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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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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.

Green Salad with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Cilantro

Community meeting training session dinner, 3/26/12, 2/6/13

Remember the roasted sweet potatoes from last meeting’s dinner? This time, they’re in smaller pieces in a salad, but the technique to cook them is exactly the same. As for the lettuce, you can use any variety, including lettuce you grow in your own garden. When you use head lettuce from the store or lettuce from your garden, remember to wash it in plenty of cold water to get any dirt off.

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Southwest Sweet Potato and Bean Soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 3/22/12 – served with buttermilk cornbread

This is quick and easy to make with canned beans, or you can cook dry beans ahead of time. For more information on cooking beans, see the dry bean guide. The garnishes of cilantro, yogurt/sour cream, and lime juice are tasty, but the soup is also good without them.

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced*
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ chipotle pepper from can of chipotles in adobo, finely chopped (or substitute ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper)
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces*
  • 1 can beans or 1.5 c cooked beans, any variety*
  • 6 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, bean cooking liquid, or water
  • salt
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro*
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and cook until translucent, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add cumin and coriander and cook 1 minute more. Add chipotle pepper, chopped sweet potato, beans, and stock/water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed (if you used chicken stock, you may not need any, but if you used water, you will need to add some).

Top each serving of soup with a sprinkle of cilantro, a small dollop of yogurt or sour cream, and ½ teaspoon lime juice.

Yield: 6 servings

*Potential garden crops in Nebraska

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.