Weeknight meals with ham and winter veggies

Ham, Potato, Cabbage and Apple Skillet (Provided photo — Yvona Fast)

It’s February. What’s in season? Ham. Cabbage. Apples. Potatoes. Kale. I still have apples and cabbage from the fall farmers market in my fridge.

Although unseasonably warm, it is still winter. We battle cold-weather blues and we crave cozy comfort food. And we want it fast.

Ham to the rescue. It often comes fully cooked and is easy to cook with, making it my favorite convenience ingredient.

It can be a healthy meal when combined with an abundance of seasonal veggies like cabbage and carrots or frozen veggies like peas. Because it’s packed with flavor, you don’t need much — so go heavy on the veggies and light on the ham. Just a little diced ham is more than ample for a meal for two.

Add ham to a casserole, skillet, stir-fry or salad. Use your imagination to put the ingredients together in creative, novel ways.

Potatoes, pasta, rice (and other grains) or tortillas combine well with ham and vegetables. For example, make enchiladas with tortillas, leftover ham, leftover salad, grated cheese and enchilada sauce. Combine ham and cooked or sauted veggies in a casserole, add a little gravy, and top with leftover mashed or sweet potatoes for a flavorful dish. Combine pasta with leftover ham and veggies and add a cheese or pesto sauce. Leftover cooked potatoes, vegetables, and ham can be mixed with eggs and cheese and cooked in muffin tins for quick to-go breakfasts. Make a ham salad with lettuce, celery, apples, ham and a little mayonnaise for the dressing. Cook up some rice to fry with the ham and vegetables; add some garlic and soy sauce for a fried rice entree, or combine rice with ham, vegetables, garlic and onions for a pilaf. Use diced cooked ham in a variety of tortas and tart recipes.

We often don’t think of cooking with cabbage until St. Patrick’s Day or cooking with ham until Easter, but ham and veggies make great, quick meals anytime.

Ham, Potato, Cabbage and Apple Skillet


1 tablespoon cooking oil or a couple strips of bacon

1 onion, peeled and diced

1 or 2 potatoes, peeled and diced

1 small head cabbage (savoy, red, green or combination)

1/2 cup water (or apple cider, or broth)

1 or 2 apples, cored, peeled and diced

1/4 to 1/2 pound diced cooked ham

1 or 2 tablespoons raisins, optional

1/4 cup apple cider or red wine

1/4 cup or more sharp shredded cheese (like cheddar)


Peel and dice the onion and potato.

In a large skillet with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. (Or render a little bacon).

Add diced onion and potato; sprinkle with a little salt and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Core, peel and dice the apples. Chop cabbage. Add to the skillet. Add the half cup liquid, and cook about 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are soft.

Stir in diced ham and cook 5 more minutes to blend flavors.

Option: Omit potato. Serve over pasta.

Serves 4.

Cabbage Pie with Eggs and Ham



2 strips bacon

1 onion

1 medium head cabbage

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 cup diced cooked ham

1/4 cup shredded sharp cheese (like Cheddar)


3 medium potatoes

2-3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook bacon in large skillet; remove to paper towels when done and crisp. Peel and chop an onion and add to the bacon drippings.

Wash and roughly chop the cabbage and add. Cover and cook until everything is tender (10-15 minutes), giving an occasional stir. Season with soy sauce and crumble in the reserved bacon.

While cabbage cooks, make the crust:

Peel or scrub potatoes, and shred (a food processor or salad shooter does this quickly and easily).

Pour oil into a 9-inch pie plate; oil bottom and sides. Add potatoes and mix well with your hands to coat, spreading them around to cover the bottom and sides of pie plate with the oiled potatoes. Place in hot oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, lower oven temp to 350, and let potato crust cool slightly before filling.

Layer cabbage in a prepared potato nest. Scatter diced ham on top. Peel the eggs, slice and arrange on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Apple Ham Salad


1/4 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/2 lb. cooked ham (more if you like)

2 apples, cored and diced

1 stalk celery

1/3 cup minced fennel bulb

1/2 cup raisins

Salt to taste


Combine yogurt and mayonnaise in small bowl; set aside.

Cube ham. Core and dice apples. Slice celery. Mince fennel. Combine in salad bow; add raisins and fold in dressing. Add salt, if needed.

Serves 3-4.

— — —

Author of the award-winning cookbook “Garden Gourmet: Fresh & Fabulous Meals from your Garden, CSA or Farmers Market,” Yvona Fast lives in Lake Clear and has two passions: Writing and cooking. She can be found at www.yvonafast.com and reached at yvonawrite@yahoo.com or on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter: @yvonawrites.


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