Just because we can't have starchy potatoes, doesn't mean we can't have
many of the potato-themed dishes we've come to love. Here's a list of
veggies that take on a great acting role!|
Cauliflower belongs to the cabbage family, and is so closely related
to broccoli that both are designated as of the same variety.
Good quality in cauliflower is indicated by white or creamy-white,
clean, firm, compact curd, with the jacket leaves (outer leaf portion
remaining) fresh, turgid and green. Small leaves extending through
the curd do not affect edible quality. Large or small heads, equally
mature, are equally desirable.
A slightly "ricy" or granular appearance
is not objectionable unless the flower clusters are spreading. Spreading
occurs when the flower clusters have developed enough to cause a separation
of the clusters which makes the curd open or loose. Spotted, speckled, or
bruised curds should be avoided unless they can be trimmed without
Carbohydrate Information: 1 cup cooked (boiled): 5 grams carbohydrate;
3.3 grams fiber.
Low Carb Uses:
Their best use is probably as Mashed "Potatoes" (see recipe), but it's a very
versatile veggie and can be used in Scalloped,
to make Stuffed "Potatoes",
and in salads. Add it to
stews, soups, and chowders. It's great in a New England boiled type dinner
with cabbage. Cauliflower can also be used as a substitute for rice as seen
in this recipe for Chinese
Fried "Rice". You can even make a "Rice" Pudding with it!
A member of the cabbage family, turnips are similar in appearance to such
root vegetables as rutabagas and swedes (originally Swedish turnips). In
general, turnips are smoother than these cousins and have several circles of
ridges at the base of their leaves. For cooking purposes, they can an be
Carbohydrate Information: 1 cup cooked/cubed (boiled):
carbohydrate; 3.1 grams fiber.
Low Carb Uses:
Much like the cauliflower, turnips can be boiled and mashed to make a good
substitute Mashed "Potato" (see alternate version of this recipe). It will have more
of a "bite" to it than the cauliflower version and is a good bet when you want
a spicy mashed... add black or red pepper, perhaps onion and/or garlic.
Turnips make great (and again, spicy) fries. See recipe here. Add to stews in place of
potatoes, or shred in hot buttered skillet with a bit of butter for a
Also called the yam bean root, jicama is a member of the morning glory
family that hails from Mexico and South America. It ranges in weight
from a few ounces to 6 pounds. Its crispy white flesh is hidden under
a fibrous dust-brown skin, which must be completely stripped off.
It's been called a cross between an apple and a potato because it's
crisp and slightly sweet like an apple, yet can be used much like a potato
(just without the starch!)
Carbohydrate Information: 1 cup cooked (boiled):
carbohydrate; 3.7 grams fiber.
Low Carb Uses:
Like potatoes, jicamas can be steamed, baked,
boiled, mashed or fried. Unlike potatoes, however, they can also be eaten
raw. Sliced into wide sticks, jicama makes a crunchy carrier for guacamole
and highly seasoned dips.
Celery Root —
Pity the poor celery root, or celeriac as the French call
it. This baseball-sized root with brown knotted skin, hairy,
gnarly roots crusted with dirt has no shelf appeal and is often
ignored. It is truly one of Mother Nature's homeliest vegetables.
On the upside, it also one of Mother Nature's tastiest vegetables,
with a taste that has been described as a little like licorice, a bit
lemony, and certainly like celery but without the fibrous texture.
While celeriac is usually marked "celery root" in food stores in
the United States, it isn't the root of celery stalks but a close
cousin. Select firm, hard roots that are about baseball size and feel
heavy. Often the bigger ones have voids or fibrous cores. Wash the roots
thoroughly to remove as much dirt as possible. Then use a knife to trim
away the roots and the peel. Because the roots and dirt-filled
crevices have to be trimmed away, you'll lose at least a quarter, if not more,
of the celeriac during peeling. Usually, a 1 pound celeriac will yield about
two cups once peeled and sliced or grated. Celery Root must be soaked in
water and/or cream acidulated with lemon juice. Peeled celeriac will turn
brown in about five minutes if left in the open air.
Carbohydrate Information: 1 cup cooked (boiled): 7.1 grams
carbohydrate; 3.4 grams fiber.
Low Carb Uses:
It can be mashed with
cream, butter, salt, pepper, and even a little chicken stock! It
can be made into fabulous fries (slice thin, soak in cream mix,
dry and fry in hot oil), and it can make for a cheesy scalloped
"potato" when sliced thin (just use your favorite recipe from your
high carb days and use celery root in place of potatoes!) Simply peeled,
sliced and julienned into little sticks, celeriac will improve the
flavor of any tossed salad!