It's the holidays, and you're probably thinking about what dishes to bring to the table this year. The good news is if you've been planning ahead and keeping up with your winter garden, you can use lots of veggies from your harvest to create something spectacular. Let's get inspired for some yummy dishes that you can make this holiday season!
A veggie pot is a hearty stew made with tomatoes, potatoes and winter squash. It's easy to make, but it takes some time to cook. This is the most basic of holiday dishes, but it's so delicious that everyone needs to know how to make it. It's especially good if you have a glut of herbs and greens in your garden. You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand—butternut squash, sweet potatoes or carrots are all good choices!
The dish is traditionally served with hardtack (a type of biscuit) or cornbread. You can also serve it with rice or noodles if you want a more filling meal. Veggie pots are high in vitamin A from the carrots and sweet potatoes; they're also loaded with iron from the lentils and other legumes used in the recipe.
Apple Crisp is one of the easiest, most versatile desserts you can make from your autumn harvest. This is the most basic of holiday dishes, but it's so delicious that everyone needs to know how to make it. It's especially good if you have a glut of herbs and greens in your garden.
It doesn't matter whether you're using a mix of apples or just one variety—all that matters is that they're juicy and tart (like Granny Smith), sweet (like Honeycrisp), or a combination of both. If you want to get creative with flavors, try adding pears and berries or peaches and apricots to this recipe!
Roasted Yams with Cranberries and Pecans
Roasted yams are an excellent choice for a healthy Thanksgiving side dish. Yams are a great source of vitamin C and fiber, making them a good alternative to potatoes. To make this fan favorite, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (212 degrees Celsius). Cut off both ends of the tuber using a sharp knife or potato peeler, then cut it lengthwise into halves or quarters depending on its size. If you're using sweet potatoes, leave the skin on but scrape away any moldy spots with a spoon before cooking them; if you're using regular yams (which have rough skins), scrub them clean with a vegetable brush under cool running water until all traces of dirt have been removed from their surface area—you'll need about five minutes per tuber!
Once your yams are cleaned and pre-cut into pieces that fit inside one baking dish without too much overlap between them (they should be able to breathe), place them in said baking dish and pour some butter over top so that every piece receives at least one tablespoon's worth throughout its cooking process; this will make sure each piece gets nice brown crusts while staying moist underneath when baked! Bake until tender when pierced with fork tip: about 1 hour for large pieces such as whole sweet potatoes but only 40 minutes for smaller pieces like quarter sections from regular sized ones -- remove from oven when done!
Toss them with cranberries, pecans or other nuts, fresh rosemary and maple syrup before serving warm as an accompaniment to roasted meats or poultry dishes like turkey breast slices or chicken breasts.
Cranberries are tart and sweet, so their sauce is a great addition to your holiday table. Fresh cranberries from your garden are key; frozen berries won't do the trick.
You'll need a saucepan to cook this sauce—do not use an electric mixer! It's best to let the skins soften before adding any sugar; otherwise they will be too tough and chewy in your finished product. Start with about 1 tablespoon of water per cup of cranberries, tasting as you go until it reaches your desired level of sweetness and thickness; then add more water (or even some apple juice) if necessary until it has reached that consistency. Add as a kick of flavor to any main course!
Stuffing with Home-grown Veggies
This is the perfect time to make stuffing with home-grown veggies. It's a great way to use up all those beautiful vegetables you've been harvesting!
Wash and dice some carrots, celery, bell peppers, onion or leek - whatever you have in abundance at this time of year. Saute them until they're tender and fragrant. Then mix them with your favorite bread cubes (or stale croissants) and seasonings - try sage, thyme or rosemary for an autumnal touch. Stuffing can be served hot with roast chicken or turkey on the big day; alternatively it makes for a delicious side dish served cold on New Years!
Hopefully this blog has given you some ideas for how to use your home-grown food in festive holiday dishes. There are so many great recipes out there, so don't be afraid to experiment with different combinations of veggies and fruits!