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Roasted sweet potato, turnip, and onion from the 4/3/13 cooking demonstration

Roasted sweet potato, turnip, and onion from the 4/3/13 cooking demonstration

Roasted Vegetables

Community meeting cooking demonstration, 3/6/13 and 4/3/13

The simplest (and often tastiest) way to cook most vegetables is to roast them. We’ve done this before (broccoli and cauliflower, sweet potatoes, squash, and more), but here are some general instructions for pretty much any vegetable.

Choose any of the following vegetables:

  • root vegetables: potato, sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, turnip, rutabaga, beet, etc
  • squash: butternut, acorn, pumpkin, etc
  • “cole crops” (the broccoli family): broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage (wedges with the core attached works best), kohlrabi
  • onions
  • asparagus
  • green beans
  • almost anything you can think of

Preheat oven to 400. Gather as many baking sheets or dishes as you have kinds of vegetables (it can be fine to mix them, but sometimes they cook at different speeds).

Cut the vegetable into whatever size pieces you want. They can be bite-sized, or you can take a knife and fork to them later. If you’re mixing different vegetables together to roast on the same pan, make sure the pieces are the same size so they cook at about the same speed.

Place vegetables in a bowl (keep different vegetables separate if you have enough baking dishes) and add a pinch of salt and just enough oil to coat them lightly. Toss or mix to combine.

Spread oiled vegetables on baking sheet and place in oven. The amount of time your vegetables will take depends on the vegetable and the size of the pieces. After about 20 minutes, begin checking your vegetables. They are done when a knife or fork slides in with no resistance and the edges are medium to dark brown.

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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.

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.

Green Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables

Community meeting/training dinner, 2/27/12 – served as spinach salad with roasted carrots, toasted walnuts, and apple-mustard vinaigrette

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/23/12 – served as spinach salad with roasted carrots and parsnips, toasted walnuts, and orange-balsamic vinaigrette

Community meeting/training dinner and cooking demonstration, 12/15/11 – served as Kale Salad with Butternut Squash, Squash Seeds, and Apple-Mustard Dressing

spinach salad with roasted carrots, toasted walnuts, and apple-mustard vinaigrette

This salad can be adapted for many different ingredients, and you can treat it as a mix-and-match. Choose a greens, vegetables, toppings, and dressing to make a salad the way you like it.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/9/12 – served with Boston baked beans and whole wheat biscuits

Community training session demonstration dinner, 3/12/12 – served with Pulled Chicken and Beans in Pumpkin Barbecue Sauce on whole wheat hamburger buns

Roasted sweet potatoes are an incredibly easy, tasty, healthy side dish. Sweet potatoes are very high in vitamin A, and you can also eat the skin for some extra fiber.

  • 4 large sweet potatoes, cut into approximately 2” chunks (any shape is fine)*
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, canola oil, or olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss sweet potato chunks with oil and salt until evenly coated. Spread sweet potato in a single layer on one or two baking sheets.

Roast until a knife inserted in the thickest part goes in with no resistance, 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of your pieces.

Serves 8.

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Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Committee meeting working lunch, 1/11/12

Pasta salads can incorporate any seasonal vegetables, and they don’t have to be drenched in mayonnaise – a little bit in a flavorful dressing goes a long way. This salad comes together very quickly once the prep work cutting and roasting the vegetables is done.

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes*
  • 1 small head cauliflower**
  • 1 small head broccoli (in the photo, there are kale stems rather than broccoli, as I had some frozen from my garden)**
  • 2 parsnips*
  • 4 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil, divided
  • Salt
  • 1 pound pasta, small shape
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced rosemary***
  • ½ tablespoon minced sage***
  • Black pepper

Preheat oven to 400º.

Cut each vegetable into ½” rough cubes and put into separate bowls. Add one teaspoon oil and a pinch of salt to each. Spread each vegetable on a separate baking sheet and roast until tender, 20-30 minutes. (Can be made in advance – refrigerate until ready to use.)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed, then drain and rinse with cold water.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together mayonnaise, mustard, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, cider vinegar, and herbs to make a dressing.

Stir together cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, and dressing. Add more salt and black pepper to taste.

Serves 10-12 as a side dish or meal component, or 6-8 as a main course

*Sweet potatoes and parsnips can be grown in Nebraska and stored into winter

**Broccoli and cauliflower can be grown here, then blanched and frozen for winter use. In this recipe, you can roast them directly from frozen.

***Herbs can be grown outside in the summer or in a pot indoors during the winter.