While you may spend the winter daydreaming about eating fresh heirloom tomatoes off the vine or chomping on a fresh cob of sweet corn in the summer, eating seasonally in the winter is not that bad. What’s in season right now, you may ask? Well, keep an eye out at the grocery store for winter greens like spinach, kale, and chard; root vegetables such as beets, parsnips, carrots, garlic, and sweet potatoes; brassicas like cabbage and Brussels sprouts; and a variety of squashes. Even better, most winter vegetables are high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Beta Carotene, which can help give you an immunity boost and fuel a healthy body and mind. Additionally, many winter vegetables store easily and can last a while in your pantry: I’m still cooking up squash and pumpkin from the CC Farm that was harvested this fall.
With this week’s article, I’d like to leave you with a truly seasonal winter meal to whip up with your friends. Below you’ll find three recipes for a well-balanced dinner that will help you stay warm when the sun sets beyond Pikes while also learning about cooking with winter vegetables.
Black Bean Sweet Potato Chili
3 large sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups black beans, cooked (or 2 cans, rinsed)
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
3/4 cup vegetable broth, or ¾ Pumpkin Ale or Stout Beer (I would recommend Bristol’s Winter Warlock)
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (optional)
1-2 tbsp honey (depending on taste)
Salt and Pepper to Taste
- In a pot, sauté the onion, garlic, and sweet potatoes on medium-high heat with the olive oil (can put a lid over it), until flavor begins to emerge and sweet potatoes begin to soften.
- Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, black beans, diced tomatoes, broth/ale, and optional pumpkin puree. Bring all ingredients to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer for 30-45 minutes until you have reached desired consistency and softness of sweet potatoes. Add honey, salt, and pepper to taste.
- Top individual portions with shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese, fresh cilantro, and yogurt or sour cream.
¾ cup cornmeal
¼ cup flour
1/8 cup maple syrup
½ tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
½ cup milk (buttermilk, normal milk, or almond milk)
½ cup pumpkin puree
1/8 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
Mix all ingredients together and bake at 400 degrees in a greased cast iron skillet or baking pan for 15 minutes.
Garlickly Wilted Greens
3 cups baby spinach
3 cups chopped kale
3 cups chopped chard
5-6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper to Taste
Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until flavor emerges, add the spinach, kale, and chard, and cook until wilted (can add water and substitute other greens as desired). Add salt and pepper to taste, serve warm.