Parsnip Fries / Greek Style

March 24, 2016

Greek Style Parsnip Fries by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

A year and a half ago we were driving a moving truck through the Rocky Mountains. We had decided within a few short weeks to sell both our cars, all our furniture, and many of our belongings. We had some boxes and a bed packed in the rental, and hit the road from our southern California home for Denver. Having never visited, and having no jobs lined up, it was a slightly nervous car ride as we came out the other side of the mountains and drove into Denver for the first time. Our stomachs sunk. It was as if we swallowed a pit that weighed as much as a bowling ball. This wasn’t right. We weren’t suppose to be here. Or were we? It felt at first like a nightmare, then after the shock wore off a bit we were able to pull ourselves together and encourage one another to stick it out. We were brought here for a reason, and it was going to be hard, but we needed to see it through.

To say the last year and a half have been tough would be to put it simply. There has been lot of suppressing – of emotions, identity, depression, anxiety, and the all-out urge to pack everything up and hit the road. In the midst of our struggle there has, however, been grace. Friendships unlike any others have come into our lives, and a very important company made up of some of the most incredible, caring individuals who have made our dreams come true. If you are reading this, we have no words to express how grateful we are for you. Its because of you we have stayed this year and a half, and because of you we can now leave with our hands full of great work. Work we love, cherish, and have dreamt of doing our entire lives. I say “we can now leave” because we are, leaving that is, in two weeks. The time finally came where we woke up and knew, we can go, it feels right, now is time. Time to go back to feeling at home again, to somewhere we know and resonate with on a deep, human level that cannot be described – only felt. After moving so often in our marriage, we are now ready (I am now ready) to settle down, dig in roots, paint walls, and hang shelves. We’re going home. I’m tearing up as I write this, having wanted to write this for a year an a half now (although it feels like ten). But I’ve been suppressing these feelings, knowing I needed to in order to keep it together. But now I (we) get to be free. Back to the beach. Back to warmth, year round farmers markets, and the stunning Newport Back Bay running trail. And most importantly, closer to our families. But before all of that, we have two more weeks. To soak up our friends here who will be missed, and drink all of the coffee Black Eye can brew.

Greek Style Parsnip Fries by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

This white balsamic is super fresh with the addition of cucumber and grape must to give it a melon-y vibe. The mellow flavor of the cucumber is just what this tzatziki sauce needs to complete the delicious flavor profile of the original Mediterranean dip! The mother daughter team, Michelle and Brie, create this stellar balsamic in Bozeman, Montana. Talk about a different location than you would expect. I love their creativity, first with this white cucumber balsamic – and then also with a handful of other infused oils and vinegars I am dying to try. Such as their sun dried tomato balsamic vinegar and blood orange olive oil. This duo is so inspiring and making me want to try to pair all sorts of unique flavors in my recipes. Plus I love that they do it together, mother and daughter and all. They call themselves Olivelle and you can check them out on the Hatchery site here.

Greek Style Parsnip Fries by Faring Well #vegan #recipeGreek Style Parsnip Fries by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

This recipe was inspired by my love for greek/mediterranean food. I can eat olives and cucumbers all day, plus I am kind of obsessed with this sunflower tzatziki dressing. It was originally inspired by my tzatziki spread in this post last year, but thinned out and jazzed up with this stellar cucumber balsamic! Plus – fries – and my favorite kind, parsnip. I love how similar parsnips are to potatoes when slivered and baked, yet they taste a bit fresher and sturdier to me. Slather anything in olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast it in the oven and it’s bound to come out tasting delish (I say). This is a pile of all the plant based goods, from fresh herbs, chickpeas, chopped cucumber, creamy sunflower seed dressing, and a few pinches of pine nuts. I know cucumbers aren’t in season yet, but I’m pushing for them and making the exception with a few imported ones lately (my vice). In the summer months, a fresh tomato finely chopped would be amazing in here too. This dish is so fresh, and to me, tastes like spring.

Greek Style Parsnip Fries by Faring Well #vegan #recipeGreek Style Parsnip Fries by Faring Well #vegan #recipeGreek Style Parsnip Fries by Faring Well #vegan #recipe

This post was sponsored by Hatchery. All words and opinions are my own, and I truly love this company and it’s mission. Thank you for supporting Faring Well and its wonderful sponsors!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and tag photos you post of my recipes with #FWmakers so I can see!

Serves 2 as a snack or light lunch.

4 medium parsnips
1 cup chopped parsley
1 cup cooked chickpeas
1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup diced cucumber
pine nuts, for topping

tzatziki dressing
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked at least 4 hours
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
few dashes of black pepper
2 heaping tablespoons fresh dill
1 tablespoon white cucumber balsamic
1 teaspoon raw honey
2 tablespoons purified water, to thin

Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Scrub the parsnips under running water to remove any dirt and pat dry with a towel. Trim an inch from the top and bottom of each parsnip, slice in half, and cut into 1/2 inch sticks. Toss with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Spread the fries evenly on the lined baking sheet, giving each at least an inch of space between the other. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip each fry and return to the oven to bake for another 8 minutes. Fries are done when they are brown and crispy.

While the fries are baking, combine the parsley, chickpeas, olives, capers, and cucumber in a mixing bowl. Toss together and set aside.

Rinse and drain the soaked sunflower seeds. Add them to a blender with the remaining ingredients. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, adding an additional teaspoon of water at a time to thin to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

Plate the fries and top with plenty of parsley salad. Drizzle your desired amount of tzatziki dressing on top and sprinkle with pine nuts. I find these to be eaten best with a fork, and plenty of dressing on the side.

Store leftover tzatziki dressing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store leftover parsley salad in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

A few of my favorite bottles I’ve been collection from my recent Hatchery boxes. I so look forward to my little curation of delicious goods each month! If you’d like to join the fun too, get your first month for only $10 when you use the code “FARINGWELL” at checkout. – xo

Hatchery Box by Faring Well #vegan #recipe


  • Reply Julia March 24, 2016 at 4:46 am

    I love this recipe as I have almost everything on hand (despite the cucumber which will be replaced by an apple) and because I love parsnips so much!
    And I also love the honest words you wrote in this post about having to supress feelings in order to keep things together – sounds like there´s a new era in your life going to find its beginnings soon, and I´m wishing all the luck and good vibes for your move back to your home.
    All the best from Vienna, Austria

    • Reply Julia March 24, 2016 at 2:44 pm

      It turned out so good! Though with the apple instead of cucumber and no olives it´s surely far from the original recipe, but still it tasted so good!
      Oh and maybe you want to correct the amount of olive oil to 1/4 cup in the recipe (just in case someone is a stickler ;)
      Thanks for this nice one!

      • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 6:55 pm

        Julia! Thank you dearly for your first comment, it really is so appreciated. And I’m so glad you got to make and enjoy this recipe so soon! Yay! Isn’t it so lip-smacking delicious?! Glad to hear that even your substitutes worked out so well <3. And thank you about that correction (!!!) whoops! All fixed now ;)

  • Reply Nina | Nourish Atelier March 24, 2016 at 5:30 am

    This is so gorgeous, you’re my photography and styling hero now, love, love , love this!
    And then the food, yum, inspiring, jessie!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm

      Sheesh no way! Goodness that means loads coming from you Nina. Thank you! Have a lovely weekend friend! xo

  • Reply Shelley | Sevengrams March 24, 2016 at 5:53 am

    Jessie, my heart is so full for you and Scott right now. What an incredible journey you’ve had this past year and a half, and I’m giddy with excitement for you that you’re able to move back home. I can totally relate to your description of how you’ve been feeling this past year, and its nice to hear someone share their story, and know that its okay to have all these feelings, and not be alone. Soak up the next 2 weeks to the best that you can, and safe travels home – can’t wait to follow along, xx.

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 6:58 pm

      Ah you are the best, thank you Shelley! I truly appreciate you and our friendship. Your encouragement is incredible, and I will soak up these weeks as best I can – so excited to share this move and life’s little “isms” with you friend. Have a wonderful Easter weekend! <3

  • Reply Emma {Emma's Little Kitchen} March 24, 2016 at 5:56 am

    What an incredible adventure, this story resonates with me on many levels. So much of lifes beauty is taking these huge leaps of faith and just seeing how it pans out. Good luck on your move back! Also- Greek Parsnip Fries- YES. Absolutely my kind of food. Pinning for next week!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      Thank you so incredibly much Emma! Its good to hear our story resonate with others, and I agree about the beauty in the leaps – so true! Also love that you are so excited about this recipe, I super hope you make and enjoy it next week! If for no other reason than the sauce ;) happy Easter girl!

  • Reply Sarah | Well and Full March 24, 2016 at 6:48 am

    Ahhh Jessie I’m so happy for you!! I remember reading your blog a year ago, and reading about how much you missed your home. And as I was reading your post today, I could feel the joy emanating from this page. I think you are going to flourish with your move and I’m so excited to see how FW grows with this change! <3 Sending you a huuuuuge happy hug, girl!! :D

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:01 pm

      Aw thank you Sarah! Its been so wonderful sharing life with you this past year. Excited to take FW to California and see it grow with this change too! Hugs right back at you. xoxo

  • Reply danielle // rooting the sun March 24, 2016 at 7:17 am

    deepest and dearest love for you jessie – i can identify completely with the feeling of being misplaced or being somewhere you don’t quite belong / the feeling of not home. i’m so happy you’re going back to the place that makes you feel whole – this is definitely what life is about. i wish you golden roads and can’t wait for your experience. and ps – parsnip fries forever (and pps – greek food forever). xo

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      Thank you sweet Danielle, your words and encouragement mean so much! I appreciate you and adore you, and hope that you have a gorgeous weekend <3 (fist pump to parsnip fries forever - xoxo)

  • Reply Amanda | Pickles & Honey March 24, 2016 at 7:35 am

    I’m so so happy for you! I know EXACTLY the feelings you describe…just don’t be surprised when you paint walls, hang shelves, and then have another urge for adventure! (now I’m just projecting onto you, but I think we might be kindred spirits in this way <3 ). I'll admit, I had a tough time with Orange County when we first arrived, but by the time we left almost 3 months later, I really missed the places we had made our own (mostly thanks to your spot-on suggestions). I could happily go back to Southern CA for the weather and beaches alone…and maybe I will. ;) Soak in these last couple of weeks in Denver. These are the memories that will stay with you.

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Haha I know right! But thats what vacations are for, amen!? I’m all about that crazy adventure as long as I get to come home to my warm, socal abode now ;). I’m so glad you came to love CA after spending some time there, and that you took me up on so many of my suggestions! SO RAD. I hope you come back to visit there soon and we can get coffees at Alta together. For now I’ll make those memories here these last few weeks like you said, hugs and hugs to you Amanda, thanks for being such a great friend this year – xo

  • Reply Michelle @ Hummingbird High March 24, 2016 at 8:57 am

    I’m so happy for you; there’s nothing like going home. Good luck on your drive/flight/whatever back to California!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:05 pm

      Thank you tons Michelle! Stoked to be back in the same state as ya ;)

  • Reply Christine March 24, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Congratulations on your upcoming move, Jessie! And congratulations for having had the wonderful, enriching, exciting opportunity to live at the base of the Rocky Mountains, one of North America’s grandest landscapes, for a year and a half. I know that you’re grateful for having had the adventure that you’re now concluding. As a writer, I like to call that type of process, the one that led you to Colorado, “examining the counter-argument.” If your thesis for your life is that California is home because it is warm, offers abundant and consistently available fresh produce, and ignites your zeal for adventure, then your story should progress through stages that substantiate that claim, but your story would be weak if you never examined a counter-argument. For you, exploring the climate, provisions, and adventures of Colorado was your counter-argument, and in the end it confirmed that, despite what could be good about Colorado, California still is home. :)

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:06 pm

      That is so beautifully put Christine! Thank you for taking the time to write me something as beautiful as this. You are a gem.

  • Reply Abby @ Heart of a Baker March 24, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Congrats on your move Jesse, it sounds like it’s the perfect move for you and your hubby! Sometimes you just have to do things, figure out if they are for you, then take another course of action. I moved in a similar fashion when my husband and I came to Milwaukee and we ended up loving it, but you always take that gamble! xoxo Many hugs!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      So true! And thank you Abby, its been a great adventure and I’m glad for it all the same. Also so happy for you and your husband with your move to Milwaukee and loving it so much! When its right, its right <3 happy weekend and Easter friend, have a great one! xo

  • Reply Lauren March 24, 2016 at 11:04 am

    While I’m so happy for you to be heading home, as a Denverite who wakes up every day feeling so so lucky to live here, I feel really sad that we didn’t win you over. Thanks for giving us a try and for creating some really beautiful and delicious recipes while you were here! Your little spot on the internet radiates sunshine and I have no doubt it will do even MORE of that in a much warmer place :)

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:10 pm

      Oh I hope I didn’t disrespect you or any other Denverites Lauren! I’m so happy you love it here and that it is where you are suppose to be, what a gift it is to wake up and feel the way you do. That is how we feel back in Orange County, and we are so excited to feel it once again. And thank you for your sweet words on my space here, that means the world!

      • Reply Lauren March 28, 2016 at 3:04 pm

        Oh no offense taken at all!

  • Reply Peggy March 24, 2016 at 11:15 am

    So happy that you two are coming back! I’ve missed you!
    Love the recipe!!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:11 pm

      Ah thank you Peggy! We are SO HAPPY too! We’ve missed you as well and are excited for more friday night dinners with you and Jackie! Hehe <3

  • Reply Gena March 24, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    I love parsnip fries! I included them in Food52 vegan, because they’re probably my fave root veggie fry. This recipe is lovely, as is the presentation.

    I’m also so glad to hear that you’re “going home,” so to speak. This post reminds me a lot of what I was feeling when I left DC to return home to New York. I had gone to Washington for important reasons, and I had to see it through to the very end, but I was so full of joy and gratitude when I was able to wrap up that chapter of my life. I wish you much joy and peace as you start fresh!

    • Reply Faring Well March 25, 2016 at 7:13 pm

      Ah thank you Gena! You get it. Its so wonderful to go home and “feel it” again. I’m so happy for you that you are in a place that resonates with you in this way, and commend your addition of parsnip fries to the Food52 cookbook ;) they are so stellar – thank you for reminding me to open that amazing book once more and go looking for them! xoxo

  • Reply Inês March 24, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Wonderful recipe. While parsnips are not very common in Portugal, I am using them a lot while in Canada and just love them. The dressing sounds delicious, cucumbers are summer-spring jewels of freshness…so good!
    Best of luck on your return home. Finding home is a marvelous thing.

    • Reply Faring Well March 28, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Thank you dearly, Ines, so grateful for you taking the time to stop by this space and leave me this sweet comment! I hope you keep enjoying parsnips during your stay, and thank you for the good moving wishes! <3

  • Reply Jess @ Nourished by Nutrition March 24, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    Lovely, delicious Spring recipe! I’m excited to hear about your upcoming move back home! You can truely feel your joy and excitment through this post. I can’t wait for what’s instore for Faring Well! Best wishes!!

    P.s. I think in the recipe the olive oil is supposed to say “1/4” instead of “14” :)

    • Reply Faring Well March 28, 2016 at 3:18 pm

      Thank you Jess! You’re the best. And also thank you for that typo – eek! – its fixed now and I super appreciate your eye ;)

  • Reply Maya | Spice + Sprout March 24, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    This post is so beautiful and heartwarming Jessie! I actually teared up a bit reading it, your words were so elegantly yet powerfully phrased. I feel you on the displacement – although it is different for me I’ve lived between two cities for the past four years and I am craving feeling grounded and at home. I am so excited for and wishing you all the best on your move! Big hugs xo <3

    • Reply Faring Well March 28, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Maya thank you tons! You are too sweet, and your words are so genuine and kind – I really appreciated this and hope feeling grounded is in your near future too – the struggle is so real and I feel you girl! Lots of hugs right back – xo

  • Reply Alana March 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm

    I am SO excited for you guys (and for me too, because yayy we get to hang). Love that you guys stuck it out, gave yourselves time to grow, and now come home!! As for these fries, so much yes. You nailed it and I can’t wait till you’re packed up and back in Sunny SoCal where you belong!!

    • Reply Faring Well March 28, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      Ah thank you Alana! We are so pumped and I seriously cannot wait to hang :) appreciate your friendship girl! xoxo

  • Reply Brooke @ Chocolate and Marrow March 25, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Jessie, this post is just so touching. I teared up a little reading it. Your raw emotions come through in every word of that intro. And I’m so happy for you and Scott–for having your adventure in Denver and making the most of it; but also for listening to the little voices that said, when you were ready, “come back to cali, now!”

    Good luck with everything these next few weeks, sending y’all big, huge hugs.

    PS: These parsnip fries are everything. I am a sucker for anything greek/mediterranean as well and could eat a huge batch of these, happily!! xx

    • Reply Faring Well March 29, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      Oh Brooke, you are the sweetest friend. Thank you! It has been a real adventure for sure, and we are now so excited to go home with all that we have learned. Perspective is everything ;). Thank you for the good wishes on moving, and the recipe love too! You must try this sauce, I think you would LOVE it. Hugs back to you this week girl – xo

  • Reply Amy | Lemon and Coconut March 25, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Wow! What an amazing story! So much respect for you, and for sharing that it’s been tough and yet fated too xx

    • Reply Faring Well March 29, 2016 at 1:20 pm

      Aw thank you Amy! Really appreciate the encouragement <3

  • Reply Sophie | The Green Life March 26, 2016 at 9:31 am

    So much love for this post, Jessie. I can feel your happiness radiate through each of your words. Living away from the only place that will ever feel like home and away from the people I love is one of the hardest things I ever had to do too. It’s tough, but I think it has its reason and it makes you grow in ways you would never have otherwise. As much as this year and a half was hard for you, I’m sure it also brought you a lot and made you stronger. My heart is full of happiness for you and Scott. California is a dream. My man and I would move there in a heartbeat, if only we could. I can’t wait to follow your adventures along and to see that gorgeous California sunshine hit your photos. Also, I watched your nom cast and I have to say, girl, YOU ARE AMAZING. Seriously. I can’t get over how wonderful you are. You’re such a natural in front of the camera. And your warm, passionate, happy spirit shines through, it’s contagious! I could totally see you having your own cooking show one day. Finally, these fries. OH MY. Your za’atar parsnip fries was I believe the first recipe I tried last year when I discovered Faring Well. Now these. I can’t wait to make them. Happy Spring lady and I hope you make the most of your last few days in CO. Much love. xo

    • Reply Faring Well March 29, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Sophie! Oh my goodness. You just made my day. Week? Year? I wish I could give you a big squeeze right now. Thank you for watching my show! You are way too too sweet to me, I crazy appreciate the encouragement and you’re support girl! And that is so crazy about last year being the parsnip fry recipe too! We are fated to be friends ;). Hope you and your man get to come visit us in California one day, that would just be the neatest! xoxo

  • Reply KJ | Omnomherbivore March 27, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    I am soo happy for you to get to move back to your home place :) That’s got to be such a relief and overwhelming joy! I hope you have a smooth move and should you feel like stopping near SLC on the way hit me up! This recipe sounds really good and the parsnips in the produce section have been looking amazing lately!!

    • Reply Faring Well March 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Thank you tons KJ! And I so would, but we are going south through NM and over to Phoenix to visit our parents on the way out :) one day tho! And yes, snatch some of those parsnips up and give this recipe a whirl, so so yum right now.

  • Reply deryn @ running on real food March 28, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    This is beautiful and you are beautiful! Keep sharing! And now to use up the bag of parsnips in my fridge.

    • Reply Faring Well March 29, 2016 at 1:23 pm

      Aw Deryn! You are too kind. HUGS <3

  • Reply Kathryn @ The Scratch Artist April 5, 2016 at 3:50 pm

    Hey-o! Just made this for dinner for my mom and sis’ soooooo good!! That tzatziki was incredible <3

    • Reply Faring Well April 5, 2016 at 4:43 pm

      Aw yay! That is so neat Kathryn. Glad you guys loved the sauce too! Big smiles over here <3

  • Reply Jessica April 14, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    Oh I can so relate to your longing to be to be home with family and where you grew up. My story is similar too in which my husband and I moved to colorado after getting married. It has been 2 years in the same tiny boulder apartment (I hate colorado renting and home prices!!) and we still have another 2 years to go. It seems so far away to be back where my heart belongs which is defeating at time. Reading that you felt the same way makes me feel more human. Thank you.

    • Reply Faring Well April 18, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Oh I’m so glad you could find some rest in knowing you’re not the only soul feeling this way Jessica! It can be the toughest. Hang in there girl, you’re half way there! xoxo

  • Reply Holly May 5, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Love this recipe and the idea! I love chickpeas! I do think though that dried chickpeas are way better than canned!

  • Reply Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar May 29, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    Heck yes! This looks delicious!

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