Fresh Healthy Winter Vegetable Recipes

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Just because fewer farmers’ markets are open for winter doesn’t mean you have to close down your veggies at the dinner table. Cooking fresh vegetables at home is a sure-fire way to eat enough of the good stuff. Unfortunately, in the winter months we often use less fresh produce, thinking it’s not as available or as tasty. Of course, nothing is better than a summer-ripe tomato, but done the right way, winter produce can be just as exciting.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

8 cups 1-inch-thick slices cauliflower florets

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

¼ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more. Serves 4.

Winter Greens and Potato Casserole

8 cups water

12 cups chopped kale, stems removed (about 1/2 pound)

12 cups chopped mustard greens, stems removed (about 1/2 pound)

6 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices red potatoes (about 2 pounds), divided

Cooking spray

2 cups vertically sliced onion, divided

3/4 teaspoon salt, divided

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese, divided

1/2 cup canned vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 350°. Bring water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add kale and mustard greens, and cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Drain; set aside.

Arrange 2 cups potato slices in a single layer in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; top with 1 cup onion. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt; top with half of kale mixture. Sprinkle kale mixture with 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat layers once, ending with the kale mixture. Top kale mixture with remaining 2 cups potatoes, and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Pour broth evenly over potato mixture, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover with foil.

Bake at 350° for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 30 minutes or until lightly browned and potatoes are tender. Serves 8.


Lightened Up King Ranch Casserole

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

1 tablespoon canola oil

8 ounces mushrooms, chopped

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons chili powder

½ cup whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth

1½ cups diced fresh tomatoes

½ cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 7-ounce can or two 4-ounce cans diced green chiles, drained

¾ teaspoon salt

12 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in half, divided

1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided

¼ cup sliced ripe black olives, divided

Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat two 8-inch-square baking dishes with cooking spray.

Place chicken in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Dice when cool.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the mushroom liquid has evaporated, 7 to 9 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder; stir for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes, sour cream, chiles, salt and the chicken.

To assemble: Spread 1 cup filling in each prepared baking dish. Layer on 4 tortilla halves and top with 1 cup filling. Repeat 2 more layers of tortillas and filling, ending with the rest of the filling. Sprinkle cheese and olives on top.

To serve: Bake until hot and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze: Let unbaked casserole(s) cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap with heavy-duty foil (or freezer paper) and freeze. (To prevent foil from sticking to the cheese, coat with cooking spray first.)

Sautéed Flank Steak with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Peppers

1 large head cauliflower (2 1/2 lb.), cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide florets (8 cups)

2 lb. red bell peppers (about 5) cut into 1-inch squares

4 large garlic cloves, peeled

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1 (1-lb) piece flank steak, halved lengthwise (along the grain)

1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 oz. baby arugula

1/2 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth

2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste

Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°F.

Toss cauliflower, bell peppers, and garlic with olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Spread in a large shallow baking pan (at least 15 by 10 inches) and roast, turning over once or twice, until vegetables are tender and slightly charred, 25 to 30 minutes.

While vegetables roast, heat a dry 10-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick; preferably cast-iron) over moderately high heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together remaining teaspoon thyme, teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pat steak dry and rub both sides with thyme mixture.

Add vegetable oil to hot skillet, then add steak and sauté, turning over once, 5 to 7 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 5 minutes.

Reserve roasted garlic cloves and 1 cup roasted bell peppers. Toss arugula with remaining roasted vegetables in pan to wilt, then transfer to a platter.

Blend reserved garlic and bell peppers with broth, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a blender until smooth. Transfer sauce to a small bowl or sauceboat.

Holding a knife at a 45-degree angle, cut steak across the grain into thin slices and arrange on platter with vegetables. Pour any juices accumulated on cutting board over meat and serve sauce on the side. Serves 4.


Winter Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup (1/2-inch) slices leek

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed

1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

3 2/3 cups Simple Vegetable Stock, divided

2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash

1 cup (1/2-inch) slices carrot

3/4 cup (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato

1 tablespoon harissa

1 1/2 teaspoons tomato paste

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 pound turnips, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (about 2 medium)

1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons honey

1 1/3 cups uncooked couscous

8 lemon wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 5 minutes. Add coriander and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 3 cups Simple Vegetable Stock and the next 8 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey.

Remove 2/3 cup hot cooking liquid from squash mixture. Place cooking liquid and remaining 2/3 cup stock in a medium bowl. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 8, each serving contains:  Calories 264, Fat 2.3 g, Protein 8.3 g, Carbohydrate 54.5 g,

Fiber 7.5 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 425 mg, Calcium 92 mg.