Seasonal Sides for the Mitten Holidays

Seasonal Sides for the Mitten Holidays

As we look forward to the upcoming Mitten holiday season, we think it is important to shop locally for vegetables and other produce. We want to share some of our favorite seasonal recipes with you, so all that is awesome in the Mitten can be gobbled up.

Veggies in Season for the Season!

Artichokes • Arugula • Asian vegetables •Beets • Bok choy • Broccoli • Broccoli rabe • Brussels sprouts • Burdock • Cabbage • Cardoons • Carrots • Cauliflower • Celeriac • Celery • Chard • Chicory • Collards • Cress • Endive • Fennel • Garlic • Horseradish • Jicama • Kale • Kohlrabi • Lambsquarters • Leeks • Lettuce • Mushrooms • Nettles • Onions • Orach • Parsnips • Peppers, chile • Peppers, sweet • Potatoes • Radishes • Rutabagas • Salsify • Scallions • Shallots • Spinach • Sprouts • Squash, winter • Sunchokes • Sweet potatoes • Turnips

Northern Michigan

The Village Farmers Market at the Mercato
830 Cottageview Drive
Traverse City, MI 49684
Saturday: 10am – 2pm
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Acorn squash paired with cranberries frozen in the summer months should make for an exciting dish!

Photo courtesy Taste of Home.
Photo courtesy Taste of Home.

Acorn Squash with Cranberry Stuffing

  • 2 medium acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium-tart apple, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Cut squash in half; discard seeds. Cut a thin slice from the bottom of squash halves so they sit flat. Place squash hollow side down in an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Add 1/2 in. of water. Cover and bake at 375° for 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute celery and onion in butter until tender. Add the apple, salt, lemon juice and pepper. Cook, uncovered, over medium-low heat until apple is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cranberries, sugar and water. Cook and stir until berries pop and liquid is syrupy.
  3. Turn squash halves over; fill with cranberry mixture. Cover and bake 10-15 minutes longer or until squash is tender.
Photo courtesy Lansing City Market.
Photo courtesy Lansing City Market.


Lansing City Market
325 City Market Drive
Lansing, MI 48912
Tuesday – Friday: 10am – 6pm; Saturday: 9am – 5pm
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Since onions are in season and Lansing City Market has a great cheese selection, why not try this holiday favorite?

Traditional Christmas Cheese Ball

  • 1 1/2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 2.5-ounce package thinly sliced smoked beef, chopped
  • 1 2.25-ounce can pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped
  • 1 small Vidalia or other sweet onion, minced
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce, or to taste
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Mix the cream cheese, beef, olives, onion, and Worcestershire sauce together in a bowl until evenly blended. Keeping the mixture in the bowl, scrape it into a semi-ball shape. Cover, and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours.
  2. Place a large sheet of waxed paper on a flat surface. Sprinkle with walnuts. Roll the cheese ball in the walnuts until completely covered. Transfer the cheese ball to a serving plate, or rewrap with waxed paper and refrigerate until needed.

West Michigan

Photo courtesy Fulton Street Market.
Photo courtesy Fulton Street Market.

Fulton Street Farmers Market
1147 E. Fulton Street
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday: 8am – 3pm
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Brussel sprouts, onions and replace the garlic powder with fresh garlic for this twist on the traditional!

Balsamic-Glazed Brussels Sprouts

  • 2 pounds fresh brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 pound bacon strips, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup soft bread crumbs


  1. Cut an ‘X’ in the core of each brussels sprout. Place in a large saucepan; add one inch of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until crisp-tender.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large ovenproof skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove to paper towels; drain, reserving two tablespoons of drippings.
  3. Saute onion in drippings until tender. Stir in the vinegar, mustard, garlic powder, salt, brussels sprouts and bacon; cook two to three minutes longer.
  4. Sprinkle with bread crumbs; broil four to six inches from the heat for two to three minutes or until golden brown.
Photo courtesy Detroit Eastern Market.
Photo courtesy Detroit Eastern Market.

Southeast Michigan

Detroit Eastern Market
2934 Russell Street
Detroit, MI 48207
Saturday: 7am – 4pm
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This is a unique twist on mashed sweet potatoes that utilizes turnips and fresh garlic.


Photo courtesy Eating Well.
Photo courtesy Eating Well.

Sweet Potato & Turnip Mash with Sage Butter

  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces turnips (about 2 medium-sized), peeled and diced
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 30 fresh sage leaves, divided (12 left whole, the rest cut into strips)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely cracked pepper


  1. Place potatoes, turnips, garlic and 12 sage leaves in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are fork-tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Drain. Return the vegetables to the pan and keep covered.
  2. Heat butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. As it melts and turns lightly brown, add the strips of sage and allow them to crackle and flavor the butter, about one minute.
  3. Pour the sage and butter over the vegetables and smash with a potato masher. Stir in salt and pepper and serve.

Joanna Dueweke – Feature Writer

I was raised in vacation-land, Traverse City, where I was one of the lucky ones to enjoy the beach in the summer and snowboard through the winters. Then, I went to college and lived in East Lansing and Lansing, where I learned about sports and getting things done. Now I'm quite honestly falling head over heels for Detroit. I solemnly believe that life is too short for bad coffee, yucky wine, and poorly crafted beer. This means that Michigan is the perfect place for me! My spare time is spent reading or exploring the outdoors. E-mail me: