Winter’s Coming: Comfort Food

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Nights are getting cooler and cold, drizzly rain or snow, or sleet is going to start gracing our days and nights. These two recipes pack an anti-cancer POW, give you a crazy good dose of winter vegetables, warm your tummy, and makes your house smell beyond wonderful. Be sure to use the dark green leaves on the outside of the cabbage. For some reason, people toss these wonderful leaves of health and goodness out. Remove the large stem part and chop. This adds great flavor and color to the stew. Feel free to add other vegetables to the roasted vegetable dish: cubed sweet potato, butternut squash, broccoli.

Both dishes are vegan, but don’t let that stop you from preparing and enjoying. Something about stews put me in mind of hobbit journeys, semi-lawless olde country taverns and food eaten out of wooden trenchers, and down on the farm, filling comfort food. Add some good bread, a cold glass of apple cider, and you are good to go.

Vegetable Stew
2 large carrots, diagonally sliced into 2-inch pieces
2 large parsnips, diagonally sliced into 2 inch pieces
2 medium turnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
1 large onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained
¼ chopped green cabbage
1 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 – 2 tsp. good Hungarian paprika, smoked or not.

Combine the carrots, turnips, onion, garlic, tomatoes (with their liquid), cabbage, broth, salt, cumin, and paprika in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. Cook on low heat for 6 hours, or on high for 3 hours. Add the zucchini and chickpeas and cook 1 hour longer on low. If you are lucky, put into a dutch oven, adding chick peas, cabbage, and zucchini about 30 – 40 minutes before end of cooking and cook in the oven or on top of the stove until veggies are tender and melt in your mouth.

Oven Roasted Winter Vegetables
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil + 2 tbs olive oil for pan
3 medium carrots (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick circles
1 1/2 cups Brussels sprouts (about 1/2 pound), halved
4 cups small yellow or red skin potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
3 medium parsnips (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
1 cup sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1 1/2-inch thick slices
1 tsp. each basil, oregano, thyme, minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Splash of balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place vegetables into a large bowl and season with salt, pepper, herbs, oil, and vinegar, toss well. Grease an 11 by 17-inch baking sheet pan with extra-virgin olive oil (I use parchment paper instead of the extra oil). Place vegetables in baking sheet. Add more oil if the vegetables seem dry. Place pan of vegetables the middle rack in oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.



20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bernice
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 20:51:04

    I don’t really use parsnips and turnips – are they good?


  2. robert okaji
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 20:55:40

    There’s nothing like roasted vegetables! Green beans are probably my favorites.


  3. Resa
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 22:02:55

    This sounds you yummy!!!!


  4. Ema Jones
    Oct 07, 2014 @ 03:23:34

    I’m adding some garlic salt instead of garlic cloves, hope it’s fine, as I don’t wanna use garlic here directly…


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 07, 2014 @ 09:25:48

      I think it is good you made a change like that. I like it when people personalize something to their taste. if you added soy sauce instead of salt or if you are not a vegan, used chicken broth. Any of those things. And once you fix it, you’ll further know anymore steps you’d change to personalize it. Thank you! 😊

      Sent from Windows Mail


  5. Sarah
    Oct 07, 2014 @ 03:30:36

    Yum! I love parsnips. I make a vegetable stew in winter but I can’t put in garlic for flavour (hubby doesn’t like it) so I use a teaspoon of Marmite (do you have that in the US?) and I use red lentils for thickening the sauce. I’ve never tried turnips or cumin in there so I will give that a try.
    I’ve also never tried roasting sprouts. Thanks for all the ideas. 🙂


    • kanzensakura
      Oct 07, 2014 @ 09:31:52

      You are most welcome. Marmite is hard to come by. I think how you change the seasonings is a good thng. I usually (unless I know from get go I don’t care for something, like your husband and the garlic) fix a recipe first time as is and play with it. But with something like this, you have a pretty good idea what will and what won’t work for you. I always encourage people to personalize recipes so I am glad you are doing this. Last winter, I made this stew and was sitting at the table with my wakiszashi beside me. My husband says, what in the world????? He and I were both basically eating the stuff with pieces of bread and looking very…..rustic. I told one, one never knows when brigands or the Hound may come into the inn spoiling for a fight. He laughed so hard, he choked.-

      Sent from Windows Mail


      • Sarah
        Oct 07, 2014 @ 09:42:02

        LOL you’re hilarious. 😀 I wish I’d been a fly on the wall.


        • kanzensakura
          Oct 07, 2014 @ 10:36:35

          He did have a good laugh and next time, when I fixed a prime rib for us, at the risk of burning his little paws, he picked it up and mimed taking a bite of it. He goes, in deep and bad English accent, Good meat woman… Hound, you Innkeeper’s daughter. I hate to say it, but sometimes, we really do play with our food. The cat sits on the floor looking deeply affronted.

          Sent from Windows Mail


          • Sarah
            Oct 07, 2014 @ 11:43:28

            So funny. Especially the cat. 🙂 They’re so funny aren’t they? This morning I caught ours rolling around in the grass on her back with her legs in the air. When she noticed me watching through the window she sat up and looked at me haughtily as if to say “You did not just see me being frivolous and undignified, you understand, you saw nothing.”


  6. Madonna B.
    Oct 11, 2014 @ 01:38:23

    I like veggies stew very healthy and good partner for cold weather.


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