Looking for a “skinny” but creamy side–like Cauliflower Mock Mashed or Cheesy Cauliflower Gratin–but want to add more color to your plate? Here’s a flavorful 70 calorie a cup dish that’s a great alternative and dairy-free: Skinny Carrot and Parsnip Puree.
And by using almond milk rather than cow’s milk, you cut calories (unsweetened almond milk has just 40 calories a cup) while adding more nutritional value.
Depending on whether you’re roasting your entree in the oven…or cooking it outside or on the stove, I’ve given you 2 methods for this dish to choose from. (When roasting a chicken, I just roast the veg. If grilling or pan cooking an entree, I’ll boil the veg. You do what you need to do.)
SKINNY CARROT AND PARSNIP PUREE
1 lb carrots
1 lb parsnips
big pinch dried oregano (1/4-1/2 t)
big pinch dried thyme (1/4-1/2 t)
1 t kosher salt (more, if you need to)
1/2 to 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened “plain” almond milk (Boiled veg will take less, roasted veg will need more.)
Peel carrots and parsnips, cut into chunks or thick slices, put into a stainless steel saucepan with the dried herbs, and fill to the top with water. (You can get a little heavy-handed with the herbs, about 1/2 t each when boiling since some will be lost when you drain after cooking.) Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until fork-tender, about 20-25 minutes.
Let it sit for a few minutes for Smart Balance to melt and salt to absorb.
Using your immersion blender, begin pureeing the veg right in the pan, adding 1/2 cup to 1 cup of almond milk until the texture is right for you. (Boiling the veg will leave them very moist so just add almond milk as you need it. )
Taste for seasonings, adding a bit more salt if you like.
Preheat oven to 425.
Peel and chop carrots and parsnips lengthwise into skinny strips or thin slices rather than thick chunks. (When oven roasting, you want them cut more delicately so they cook more quickly without going brown.)
Toss with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1/4 t of each herb and roast 20-25 minutes until tender, stirring once or twice during cooking.
Remove to a large bowl, add Smart Balance Light and salt and begin to puree. (The veg will be more firm after roasting so you’ll need to start adding in the 3/4 cup to 1 and a half cups of almond milk earlier to get the puree going.) Keep whirling until the texture you prefer. Again, taste for seasonings, adding a little more salt if you need it.
(If making ahead, put into an oven-safe baking dish that you can cover with foil and reheat in the oven, or cover with a damp paper towel and reheat in the microwave.)
PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD
For a couple of years, I was careful to use “Plain” not “Vanilla” almond milk for this dish. But paying more attention to Mad Men on TV than my Mad Cooking in the Kitchen one night, I accidentally used the vanilla type. It was delicious. The next time I made it, serving with an Indian Spiced Grilled Chicken, I added a pinch of cinnamon and allspice and a few raisins to the mix and left it all a little more chunky..It was a completely different dish, but fantastic with the meal that night!
RE-USE, RE-PURPOSE, RE-CYCLE