Winter Veggies

Alabama Living Magazine

Plentiful in taste and nutrition

roasted veggies

One of the benefits of the cold winter months is something we might take for granted: an abundance of some of our favorite fresh vegetables. Think leafy green offerings like collard and turnip greens; root vegetables like onions, potatoes and sweet potatoes; and cruciferous ones like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are especially valuable, nutritionally speaking. According to our friends at the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service, many of our top winter vegetables are excellent sources of Vitamin A, ascorbic acid and iron. Collards, for example, have more vitamin A than snap beans, sweet corn or green peppers. Try out some of our reader-submitted recipes and include them in your winter menus. Your tastebuds and your well-being will thank you!   

Cabbage is in ample supply this time of year. But let’s be honest, there are only so many ways to get the folks you love to eat it and enjoy it. Growing up, one of my favorite ways to have cabbage was when my Grandmama fried it. The smoky bacon grease added a flavor that was unmatched. 
We take this truly Southern method of cooking cabbage a step further and make it even better. We make it a casserole! Warm up with this seasonal veggie and serve up a side of comfort with this Fried Cabbage Casserole! To find more great recipes like this one, head over to and follow along.

Fried Cabbage Casserole

1 medium head of cabbage, chopped

4 tablespoons butter

1/2 pound bacon, cut up into small pieces

1/4 cup mayonnaise 

1 can cream of celery soup

1/4 cup milk

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup French fried onions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a dutch oven, fry bacon in butter until brown and crispy. Remove and drain.  Place cabbage in bacon grease, cover and cook over low to medium heat for 20 minutes. Stir halfway through. 

Turn off heat. Add in bacon, mayo, milk and cream of celery soup. Mix well. Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Spread evenly and top with cheese and fried onions. Bake 45 – 60 minutes until onions are browned and cheese is melted. Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries and Pecans

1 pound of Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, roughly chopped

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Trim and slice cleaned Brussels sprouts in half. Chop onion and nuts. Toss nuts, onion and sprouts in a large bowl. Save the cranberries for later. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle in olive oil. Toss to coat. Place all on a sheet pan in a single layer. Roast for 10-15 minutes and remove from oven. Toss in cranberries and stir. Return to oven for another 10-15 minutes until Brussels sprouts have a nice char and you can easily stick them with a fork.

Instant Pot Collard Greens

1-2 large bunches of collard greens

1-2 smoked ham hocks

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

Salt and Pepper, to taste

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

Red Pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Wash your collards at least 2 times to make sure you get all the sand off. I typically wash mine once while still on the stem. Rinse them and tear them off the stem, and then soak the torn pieces again; rinse and drain.

In a 6-quart or larger Instant Pot, place your onions, garlic, ham hock, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and broth. Place the torn and washed collard greens on top. I usually have to pack mine in pretty good. It’s important to note here that I can usually only get one bunch of collards in my 6-quart Instant Pot. If you have a larger (Ultra or 8-quart), you may need more.

Seal the lid, close the vent and set the Instant Pot to manual or pressure cook for 30 minutes. When the cook time is up, allow to NPR (natural pressure release) for about 10 minutes. Carefully open the vent to release any remaining pressure and remove the lid. Remove the ham hock and discard. Add in the apple cider vinegar and stir well.

Cook of the Month 
Sue Evans, Central Alabama EC

Sue Evans says when people taste her Collard Greens Soup, they agree it’s “a soup that hits your bones.”  Sue, who lives in Autaugaville and works in Montgomery as a payroll administrator, says her sister shared the recipe with her several years ago “and I probably added a few things to it.” The recipe calls for cubed ham steak, but you could also use pulled pork, she says. And fresh collard greens are listed, but you can also use the bagged frozen version if fresh collards aren’t available.  Sue says she has frozen batches of her soup without the potatoes, but has not canned any, for a simple reason: “There’s never enough left.” – Lenore Vickrey

Collard Greens Soup

1 ham steak, cubed

Collard Greens Soup
Collard Greens Soup

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 2-pound bags chopped and cleaned collard greens

4 russet potatoes, cubed

4 carrots, thinly sliced

2 cans navy beans, rinsed

2 32-ounce cans chicken broth

Brown the cubed ham steak. Sauté the diced onions in the same pan. Combine all ingredients in a large soup pot and simmer for one hour. Serve with cornbread croutons.

Sam’s Sweet Potato Chili

1 onion

1 bell pepper

1-2 teaspoons garlic (amount can be adjusted according to taste – I use more)

2 pounds ground turkey

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 teaspoon cumin

3 teaspoons red pepper flakes (amount can be adjusted according to taste)

2 pounds sweet potatoes, cubed

2 cans of kidney beans (light red or dark red)

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 28-ounce can tomato sauce

1 28-ounce container beef broth

Sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic until tender and move to 6-quart slow cooker. Brown ground turkey and add salt and pepper before moving to slow cooker. Add cumin, red pepper flake, cubed sweet potatoes, kidney beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and beef broth. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Deborah M. Miller Joe Wheeler EMC 

Crispy Roasted Old Bay Potatoes

6 – 8 medium red potatoes, boiled and cubed, skins on

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped red onion

2 teaspoons Old Bay Seasoning

Salt and pepper, to taste

Shredded Parmesan cheese

Parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Boil potatoes whole in salted water until a toothpick can go all of the way through. Do not over boil! (For this, I use my Instant Pot. I place whole potatoes in with 1 cup of water and salt the water well. Close the lid, seal the vent and pressure cook for 10 minutes. They come out perfect every time!)

   After potatoes have cooled, cube them to bite-size pieces. Spread in an even layer on a greased sheet pan with chopped onions. Drizzle with olive oil and mix well to distribute oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, Old Bay Seasoning and Parmesan cheese. Mix again lightly and spread back into a single layer.

   Bake in 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring halfway through, until crispy and brown. Garnish with parsley and enjoy!

The Buttered Home

Hunter’s Stew

2-3 pounds venison roast (or beef chuck)

3 medium potatoes

3 medium onions

3 carrots

1 celery stalk

2 cups beef stock

1 envelope onion soup mix

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon thyme

2 bay leaves

Cornstarch or flour and water for thickening

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tablespoon dried parsley

Cut meat into 2-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper. Roughly chop potatoes, onions, carrots and celery into the desired size. Add meat, vegetables, beef stock, soup mix and basil, thyme and bay leaves to a slow cooker and cook on high heat for 1-hour and then low heat for 7-hours. The last 30 minutes of cooking thicken with flour/cornstarch and water. Taste for seasoning (salt and pepper), remove bay leaves and stir in parsley. Serve with French bread.

Lyman Faith Clarke-Washington EMC

Themes and Deadlines:

Eggs | January 1

Sugar-free/diabetic friendly | Feb. 5

Blueberries | March 5

Please send us your original recipes (developed  or adapted by you or family members.) Cook of the Month winners will receive $50, and may win “Cook of the Month” once per calendar year.


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