Our natural food co-op still has locally-grown veggies- even in the dead of winter in Minnesota. My favorites this winter are turnips and rutabagas. These two delicious root vegetables cook up like potatoes but are more flavorful. I've also really enjoyed the black radishes- they add a nice spice to soups. Easy soups like the one below take about a half hour of prep, and a half hour of simmering (you really don't even need to pay attention to the soup while simmering, just stir about 2/3 of the way through so that you don't have grains sticking to the bottom). It takes little more time than preparing mac and cheese from a box, and you're getting nutrient-rich veggies and healthy grains too!
Favorite (Local) Winter Soup (gluten-free!)
2 medium sized root veggies (I recommend turnips, rutabagas, potatoes, or a combination of any of those)
1 medium onion
1 Tbs butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs curry
3 cups water
1/4 cup quinoa or amaranth
Put butter and oil into an uncovered skillet on low. Dice onion and add it along with the curry to the skillet, stirring. While onion is cooking, wash veggies and chopped into 1 inch pieces. Cook onion until translucent, then add chopped veggies and stir, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add water*, stir and cover. Bring to a boil, then lower heat til soup is simmering. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until potatoes are thoroughly cooked or veggies are easily cut in half with a spoon.
*If using amaranth, stir in when you add the water as it takes 25 minutes to cook. If using quinoa, simmer soup for 20 minutes, then add quinoa and cover again for another 10-15 minutes. These grains are both very high in protein and will make a wonderful addition to your diet.