

1. Preheat oven to 425. 

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2. Slice your sweet potatoes, stopping about 1/2 inch before you cut all the way through. I make each slice about 1/4 inch wide. This sounds more difficult than it is, just take your time on the first one if you need to. 

3. Oil each sweet potato completely, use about 1/2 tbsp. Mince your garlic and combine it with another 1/2 tbsp. olive oil. 

4. Pull apart a few slices on each potato and stuff with oil and garlic. I use about 1 clove per potato. 

5. Bake on parchment paper or non-stick surface for 40 minutes. Remove from oven. 

6. Mix together sage and 1 tbsp. olive oil. Cover each sweet potato with a healthy portion of the mixture and return the potatoes to the oven for an additional 15 minutes. 

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That’s all there is to it. I coiled one of my potatoes here so that you can see how pliable each slice becomes. When we went back for seconds after dinner we  pulled out the slices with our fingers and ate them like buttery baked chips. I think these will now be mandatory at our house- there are a million ways to make them so I’m sure I’ll be posting many varieties in the future!