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, January 13, 2017 posted on Jan 13
The latest weekly flu report shows a slight decrease in rates of flu-like illness in Massachusetts over the past 7 days. But flu can be unpredictable, and we’re not likely to see the peak of flu season until February or even March. So if you haven’t gotten a …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, January 13, 2017
Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting posted on Jan 11
The first monthly PHC meeting of 2017 featured one Determination of Need (DoN) request, votes on two final amendments to regulations, and an informational briefing on proposed guidelines associated with the Determination of Need program. First, the Council took up a DoN application from Baystate Medical …Continue Reading Highlights of the January 11th Public Health Council Meeting
Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions! posted on Jan 9
It’s January. And I can tell…not from the wintry weather or the after-Christmas sales…but from the number of prospective members I see getting tours of the gym while I’m trying to fit in my (less frequent than I’d like) workout. January 1st marks the start …Continue Reading Tackling Your New Year’s Resolutions!