Nutrition & Weight Loss

Ever Get in a Vegetable Rut?

Ever Get in a Vegetable Rut?

Do you ever tire of the same old spinach salads and steamed broccoli? It’s easy to get in a vegetable rut. Try to not dismiss the many other vegetables that line the produce section. Parsnips are one of my favorites. They work great sautéed, roasted, mashed, or tossed into soups and stews.

Why it works:

A parsnip looks very similar to a carrot, but is pale white in color. Although not a source of beta-carotene like the carrot, it’s a source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and carbohydrates. Parsnip makes a wonderful vegetable to rotate in the athlete’s diet to support sneaking in a few more fueling carbohydrates into a low carb vegetable routine. One cup of this root vegetable carries about 24 grams of carbohydrate compared to only 6 grams per cup of broccoli. Among many benefits, adding carrots to the recipe adds vitamin A while the garlic can support a healthy immune system.

Roasting, mashing, and sauteed vegetables can also boost a satisfaction factor with mealtime. Eating vegetables “hot” versus “cold” can play a role in the enjoyment during and satisfaction after a meal. This is a satisfying option to feed a hungry appetite.

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

  • 4 parsnips
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/16-1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/8- 1/4 tsp. salt

Roast Parsnips and CarrotsDirections:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash parsnips and carrots. Cut off the ends of the parsnips and carrots; then chop them into even 1/2-1″ even pieces. Toss vegetables with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Spread vegetables on a large cookie sheet and bake for about 30-45 minutes or until tender and slightly browned. Stir vegetables half way through baking.

Pinched for time? – Place the chopped parsnip, carrot, and onion in a large steamer with a few tablespoons of water. Microwave for 4-5 minutes. Drain water and toss vegetables with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Then roast the vegetables as outlined above for about 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Each serving is approximately 150 calories, 5 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbohydrate, 5.5 grams of fiber, and 2.5 grams of protein

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This post was written by:

- who has written 10 posts on Trail Running Club.

Jackie Dikos is a Registered Dietitian with board certification as a Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics. As the owner of the nutrition consulting business, Nutrition Success, Jackie counsels both athletes and non-athletes alike. She speaks on nutrition, health, wellness, and exercise in a variety of settings including clubs, expos, conferences, and the corporate environment. She maintains a blog that is dedicated to the promotion of health, wellness, and the education of endurance athletes at She is a contributor to Running Times Magazine with her monthly column “Fueling the Runner.” She has also been cited as a source in other popular magazines including Runner’s World, Women’s Running, and Shape.

In addition to her professional background Jackie is an accomplished runner. She competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Team Trials in the marathon. She earned her 2012 Olympic Trials qualification as the winner of the 2010 Monumental Marathon with a personal best of 2:45:25. Jackie doesn’t limit her athletic endeavors to simply running. She can include summiting Mt. Rainier to her list of accomplishments. Although she is a member of PowerBar Team Elite, Personal Best Training, and the Athletic Annex Running Club, her favorite training partners are her two little boys.

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