Spinach Nutrients and Quick Roasted Veg

SpinachThis week’s veggies are: • Red potatoes • 2 courgettes • Cabbage
• Carrots • Kale • Swede and for the first time, • Spinach.

Spinach Nutrients

I lovvvve spinach. According to The World’s Healthiest Food website, spinach is an excellent source of: vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, folic acid, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium and tryptophan.

It also contains good levels of: vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin E, copper, phosphorus, zinc, omega 3 and selenium.

For 10 tasty spinach recipes, click here.

Quick Roasted Veg

I thought it was about time I braved the swede again instead of giving it away, so this time I tried it roasted.

I preheated the oven to 200 degrees then took two potatoes, a parsnip and the swede, and cut them all up into small cubes. Because the vegetables are cut into small pieces, they take less time to cook and get crispy.

After throwing the veggies into a roasting tin, I brushed them with olive oil, sprinkled them with a little salt and left them to their own devices in the oven. Twenty minutes later (give or take) they were done.

Roasted Veg Tastes Sweeter

These veg looked pretty much the same when roasted so I couldn’t always tell it was swede I was putting in my mouth. And when I did notice, my bottle of Lingham’s Ginger, Garlic, Chilli Sauce was there to help disguise the taste!

Because roasting brings the natural sweetness out of vegetables, I found the swede much easier to eat this way. I wouldn’t go so far to say that I liked it – heaven forfend – but I didn’t hate it this way.


Calling All Swede (or Rutabaga) Lovers and Haters

If you are a swede lover, I would love to know. I want to know what you love about swede and how you like to cook it. Please write in the comment section below. And if you are a swede hater, tell me what you hate about it and how you’ve tried it, too.

I have been having a veg-box delivery every week now since the middle of January and one of the vegetables I’ve seen most of is swede. Since I made a pact that I would try to eat everything that arrives in the veg box, every swede I get is a fresh battle. The battle is to try to find something to like about it as swede is not a friend to my tastebuds.

I’ve cooked my swede in different ways – in a root veg gratin, in mash and in an apple dish – but I still don’t like it. And it’s rare for me not to like a food.

So, swede lovers, I challenge you to convert me! The gauntlet is down.

Add Your Vote to My Swede Poll!

Swede Nutrients

Turnip jack-o-lantern (couldn't find an image of a swede lantern)

The ancient symbol of a damned soul. Turnip jack'o'lantern (couldn't find an image of a swede lantern). Image from Wikipedia.

Oh my word . . . another week, another swede. In fact this week’s box is identical to last weeks with: • Sweetcorn • Potatoes • Cabbage • Onions • Mushrooms • Carrots • More sweeeeeeede!

Swede: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As it’s another small swede I will ‘face the fear and eat it anyway’ – some how, some way. May the force be with me.

In the meantime, as painful as it is, I guess I should try to feel some love for ye olde swede-ee and explore it’s good side.

So does the swede have any good things to offer?

What Nutrients Are in Swede?

According to the website Nutrition Data, swede is a very good source of vitamin C, potassium and manganese, and a good source of fibre, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.

With potassium, calcium and magnesium it has certainly got the electrolytes covered.

Nutrition Data also rate this veg as good for weight loss, which I believe could be true due to the fact that once you’ve cooked it, you don’t want to eat it. Well . . . that’s how it works for me!

A Taste Sensation

What I can’t understand is that one website describes the flavour of swede thus: ‘this creamy, orange-fleshed vegetable has a wonderful nutty, sweet flavour’. Huh?! They are definitely not eating the same swede that I’m eating!

I would describe swede as beige/yellow fleshed with a harsh, earthy/metallic flavour and weighty enough to sink a ship. I wonder if swede inspired the canon ball?

Rutabagas and Pumpkins . . . Now it Gets Interesting

OK, so at this point in my research, I’m not convinced of the swede’s good points. Then I discover that this vegetable carbuncle is also called a ‘rutabaga’, which is a much cooler name!

Furthermore, before pumpkins were grown in the UK and Ireland, swede were carved with faces and used as Jack’o’lanterns on Halloween. In this form they were the ancient symbol of a damned soul.

The ancient symbol of a damned soul . . . now that definitely fits with my experience of swede – they certainly taste like hell!

Please vote in my swede poll – click here.


Swede – Once More Unto the Breach

This week’s seasonal veggies are:
• Sweetcorn • Potatoes • Cabbage • Onions • Mushrooms • Carrots • Swede

Now, it seems to me that each week these swede fellas are getting smaller. This one fits snuggly into the palm of my hand not unlike the wooden balls you throw at a coconut shy – or as I remember, at the china-smashing stand at my first school’s fete. I’ve decided that, as this swede is not scarily huge, I reckon I should give it another go. Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more . . .

I haven’t done a box shot for while, but you’ll notice from this one that these days the cardboard veg boxes are a lot smaller and easier to re-use or recycle – yay! I’m not pleased to say that this week the mushrooms, the potatoes and the carrots have all arrived in plastic. BIG boooo!

(Once more unto the breach is from Shakespeare’s Henry V, Act III, 1599. There’s interesting info on that phrase here if it tickles your fancy.)

Please vote in my swede poll – click here

The Joy of Swede . . . Or Not

Veg Box 10

• Potatoes • Carrots • Onions • Cabbage
• Swede • Parsnips • Red peppers • Celery

As you know, I’m not keen on ye olde swedee. My veg box scheme is quite basic – I don’t choose what comes, I get what’s available and that’s that, so they are going to keep on coming.

There are schemes available that let you add extras to your box or take away things that you don’t like. In a way I quite like having no control about what arrives each week. It means my diet gets a shake up with nutrients from veg I might not have chosen to eat. However, I would still like to wave goodbye to swede! Goodbye, salam, auf wiedersehen, arrivederci, adios, au revoir, farvel . . .

(You can find out how to say goodbye in lots of different languages here. And why not!)

The Squash and the Swede

Veg box 8, March 1st

This morning’s colourful veg box included:
• Potatoes • Carrots • Onions • Cabbage • Cauliflower
• Swede
(quelle horreur!), and the newcomers: • Red pepper • Squash.

Squash . . . But Which Squash?!

The newcomers are very welcome. I’ve enjoyed all the squash I’ve tried before but I’m not entirely sure whether this one is a buttercup or Japanese kabocha. According to The Cook’s Thesaurus, both varieties are orange fleshed and described as ‘dry’, so there’s no clues there either. I guess I will work it out when I taste it, apparently the buttercup has ‘a sweet and creamy orange flesh’, while the kabocha ‘tastes of sweet potatoes’. They sound pretty similar to me and at the end of the day, who cares what it’s called – it’s a squash!

A Breakthrough with Swede

I’m delighted to report that I’ve found a great new way to deal with the dreaded swede. When I opened the box this morning and saw this unwelcome visitor I decided I needed to find someone who would make it more welcome in their home. I texted my neighbour and asked if she liked swede and within minutes there was a knock at the door. Yay! My swede can now enjoy a happy life next door. Fantastic. So swedes are good for something after all – neighbourly relations.

Swede – the Monster Veg

SwedeSwede . . . OOF! It’s got a face only a mother could love and it’s smell has a hint of fart about it. I know there are probably swede lovers out there, but I’m not one of them – could you tell? But . . . I made a pact that I wasn’t going to throw anything from my veg boxes away so it’s got to be eaten.

My swede was larger than a baby’s head so there was no way I could eat it all at once. I started by cutting a third off and using it in a root veg gratin. It was kind of OK, but my least favourite veg gratin so far – and it didn’t convert me.

Swede and Apple Bake

With the bulk of the thing still left, I searched for some ideas online. The Abel & Cole website had a few interesting ideas and I plumped for a swede and apple bake, thinking the taste of the swede would be disguised. I mashed the swede and three apples with some butter and a pinch of nutmeg. This was then transferred to a dish for the oven and the top was covered in breadcrumbs and little knobs of butter. It smelled much more swedey than appley. Anyway, I chucked it in the oven at 170°C for about 20 minutes.

I didn’t know what to serve this dish with so I ate it on it’s own. It’s not the kind of thing you can eat a lot of and it definitely needed something with it. I searched the internet again and found a few swede recipes with parmesan – that might be good to try the next time I get one of these carbuncles in my box.

UPDATE: I ate the swede and apple bake some time ago and there’s still a strong taste of swede in my mouth. I hope my breathe doesn’t smell of swede, I told you what I thought they smell off . . .

Please vote in my swede poll click here