Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Foods Week Day 3: Rutabaga

I wonder how many of you out there in blog- and cyber-land have ever tried a rutabaga? I have to be honest - unlike the trendy Brussels sprout, the rutabaga was not top of my list to try. Or even think about. I just happened to be perusing my big binder o' beef recipes and this one jumped out.

So I went with it, figuring that this would be perfect fare for our new foods week. I was more than a little apprehensive - there were only about three of the 'bagas hidden at the grocery store, and it is kind of strange looking. I know, I know - I shouldn't judge a rutabaga by its cover, but honestly peeps, if I wasn't the sporting type I might have skipped it based on appearance alone.

And, in case you are wondering, the rutabaga is low in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol, and a good source of fiber, potassium, folate, B6, etc. So yes, they are good for us. They are also part of the turnip family.

Couscous with Rutabaga and Beef Stew
Source: Eating Well, Jan/Feb 2012

  • 1 pound sirloin steak, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 tsp salt (skip)
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (skip)
  • 2 tbsp evoo
  • 1 lbs rutabaga (about 1/2 medium), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 med onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste (used no-salt added)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12/ tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional - skipped)
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 3 c. reduced sodium beef broth (used no-salt added)
  • Whole wheat couscous
  • Sprinkle steak with 1/4 tsp salt/pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in large saucepan over med heat. Add the steak and cook until no longer pink on the outside, approx 4 mins. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil to the pan over med heat. Add rutabaga through cayenne pepper (and remaining salt), cook, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to soften, approx 4 mins. Add flour, cook 1 min more, stirring constantly. Add broth, bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until rutabaga is tender and the stew is thickened, 11-14 mins.
  • Meanwhile, cook couscous as directed.
  • When rutabaga is tender, return steak to pan, reduce heat to med and cook until steak is cooked through, approx 2 mins.
  • Serve steak-ruta mix on top of couscous.
Yield: 4 servings (1.5c stew and .50 c. couscous)
Per serving: 392 cals; 12g fat (3g sat, 7g mono); 64mg chol; 41g carb; 8g fiber; 31g protein; 754mg sodium (ack)

I was kind of nervous to try this one. Really. The rutabaga was a pain to peel and chop up and it didn't smell that appealing (and yes I'm like a 3-year-old). I thought it was OK - I didn't finish my rutabaga portion, but I think I would like it better if it was a little bit softer, as it didn't turn out as tender as the recipe called for. The kid didn't like the couscous (not new to us at all) or the rutabaga, but the hubs liked the rutabaga, noting it didn't have too much flavor, but he's also still fighting the cold of the century. I disagree: I think it has a very distinct flavor. I was ready to give up on this veggie, until, as I was looking for the nutritional info, I came across different prep methods that sounded interesting - like fries! So I might try baking it in the oven next time around.

The steak portion of this was OK - next time I wold add in the cayenne for more flavor.

Two Forks


  1. Yes - a mash sounds good - I think baking or mashing is def the way to go next time

  2. i'm impressed you tried! looks like a pomegranate.