The delicious winter harvest

Brussel sprouts with bacon and apple.
Dean Kozanic

Brussel sprouts with bacon and apple.

Eating your greens, reds, and yellows are easy this month. So many delicious winter vegetables are available, it is going to be hard to find space for a steak.  Maybe you won't want to? If you take a big basic baked (and fluffy) potato and add more vegetables as a topping you have a mid-year feast.

Then, in the same vein, if you add a couple of different textures to a few simple brussels sprouts you have a dish that even vegetable nay-sayers will enjoy. Let's do it.

Baked potatoes with kale, mushrooms and chicken

Chicken, mushroom and kale stuffed potato.
Dean Kozanic

Chicken, mushroom and kale stuffed potato.

Potatoes are fat free, low in salt and sugar. A little olive oil and some quickly cooked chicken strips, mushrooms and handfuls of baby kale leaves work magic on the basic baked tatie. Serves 4.

4 large agria potatoes, washed

1 tablespoon of olive oil

Salt to taste

About 200g chicken tenderloins or schnitzels (or cut a skinless chicken breast into strips)

250g brown button mushrooms, wiped, sliced

5 handfuls of baby kale leaves, washed

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To save time and electricity, pierce the potatoes a few times with a skewer and microwave for about 8 minutes (900w oven), turning occasionally. Finish them in a hot oven by oiling the cooked potatoes and baking at 200 deg Celcius until the skin is crisp.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan, add the chicken strips and cook for a minute or two, then add salt and mushrooms and cook for a further minute or two.  Add kale leaves and, if you want, any cold leftover vegetables such as red cabbage. Cook tossing around until kale is wilted and chicken and mushrooms are soft and golden. Remove the potatoes from the oven, cut a criss-cross in the top and squeeze open. Add the chicken mixture and serve.

Baked potatoes with roast vegetable salad

A bit of a cheat, but time is money and this filling meal can be put together in 30 minutes or less.

For the vegetable salad, either roast extra and toss with small cubes of feta cheese and toasted sesame seeds,  or buy a pottle of readymade roast vege salad from your favourite deli. You will need about 200g.

Bake the potatoes as above. Heat the roast vegetable salad until warm and dress with dash of vinaigrette salad. Cut and squeeze the potato as instructed and fill each with about 50g of the vegetables. Serve with greens.

Brussels sprouts with apples and bacon

1 teaspoon light cooking oil

100g bacon bits or finely chopped rashers

2 granny smith or any tart and juicy apples, peeled and quartered

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

12-16 fresh brussels sprouts

Salt and pepper.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the bacon bits and cook until crisping. Add the apple quarters and butter and cook with the bacon until the apple takes on a golden glaze. Meanwhile, cook the sprouts in a saucepan of boiling salted water for 3-5 minutes or less until just tender, drain and add to the bacon/apple. Add a little more butter if a deeper glaze is preferred. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Baby greens

When you want to eat kale, but can't deal with the tough texture or the seriously brassica smell, Leaderbrand could have an answer: kale leaves. Small, fresh, easy on smell and toughness reduced to a bit of a chew. The packs say triple washed and ready to eat, but always wash vegetables before using, especially if adding  to a cooked dish because the added water speeds up the wilting process. $4.49 for 120g packs. In supermarkets.

 - Stuff

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