It’s the middle of the winter, and maybe the farmers’ market just doesn’t feel the same as it did in the summer. You find yourself sighing while gazing at baskets of onions and carrots, wishing they were piles of corn, melons and tomatoes. If you stare long enough, perhaps the red skin potatoes start to become ripe strawberries, but only in your mind. Your shoulder is brushed by a fellow market go-er and you’re forced out of your daydream. Darn.

If you’re feeling underwhelmed by winter veg, we’ve all been there. It’s time to get a little creative and try out some new recipes. Don’t worry, there isn’t a roasted veg or soup recipe in sight here.

Up your salad game.

Winter greens are the hidden gems of the farmers’ market. They pack a variety of flavours, and deliver the crunch you’ve been looking for since our good friend cucumber went out of season. We’re not talking about a tiny side salad. Add some bulk to your greens with whole grains or beans to make your salad more satiating. Try a new local cheese to add creaminess and saltiness – a little goes a long way. Throw on some sprouts, toasted seeds, homemade croutons, crisp apple, or whatever else floats your boat. Lastly (but most importantly) make sure your dressing is perfect. When testing it, adjust the seasoning so that it’s saltier and more acidic than you like, since it has to carry the weight and season your whole salad. Combine some local apple cider vinegar with honey and your favourite olive oil for a tasty and fail proof dressing.

 

Photo by Chelsea Kyle at Epicurious

Quick pickles

There isn’t a simpler way to add a little zing and colour to your winter meals. Pickle carrots, radishes, or red onion to keep in your fridge and add to just about anything. Simply mix vinegar with sugar, salt and spices, then heat and pour over your thinly sliced veg. Check out this guide to get your started.

 

Photo by Simply Quinoa

Get frying and make some fritters.

Winter veggies are perfect for fritters due to the lower water content. This idea is handy for using up odds and ends in your fridge. Kohlrabi makes a great fritter, too! Try this recipe to learn the simple formula, and you’ll be flipping fritters in no time.

 

Photo by I Am Food Blog

Create a sandwich masterpiece.

Practice your knife skills by chopping up all your favourite veggies and create a mile-high pile between two slices of your favourite market loaf. Pick up a locally made mustard to combine with some mayo and slather it on – don’t be cheap! Check out this recipe for some great ideas and an excellent wrapping technique for taking it to work.

 

Photo by Simple Vegan Blog

Vegan cheese sauce made with veggies. Stay with me.

Hear me out on this one. This is one of my favourite recipe takeaways from my years as a vegan. Everyone I’ve made it for loves it.  Plus, it’s made with veggies and puts your potatoes and carrots to good use. Check out this recipe, and add pickled jalapeño for a spicy nacho kick and some movie theatre nostalgia.

 

Photo by Golubka Kitchen

Chocolate sweet potato pudding.

I hope I haven’t lost you yet with these vegan recipes. This one is a surprisingly great treat. Use pureed sweet potato to give this chocolate pudding a great creamy texture and natural sweetness. Dessert made from veggies? I’ll take the extra vitamins and fibre any day. Psst – kids love this too. Get the recipe here. For best results, forget the maca and mushroom powder.

 

Photo by Vogue

Impress with this Beetroot Terrine

Upcoming potluck or dinner party? This is your winning dish. Get it here.