Real food. Real solutions.

Jicama

I have been SUCH a slacker in the kitchen lately. For real. Luckily soup is my specialty and I make so much that I can freeze it in individual containers and pull it out throughout the week. My meals have been nothing but veggies and eggs for breakfast, salad for lunch, and soup for dinner. Great variety, Marie, way to practice what you preach. I needed to get my life in order, I usually cook a lot and I have been failing at that miserably. SO, I picked up one of these bad boys at the grocery store!
It’s a jicama, also known as a Mexican yam or a Mexican turnip. You can eat it raw or cooked and it tastes kind of like a mixture between an apple and a potato. The root, which is the part you see above, is edible whereas the rest of the plant is poisonous. It is typically eaten raw with spicy salsa. I decided to cook it. I cook a lot, but I’m always following recipes. I make my own adjustments in oil type or spice amount, of course, but I’ve never just come up with something on my own (see, even I am still learning). So this was a really big milestone for me because I made not one but TWO recipes on my own! Well, sort of. I wasn’t crazy about the recipes I saw online, most were just variations of fruit salads, so I decided to do a variation of a recipe I recently used in a theme meal at work using jicama instead of apples. I’ve actually never even eaten jicama before so this whole night of cooking was new and super fun, especially because it included a glass of wine. See, my aunt has these “wine rules” (i.e., excuses to make drinking acceptable) and one of them is that any time you are creating something in the kitchen you have to have a glass of wine. I say go for it, as long as you are following these alcohol rules.

Both of the recipes I made are below and both are delicious. For the first, I cooked up 5 slices of pastured, uncured bacon (which is how any good recipes should start). And yes, the pastured uncured part is IMPORTANT, especially with a meat like bacon. Animals (and humans too!) store toxins in their fat cells so when eating a fatty meat you want to make sure it comes from an animal that was raised in a proper environment without chemicals in its feed. Now if you’re like me and eat it as you go you should probably cook like 7 slices. Fun Marie fact- I didn’t eat bacon for about 8 years and only started again earlier this year. Now, apparently in an effort to make up for lost time, I find an excuse to put it in everything. Not that you probably care. Oh well.

Next, I peeled, rinsed, and julienned half of the the jimaca while the bacon was cooking. 

I then diced up 1/2 white onion and halved a pound of Brussels sprouts. When the bacon was done cooking I pulled it out and set it on paper towels and added the jicama, onions, and Brussels sprouts to the bacon grease and cooked those on medium heat until they were soft. 
Once they were nicely browned up I chopped the bacon and added it back in and added two ounces of raw Point Reyes Blue Cheese that I had picked up in the Pittsburgh Strip District last week. This stuff is so creamy its absurd. I let that melt down just a little bit and boom… amazingness. 
The recipe I am sort of pulling from also included half and half and dijon mustard but I didn’t happen to have either of those things on hand so I left them out and it was still delicious. Now I’m sure our chefy friends Bridget and Jarret may have some suggestions on what else to add (so feel free to chime in guys!) but this was so good I struggled to control myself. But I approve of everything in there so I don’t even feel a little bit guilty. I often struggle to control myself. Which is why I only keep healthy things in the house. Speaking of healthy, wanna know how to make healthy chips? Read on, friend.

I still had half of the jicama left so I used a mandolin slicer to get these thin slices.

Ninja knife skills are also an option however I do not posses these very handy tricks.

Next, I mixed up 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon of paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, and a little salt and pepper to a bowl and mixed it up. Finally I added the jicama and mixed it all together until they were thoroughly coated. 
Then bake in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, flip, and put them back in for another 20. Viola. 
Now, you didn’t think I was going to let you go without telling you exactly WHY eating jicama is a good idea, did you? Good. 

Variety, for one. Throw some different nutrients in the mix and get away from the boring same old thing. 
One cup of jicama only has about 50 calories but it has a quarter of your daily needs of fiber. Remember when we talked about inulin? Jicama is full of it. A one cup serving also provides about 40% of your daily needs of vitamin C and contains smaller amounts of Vitamins E and B6, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese. And hey, every little bit helps. What’s on your plate today? 

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