Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

Winter’s Wonders…A New Season

 

Kale chips, apple crisp, roasted root vegetables, and collard greens are pictured above.

Winter’s Wonders…A New Season!

What a great summer season it was!  Fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, peaches, cantaloupe, zucchini, snap peas, and tomatoes…the list goes on.  Of course now it’s November and the produce pickings are less than when the summer sun was high in the sky.  But it’s okay.  Oregon’s mild winters mean fresh, local produce is still available – and delicious.

If you’re craving fresh fruit, local options are still available.  Oregon and Washington apples remain cool, crisp and sweet, while pears are juicy, soft, smooth and even sweeter.  Eat them as they are as a healthy and delicious treat on the go or make a quick and simple apple or pear crisp bubbling brown with butter, sugar, cinnamon, flour and oats.

The variety of vegetables has changed, but it’s just a transition from light, summer veggies to cool-weather comfort choices.  Potatoes and leeks are abundant and make for a fine winter soup aside corn bread with a bit of fresh butter.  Try sweet potatoes, carrots and beets oven-roasted with fresh herbs for an easy and nutrition-packed side to pan-seared chicken or pork chops.  Winter squash is even easier roasted with butter, a pinch of salt and a sprinkling of dark brown sugar.

Mustard greens, kale, Swiss chard and collards are great winter veggies.  In a hot skillet with olive oil, bite-sized bits of these hearty greens crackle noisily, soften slightly and deepen in color.  After just a few minutes, finish them with a squeeze of fresh lemon and a dash of salt – so good.  Try tossing chopped kale with olive oil and roasting it in a single layer until they begin to brown around the edges.  Then lightly salt them for a crunchy treat that even kids will devour.

I hope I’ve reminded you of the great, fresh and local winter options available in the Northwest, and maybe given you a few new ideas for how to prepare them.  It’s really a fantastic time of year for healthy and delicious comfort foods.  Enjoy the season.