Turnip Colcannon

The discovery of turnips has opened a lot of doors for me in terms of low carb recipes. With a carb count similar to cauliflower, but a shape and texture more like a potato, the turnip is an ideal substitution in many cases. It can be spiralized into spaghetti or noodles, it can be chopped into chunks for roasting and stewing, and it can be mashed or whipped as a substitute for mashed potatoes in many recipes.

This recipe, an Irish concoction called Colcannon — basically mashed potatoes with cabbage — is one I have made in the past with potatoes. Substituting turnips turns it into a truly delicious and low-carb dish.


2 lbs. turnips
2 tablespoons bacon fat, or 4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 lb. cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 cup sour cream
salt and pepper
green onions, sliced or snipped

Peel turnips and chop into large chunks. Boil in a large saucepan of water at least 20 to 30 minutes until the turnips are tender.

Meanwhile heat the bacon fat in a medium saucepan that you can cover. If you don’t keep bacon fat, then you can fry up 4 slices of chopped bacon. Once bacon is crisp, or fat is melted, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Fry in the bacon fat until onion is softened. Add the shredded cabbage, stir and cover. Allow the cabbage to steam/fry with the onion, garlic and bacon fat until the cabbage is soft.

Meanwhile, drain the turnips and mash with the sour cream, salt and pepper. I like to use an immersion blender to get the turnips as smooth as possible. Once turnips are mashed, combine with the cabbage mixture in a casserole dish for heating/serving. Stir in green onions. Colcannon can be served now, or can be kept on low in the oven while other food preparation for the meal catches up. Serve with gravy, au jus, or cream sauce.

Pork Lo Mein with Turn-oodles

Of all the non-Western cuisines I have experimented with, the one that has most consistently eluded me is Chinese cuisine. There have been one or two recipes over the years that have worked out okay, but time and time again, my attempts fall flat, leaving me unenthusiastic to try again — especially when cheap take-out is an easy phone call. It’s been a while since I tried a Chinese recipe, though, and on my current low-carb diet, I find myself without the option for Chinese take-out (as many of my favorite dishes are too high carb), and so I am left with little choice but to go without or attempt my own rendition.

I took to the internet to research Lo Mein. The following is my attempt to synthesize all of those recipes I found that looked the most promising.


1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 teaspoon honey
3/4 cup chicken or beef broth
1 Tbs. dry sherry or rice wine
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 lb. pork

2 tablespoon sesame oil
2 lbs. spiralized turnips

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
various vegetables, thinly sliced, such as, julienned carrots, shredded cabbage, sliced bell pepper and/or shittake mushrooms
4 green onions, thinly snipped

Combine the soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, broth, sherry and ginger in a re-sealable container. Cut the pork into strips and marinate in this mixture for at least 30 minutes (I was able to marinate overnight).

Peel and spiralize your turnips. Toss with sesame oil in a large bowl. Set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Saute garlic and vegetables (except green onions) until softened. Add the pork strips and marinade. Stir fry until pork is browned. Add the spiral turn-oodles and stir-fry until turnips have softened to a cooked-noodle consistency (you can leave them a little “al dente” or cook them longer for a softer texture, as desired). Garnish with green onions; serve and enjoy!

I was pleasantly surprised with how this recipe turned out. It was less saucy than take-out, but I suspect that’s because I added quite a lot of cabbage. For a saucier version more like take-out, one could either add fewer vegetables and/or turn-oodles, or double the recipe for the marinade. As is, this recipe was still very tasty and “scratched the itch” for Chinese food.