Commissioner Gregory C. Watson
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture Resources (DAR)
Thinking about Massachusetts-grown vegetables usually has folks thinking summer outdoor farmers’ markets and farm stands. But there is in fact an impressive array of fresh root vegetables available throughout the cold winter months as well. Think beets, carrots, onions, parsnips, potatoes, rutabagas, and turnips! Roasted to sweet tenderness in a hot oven for about 45-50 minutes, root vegetables provide comfort-food goodness and vital nutrients during the long winter months.
With 40 winter farmers’ markets located throughout the Bay State, there are lots of places where you can find sweet root vegetables. The colorful assortment of fresh produce one can find at these winter markets (both indoors and outdoors) always renews my appreciation of New England’s versatile seasons. Besides root vegetables, many of the winter markets also provide ‘hoophouse’ (a structure used as a greenhouse to extend the growing season) vegetables like chard, collards, lettuce, and radicchio. And more good news: a growing number of markets also accept EBT-SNAP coupons (formally called food stamps) for low income families looking for nutritious supplements.
I’m definitely going to try this delicious-sounding roasted veggie recipe featured in ChopChop’s January magazine. This monthly publication is a wonderful resource for easy-to-prepare healthy meals for the whole family. This recipe calls for onions, carrots, and potatoes drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. For extra flavor, consider adding fresh garlic and sprinkling with some fresh herbs like rosemary. Or throw in some Brussels sprouts (my favorite vegetable).Bon appétit!
1 red onion, diced
2 russet potatoes or sweet potatoes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Turn the oven on and set it to 425 degrees.
- Put the onion, carrots, potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper in the bowl and mix well.
- Dump the contents of the bowl into the baking sheet, making sure the vegetables are in a single layer, not crowded on top of each other.
- Carefully put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the vegetables are deeply colored on the outside and tender inside, about 45 minutes.
- Serve right away or cover and refrigerate up to 2 days.
Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014 posted on Dec 19
Rates of flu-like illness increased slightly over the past seven days in Massachusetts, as indicated in the latest weekly flu report. Flu season doesn’t tend to peak until later in February or even March – so there is still plenty of time to get vaccinated …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 19, 2014
Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014 posted on Dec 12
This week’s flu report shows a slight dip in rates of flu-like illness since last week’s report – which is entirely in keeping with the unpredictable nature of flu season. One thing we know for sure is that no matter what, the single best way to …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, December 12, 2014
Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014 posted on Dec 10
The December monthly meeting of the Public Health Council featured the consideration of one Determination of Need (DoN) request, two votes on final amendments to existing regulations, and an informational presentation to the Council on a key DPH community initiative. First, the Council took up …Continue Reading Highlights of the Public Health Council Meeting, December 10, 2014