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Kids Club Vol. 38: Root Vegetables



Welcome to the latest issue of our ChopChop Kids Club newsletter!

This month, we’re cooking with root vegetables. These are the underground wonders of the vegetable world: They’re harvested in the fall, and then they keep well through the winter—making them a great option for roasting, snacking, and salads all through the coldest months. Plus, they’re sweet and relatively inexpensive, and they can be prepared in lots of family-pleasing ways. We’ve got recipes for those—plus some fun facts and activities too.

Happy New Year!

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Roasted Root Vegetables

Roasted Root Vegetables

We love serving these root vegetables with chicken, but you can also eat them cold, by themselves, or paired with pasta or rice, and even in frittatas. Feel free to add or substitute other root vegetables such as turnips or parsnips. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4 Servings

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large bowl
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Large spoon or spatula


  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 russet potatoes or sweet potatoes (or a combination), scrubbed and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper


  • Turn the oven on and set the heat to 425 degrees.
  • Put the onion, carrots, potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the bowl and mix well.
  • Dump the contents of the bowl onto the baking sheet, making sure the vegetables are in a single layer, not crowded on top of each other.
  • Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the vegetables are deeply colored on the outside and tender inside, about 45 minutes.
  • Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.


"Diced" means cut up into cubes or squares about the size of dice.

How to Chop an Onion

Onions are roots too! Here’s how to chop one—to make the roasted root vegetables, or for any recipe that calls for it.

  1. Trim the root end and stem end off the onion.
  2. Cut the onion in half from end to end.
  3. Peel off the papery skin.
  4. Put the flat side down on the cutting board, and cut the onion into slices one way and then into slices the other way, so that you end up with a grid of little squares.


• Hold the knife in the hand you use to write, gripping it firmly around the handle.
• Use your other hand to steady the onion, keeping your fingers curled under, away from the knife.
• Pay attention to where the knife is: As it moves forward, your food-holding fingers should move backward. The distance between the knife and your other hand should always stay the same.

Onions can make your eyes tear up! Try refrigerating the onion before you cut it, to reduce the crying factor.


Beet and Carrot Slaw Wraps

cc beet slaw wrap

Beet and Carrot Slaw Wraps

Rachel Morningstar, from Las Cruces, New Mexico, won our American Grown Recipe Challenge (and a signed copy of First Lady Michelle Obama's cookbook, American Grown) with this crunchy, colorful wrap. Rachel writes, "I work for a nonprofit called La Semilla Food Center in southern New Mexico. We work with youth and families in the region to build a healthy, self-reliant, sustainable, and fair food system. I created this recipe to use with students at our school garden at Sierra Middle School. We used beets and carrots the students grew in the garden and local apples, cheddar, and whole-wheat tortillas. After some practice, older youth can prepare this as an afterschool snack on their own."
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 5 Servings

kitchen gear

  • Cutting board
  • Sharp knife (adult needed)
  • Citrus squeezer (if you have one)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Jar with tight-fitting lid
  • Box grater (adult needed)
  • Large bowl
  • 5 toothpicks


  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 beets, with greens still attached
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 apples, cored and sliced
  • 5 slices cheddar cheese
  • 5 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas


  • To make the dressing: Put the orange juice, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper in the jar, screw the lid on tightly, and shake well.
  • Cut the greens off the beets and pull the leaves from the stems (discard or compost the stems). Wash the leaves, then stack them and roll them. Slice the roll crosswise into thin (1/4-inch) ribbons.
  • Peel the beets and carrots and shred them using the grater.
  • Put the beet leaves and the shredded beets and carrots in the bowl, add the dressing, and toss to mix.
  • For each wrap, put some of the slaw, some of the sliced apples, and 1 slice of cheddar cheese inside a tortilla. Roll the tortilla from the bottom up, tucking in the sides as you go. Secure the wrap with a toothpick, if you like, and serve right away.


Beet greens (the leafy part of the beet plant) are often discarded, but they're really delicious, and they add to the nutritional power of this recipe. 
"Cored" means with the stem and hard center part removed.

The world’s heaviest-ever turnip was grown in Canada in November 2020 and weighed just under 64 pounds. (That’s roughly the weight of an average-size Labrador Retriever!)

Art Roots

Do you have a root in your vegetable drawer? A potato, a carrot, a radish—anything will do. Put it on the table in front of you, then draw or paint it, using whatever kind of art supplies you like best (colored pencils, crayons, markers, watercolors, pens). Now draw the ground and soil around it and then draw the plant that’s growing above the ground! The part that has the leaves and stems, if there are any, are the flowers. Imagine it, if you like; draw it from memory, if you’ve seen it before; or look it up in a book or online, if you prefer.

Extra credit: Why do you think some plants have these big roots? What purpose do they serve? Look up “root vegetables” online to check your knowledge or guess.


Got More Roots? Try One of These Recipes

Beet Tsatsiki
Rad Radish Salad
Carrot Apple Soup
Basic Baked Sweet Potatoes
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