A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Recipe Venture - Fennel

My friend and fellow foodie, Joanna, is on a quest to conquer, cook and eat new and intriguing vegetables.

As meat-free people it’s a great idea for us to expand what we eat regularly so as not to get into the rut of eating the same things over and over. So once a week (or so) I’m going to be posting Jo’s reports on the new plant life that she has met along the way and how well she liked the recipes she’s tried. Without further ado, here is her first one!

(Note: Initially she was going to try out kohlrabi for her first experiment, but found it difficult to obtain. Also – I would REALLY like the recipe for that curried white bean salad with spinach. Yum!)


Good morning Food Science Team!

Last night I got to Whole Foods and wandered around the produce section with the growing realization they didn’t have any kohlrabi. D’oh! Thanks to my handy iPhone with Epicurious app, I was able to find a new recipe featuring a different veggie I don’t know much about: fennel.

I’ve had fennel in soups and I’ve always found the anise flavor to be overpowering. However, a coworker very recently was raving about the subtler flavor of roasted fennel. I decided to give it a try. Since it’s just me, I halved the recipe (amounts to follow). I also just used bagged baby carrots. The little stems of fresh ones would be very pretty, but bagged ones are pre-cleaned and cheaper. Color me just a little lazy. :)

At the end, the fennel had a cabbagey sort of texture and was only mildly flavored of anise. Roasting tends to bring out the sweetness of veggies so with the carrots this was very nice. I like it! It’s also dead simple to cook. In the picture, it’s the right side of my plate (which you are all smart enough to know but I like to be thorough).

On the left is a curried white bean salad that was warmed up with some baby spinach. Dessert was a pair of blood oranges that I dipped in a homemade chocolate sauce (1 T cocoa, 1 T agave nectar, ¼ tsp peanut oil, and a little warm water to smooth it out = 82 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g fiber)

Please note: the whole upper third/lower third thing going on in this recipe is in the event you have a roast going on in the middle of your oven.

Roasted Fennel and Baby Carrots

Servings: 6

Active Time: 15 min

Total Time: 45 min

6 bunches baby carrots, peeled and trimmed, leaving 1/2 inch of stems intact
2 medium fennel bulbs, stalks discarded and bulbs cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450°F. (If you are making just this dish, you can put oven rack in middle position and roast vegetables on that rack throughout.)

Toss carrots and fennel with olive oil, water, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper and arrange in 1 layer in a 17- by 11-inch shallow baking pan. Cover pan with foil and roast vegetables in lower third of oven 10 minutes, then uncover and roast, turning occasionally, 10 minutes more. Switch pan to upper third of oven and roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 10 minutes more.

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