Lisa Erickson mug

Even though winter is upon us, we can still eat fresh veggies. That’s amazing! I don’t know about you, but I’m very thankful for the fresh vegetables and fruits we have available when we live in a cold climate half the year.

I try to imagine what it was like for our ancestors, parents, or great-grandparents to make meals or go without fresh fruits and vegetables for so long.  I remember having many conversations with my grandmother about the first time she ate a banana or saying how exciting it was to eat green lettuce during the winter—something she couldn’t do when she was growing up. She always brought it up at dinnertime. I know she was trying to get me to eat my vegetables, but I loved hearing about the olden days. Thinking about how food arrived on my plate was fascinating, and still is.

I’m coming to the end of my summer garden produce supply. What remains is now limp and unappealing. I’m off to the grocery store to stock up!

I am very thankful for grocers, truckers, farmers northern and southern, airplanes, grandmothers, and so much more! How about you? What are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Veggie Cheese Chips

Serves 4 | 425°F | Prep time: 30 minutes | Bake time: 20 minutes

1 red pepper

1 zucchini

1 cup cauliflower florets

1 large carrot

cooking spray

1 cup flour

2 cups garlic croutons, crushed 

1 cup Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 -12 ounce jar prepared arrabbiata sauce or good quality ranch salad dressing

1.Preheat oven to 425℉. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly oil a wire rack and place on the parchment-lined sheet. Set aside. 

2.Crush the croutons in a food processor or in a bag with a rolling pin; set aside. 

3.Thinly slice (about ¼ inch) zucchini, carrots, peppers, and cauliflower. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for 15 minutes. Drain juice from veggies and pat dry with a paper towel. Toss vegetables with flour. 

4.In a shallow bowl, combine croutons and cheese. In another bowl whisk the eggs. Dip each floured veggie chip in the egg, then in the crouton and cheese mixture. Press the mixture onto the veggie chips and place on wire rack. Spray veggie chips lightly with cooking spray. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until chips are golden brown and crispy. Serve with arrabiata sauce or ranch dressing.

Lisa Erickson is a food columnist who loves adventure and food. You can find more recipes at or email her at


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