Vegetable Garden Recipes

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Put your vegetable bounty to good use in these delicious recipes.
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Beet-Carrot Slaw is a nice change from traditional coleslaw.
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Kale Salad is full of flavor, and super-healthy to boot.
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Squash pumpkins will keep for a few months in a cool place until you have time for pumpkin bread.

Oh happy day, it’s harvest time again. For those of us who
planted a garden, we’re up to our ears in root vegetables,
squash, leeks, tomatoes, greens, and whatever else decided
to pop up. If you don’t have a garden, maybe your back
porch is full of bushel baskets from the nearest stand,
just waiting for your undivided attention. With all that
picking, canning, freezing, and eating on the agenda, no
one has time for fancy cooking. We’ve tried to help you
ease into the harvest season gracefully with some easy
favorites that you may not have tried before. And if you
still have some leftover produce, don’t panic, just bless
the neighbors.

Greens

Greens have mainly been appreciated in Southern-style
cuisine, but are gaining popularity everywhere.. They’re
rich in chlorophyll, which is what makes the leaves dark
green and full of vitamin A and C, especially when eaten
raw. If you’re cutting back on dairy products and are
concerned about your calcium intake, then greens are the
solution without the cholesterol.

Cooking Greens

The Southern method is to boil them for about 30 minutes,
drain, and then saute in bacon fat. Since we want to
preserve nutrients and lower the fat, stir-frying is the
best way to cook them. Stir the chopped greens in a hot
skillet with olive oil, garlic, and hot pepper for a few
minutes until wilted. The greens should be bright green,
and a bit chewy.

Kale Salad

Kale salad has loads of flavor, and holds up better than
spinach
when tossed with a hot dressing

Remember when we used to eat spinach salad with bacon
dressing? Delicious, but too high in fat by today’s
standards and too soggy by the time the dressing soaked in.
Since kale is one of the most nutritious greens, I prefer
to make a kale salad, which has loads of flavor and holds
up better than spinach when tossed with a hot dressing.

4 cups chopped kale leaves, packed down (chopoff the stems & cut across the leaf, cutting
one-half-inch strips)

4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon
mustard

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red pepper (or use 1 red & 1 yellow pepper)
cut into thin strips

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar
salt, pepper to taste

Put the chopped kale in a large bowl. Whisk together the
lemon juice, mustard, sugar, and cayenne. Pour over the
kale. Saute the peppers in olive oil over medium-high heat
for a minute, then add the garlic. Saute until the
vegetables start to brown. Stir in the vinegar and remove
from heat. Toss into the salad with salt and pepper. Serve
immediately with crusty bread or homemade croutons.

Sausage-Bean Soup with Greens

Since greens are durable and will usually survive until the
first frost, this quick soup is perfect for a cool
September day.

You can use any combination of greens with the exception of
mustard greens, which tend to be too fragile for soup. Make
sure that you cut off the tough stems before chopping the
leaves. If you’re going to be grilling, save some extra
sausage for the soup.

1/2 lb. (or 2 pieces) cooked sausage such as chorizo,
turkey brats, kiebas, or linguica

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced 1 large onion, chopped one
15-ounce can chicken broth

5-6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper to taste
4 medium red or white new potatoes (about 1/4 Ibs),
halved and thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, thinly sliced diagonally into
circles

one 15 -19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) or
northern beans, rinsed

6 cups loosely packed, coarsely chopped collard greens or
Swiss chard.

Slice the sausage diagonally into 1/4-Inch circles. Set
aside. In a large soup pot, saute the garlic and onion in
the olive oil until translucent. Add the chicken broth,
five cups water, potatoes, carrots, and spices. Cover and
simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the sausages and beans,
and cook for five minutes. Stir in the greens and simmer
for another five minutes until the greens are limp. Add
extra water as needed. Adjust salt and pepper. Serve with
thick slices of bread.

Pumpkin Bread

Fortunately, the squash pumpkins will keep for a few months
in a cool place, so there’s no rush on these. When you do
get to them, steam or bake four or five at once so you can
puree the pulp in the blender or food processor. Measure
out one cup of the puree into labeled freezer bags. For
pumpkin bread, I usually use pureed buttercup squash (a
turban-shaped, dark green squash) because of its rich
flavor.

Squash or Pumpkin Puree

Preheat oven to 350°-375°. Cut the squash in half
and scrape out the seeds.

Place cut-side down on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake
for about half an hour until the squash can be pierced
easily with a knife.

Pumpkin or Squash Bread

1 cup pumpkin or squash puree
I egg and1 egg white
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/8 cup wheat germ
2 cups sifted whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached
white flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup carob or mini-chocolate chips or chopped walnuts
(optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease the bottom of a
loaf pan (not glass). Try not to use a non-stick pan-the
bread may get too dark. Mix all the ingredients up to and
including the wheat germ with an electric mixer. Sift the
flour, baking soda, and baking powder into the measuring
cups. Slowly mix in the flour until just blended. Stir in
the carob chips, and pour into the pan.

Bake for 45-55 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes
out clean. If the top starts to get too brown, reduce the
oven temperature to 325° for the last 10 minutes. Cool
on a rack before removing from the pan.

Gardener’s Stew

You can use almost any vegetable in this vegetarian stew
and serve it one hour later over brown rice or couscous
with a dash of cinnamon. Leeks are milder than onions and
give the stew a nice flavor.

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks, washed well and thinly sliced just past where
the green tops begin

3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 small piece jalapeno pepper, seeded and
minced

2 small turnips, halved and thinly sliced
1 cup baby carrots, cut into one-inch chunks
4 small red potatoes, quartered
1 cup cauliflower chunks
one 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed
one 15-ounce can chicken broth (or vegetable
broth)

1 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium summer squash or yellow zucchini-cut into
one-inch pieces
cilantro or parsley, chopped

In a large pot, saute the leeks until light brown. Stir in
the garlic and hot pepper. Add the vegetables, beans,
broth, water and spices. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the summer squash and cook 15 more minutes until the
vegetables are tender. Serve over the rice or couscous and
top with chopped cilantro or parsley.

Beet-Carrot Slaw 

Most people cook beets, not realizing that they’re
delicious grated raw, especially when you’ve just pulled
them out of the ground. They must be scrubbed well and only
peeled with a potato peeler if the skins are tough. If
you’ve stored some beets in the root cellar, this salad can
be made a month or so from now.

2 cups each grated raw carrots grated raw
beets

1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon grated ginger root, peel before
grating

1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame or canola oil
dash cayenne pepper and salt
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted (optional)

Grate the carrots and beets using a food processor or hand
grater. Whisk together the dressing. Toss with the carrots
and beets in a large bowl. Chill for at least two hours
before serving.

Toast the sesame seeds in a dry skillet over medium-high
heat, shaking the pan every few seconds until the seeds are
lightly browned. Sprinkle on top of the salad.