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Spring into better health with nutritious recipes

By Annette Casteel, Regional Extension Agent

Since winter seems to have been particularly harsh, some people are looking forward to spring a little more than usual. Spring offers an abundance of good things that make people ready to welcome it.

There is more than warmer temperatures to love about spring; there is the food. Now is the time to look forward to the arrival of fresh spring vegetables.

Here are a couple of recipes for spring vegetables.

Anyone who has ever made cabbage rolls will likely remember how time consuming and labor intensive it was. Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls provide the same tastes in a one-pot recipe.

Soups, like this “Swamp Soup” are another great way to offer a one-pot dinner in a hurry. This soup recipe seems to be a favorite of many.

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds ground beef

1 large onion, chopped

1 small head cabbage, chopped

2 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes

1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce

1/2 cup water

2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon canned garlic in oil)

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat a Dutch oven or large skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Cook and stir beef and onion in the hot Dutch oven until browned and crumbly, 5-7 minutes.

3. Drain and discard grease.

4. Return beef and onion to pan, add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.

5. Cover Dutch oven, reduce heat and simmer until cabbage is tender, about 30 minutes.

Turnip Green Soup, aka “Swamp Soup”

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 tablespoon butter or cooking oil

1 pound smoked sausage, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

1 package Knorr (or comparable) vegetable soup mix

1 (32 oz.) carton low sodium chicken broth

4 cups water

3 cups cooked and drained or 2 (15 oz.) cans white beans, drained and rinsed

1 lb. bag frozen turnip greens, thawed

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon hot sauce, optional

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat butter or oil in a soup pot.

2. Add sausage, cooking until lightly browned.

3. Add onion, cook and stir for about three minutes or until tender.

4. Add vegetable soup mix and combine.

5. Stir in broth and all remaining ingredients.

6. Bring back to a boil.

7. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.

8. Taste and adjust seasonings.

9. Serve with cornbread, if desired.

10. Note: May substitute an equal amount of fresh turnip greens, spinach or other cooked greens or use equivalent canned greens.

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