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Welcome to The Sensitive Kitchen where home cooks are inspired to Cook to Enable Those You Love to Flourish. I’m Cindy Sullivan, registered dietitian, passionate nutrition, educator, and accomplished home cook. Whether you’re changing how you cook for food sensitivities, allergies, intolerances, or just trying to eat healthier on a budget, you’re in the right place.

Most episodes, I will share favorite recipes as well as modification tips and nutrition benefits. Occasionally I’ll have a guest or special episode like modifying holiday favorites. My favorite foods? The’re raspberries and homemade chocolate chip cookies. My latest cooking project was long fermented sourdough bread,

Happy New Year! It’s a New Year – try a New Vegetable! Before we talk about today’s recipe to encourage you to include parsnips in your vegetable rotation, I want to tell you about my brand new membership, The Kitchen Table.

Are you looking for encouragement and inspiration to keep cooking? Because cooking and eating are so constant, even the most experienced among us needs new ideas, inspiration and encouragement.

Many of you know that I have been envisioning a community of cooks for several years. In the past when families lived close and people were cooking mostly the same foods, it was easier to share recipes and have your cooking questions answered.

Today you can Google a question, or take an online cooking class. However if you’ve changed your diet, after that online cooking class, then you usually have to take the recipe and modify it for your family. And often it doesn’t taste the same or cook the same.

Thus you may end up eating the same safe three meals over and over and over again.

I want to talk to you a little bit about variety because as a dietitian, I know it’s better for you to have lots of variety in your diet. You’re more likely to meet your nutrient needs and more likely to avoid any potential problems in foods.

If you eat a variety of foods, rather than just strawberries as your only fruit every day, for example, there’s even evidence that your gut microbiome, that healthy gut bacteria, is healthier the more variety you have in your plant foods.

Did you know that a diet which includes more than 30 different vegetables, fruits, and whole grains a week is recommended for gut health? Finding, trying, modifying new recipes can be exhausting.

And which dairy free cheese or which gluten-free tortilla is worth the extra money? And who is encouraging you to try new recipes and find family favorites?

This is what The Kitchen Table membership is all about. If you lived close to me, I could invite you into my kitchen to sit at my kitchen table for a cup of tea. While you were there, we might chop vegetables, or you might watch me tend, my sourdough. We could share ideas for dinner this week. And I could tell you that last night, my husband made our family’s favorite chocolate lava cakes gluten-free and they were better than the original! They still need a little work on cooking time, butWOWZA!! They were amazing!

That’s what happens at kitchen tables, the stuff of real life and real cooking. This is what I envision happening in The Kitchen Table Membership – sharing ideas, inspiration and help.

But more than that, this membership is all about finding new recipes that work for your family. We’ll have monthly challenges to find recipes that work for your food restricted family. It doesn’t matter whether you’re cooking for multiple food allergies, sensitivities, intolerances, or you’ve modified your diet for other health reasons. Cooking can be hard. Changing the way you cook is even harder.

And much of the time, those new recipes don’t taste as good. So every month we’ll pick a new topic and find new recipes. We will cook together. One month it might be soups. The next it might be breakfast or pasta or legume or salad dressings. We will not all be cooking the exact same soup or stew, but we can all share ideas and modifications that have worked for us.

When I was cooking for my son, Timothy’s migraines and other special diets he was on over the years, I just had to experiment. You have to experiment too, but you don’t have to make all the same mistakes I did. Come cook together in a vibrant online community.

You have the special opportunity to be a founding member of the kitchen table. You will have input into our topics and shape the direction of the membership. Plus you’ll receive the lowest price ever offered for as long as you’re a member.

Since most of you have not had the opportunity to take an in-person cooking class with me, I offer you the chance to get a taste of what it will be like inside The Kitchen Table. Next month in February, I will host the first cooking challenge.

In the spirit of the winter Olympics, we will don our aprons and cook soup together to warm up after watching the winter Olympics. I want you to join me to shape this community. For less than the cost of a single online cooking class (after which you’re going to have to modify the recipes), you can test new recipes in your kitchen with your family to find the ones that they love to eat and you’re willing to cook.

Come into the community, ask questions, share victories, share defeats. When you join the challenge and participate in modifying at least one recipe, your second month in The Kitchen Table Membership is free. So the challenge is really free for those of you who want to continue to have a community of cooks to surround you. Come see what it’s like.

Join the challenge! For more information, go to and on the homepage, click on the CookingTtogether button. Or you can email me at [email protected]. I’m looking forward to seeing you at The Kitchen Table!

Now for today’s recipe:

It’s a New Year – Try a New Vegetable!

How about this for a goal for the New Year? Warm, comforting dinners where no one objects to the vegetables served. And this simple dish might put parsnips into your regular rotation.

An interesting preparation twist, makes sure all the vegetables are flavored with garlic shallots, rosemary. It’s yummy. And this recipe was modified from the America’s Test Kitchen’s Healthy Family Cookbook published in 2010.

For ingredients:

The first one is chicken thighs. I do not recommend chicken breasts because they dry out more and they’re not as flavorful. And they also produce fewer drippings for the vegetables. You need about six to eight medium sized chicken thighs, whatever will fit on a rack over a nine by 13 pan.

Potatoes use red, white all purpose, or even Yukon gold. I don’t recommend russets because they tend to fall apart and create mush.


Parsnips – Now, when you’re picking out your parsnips (and they often are sold in bags), try for ones that are smaller around the top. Often times they’re huge around the top. And very large parsnips tend to be more woody in the middle.

Garlic cloves

shallots or small onions will also work

minced fresh Rosemary. Now my Rosemary lives on my patio in the summer, but it comes into my dining room in the winter time. I don’t have real good luck with dried Rosemary. So I suggest you purchase fresh for this recipe. If you buy it in a pot, you can keep it alive in a window sill this winter.

oil – use whatever oil your family tolerates. I use avocado oil, but olive oil would also be great.

And possibly you might need a little bit of water or chicken broth. This is only in case your vegetables, either stick or dry out. Mine have done this once in many years of making this recipe.

So those are your ingredients.

Substitutions- there are really no major allergens here. Just use whatever root vegetables your family can eat, but include the parsnips if at all possible. They really add flavor that really makes this dish.

Have you cooked with parsnips? There are relative of parsley and carrots, but they look like a white carrot. They become sweeter when they’ve been left in the ground after a frost. They also tend to be sweeter than carrots, especially when they’re roasted.

When I was growing up, my mom sometimes put a parsnip in her chicken soup. It’s a strong flavor for a mild flavored soup, but it’s yummy.

Parsnips are an excellent source of potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and the B-vitamin folate.

When the tops are big (and they’re always bigger around) But when the tops are very big, as I mentioned, they can tend to be a little bit woody in the middle and you can cut out some of that core if your top is extremely wide.

I recently put some thin coins of parsnips on a vegetable tray. We enjoyed them, but decided we liked them better cooked in our house.

So preparation for this dish – the preparation is actually simple.

You first want to preheat your oven right away to 400 degrees.

Peel your carrots and parsnips and cut them into about one inch pieces for the large ends of the carrots. I cut them in half or even in quarters. And then in one inch pieces. Now, as I mentioned, parsnips are notoriously uneven. So for the small, very thin and sorta like pencils, I cut these into about one and a half inch pieces. And as you move up the parsnip toward the large end, I cut into about one inch pieces and you’ll want a quarter or maybe half. If you’re able to purchase smaller parsnips, halve the top of the parsnip before cutting it into one inch pieces.

These root vegetables, the carrots and the parsnips, take longer to roast than the chicken and the potatoes and the other vegetables. So as soon as they’re cut, I pat them dry with a paper towel so that more of the oil sticks to them. I put the cut carrots and parsnips into a large bowl and toss with about a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Toss for a few minutes so that the oil [gets and] coats every piece. If you look, and there’s not oil on every piece, then you might want to put a little bit more oil and maybe another tablespoon.

Place the vegetables in a single layer in a nine by 13 pan or approximately a nine by 13 pan (bigger is better than smaller here) and place them in the oven while you prepare the potatoes, garlic and shallots. That way it gives these vegetables that take longer to cook a few extra minutes in the oven about 10, maybe.

So while your parsnips and carrots are in the oven, you’re going to peel your garlic cloves, keeping them whole. You’re going to peel your shallots and quarter them. If they’re really small, just cut them in half.

And whether or not you peel your potatoes is a matter of personal preference. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It kind of depends what the peels and the potatoes look like and how old they are.

I will note that, however, I do peel my carrots as I had a couple of experiences recently, where I left the peel on the carrots and the peels added bitterness to the dish. So I have gone back to peeling my carrots.

So either scrub your potatoes or peel them and cut them into approximately one and a half inch pieces. Now potatoes don’t cube very well.

And so I would say cubes, but that’s not really right, because as you know, they’re round and oblong and funny shaped, but a little bit bigger than the pieces of carrots and parsnips. Pat them dry and put them in a bowl with the garlic and shallots. I use a paper towel and often I throw a paper towel in the bowl as I’m throwing and I layer paper towel and, [and] potatoes. And I do the same thing with the parsnips and the, [and the] carrots. So take the paper, towel out if it’s still in there. Add a tablespoon of oil to your potatoes and your garlic and your shallots and stir awhile to coat. Again, if you need a little bit more oil another half tablespoon or tablespoon of oil, go ahead and use it.

The carrots and parsnips should have been in the oven for about 10 minutes by the time you’re done peeling the garlic and the shallots and the potatoes and prepping the potatoes; maybe more than 10 minutes the first time you do it, if you’re not a very experienced vegetable preparer, but it’s okay, you’ll get faster as you [do] keep cooking,

Remove the nine by 13 pan from the oven and add the potatoes, the garlic, and the shallots to the pan. Stir to combine them all and position them all in a single layer in the bottom of the nine by 13 pan. You can use a rubber or a silicone spatula to scrape all the oil out of the bowl and drip it over the vegetables If there’s any left.

Put the vegetables back in the oven and roast them for about 20 minutes. While the vegetables roast, rinse and mince the rosemary, discarding, any of those stems that are woody or brown. If the stems are green and pliable, you can mince them. But if they’re brown and woody strip off the rosemary needles and just mince them. And if you get a little bit of extra Rosemary, it’s fine.

You’re also going to prepare the chicken. You’re going to pull the skin over the chicken pieces to cover them as thoroughly as possible and place them on what I normally call a cooling rack. It’s where I take my cookies or my bread or my muffins out. And I put them on a cooling rack.

Your chicken is going to rest on a cooling rack, placed over the top of this nine by 13 pan. You do want to be sure the chicken does not extend over the edge of the pan or the drippings will go into your oven. So your rack might extend over the edge of your nine by 13 pan, and you actually want it to, but you don’t want your chicken {to do so}. You want all your chicken pieces to fit so that the drippings go right inside that nine by 13 pan and those yummy chicken drippings will flavor your vegetables by putting the chicken on the rack. The drippings not only flavor the vegetables, but it allows the chicken to roast more quickly, more evenly, get brown more evenly, and allows all the vegetables to roast more evenly as well.

So this is the interesting twist that I had never done before and till I made this recipe and found that it was a brilliant hack. So you’re going to carefully return your pan to the oven and managing the pans with the rack of chicken over the top of the nine by 13 pan is the hardest part of this recipe. You know, I always tell you the hardest part of the recipe – this is it.

If you have a pair of silicone oven, mitts, use them here. And after checking that the chicken pieces with the pan out of the oven, checking the chicken pieces don’t extend over the side of the pan, you may wish to put the pan in the oven and then place the rack with the chicken over the top. A lot of times that works better.

You’re going to roast the pan of vegetables with the chicken over the top for about 30 to 35 minutes, the temperature of the chicken should be at least 170 degrees. Remove the pan from the oven. Take the rack with the chicken off the top. Be careful. Remember to use your silicone mitts, because this is hot.

Test the root vegetables with a fork and make sure everything is tender. If it’s not, you’re going to return the vegetables to the oven while the chicken rests for about 10 minutes. Serve the chicken with the vegetables. Be sure to scrape up all in a yummy brown parts on the bottom of the pan and enjoy.

I’m so glad you joined me today. Keep Cooking to Enable Those You Love to Flourish. Have a wonderful day.

Don’t forget to go check out the information on The Kitchen Table membership and the Cooking Challenge and cooking soups during the winter Olympics! Have a great day. Bye-bye.



USDA – Parsnip nutrition facts from google

6 Nutrition and Health Benefits of Parsnips Written by Rachael Link, MS, RD on January 18, 2019

Recipe modified from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook,  the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen, Brookline, MA 2010.

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