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Cooking with Garden Vegetables

Joy Johnson, Master Gardener

The vegetables that you harvested from your garden (or buy from your grocery store) continue to provide healthy and tasty snacks and meals during the cold months of the year. Joy Johnson shares two tasty recipes for you to enjoy as the flowers sleep and the leaves settle to the ground in November.

Cooking with Garden Vegetables

You may still have kale growing in your garden, or maybe you brought armloads inside before the first hard frost and have kept them growing in a vase of water (this actually works). Here’s a simple tasty recipe to make good use of your harvest.


Kale Chips

Wash and trim the stems on kale leaves. Roll and cut into small slices or cubes. Put slices into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ tsp salt to the bag. Close and shake gently to distribute oil and salt. Pour onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or glass baking dish. Toast for 20 minutes in a 300-degree oven.



Corn Chowder


This is a delicious, dairy free chowder that contains lots of garden veggies. This recipe is from The American Vegetarian Cookbook by Marilyn Diamond. I have adapted it over the years to whatever veggies need to be used up soon, in addition to what’s listed in this recipe. Feel free to make it your own.



1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups diced white onions

1 ½ cups diced celery

¾ cup diced bell pepper (red, green or yellow)

4 cups peeled and cubed potatoes (1/2-inch cubes or smaller). If I’m using small red potatoes, I don’t peel them.

¼ tsp ground sage

8 cups of water (or water to cover vegetables by ½ inch)

2 Tbsp light miso or powdered vegetable broth

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

3 Tbsp minced green onion



1)    Measure oil into a large soup pot. Add onions, celery, carrot, and peppers and sauté until vegetables begins to soften, 3 to 4 minutes.

2)    Add water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender but not mushy.

3)    Remove ½ cup of broth and dissolve miso in it. Add to soup and mix well. Cook soup an additional minute, stirring continuously.

4)    Remove one-third of soup with lots of vegetables in it and set aside. Blend remaining two-thirds of the soup until smooth with and blender or food processor Stir in reserved soup, corn, and green onion.

5)    Bring soup to a low boil, stirring frequently, and simmer for 10 minutes on low heat, continuing to stir so soup does not stick to the bottom. Serves 8.

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

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