Winter Season Healthy Vegetable Recipes

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Yes, there is surely less to choose from locally in the fresh vegetables department at Farmers Markets and Roadside Stands this time of year, but that does not mean there aren’t fresh seasonal vegetables options! Cooking fresh vegetables at home is a sure-fire way to eat more of the good stuff. Unfortunately, in the winter months we often use less fresh produce, thinking it’s not as available or as tasty. Of course, nothing is better than a summer-ripe tomato, but done the right way, winter produce can be just as exciting.

“Everything Bagel” Cauliflower Casserole


  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, plus 4 tablespoons divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour, or almond flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 2 large heads cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives
  • 1⅓ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons “Everything Bagel” seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Coat a 3 quart broiler safe casserole dish with 1 teaspoon butter.
  2. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides, reduce heat to medium; add garlic, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add flour, whisk to combine, and cook, stirring occasionally until no flour smell remains, 2-3 minutes. Gradually whisk in milk, whisking between additions until the mixture is smooth. Bring to a lively simmer. Cook whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Add cauliflower, 3 tablespoons chives. Transfer to the prepared pan and smooth top.
  5. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven, preheat broiler to high.
  6. Combine cheese and “Everything Bagel” seasoning (adjust amount to taste). Sprinkle on the casserole. Broil until the cheese is melted and the top is golden, about 2 minutes. Serve topped with the remaining 1 tablespoon chives.

Serves 12 as a side dish.

Balsamic and Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower


  • 8 cups 1-inch-thick slices cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Serves 4.

Lightened Up King Ranch Casserole


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ cup whole-wheat flour or all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1½ cups diced fresh tomatoes
  • ½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1 7-ounce can or two 4-ounce cans diced green chiles, drained
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas, cut in half, divided
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese, divided
  • ¼ cup sliced ripe black olives, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat two 8-inch-square baking dishes with cooking spray.
  2. Place chicken in a large saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until just cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Dice when cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the mushroom liquid has evaporated, 7 to 9 minutes. Add bell pepper and cook, stirring, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and chili powder; stir for 1 minute. Add flour and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add broth and cook, stirring, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in tomatoes, sour cream, chiles, salt and the chicken.
  4. To assemble: Spread 1 cup filling in each prepared baking dish. Layer on 4 tortilla halves and top with 1 cup filling. Repeat 2 more layers of tortillas and filling, ending with the rest of the filling. Sprinkle cheese and olives on top.
  5. To serve: Bake until hot and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. To freeze: Let unbaked casserole(s) cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap with heavy-duty foil (or freezer paper) and freeze. (To prevent foil from sticking to the cheese, coat with cooking spray first.)

Sautéed Flank Steak with Roasted Cauliflower and Red Peppers


  • 1 large head cauliflower (2 1/2 lb.), cut into 1 1/2-inch-wide florets (8 cups)
  • 2 lb. red bell peppers (about 5) cut into 1-inch squares
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 (1-lb) piece flank steak, halved lengthwise (along the grain)
  • ½ tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 oz. baby arugula
  • ½ cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, or to taste


  1. Put oven rack in upper third of oven and preheat oven to 500°F.
  2. Toss cauliflower, bell peppers, and garlic with olive oil, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. Spread in a large shallow baking pan (at least 15 by 10 inches) and roast, turning over once or twice, until vegetables are tender and slightly charred, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. While vegetables roast, heat a dry 10-inch heavy skillet (not nonstick; preferably cast-iron) over moderately high heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together remaining teaspoon thyme, teaspoon pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Pat steak dry and rub both sides with thyme mixture.
  4. Add vegetable oil to hot skillet, then add steak and sauté, turning over once, 5 to 7 minutes total for medium-rare. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand, loosely covered with foil, 5 minutes.
  5. Reserve roasted garlic cloves and 1 cup roasted bell peppers. Toss arugula with remaining roasted vegetables in pan to wilt, then transfer to a platter.
  6. Blend reserved garlic and bell peppers with broth, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a blender until smooth. Transfer sauce to a small bowl or sauceboat.
  7. Holding a knife at a 45-degree angle, cut steak across the grain into thin slices and arrange on platter with vegetables. Pour any juices accumulated on cutting board over meat and serve sauce on the side.

Serves 4.


Winter Vegetable Soup with Chickpeas


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup (½-inch) slices leek
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 ⅔ cups Simple Vegetable Stock, divided
  • 2 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) slices carrot
  • ¾ cup (1-inch) cubed peeled Yukon gold potato
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 1½ teaspoons tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound turnips, peeled and each cut into 8 wedges (about 2 medium)
  • 1 (15 ½-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ teaspoons honey
  • 1⅓ cups uncooked couscous
  • 8 lemon wedges


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 5 minutes. Add coriander and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add 3 cups Simple Vegetable Stock and the next 8 ingredients (through chickpeas); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Stir in parsley and honey.
  3. Remove 2/3 cup hot cooking liquid from squash mixture. Place cooking liquid and remaining 2/3 cup stock in a medium bowl. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with lemon wedges.

Serves 8, each serving contains  Calories 264, Fat 2.3 g, Protein 8.3 g, Carbohydrate 54.5 g, Fiber 7.5 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 425 mg, Calcium 92 mg.