Vegetables to Cook During the Winter Months

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Just because fewer farmers’ markets and roadside stands are open during the winter months, it doesn’t mean there aren’t some good winter vegetables. Unfortunately, in the winter months, we tend to use less fresh produce, thinking it’s not as available or as tasty.

We can agree that nothing is better than a summer-ripe tomato, but done the right way, root vegetables, dark leafy greens, Brussels sprouts and other winter produce can be just as exciting. Give these seasonal vegetable side dishes a try!

Creamy Creamed Spinach

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons whipped butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 2 10 ounce packages spinach, thawed and drained
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium pan, over medium heat, sauté 3 tablespoons butter and minced garlic about 2 minutes. Add spinach and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
  2. In a small pot, over medium heat, melt together remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cream cheese, parmesan cheese, heavy whipping cream, salt and pepper.
  3. Pour cream sauce over spinach and mix together. Serve hot.

Serves 4, each serving contains Calories 367, Fat 35 g., Net Carbohydrates 5.6 g.,
Protein 10 g.

Broccoli Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread
  • 2 pound broccoli florets
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups diced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour or almond flour
  • 3 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded Colby Jack Cheese, divided or cheddar if you prefer

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Tear bread into pieces and process in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Spread the breadcrumbs on a baking sheet and bake until dry and crispy, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer basket. Steam broccoli until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Chop coarsely and spread evenly in the prepared baking dish.
  4. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  5. Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and cook for 1 minute.
  6. While stirring, slowly pour in chicken broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in cream cheese, Worcestershire, pepper and salt, cook, stirring, until smooth, about 2 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in 1½ cups cheese. Pour the cheese sauce over the broccoli. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Combine the melted butter and the breadcrumbs in a medium bowl. Spread evenly over the broccoli mixture. Top with the remaining ½ cup cheese.
  8. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges, 25 to 30 minutes.

Serves 12, each serving contains Calories 225, Protein 11 g., Carbohydrates 13 g., Fiber 3 g., Cholesterol 25 g., Sodium 331 mg.

Cheddar Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 8 cups of cauliflower florets, about 1 large head
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or ¾ teaspoon dried
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Combine cauliflower, oil, thyme, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to a large rimmed baking sheet, roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through roasting.
  3. Stir, then sprinkle with cheese. Continue roasting until the cauliflower is soft and the cheese is melted, about 5 additional minutes. Toss with lemon juice and serve.

**I like to spray my pan and place into the oven while it is preheating, that way you are tossing the cauliflower into a hot pan and getting a bit of a sear.

Serves 6, each serving contains Calories 136, Protein 6 g., Carbohydrates 8 g., Fiber 3 g., Fat 10 g., Cholesterol 14 mg., Sodium 232 mg.

Betty Crockers Mixed Vegetable Bake

Ingredients

  • 1 pound medium red potatoes, cut into about 1/8 inch slices
  • 1 large onion, cut into ¼ inch slices
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 medium red pepper, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into ¼ inch pieces

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray bottom of 13×9-inch (3-quart) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Place potatoes, onion and carrots in baking dish; toss with half each of the oil, garlic, thyme, tarragon, salt and pepper. Bake 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, toss bell pepper and zucchini with remaining oil and seasonings. Stir into mixture in baking dish. Bake 30 to 35 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender; stirring halfway through bake time.

Serves 6, each serving contains Calories 180, Protein 2 g., Carbohydrates 21 g., Fiber 4 g., Fat 9 g., Cholesterol 0 mg., Sodium 220 mg.

Roasted Winter Vegetables

(A modified Ina Garten)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled
  • 1 pound parsnips, peeled
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cut the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, and butternut squash in 1 to 1 1/4-inch cubes. All the vegetables will shrink while baking, so don’t cut them too small.
  3. Place all the cut vegetables in a single layer on 2 baking sheets. Drizzle them with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Toss well. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a metal spatula.
  4. Sprinkle with parsley, season to taste, and serve hot.