Winter veggies plentiful in style, vitamin

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One of the advantages of the cold winter months is a matter of course for us: an abundance of fresh favorite vegetables. Think of green leaves like cabbage and beet greens. Root vegetables such as onions, potatoes, and sweet potatoes; and cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, and cabbage. Not only do they taste delicious, they are also of particular nutritional value.

According to the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, many of our best winter vegetables are excellent sources of vitamin A, ascorbic acid, and iron. For example, collards contain more vitamin A than beans, sweet corn, or green peppers. Try out some of our reader-submitted recipes and include them in your winter menus. Your taste buds and your wellbeing will thank you.

Chef of the Month: Sue Evans

Collard Greens soup

Sue Evans says when people try their Collard Greens Soup they agree that it is “a soup that hits your bones”. Evans, who lives in Autaugaville and works as a payroll clerk in Montgomery, said her sister shared the recipe with her a few years ago, “and I probably added a few things.” The recipe calls for diced ham steak, but you could also use pulled pork, she said. And fresh collard greens are listed, but you can also use the packaged frozen version if fresh collards are not available. Evans said she frozen batches of her soup without potatoes but canned none for one simple reason: “There’s never enough left.”

ingredients

1 ham steak, diced

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 2 pound sacks of chopped and cleaned collard greens

4 rust-red potatoes, diced

4 carrots, thinly sliced

2 cans of white beans, rinsed

2 32-ounce cans of chicken broth

manual

Fry the diced ham steak. Fry the diced onions in the same pan. Mix all ingredients in a large stockpot and simmer for 1 hour. Serve with corn bread croutons.

Sam’s sweet potato chili

Sweet potatoes add a special touch to one of the most popular winter dishes: chilli. (contributed)

ingredients

1 onion

1 bell pepper

1-2 teaspoons of garlic (amount can be adjusted based on taste – I use more)

2 pounds of ground turkey

Salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon of cumin

3 teaspoons of red pepper flakes (amount can be adjusted according to taste)

2 pounds of sweet potatoes, diced

2 cans of kidney beans (light red or dark red)

1 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes

1 28-ounce can of tomato sauce

1 28-ounce container of beef broth

manual

Fry the onion, bell pepper and garlic and place in a 6 liter slow cooker. Fry the ground turkey and add salt and pepper before putting it in the slow cooker. Add cumin, red pepper flakes, diced sweet potatoes, kidney beans, diced tomato, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Cook on a low heat for 8 hours.

Deborah M. Miller

Fried cabbage casserole

Cabbage is abundant at this time of year. But let’s face it, there are only so many ways to get the people you love to eat and enjoy. Growing up, one of my favorite ways to have cabbage was when my grandmother was roasting it. The smoky bacon fat added an incomparable flavor.

We take this truly Mediterranean method of boiling cabbage one step further and make it even better – we make a casserole out of it. Warm up with these seasonal veggies and serve up a side of comfort with this seared cabbage casserole. More great recipes like this can be found at www.thebutteredhome.com.

ingredients

1 medium-sized head of cabbage, chopped

4 tablespoons of butter

1/2 pound bacon, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1 can of celery soup

1/4 cup milk

1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

1/2 cup French fried onions

manual

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a Dutch oven, fry bacon in butter until brown and crispy. Remove and drain. Place the cabbage in bacon fat, cover and cook over low to medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir halfway.

Turn off the heating. Add bacon, mayo, milk, and celery soup. Mix well. Pour into a lightly greased baking dish. Spread evenly and top with cheese and fried onions. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until the onions are brown and the cheese has melted.

Brooke Burks, the butter house

Take advantage of the ample supply of fresh cabbage to prepare this fried cabbage casserole that is full of ingredients for comfort food. (contributed)

Fried Brussels sprouts with cranberries and pecans

ingredients

1 pound Brussels sprouts, cut and halved

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

2 teaspoons of salt

2 teaspoons of pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped

manual

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Halve the cleaned Brussels sprouts leaves and cut into slices. Chop the onion and nuts. Put the nuts, onions, and sprouts in a large bowl. Save the cranberries for later. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Throw to coat. Put everything in a single layer on a sheet pan. Roast for 10-15 minutes and take out of the oven. Add the cranberries and stir. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are nice char and you can easily glue them with a fork.

Brooke Burks, the butter house

Instant Pot Collard Greens

ingredients

1-2 large bunches of Collard Greens

1-2 smoked ham sprouts

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons of garlic, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

manual

Wash your collards at least twice to ensure that you remove all of the sand. I usually wash mine once while I’m still on a stick. Rinse them off, tear them off the stem, and let the torn pieces soak again. Rinse and drain.

Place onions, garlic, ham, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and broth in a 6 liter instant pot or larger instant pot. Put the shredded and washed cabbage vegetables on top. I usually have to wrap mine up pretty well. It is important to note that I can usually only get a couple of collards in my 6 liter instant pot. If you have a larger one (Ultra or 8 liter) you may need more.

Close the lid, close the vent and place the instant pot on the hand or pressure cooker for 30 minutes. When the cooking time is up, release the pressure for about 10 minutes. Carefully open the vent to release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. Remove the ham ankle and throw it away. Add apple cider vinegar and stir well.

Brooke Burks, the butter house

Crispy roasted old bay potatoes

ingredients

6-8 medium-red potatoes, cooked and diced, peel open

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

2 teaspoons of Old Bay Seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Shredded parmesan

Parsley for garnish

manual

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cook the potatoes whole in salted water until a toothpick can go all the way through. Don’t boil over. (I use my instant pot for this. I put whole potatoes in 1 cup of water and salt the water well. Close the lid, seal the vent and cook under pressure for 10 minutes. They come out perfectly every time.)

After the potatoes have cooled, dice them into bite-sized pieces. Spread in an even layer on a greased sheet pan with chopped onions. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well to distribute the oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Old Bay seasoning and parmesan. Mix again lightly and distribute again in one layer.

Bake in the 425 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring halfway, until crispy and brown. Garnish with parsley.

Brooke Burks, the butter house

Hunter’s Stew can be prepared with game or beef feed, supplemented with plenty of delicious winter vegetables such as potatoes, onions and carrots. (contributed)

Hunter soup

ingredients

2-3 pounds of venison (or beef feed)

3 medium-sized potatoes

3 medium onions

3 carrots

1 celery stalk

2 cups of beef broth

Mix 1 envelope onion soup

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon thyme

2 bay leaves

Cornstarch or flour and water for thickening

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon of dried parsley

manual

Cut meat into 2-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper. Roughly chop the potatoes, onions, carrots and celery to the desired size. Place the meat, vegetables, beef broth, soup mix and basil, thyme and bay leaves in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 1 hour and then on low for 7 hours. Cook for the last 30 minutes, thicken with flour / cornstarch and water. Season to taste (salt and pepper), remove bay leaves and stir in parsley. Serve with French bread.

Lyman Faith

This story originally appeared in Alabama Living magazine.