We all have days when life gets busy and it feels like there’s no time to cook. It’s days like this that I love to have some recipes for fast comfort food that is so delicious, you’ll be happy you took a little extra time to nourish your body! The good news? This 15 minute recipe is comfort food for your soul!
If you haven’t cooked with celery root yet (celeriac), you are in for a treat! I first discovered this delicious root vegetable when traveling with Louise Hay. She is a wizard in the kitchen and always teaches me new things about cooking and food. One cool fall night, we made grated, braised celery root (I’ll do my best to re-create our recipe soon!). It was such a delight to realize that this is yet another vegetable (along with turnips and cauliflower) that tastes remarkably like potatoes.
These days, many people are going Paleo, Specific Carbohydrate Diet, GAPS or some version of starch free to heal their gut (starches can be a challenge to digest for people focusing on their small intestine health). Still others who want to follow food combining for gut health are looking for a way to have a mashed potato type experience along with animal protein (meat, poultry and eggs don’t combine well with starchy vegetables, which means they are harder to digest when eaten together).
If you are in one of these groups or if you just want to experiment with something new, you’ll love this alternative!
Celery Root (Celeriac): A Little Known Fast Comfort Food
A member of the carrot family, celery root or celeriac is found in the produce aisle during the fall and winter seasons. It’s not considered a pretty vegetable, but like all things, don’t let looks deceive you! It’s kind of like a knobby turnip and you often see it in bins near the turnips at the grocery store. Many health food stores carry organic celery root — hooray!
You only need 2 or 3 of them to serve about 6 people.
Time to Prepare
15 minutes. The longest part is boiling them.
- 3 medium sized celery roots (when cut up into chunks, it’s about 4 -5 cups)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (you can also use organic ghee or raw organic pastured butter)
- 1 TBL dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp. turmeric (optional)
- 1 tsp Celtic Gray Sea Salt (or more to taste)
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- Optional: If you love parsley and want to sneak some greens into your meal (like I did), add 1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley.
- Some smart readers said they wanted to make this with garlic, onions or leeks — yes! These are great options. Saute them in the saucepan with the other spices (see instructions below) for a really flavorful result.
- Peel the skin off the celery root. I actually just cut the skin off with a good knife, but most true chefs use a peeler.
- Add about 3 cups water into a saucepan and turn the heat to high, bringing the water to a boil while you chop the celery root.
- Chop the celery root into chunks – they can be large chunks. Keep it simple.
- Add the celery root to the water and boil until the pieces are soft. When they are cooked, you should be able to insert a fork or knife very easily into the chunks. This will take about 10 minutes.
- While the celery root is boiling, in another saucepan on low heat, add 1 TBL coconut oil and all of the spices, except the sea salt. Allow the spices to warm in the oil for 2 – 5 minutes to release their aromas and bring out their medicinal qualities. Then remove from the heat.
- Once the celery root is soft, remove from the heat and pour out about 2 cups of the water. You will have about 1 cup of the water left in the pan. Now add the celery root and remaining water to the saucepan where you heated up the spices.
- Add the rest of the coconut oil and sea salt and heat on the lowest temperature to mix everything in.
- If you have a hand held blender (immersion blender), you can use that to mash up the celery root right in the saucepan. If you want to add parsley, add it in now and blend it up. If you don’t have a hand held blender, you can either use a potato masher, a fork or put the mixture into your food processor or blender and blend it all up.
- Now it’s ready to eat! Season to taste with extra sea salt or pepper.
- Enjoy on its own – I sometimes have this as a snack or meal all on its own.
- Salad topper – A little red leaf lettuce, a drizzle of olive oil and some of this mashed celery root on top is a really great vegan/vegetarian meal! The celery root warms the lettuce and it makes a great all around comfort meal.
- Side dish – enjoy as a side dish with veggies or animal protein meals.
- Cold on the road – this makes a great travel food because it tastes great cold too!
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