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** Happy Cozy Season, FoodLover!

Together, fall and winter form my favorite time of year – gorgeous leaves, fresh chilly air, soft blankets, warm hearty meals, magical snowfalls, gathering with friends, yummy treats baking – what's not to love? I love all of it so I call it Cozy Season!

As the days have grown cooler and shorter my excitement for cool weather foods is just getting warmed up and I'm super excited to start sharing recipes with you for some of my favorite meals. However, I did promise some additional strategies for getting the most out of your time in the kitchen so this week I’m giving you both!

What follows are a set of recipes I developed for a workshop at our local farmer’s market. These were created especially to utilize fall and winter storage crops and hearty greens while allowing you to take advantage of bulk discounts by purchasing a large amount AND spending less time in the kitchen by basing all the recipes on a single high batch of roasted winter veggies.

A few weeks ago I shared strategy #1, make intentional leftovers, and now we have strategy #2, cook with Prep recipes. Prep stands for prepare as in prepare a LOT in advance and you’ll be prepared to make delicious healthy dinners any night of the week.

I LOVE using Prep recipes because I get 5, 10, 20 or more meals from only one shopping trip, only one time making a mess in my kitchen, only one time cleaning it up, and only one time wondering what to make for dinner because after a few hours batch cooking you’ve already determined what dinner will be for the next week or two or more!

This is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of any bulk discounts offered by your CSA or to enjoy a visit to a local farm. Choose whatever looks best to you but be sure to get an assortment of root veggies, winter squashes and hearty greens. Then set aside a morning or afternoon, 3-5 hours is ideal, to wash, chop and roast all your veggies. That’ll give you enough time to also make some or all of the additional recipes.

A half day spent in the kitchen might sound like a lot but if you add up the time you would spend each day preparing fresh, whole foods for dinner you’d easily come up with 1-2 hours every evening multiplied by 5-20 meals it’s clear that batch cooking will save you a ton of time. Give it a try with these recipes!

Note: You must make the roasted winter veggies to be able to make any of the other recipes. You can make all of these recipes in advance and freeze them, which saves the most time, or you can make them fresh each night.

Prep© recipe: ROASTED WINTER VEGGIES (this recipe is the base for all the recipes that follow) * two large or three small/medium butternut squashes, peeled, halved top to bottom, and seeds removed * 5 pounds of assorted of root veggies, peeled (potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets, * turnips, rutabagas, Jerusalem artichokes, etc.) * 1/2 cup oil (olive, coconut, palm, avocado or grapeseed) * 1 tsp salt & 1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 425º. Cut all your veggies into 1” chunks. Toss with oil, salt & pepper until well coated. Spread into a single layer on sheet pans. Roast until tender and browning in spots, 25-50 minutes (after 25 minutes check every 10 mins until done).

Leave your veggies unseasoned so they’re completely versatile for all other recipes. When serving, eat them as they are or sprinkle with some chopped fresh herbs.

Additional recipes based on your roasted winter veggies. All serve four to six people.

Meal 1: Hearty greens salad with roasted winter veggies * 6 cups hearty greens, shredded or chopped choose one or a combination: • 8-10 medium leaves of Tuscan, green or red kale • 6-8 large leaves of white, red or rainbow chard • 6-8 large leaves of collard greens • 1 medium/large head escarole • 1-2 bunches mustard or dandelion greens * 3 cups roasted veggies, still hot from the oven * 2 cups cooked grains (rice, quinoa, bulgar, barley, etc) * 1 recipe Basic vinaigrette (below)

Trim the bottom inch or so from the tuscan kale, collards or chard but do not de-stem. Lay 3-4 of the leaves on top of each other. Roll the stack of leaves as tightly as you can then cut very thin slices from the roll to end up with shredded greens. If using red or green kale, escarole, mustard or dandelion greens just chop them. Place in large bowl.

Cook grains fresh or warm leftover grains. Add hot roasted veggies, grains and half the dressing to greens, toss so that veggies and grains wilt the greens a bit and they get lightly coated with the dressing. Divide among four plates, drizzle with additional dressing if desired, serve.

Basic vinaigrette * 1/2 lg clove garlic, crushed4 med * 2 Tbs honey * 1/4 cup cider vinegar * 1/2 cup olive oil * 1/2 tsp salt * pepper to taste

Make the dressing in the bowl you plan to serve the salad in. Add everything but the oil to the bowl and whisk until combined. While continuing to whisk add the oil slowly. Dressing should end up being somewhat thick.

Meal 2: Veggie burger * 2 cups roasted veggies * 1 cup cooked grains (rice, quinoa, bulgar, barley, etc) * 13 oz can beans, drained and rinsed (white, black, pinto, kidney or garbanzo) * 1 egg, beaten * 1/2 cup bread crumbs or instant oats * 1 large or 2 small cloves of garlic, minced * 2 Tbs fresh parsley, cilantro or basil, chopped * 1/2 tsp salt & 1/4 tsp pepper * 1 Tbs oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine egg, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs. Add bread crumbs or oats, mixing well. Add all other ingredients and use your hands to combine everything thoroughly, mashing the ingredients until you are left with some whole chunks of veggies and beans but the mixture sticks together very well. Form into eight burgers. Heat large skillet over medium heat, add half the oil and cook four burgers at a time, until browned on both sides and heated through, about 5-7 mins per side. Cook remaining four burgers with remaining oil. You can also freeze the burgers for up to three months.

Serve on buns with your favorite toppings or over base recipe of hearty greens salad.

Meal 3: Veggie quesadillas * 2 cups roasted veggies * 13 oz can black or white beans * 2 cups shredded cheddar, crumbled goat or feta * 1 Tbs chili powder or taco/fajita seasoning * 1/2 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped * 4 scallions, chopped * 4 large flour or 8 small flour or corn tortillas

Preheat oven to 425º. In a large bowl, combine everything but tortillas, grain and sauce. Divide mixture evenly among tortillas. Fold them in half. Place on baking sheet and bake until golden brown and cheese is melted 10-15 mins. Serve as is or topped with avocados, sour cream or salsa

Meal 4: Chunky veggie soup * 6 cups veggie or chicken stock * 2 cups roasted veggies * 1 cup cooked grain or pasta * 13 oz can white or garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed * 1 medium sweet or yellow onion, chopped * 1 Tbs oil * salt & pepper to taste

Heat pot large enough to hold everything over medium heat. Add oil and onion, sauté until onion begins to brown, about 7-10 mins. Add all other ingredients to pot and cook over low heat 10 mins. Serve.

Meal 5: Creamy veggie soup (This is also the recipe for the purée for use in the next meal.)

This recipe is intended to be topped with different condiments so it can be modified for all members of the family and taste different every time it’s served. * 8 cups roasted veggies * 4 cups water, veggie or chicken stock * salt & pepper to taste

Add everything to a blender and blend until very smooth then heat in a pot. Or, add everything to a pot, purée with an immersion blender until very smooth, then heat.

Eat as is or add toppings such as: cranberry sauce or relish, chutney, sour cream, crumbled goat or feta cheese, cashew cream, salsa, hot sauce, Thai peanut sauce, caramelized onions, chopped scallions or fresh herbs, nuts, seeds, chopped dried fruit or stir in curry powder, Thai curry pastes, seasoning blends or tamari.

Meal 6: Pasta with winter veggie sauce * 1 pound of pasta, any shape, boiled in salted water * 4 cups creamy veggie soup/purée (see above) * 1/4 cup olive oil or butter * 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced * 3 cloves garlic, chopped * 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Boil pasta until slightly less than al dente, drain reserving 1 cup pasta water. Meanwhile, sauté onion in oil or butter over med-high heat until translucent and beginning to brown, 5-10 mins. Add garlic, sauté 1-2 mins until garlic becomes fragrant but not browned. Add veggie soup/purée, pasta and reserved water and cook on high heat 3-5 mins until pasta is fully cooked and sauce has reduced a bit. Serve with parsley. CSA rundown, weeks #14 & #15:

Lettuce Spaghetti squash Tomatoes Salad greens Peppers Napa cabbage Chard Corn Potatoes Onions Sweet dumpling squash Newbie! These little cuties are our only newbies this week but they are super special. They're about the size of an orange (but come even smaller) so they're perfect for a single serving and make a gorgeous presentation on a plate. Cut the tops off about halfway between the edge and the stem (much like how you'd carve a pumpkin), remove the top, scoop out the seeds, and roast plain or add a little butter, cream, herbs, salt and pepper, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or any combination. Pop them in the oven for 25-45 minutes at 425º and they'll come out ready for you to indulge in!

Thanks, FoodLover, for reading. Head on over to our blog (http://foodloveinc.us13.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=77cc26e06f414291d7c463df7&id=ba8b36f7e5&e=0ab9ec18fb) to join the conversation and please share (http://foodloveinc.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=77cc26e06f414291d7c463df7&id=287020f542) with all the FoodLovers you know! Hi! I'm Tonianne, food evangelist and creator of FoodLove. That's me happy as can be, cooking for friends on a camping trip, and sharing wonderful conversation about – yup, you guessed it! – food. Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy the conversation, too. PHOTO CREDIT: D. SHEA

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