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Bratwurst, Butternut Squash, Potato, and Kale Stew

Variation from 4/3 - buffalo Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and turnips

Variation from 4/3 – buffalo Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and turnips

Adapted from CHOW

Community training session dinner, 2/20/13; Community training session dinner, 4/3/13 (with bison Italian sausage, sweet potatoes, and turnips)

Lots of colors in this stew mean that there are lots of vitamins and nutrients in it! You can substitute any kind of squash (or even sweet potatoes) for the butternut, and any kind of greens (fresh or frozen) for the kale. You could even try it with a different kind of sausage! Feel free to experiment to find what you like.

I have included a stovetop version and a lazy slow cooker version. In the stovetop versions, you brown the sausage and onions first, which gives a deeper and better flavor to the stew. But if you don’t have much time to prepare, you can skip it with the lazy version.

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh bratwurst sausage, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon caraway seeds, optional
  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1 lb, chopped into roughly 1” cubes

Cut the squash between the rounded part and the straight part. Peel the skin off the squash using a vegetable peeler or a knife. After peeling, cut the rounded part in half (top to bottom). Use your fingers to take the seeds out of the squash (you can roast them later for a snack). Using a spoon, scoop out the stringy part that was around the seeds and throw it away. Cut the squash into roughly 1” cubes.

  • 10 ounces red potatoes, chopped into roughly 1” cubes
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes (or 1 quart home-canned tomatoes)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 6 oz kale or other greens, fresh or frozen
  • Black pepper, to taste

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, then brown the sausage pieces: allow to cook without stirring for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is browned. Stir and cook 2-4 minutes longer, until browned on another side. Remove the browned sausage to a plate or bowl – it doesn’t need to be cooked through, just brown on the outside.

Add onion to pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until onions are soft, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and caraway seeds (if using) and cook 1 minute more. Add sausage back to the pot, then add the squash, potatoes, tomatoes with juice, water, and salt. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 35-50 minutes. Add the kale and simmer 6-8 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.

LAZY SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Place all ingredients except for kale and oil (kale comes later, and we don’t need oil here) in slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 1.5-2 hours or low for 3-4 hours, until vegetables are tender. Add kale, cover, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes on high or 20-30 minutes on low, until kale is wilted. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

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Beef and Vegetable Stew

 Community training session dinner, 2/6/13

Beef stew is a delicious way to stretch a smaller, less expensive cut of meat. Slow cooking makes flavorful but tough cuts (like chuck roast, round roast, or pot roast) tender and delicious. In this stew, there is lots of hearty beef flavor, plus lots of healthy vegetables.

  • 6 tablespoons flour, divided between beef and vegetables
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless stew meat (chuck roast, round roast, pot roast, or other tough cut), cut into 1” cubes
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup combination of chopped carrots and celery, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups beef broth (or use chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 6 – 8 cups chopped root vegetables – any combination of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, or other, cut into rough 1” cubes

STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: In bowl or plastic bag, combine 4 tablespoons flour and pepper. Add beef cubes and toss or shake to coat.

Heat a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil, then brown the beef in batches: place some of the beef in the pan, just enough that it’s less than 1 layer (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan in places). Allow to cook without stirring for 2-4 minutes, until the bottom is deep brown. Stir and cook 2-4 minutes longer, until browned on another side. Remove the browned beef to a plate or bowl – it won’t be cooked through at this point, just deep brown on the outside.

Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pot. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add beef back to the pot, then add the broth, tomato paste, thyme, and rosemary to the pot. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

After 1 1/2 hours, add the chopped root vegetables. Stir, cover, and simmer for an additional 20-40 minutes, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

SLOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Follow instructions above to prepare beef and flour. Brown beef in a large pan (see instructions above), then remove beef to slow cooker crock. Add onion, carrots/celery (if using), and garlic to pan. Cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, until vegetables are soft, 6-8 minutes. If the vegetables are sticking, add a little water or stock to the pan. Once the vegetables are tender, add remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and stir to coat. Add 1 cup beef broth to the pan, scraping up any browned-on bits. Pour vegetables and broth into crock with the beef. Add remaining broth, tomato paste, and thyme. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Then, add root vegetables, cover, and cook for an additional 1 hour on high or 1-2 hours on low, until vegetables and beef are completely tender. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired.

Meatballs with Garden Greens

Community meeting training session, 11/14/12 – served over spaghetti with tomato sauce

Meatballs are an easy place to put some healthy, vitamin-rich greens into your diet. You can use frozen greens of any kind (spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, etc), from your garden or the grocery store. Serve these meatballs with your favorite pasta sauce and spaghetti. You could also make this recipe into a meatloaf – follow cooking instructions for Italian-Style Meatloaf.

  • 10 oz stale bread
  • 1/2 cup milk (it can be more sour than you’d want to drink)
  • 2 lbs ground beef (OR use 1 lb each ground beef and pork)
  • 8 oz frozen greens (spinach, kale, etc), thawed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • OR substitute 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning for all the herbs if fresh herbs are unavailable
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Using your hands, rip the stale bread into flaky crumbs. It’s okay if they’re uneven sizes. In a large bowl, pour the milk over the bread and allow the bread to get completely soaked.

Add all remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine (using your hands works best).

Roll mixture into balls. You can bake or pan-fry the meatballs.

OVEN METHOD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Place meatballs on sheet and bake until cooked through with an internal temperature of 160, about 25 minutes.

STOVETOP METHOD: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan. Add meatballs and cook, turning when they become browned on the bottom, until completely browned and cooked through.

Serves 8.

**All ingredients in bold can be grown in your own garden or purchased at a farmers market.**

 

baked spaghetti and meatballsVARIATION: Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Community meeting dinner, 1/23/12

In a baking dish, combine meatballs, 1 lb cooked spaghetti (or other pasta), and 4-6 cups (or 1 jar) tomato sauce. Toss to coat everything evenly with sauce. Top with 1/2 cup of your favorite shredded cheese – mozzarella, parmesan, or other. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Serves 8.

Halloween Chili

Committee meeting working lunch, 10/18/12 – served with pumpkin cornbread

The pumpkin and spice in this beef-and-bean chili adds a subtle taste and a lot of fiber, vitamin A, and other nutrients.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided between beef and onions
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 14-ounce or 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 cans beans, any variety, drained from liquid
  • 2 cups pumpkin or other winter squash puree (see  instructions, or use canned)
  • 1 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, optional

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil and brown the beef. Remove the beef to a bowl or plate, then add the remaining tablespoon oil. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent and soft, about 5-7 minutes. Add chili powder and cumin and cook 1 minute more, stirring.

Add remaining ingredients (tomatoes, beans, pumpkin, and spices if using) and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 30-75 minutes – the longer the chili cooks, the tastier it will be.

Kale, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Frittata

Community meeting demonstration dinner, 10/3/12

Wondering what to do with unfamiliar greens? Try them with familiar flavors in a big omelet called a frittata. Similar recipes: Broccoli, Bacon, Pasta, and Parmesan Frittata and Tortilla Española with Kale

  • 1 large bunch (8-12 ounces) kale or other greens
  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cooked cubed sweet potatoes (steamed, roasted, leftover – it all works) OR use leftover cooked pasta
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until almost tender (keep trying pieces to see how done it is). When kale is almost tender, remove to a colander to drain. Roughly chop.

Heat a large skillet. Add bacon and cook on medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon to a large bowl and leave grease in the pan. Turn off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To the bowl with the bacon, add chopped kale and cooked sweet potatoes. Add eggs, cracking each into a small bowl or cup before adding it to the large bowl (this is to make sure that a bad egg or pieces of shell won’t ruin your whole mixture). Add salt and pepper.

Turn the heat back on under the skillet with the bacon grease. When the grease is very hot, add the egg mixture and allow to cook over medium heat until cooked about halfway through, about 7-10 minutes.

Flipping the frittata: using potholders or oven mitts, place a large plate over the skillet. Take the whole business over the sink (just in case) and flip the half-cooked frittata out of skillet and onto the plate. Put the skillet back on the stove, then slide the frittata back into the pan, raw side down. Continue to cook until cooked through, 5-7 minutes, then flip or slide onto plate. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Serves 8.

Roast Pork Sandwiches with Roasted Peppers and Spinach

Community meeting demonstration dinner, 10/3/12

These sandwiches are a great way to use leftover roast pork. Or, you could use other leftover roast meat or deli meats.

  • 4 rolls or buns, or other bread to make 6 sandwiches
  • 1 pound roast pork or other leftover or deli meat
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, freshly roasted, jarred, or home-canned
  • 1 cup spinach or other greens 

Divide the pork between the 4 rolls. Top with roasted peppers and spinach. Serve.

Yield: 4 sandwiches.

Pork and White Bean Chili
Adapted from Bon Appétit

Committee meeting working lunch, 8/16/12
Community meeting training dinner, 3/20/13

This simple meal is hearty and filling. As a bonus, it tastes even better as leftovers.

  • 1 tablespoon canola, vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup beef or chicken stock, or liquid from cooking beans, or water
  • 3 large tomatoes, roughly chopped OR 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups cooked white beans (from 1 cup dry beans) OR 2 cans white beans

In a large pot, heat oil. Add ground pork and cook until lightly browned and cooked through. Remove cooked pork to a plate or bowl. To the now-empty pot, add onion, carrots, and jalapeno. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 8-10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook one minute, stirring.

Add stock/bean liquid/water, tomatoes, and beans. Return cooked pork to the pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Spoon into bowls and serve.

Serves 8.

All the ingredients in bold are things you can grow in your own garden.