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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.

roasted broccoli & cauliflower

Roasted Broccoli or Cauliflower

Community demonstration, 1/23/13

Tired of the same old boring vegetables? Roasting is a really easy, really tasty way to make vegetables more exciting. You can use fresh or frozen vegetables – both work very well.

  • 1 pound broccoli, cauliflower, or a combination, cut into florets – fresh or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss all ingredients until vegetables are evenly coated with oil and salt. (Frozen vegetables can go straight from the freezer to the bowl – just remove any extra ice.) Spread on a baking sheet.

Bake for 25-35 minutes if fresh, 35-45 minutes if frozen, until stems are tender when pierced with a knife and edges are browned.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

VARIATIONS: This simple preparation is easy to dress up however you like:

  • Add 1 teaspoon chili powder or any other favorite spice blend before roasting
  • Bake until almost done, then sprinkle with 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese and return to oven until just melted
  • Toss cooked vegetables with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar before serving

Not-Your-Average Coleslaw

Community meeting training session, 11/14/12

Cabbage and carrots get dressed up with quick-pickled onions and a creamy dressing. A variation of Cabbage, Apple, Red Onion, and Carrot Slaw.

  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • salt
  • 1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, shredded into matchsticks or grated on a large grater
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (Dijon is best, but any kind will work)
  • 1 teaspoon honey (or sugar)
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • Black pepper (freshly ground if available)

In a small bowl, pour the cider vinegar over the sliced onion to cover it. Add a pinch of salt. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, or up to overnight in the fridge.

To a large bowl, add the shredded cabbage and carrots. Remove the onions from the vinegar and add them here, reserving the vinegar.

To the vinegar in the small bowl, whisk in mustard, honey, and mayonnaise. Add black pepper and additional salt to taste.

Pour desired amount of dressing (you won’t need all of it – use the rest on another slaw or salad within 2 weeks) over the vegetables and toss to combine.

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

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Committee Meeting working lunch, 9/27/12 (used roasted cushaw squash puree)

These soft, chewy cookies have all the flavors of fall. You can use canned pumpkin, or you can use roasted squash puree from any kind of winter squash.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or substitute more all purpose if unavailable)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats or quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (OR puree from any other winter squash)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips OR raisins OR dried cherries/cranberries

Heat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, oats, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer if available, cream butter and both sugars. Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla and beat to combine. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips or dried fruit and mix in.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned and set. Cool at least 2 minutes before removing from sheet.

Yield: about 48 cookies.

Toasted Squash Seeds

Seeds are the “free gift with purchase” when you have a squash. Turn them into a tasty snack with this recipe.

  • Seeds from one winter squash (pumpkinbutternutacorndelicata, etc), separated from pulp
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • Spices of your choice:
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, stir the seeds around a bit so they cook evenly. Seeds are done when they are crisp and golden brown.

Note: some seeds (especially from acorn squash) may begin to pop. Once they’re popping in the oven, they’re done.