Easter is coming up early this year and I don’t know what I am more excited for – the food or the fact the spring is finally here! It has still been pretty chilly but don’t think I haven’t noticed the strength of the sun increasing. Easter has a much more understated beauty than the showy glitz of Christmas, which really allows for reminders of both simplicity and gratitude.
During the food sensitivity discovery process, it is imperative that you avoid the common food allergens as well as processed foods. While this process is incredibly enlightening, it can also be trying at times – especially the holidays. The best comfort food comes out of holiday dinners, don’t you agree? So when you can’t eat your favourite dishes dripping in dairy and gluten-filled goodies, you might begin to wonder if this process is worth the trouble.
Let me be clear – the process of creating a custom diet by uncovering the foods that trigger your symptoms is entirely worth it.
This is an opportunity to be grateful. Express gratitude that your body is trying to tell you something rather than feeling as if it is rebelling against you. Express gratitude that you have answers to your pain – food sensitivities are triggering your symptoms and all you need to do is figure them out. Express gratitude that we live in a time where the internet is teeming with delicious, alternative recipes.
It is possible to have allergen-free recipes that are delicious and it is my mission to create those for you… mostly because I want them for myself! The process should be empowering and not a painful punishment. Luckily, holiday dinners themselves need very few substitutions or complicated recipes to be enjoyed, it’s usually the side dishes and desserts that are harder to replicate.
For a hoppy Easter dinner, yea, I couldn’t help myself, cook your protein of choice and add veggies cooked in quality fats. Choose organic turkey, chicken or lamb (try black beans or chickpeas for a vegan option) and prepare veggies in your favourite way such as roasted. So simple! Side dishes tend to rely heavily on white potato – a nightshade that has the potential to create inflammation and symptoms. That’s why I created this fun mash-up recipe man, I can’t stop with the puns! to add an allergen-friendly side dish to your Easter dinner table.
I’ve used rutabaga to replace white potato in this recipe and you may be thinking ruta-yuck! I used to think this too but I promise you, when prepared in the right way, rutabaga is yummier than expected. All I ask is that you give it a try. Rutabaga is underutilised in North American culture, which is unfortunate because it is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants such as glucosinolates. This somewhat rare antioxidant contains sulfur compounds shown to reduce tumour growth. Rutabagas are also rich in fiber (great for eliminating toxins) and potassium (important for hydration) both of which are great for headache prevention.
You can swap rutabaga for turnip in this recipe or any recipe in the program where rutabaga is called for. They are both root vegetables in the Brassica family. Turnips are smaller and white, often with purple markings. Rutabagas are larger, waxy and yellowish brown with a milder and sweeter flavour than turnips. I prefer the flavour of rutabaga but either option will be budget-friendly.
One more thing – this surprisingly flavourful side dish can be made ahead (the night before or the morning) as it reheats like new. Anything to make life simpler.
- 1 small rutabaga, small diced
- 6 carrots, medium chopped (roughly equal parts of both)
- avocado oil
- 1 tsp Himalayan salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 375F
- Place all the ingredients on a parchment lined sheet pan
- Drizzle liberally with avocado oil
- Massage to evenly coat
- Bake for 30 minutes
- Remove and mix the vegetables well
- Continue cooking for 30 more minutes
- Test if done with a fork (fork easily goes into veggies)
- Use a potato masher or a food processor to mash
- If using a food processor pulse a few times until mixed to your liking
- If you want a creamier mash, puree until smooth
- Add a small amount of avocado oil while mixing for a richer flavour
- Optional: add fresh herbs like rosemary for even more flavour