Potato-Free Rutabaga Hash Browns

Rutabaga hash browns on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

When I was an undergrad, I submitted a short story to the university literary journal, which was edited by my beloved mentor, John Ditsky (I guess on some level, since we’d already become friends by then and he’d always encouraged my writing, I kind of “knew” he’d publish the story). It was a tale about a 20-something university student who arrives home for the holidays, only to find that her parents don’t recognize her. She meanders through the house, frantically seeking signs that she’d once lived there, only to find none. No matter which childhood stories she relates, or which personal items she describes, her parents don’t seem to recognize her. Eventually, confused and hysterical, she crumples to the ground, pounding her fist on the floor like Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes, wailing, “But I’m your daughter! It’s ME, your daughter!! I’m your daughter. . . you know me. . . Oh, my God. . . ” and runs from the house, clearly having lost her sanity. In the last scene of the story, the mother turns to the father and asks, “Who was that young woman?” To which the father intones, “I have no idea.”

Cliché (and the fact that, duh, of course Ditsky wasn’t going to publish that piece of hackneyed tripe) aside, that’s pretty much how I’m feeling after spending the past 2 weeks away from this blog. (Yes, I’ve posted a couple of giveaways and the regular Wellness Weekend posts, but my typical recipe-plus-blathering has been absent). Do you all even remember me? (It’s ME, Ricki, I’m your blog hostess. .  you know me. . . !!!).

Okay, so maybe I’m being a tad histrionic. Nevertheless, thank you all for your patience–and your kind wishes–while I’ve been trying to get control over these pesky health issues.  So far, the doctors don’t quite know what to do with me (have they been consulting with the HH?), but they’ve got me booked for all manner of ultrasounds and appointments with specialists galore, so hopefully we’ll get to the root of the problem.  Of course, given the Canadian healthcare system, my appointments could well be scheduled for October or November. (After we got back from my visit to the emergency room last Thursday, the HH quipped, “It only took seven hours. Wow, that’s pretty fast.”).

For now, anyway, my kidneys and I are feeling better as I finish up a second round of antibiotics (as you know, that’s my very last resort in any health crisis–antibiotics can cause candida to flare up and I really, really, REALLY do not want that to happen). To prevent the yeastie beasties from revisiting, I’ve been eating lots of probiotic-rich fermented foods, upping the green veggie intake, and cutting out all sweets for now.

Rutabaga Hash Browns on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

This dish was created at the end of a week during which I hardly cooked, after we’d received an organic delivery box the previous week. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate all the new foods I’ve tried courtesy of our weekly CSA delivery. In fact, there are myriad types of produce I might never have sampled had they not been delivered to my door among the usual apples, bananas, kale and onions. Fennel, fiddleheads, Jerusalem artichokes, pomelo, real turnips (ie, not rutabaga), mizuna, and so many more. . . . they ended up in my belly only because they’d first appeared in my organic produce delivery.

The other serendipitous outcome of the organic produce box is that it forces me to come up with original and unique food combinations. I always receive a list of the produce the week before and always vow that I’ll write a menu plan (and when I did—thanks, Amy—it was great!) but when time is short, or when I’m not feeling well, my meal plan falters. On those days, I throw together whatever I find in the refrigerator. More often than not, I end up with a simple stir-fry or salad. Serviceable, yes, but. . . not exactly Iron Chef material.

But on other days, I hit the jackpot. As with these potato-free home fries, for example.  It was late on a Sunday morning when I noticed a lone, neglected rutabaga hanging out in the produce drawer.  Now, you may recall that I’m not the biggest fan of rutabaga (unless it’s coated in almond butter, or baked into a rich, creamy gratin, that is).  I was hankering after home fries, but with no potatoes in the house, I grabbed that ‘baga, along with its produce cohorts zucchini and parsnip. I envisioned a rösti-style side dish to serve along a tofu scramble or chickpea quiche.

In the end, the “hash browns” comprised the bulk of the meal, they were that good. Alongside a black bean burger and light salad, this made a most spectacular brunch. Glad to say that my rutabaga repertoire has now increased to three much-loved dishes.

Last Year at this Time: Chocolate Hazelnut Breakfast Smoothie(gluten free; ACD  Stage 2 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Dog Day: Mothers and Mothers of the Heart

Three Years Ago: Pick-Your-Own Gluten-Free Pancakes (gluten free; ACD  ) Stage 2and beyond)

Four Years Ago: Dog Day: Celebrate All Moms!

Five Years Ago: Easy Millet and Red Pepper Pilaf(gluten free; ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Rutabaga hash browns on Diet, Dessert and Dogs

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  1. Nice to have you back – though sorry to hear about your ill health! I love the sound of this recipe – and it was enlightening – I always have trouble understanding a “hash” in America – didn’t realise you stirred the brown bits through – must try this. And I love hearing about your undergrad story too – sounds very amusing

    • Thanks, Johanna. I’m not sure whether everyone stirs their hash, actually!! But I find that the more brown bits are dispersed, the yummier the hash. 🙂

  2. Hope your good health is coming back, and glad to have you back 🙂

    This sounds like a really tasty dish – love, love, love hash browns so going to give this a try this weekend 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Paula. With all the stuff I do to improve and maintain health, it’s very frustrating! But on the mend now. 🙂 And I’m curious to know how you compare this to regular hash browns–let me know!

  3. So sorry to hear about your health woes, Ricki. Hope you get back to feeling great soon! 🙂

    • Thank you, Hallie! I’m not great about seeing doctors (!), but I hope this will get to the bottom of things, too. Gah!

  4. I wasn’t aware of your health issues. I hope you’re completely over it soon! These look great. I’ve been doing limited nightshades these days – just trying to keep inflammation at bay. I’ll have to try this. (I might try it sans rutabaga first – just because I know I have a zuke and a parsnip in the fridge….. 🙂

    • Thanks, Deanna. I wasn’t either–ha ha! This seems to be some residual stuff related to the kidney infection I had in December. Hoping to clear it up asap. 🙂

  5. Happy to have you back. Hope you feel better soon.

  6. Well I do hope your health issues get sorted out in record time. I think I know how you feel about medical interventions, including antibiotics.

    When we belonged to a CSA, we got rutabagas in our box. I tried many times to enjoy them, but although I love turnips and parsnips, rutabaga never quite made it into my diet. It always tasted too bitter. Maybe the key is to buy a small one rather than the massive examples provided by our CSA. Your recipe could do the trick, though — I love the sound of the crispy bits!

  7. I love reading your posts, they make me grin.

    Hope the fermented ingredients & fresh greens work their healing. 🙂

    I’m curious to try out your version of rutabega! I grew up knowing what the root is, but never having it for dinner. This is a new ingredient I’m excited to try!

    • Thanks so much, Miachel! Much appreciated. 😀 And I’m still going strong with the fermented stuff, so here’s hoping! 😉

      I highly recommend trying the rutabaga for dinner. . . it’s really surprisingly GOOD.

  8. This has everything I like in it, but I’ve never tried rutabaga before! Mom likes it though, so I may just have to see what she’s on about!

    • If you’ve had turnip, it’s very similar. . . just sort of more so. As I said, I was never a huge fan before, but I loved it in this dish. 🙂

  9. Yum! I love rutabaga, but have never made it this way. I bet all of that garlic make this so flavorful. I’ll have to try this next time I’m craving hash browns!

    • I love lots of garlic in mine, but of course you can use less if you prefer! And glad to find someone who loves rutabaga (I do, now). 😉

  10. Ricki, I hope you’re feeling fantastic soon! I have mixed feelings about rutabaga, but this hash sounds really good.

  11. oh no, sorry you haven’t been feeling well 🙁 Glad you’re on the mend, hopefully they’ll figure it out soon! i’m not a fan of rutabegas, but i do love your almond butter fries, so maybe i’ll start there, and then move onto these hashbrowns!

    • Thanks, Shannon! I have faith they’ll figure it out. 😉 And as you know, I’m not generally a fan of rutabagas, either–which is why I love this recipe so much!

  12. I LOVE this recipe, it contains all my favourite root vegetables!

    Ricki – where have I been?? I’m sorry, I didn’t know you were poorly, I hope you feel better very, very soon.

    • Thanks, Vicky, that’s very sweet of you to say. It’s been just a couple of weeks, so I haven’t really mentioned it. When it interferes with blogging, though, I figure it’s worth saying something. 🙂

  13. Glad you are on the mend and cooking again! I haven’t had a rutabaga in ages – I wonder if there are any available locally now. Your local seasons rotate differently than ours 🙂 This sounds like a wonderful hash!

    • Gretchen, I think they must have been storing it for our CSA since there is nothing growing here now (and root veggies keep!). But yes, it’s a wonderful hash. 🙂

  14. I’m also glad you’re back Ricki and feeling better. I always look forward to reading your blog. I sure hope they can help you figure out what the health issue is and that you return to great health real soon! Oh, and I love roasted rutabaga, so I will give this recipe a try this weekend….thanks! Take care and please keep us posted on how you’re doing.

    • Thank you, Cherie, I will keep you posted. In the past few years, I’ve determined that medical doctors actually know very little and most of the body is still a huge mystery! But hoping some of these tests will figure things out. 🙂 And how lovely to hear that someone LOVES rutabaga! I’m getting there. . . 😀

  15. Oh Ricki, I’m so sorry! I was so caught up in organising everything before I left Canada, and then have been a bit awol here in the US too, that I didn’t know you were going through all of this. Super super super big extra hugs. We can make a beeline for any and all fermented foods at VVC together soon xo

    • And I’m so sorry I didn’t even get to say goodbye!! I need to scroll back through the archives to read the details. . . hope you are having a blast, in any case. 🙂 xo

  16. hi,
    i am a new vegan and saw your recipe for hash browns, which sounds great, just one question, and i live in australia, i am not familiar with rutabaga, what is it, is a type of turnip?
    thanks Lyn
    PS hope you are on the mend.

    • Thanks so much, Lyn! Yes, rutabaga is like a much larger, slightly tougher, turnip. I’ve made this dish with actual turnip, too, and it was just as great–so go ahead and use turnip if you can’t find rutabaga! 🙂

  17. Hi Ricki,

    I can’t wait to make this for breakfast! It looks just divine. Thank you for such a creative, delicious recipe.


  18. Hi Ricki,

    It’s been about 2 weeks, so just curious…

    How are you feeling? Any changes? Better? Same? Not having answers is the WORST. Thinking about you and sending healing thoughts our way.


    • Amber, you’re the sweetest! Thank you for asking. I am still waiting for results from Test #1 and will be undergoing Test #2 in a couple of weeks. If those don’t give us answers, my Dr. thinks I may need to go for an MRI. As with so many things, my symptoms are vague and seem to span several organs and/or body systems, and, as you know, conventional medicine isn’t best at finding those kinds of connections. I do have an upcoming appt with my ND as well, but waiting for test results so he can scan them. In the meantime, I’m generally better but am still having recurrent symptoms that don’t seem to have a clear origin. I’m going to try strictly grain-free for a couple of days and see what happens. Hope you and yours are doing well!! xo Ricki

  19. Hey Ricki…

    I made this a few days ago and loved it! I made it as a side dish one night for dinner. My parsnip was super duper hard in the middle, so I added two carrots instead and it was delish. I LOVE rutabaga- it tastes so much an actual potato!! I just bought a few more pounds today. Thanks for a great recipe. And inspiring me to use rutabaga in a recipe!! 🙂

  20. I love this recipe — I really do and it’s going to go on my menu. One of your fans loved it to because this recipe has been nominated to win my Inspired Recipe of the Year Award and the prize is quite a treat! The shortlist will be announced on 12/30/2013.


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