Savory Root Vegetable Crumble

A few weeks ago, Cathy, the creator of the blog “What would Cathy Eat?,” challenged other bloggers to post a Thanksgiving recipe that might help inspire others to have a healthier holiday.   Since I usually end up eating the side dishes at Thanksgiving, I thought I’d accept her challenge and try to come up with a healthier vegetarian entrée.

For my entrée, I wanted something hearty, but not too heavy and of course something worthy of the Thanksgiving table.  Given that our CSA box has been full of root vegetables lately, I decided to make them the stars of the dish.  But I was left with the question of how to transform the veggies from something that looks like a simple side dish to a yummy main dish?  At first I thought I’d make them into some sort of pie, but instead of slapping a buttery crust over my veggies, I decided a healthier olive oil-based crumb topping was the way to go.

The resulting topping had a nice flavor and just the right amount of crunch from the millet.  The filling was also pretty tasty, but a little on the dry side.  I think I may have to do a little more tweaking before this crumble is ready to be served.  I’d love to hear any suggestions that you may have to improve it!

Check out Cathy’s blog for more healthy Thanksgiving recipes and her 10 Tips For A Heart-Healthy Thanksgiving.

Savory Root Vegetable Crumble

Inspired by Cannelle Et Vanille

For the topping, I wanted to keep the millet a little bit crunchy, so I boiled it like pasta and drained the water when the millet was a little tender but still had a little crunch to it.  If you want even more crunch, you could try adding uncooked millet—I’ve seen uncooked millet added to muffin batters, but I’ve never tried it myself.


  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • ½ cup partially cooked millet
  • 3 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5-6 tablespoons olive oil

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, millet, parsley, and cheese.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper and stir in the olive oil.  The mixture should have some large clumps and the flour should be well incorporated.  Add a little more oil if the mixture looks too dry.   Chill the topping while making the filling.


  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ of a large leek or 1 small leek (white part only), cleaned and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 3 small turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 5-6 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the chopped leek and cook until it is tender, but not brown.  Add in the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add in the sweet potato, turnips, and carrots.  Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chickpeas and the broth.  Cook for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy.  Strip the thyme leaves from their stems and stir the leaves into the vegetables.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the filling from the heat and put it into a large baking dish or divide it into 4 smaller dishes.   Spread the topping evenly over the filling.  Bake until the topping is golden, about 30-40 minutes for a large dish and 20 minutes of the individual-sized dishes.


Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Three Chefs (Average Tastiness)

This recipe still needs a little bit of work.  We liked the crunchy topping, but as I mentioned above, the filling was a little bit dry.

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

Making this dish is not difficult, but it takes some time to complete all of the steps.

Healthy Rating


Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)

You can leave the cheese out of the topping for a super heart-healthy recipe.

Green Rating


Four Leaves (Mother Earth Approved)

Most of the veggies were local and organic.  Many of the other ingredients were organic, but not local.

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