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Cross posting from the cooking board too.

I recently joined a co-op for locally grown, organic vegetables. Once a week a box full of stuff is dropped off at my house. I thought it would be a good way for me to increase the amount of cooking I do and the amount of veggies I eat.

But now I am overrun with veggies that I don't know how to cook. Right now I have the following:

peppers - small, green and I think sweet, and about two pounds worth
turnips
cabbage
kale
broccoli
sweet potatoes
oregano
cilantro
winter squash

I know this stuff isn't going to last very long, so I need to get it cooked. I can steam the broccoli and bake the sweet potatoes. I can use the herbs in something. But I have no idea what to do with so many small peppers and I have never cooked turnips, kale or cabbage.

I could really use some help in figuring out hot to use this stuff before I end up throwing it out.
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For the cabbage and green peppers--make borscht. No formal recipe, but iirc last time I made it you just trim and cut up a bunch of veggies--cabbage, carrots, celery, onions, green peppers, and red beets; put in a large pot, cover with water and boil until the veggies get tender (about 20 minutes I'm guessing), add canned tomatoes at the end of the cooking process and salt and pepper to taste. You could also put in some olive or other vegetable oil, but this is optional. Traditionally it's served with sour cream, but I pass on that.

For the sweet potatoes--maybe sweet potato casserole or candied yams. I've never made either but have eaten some homemade versions that were incredibly good. Also here's a recipe I make for sweet potato muffins:

Sweet Potato Muffins

2/3 c mashed sweet potatoes
4 TB butter (or part oil)
1/4 c. sugar
2 TB molasses
2 TB honey
1 egg
3/4 c. whole wheat flour (you could substitute regular flour)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. raisins
1/2 c. coconut

Topping:

1/4 c. sugar
1 Tsp cinnamon

Cream butter, sugar, molasses and honey. Stir in sweet potatoes and egg. Sift dry ingredients together and add alternately with milk. Fold in nuts, coconut and raisins. Don't overmix. Spoon into greased or lined muffin tins. Combine topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of muffins. Bake at 350 degrees 25 minutes or until done. Makes 2 dozen.
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For the peppers, taste one and make sure it really is sweet. Assuming they are like bell peppers, you could do fajitas. Just slice and stir fry with some onions, cumin, salt, pepper, whatever other veggies you want. Serve with some tortillas and maybe topped with a little cheese. Yum! If they are big enough, you could make stuffed peppers. Halve and core my peppers and microwave for a few minutes to soften. I make a stuffing of mushrooms, onions, tomatoes or tomato sauce, barley or brown rice, and some cheese. Stuff and bake until hot. You can add herbs and spices to go either southwest or Italian if you like.

For the cabbage, there's always cole slaw as a side. I mostly eat my cabbage raw shredded in salads and the like, so I'm probably not a lot of help there. Unless of course it's napa cabbage which is great in Asian stir fries added towards the end.

Kale is great with beans in something like a kale and white bean soup. Just make sure you take out the stems and tough ribs and only use the leaves.

Turnips are great steamed and mashed with potatoes. You can also take any root veggies and cube and roast with some olive oil and salt. For an added special treat you can toss in a little maple syrup at the end. I love doing a mix of root veggies like turnips, carrots, parsnips, and winter squash this way. I think doing multiple root veggies together adds a complexity of flavor. You could also throw in some of your sweet potatoes.

For the winter squash, try roasting with olive oil, salt, and sage.

Broccoli is good steamed, but it's even better roasted with a little parmesan cheese, and maybe some of that fresh oregano you have. I also love a good broccoli cheese soup. And of course, it's good in stir fries and could definitely be added to the fajitas if you decide to make those. Just chop it small enough that it's not annoying in a tortilla.

If you're finding yourself overrun, try making some soups or purees that can freeze. Most veggies don't freeze well uncooked, but the broccoli cheese soup would freeze well. You can also roast up the squash and puree it and save that for another time.

Hope that helped. Come back with next week's basket and tell us what's in it!

DEG
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But now I am overrun with veggies that I don't know how to cook. Right now I have the following:

peppers - small, green and I think sweet, and about two pounds worth
turnips
cabbage
kale
broccoli
sweet potatoes
oregano
cilantro
winter squash


My immediate thought when seeing this list of ingredients was:

"My! That looks like it would make a nice soup."

If all else fails, fill a crockpot about half way with water, clean and cut up all this stuff and put it in for a few hours. If you have other stuff lying around the kitchen (beans, potatoes, tomatoes...canned or fresh, garlic, rice, pasta, etc) toss that stuff in as well. Well, for the rice and pasta, cook them separately and add them about 15-30 minutes before you eat it.
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Thank you all so much!
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Great Kale Idea:

Kale Chips

Cut away central stem. Tear leafy parts into pieces about 1 1/2" x 1 1/2"
Put in a plastic bag with a few tablespoons of olive oil and salt. Shake until well-coated. (should not be drippy)

Spread in a single-layer onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 375.
They'll start to turn a bit brown in spots.

They melt in your mouth!

Fredericch
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Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

Cut SP and B into 1" cubes. Put in pot, add some salt, cover with water, bring to boil and cook for about 10'. SP should be soft.
Drain and mash, with generous splash of cream and some frozen butter cut into tiny cubes.

A good change from just regular mashed potatoes. Goes great with lamb.

Fredericch
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... Goes great with lamb....

Sounds like a good recipe, but do you realize you're on the vegetarian board? :-)
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I cook for myself and my family - I'm the only vegetarian (flexitarian). I have to make meals that appeal to the non-veg as well. That makes it even harder!

Fredericch
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But now I am overrun with veggies that I don't know how to cook. Right now I have the following:

A lot of this stuff will keep well in cold storage, some of it you can freeze or dry.

peppers - small, green and I think sweet, and about two pounds worth

Cut into strips or dice and freeze in a freezer bag and use as you need them. Or, make something like sausage and peppers which actually will wilt down and require quite a few.

turnips

These will keep well in cold storage. Cook like potatoes (mash or boil) or add to soups.

cabbage

Keeps very well in cold storage. When steamed or cooked like spinach it will really wilt down. Cook with a gernman sausage or make cabbage buns, Make coleslaw.

kale
blanch and freeze if you can't use right away. Cut off stems or any big veins.

broccoli

This does fairly well in cold storage. Peel and or cut off tough stocks and chop or leave in crowns depending on how you want to use it.
If you want to freeze: blanch first

sweet potatoes

These keep well in cold storage. I just like to nuke 'em whole and eat with butter. You can also mash them or make a pie, or substitute it in recipes that call for pumpkin.

oregano</>

strip from stem or use in bouguet garni with other herbs, if you don't want little specks of "weeds" floating in whatever you are cooking. Use in spaghetti or pizza sauce, or just hand it up and dry, then strip from step and use later.

cilantro

use in tomato salsas or Mexican dishes or a variety of other dishes. I have never tried to store this. Probably preserve like you would any other herb that you would dry or freeze.

winter squash

This keeps very well in cold storage. Only way I have ever prepared it (if you mean acorn squash) is to cut in half and bake in oven with a little brown sugar (or maple syrup), and butter. I have seen other squashes like butternut pureed and made into soups.
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