Have you tried stir-frying? That's a fun and relatively easy way to add some flavor to veggies. You just heat up oil (vegetable or olive oil) in a pan until it's almost smoking, toss in your veggies, stir them around until they're warm, then start tossing in whatever else you want... my go-tos are garlic (powdered or minced), soy sauce, vegetable broth, and red pepper flakes. Spicy but not too much.
I made sauteed chard with mangos and blood oranges sauteed in it last night and it was very good. Tonight making roasted celery root.
And for a snack I LOVE making kale chips. Cut or rip the kale into small pieces, toss in olive oil and put whatever seasoning you want on them and bake them at 350 for about 10-15 min until crunchy. Soooooooooo goood and good for you
I adapted a recipe from the Queen of Slow Food, Alice Waters.
Stir fry some leafy stuff like kale, chard, collards, or something similarly tough, with shallots, good tomatoes, etc. in a wok. Then break an egg over the top of the mess, turn off/turn down the heat, cover it and walk away. You'll get this poached-like egg on top of veg. I eat it with toast in the morning for brekkie.
He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).
I love parsnips too. They are great with a little horseradish also. Swiss chard and kale are great winter mainstays...you ought to be able to grow chard year round in your part of the country. Salads do best in cooler to moderate weather but easy to grow also.
I'm trying some heirloom type squash this year...going to see how I like them. There is a Mexican/Native American variety called Tatume that is unbothered by the usual pests and can double as a tender summer squash or be allowed to ripen and harden and keeps all winter. I'm eager to try it as squash bugs are a real problem here.
Sweet potatoes...I don't know if you are a fan or not but they are so versatile. Paleo friendly also. I roast them, bake them, saute them, make soup and pies, etc....
I have GOT to try those kale chips....I have some in the garden now just needing to be harvested...hmm...might be on the menu tonight.
I pretty much roast everything. Just adds so much flavor! When I do brussel sprouts always use fresh, and add some bacon and carmelized onions. YUM.
When I saute, its usually squash. Oh, and if you don't have one get a julienne peeler. You can make zuchinni "noodles" that are a good sub for pasta (if you also don't feel like doing spaghetti squash)
Are the parsnips that are in the store dug after they have frozen in the ground? When my Dad grew "snips" that's what we did. He would go out and dig them during the January thaw, or in the Spring, and Mom would prepare them. She would do them like you do fried chicken. You peel them and cut them into rounds. Then you shake them in a flour and salt mixture and fry them in butter until they are soft and have the same kind of crusty goodness that fried chicken has. They were delicious. I haven't had them since Dad quit gardening. It might be time to try planting some this year and revisiting the technique.
I tend to toss fresh vegis with olive oil, fresh cracked pepper and crushed sea salt, and bake at high heat. Works great for:
Brussels Sprouts (LOVE them roasted at high heat – can’t stand steamed in any way)
Sweet Potatoes (also bake whole sweet potatoes often)
On the stove top- I like to sauté with sesame seed oil and garlic, works well for spinach, chard, beet greens, green beans and zucchini.
I also keep frozen veggis on hand – and tend to toss some into any casserole or single skillet meals – even my spaghetti sauce ends up with vegis added to it. It’s an easy way to get extra vegetables without making an additional dish.
In the winter my pressure cooker gets a LOT of use. It makes cooking a whole meal so much easier and faster!
These days we eat artichokes almost every night. Steam for 18 mn, and serve with a vinaigrette (chopped shallot, real Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper).
We steam potatoes, green beans, asparagus, all the veggies needed for couscous, etc. etc.
Otherwise, I love roasted veggies. 2 days ago I cut up peeled sweet potatoes and butternut squash, mixed them in a bowl with olive oil, ginger, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, ground garlic, sage, salt and pepper, and then roasted them for 40 mn or so. YUM! Then we put the leftovers in a soup the next day.
The celery root + potato purée is one of our staple food. Much better than plain old mashed potatoes.
Also, soups. Lots and lots of soups.
I am re-discovering red beet. I ate a lot of it as a kid, and I love it!
Brussel sprouts (fresh ones):
Saute in olive oil & butter
Throw in a handful of craisins and another of chopped pecans.
Thaw frozen; squeeze all the water you can out of it
Toss in skillet - with olive oil and a couple cloves of minced garlic
Beat 2 eggs - toss them in the skillet
Cook 'til eggs are firm - flip (now there's a trick!)
Sprinkle (generously) with grated Italian cheese (take your pick - I like Romano & Asiago)
Cover 'til cheese sort of melts
Lots of fresh kale - trim stems off
Spray cookie sheet or large tray with PAM or similar
Spread kale out on tray
Spritz with olive oil
Bake at 250 for about 20-30 minutes ('til crisp)
Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt
I prefer frozen veg (good thing since that is all that is affordable here in winter) because they are quicker to cook - place in an appropriate sized container, add a spoonful of water, cover and nuke. I rarely mess with any other preparation as I like the taste of the plain vegetable with the additinn of a bit of butter and nothing else. When I do fresh, it is always something 'weird' like artichokes or something odd like beet tops (can't stand beets but love the tops). I will do things like glaze carrots, and make candied parsnips (cook to almost tender, roll in flour and brown sugar and fry in butter). I have served, in place of potatoes mashed rutabaga, celery root and even tried it with cauliflower to see if that would make it more palatable; while rutabaga and celery root are great, cauliflower just is not and is only edible when covered with cheese sauce.
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Cut Spaghetti Squash in half lengthwise. Remove seeds. Rub with olive oil/butter salt/pepper and bake at 400 for 25-30min. Once cool enough to handle, use a fork to pull out the insides (it will shred into noodles on its own). I usually add in fresh basil, parmesan or mozz and a little extra olive oil and nuke just long enought to melt the cheese.
I'm going to have to try beets again. Not a fan But maybe the raw beet and carrot salad would do it for me?
Slice in half. Set in roasting pan with 2 inches of water at the bottom. Drizzle with EVOO, garlic powder, cumin (and chile/cayenne pepper if you like spice). Roast at 425 until it is easily "scrape-able", meaning the stands peel off with little effort.
While it's roasting, sautee some diced onions, then add a clove or two of garlic, and a diced bell pepper. Season with salt, cumin, and onion powder while sauteeing. The trick to vegetables is to season them WELL when they're cooking. Add some fresh or frozen corn, and cooked (or canned) black beans to the sautee pan.
When the squash is done roasting, scrape the insides and add them to the sautee pan. Squeeze some fresh lime juice over top and a little more seasonings: salt, fresh black pepper, cumin, chili/cayenne, onion powder, paprika, etc.
split in half an acorn or butternut squash.
place the halves cut side down in a shallow baking pan in a half inch of water.
pierce the skin a few times and place it into a hot oven until soft enough to mash.
mash with softened butter and pour hot maple syrup over each serving.
this is one fabulous hot breakfast.