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A Trio of Garden Produce Recipes

Joy Johnson, Master Gardener

It’s cold, it’s snowy and your garden is sound asleep resting under a blanket of snow and ice. Last summer’s dry, hot weather is a distant memory. However, it was that weather which helped us produce a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers and apples. Joy Johnson shares 3 yummy recipes that make great use of those saved vegetables.

A Trio of Garden Produce Recipes

It’s cold, it’s snowy and your garden is sound asleep resting under a blanket of snow and ice. Last summer’s dry, hot weather is a distant memory. However, it was that weather which helped produce a bumper crop of tomatoes, peppers and apples at my house. By early November I had finally finished processing all my fruits and vegetables. My freezer was packed, and I had to turn to canning and drying in order to keep produce over the winter. Now I’m disciplining myself to stop buying so much at the grocery store and make use of what I have on hand.


The three recipes here do just that. The salsa verde makes use of the green tomatoes that I picked right before the first hard frost. The chicken stew uses the parsnips and carrots that were harvested, blanched and frozen, and the butterscotch apple muffins make use of the apples and apple sauce that were canned or frozen.


Salsa Verde

For canning, or you can eat it fresh



  • 5 1/2 cups about 2 pounds peeled, chopped green tomatoes

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1 cup chopped peppers (I had a couple small jalapenos left from the garden that I used along with sweet green peppers

  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/3 cup minced cilantro

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice


Have your hot sterilized jars and lids ready (keep them hot).

Chop the tomatoes, onion, peppers, and garlic in a food processor by pulsing, until they are finely chopped. Remove and put into sauce pot you will be using to cook. Add the cumin, paprika, salt, vinegar and lime juice. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to a simmer for 12 minutes. During the last minute of cooking add the minced cilantro. Ladle hot salsa into hot sterilized jars and leave ½ inch head space. Place sterilized rings and lids on top, then return to boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Listen for the pop! Serve with chips, on scrambled eggs, on tacos, enchiladas….



Chicken Stew with Mushrooms and Peppers

Makes 4 servings


  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 1 onion sliced

  • 1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes fresh or canned

  • 3 cups cubed acorn or butternut squash

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bay leaves

  • ¼ tsp black pepper

  • ½ cup chopped red or green peppers, fresh or frozen

  • 1 cup sliced carrots, fresh or frozen

  • 1 cup sliced parsnips, fresh or frozen


Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, mushrooms and check and sauté stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and the chicken is lightly browned, about 8 minutes.

Combine chicken mixture, tomatoes, squash, garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, red/green peppers, carrots and parsnips in a crock pot. Cover and cook on low until the chicken is cooked through and vegies are tender, 6-8 hours. Discard bay leaves before serving.

 Butterscotch Apple Cupcakes


These cup cakes are a sweet treat that complement the stew well and make for a delicious warming winter lunch.



  • 1 cup butter, room temperature

  • 1 c sugar

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract

  • 2 large apples

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce


Preheat oven to 350. Place 18 muffin cup liners in muffin pans.

Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixture until fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beat in vanilla, Peel apples and grate into butter mixture, avoiding core. Stir until batter is well blended.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon Add flour mixture to apple mixture, alternating with applesauce, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Spoon batter into prepared cups, filling ¾ bull.

Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 5 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely on wire racks. Pipe or spoon on frosting.



Combine ¼ cup butter and ½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar melts. Bring mixture to a boil. Whisk in 2 T. milk, cream or almond milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 ¾ cups powdered sugar. Spread over cupcakes while still warm. Makes 1 ¼ cups.

Photo credits: Joy Johnson (1, 2, 3, 4)

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