Sunday, August 29, 2010

Farmers’ Market Sunday

Why does 6am seem to arrive earlier on the weekend than it does during the week? I did drag myself out of bed but only after our two alarms were ringing for 16 minutes. Clearly I did not start the day bright eyed and bushy tailed whatever that old saying means. ;-)

Since we were a bit later than usual getting to the market we had a little difficulty getting a parking spot but it wasn’t terrible, just not what we are used to. We started our shopping trip talking to Rudy about vitamin D. I really enjoy talking to him. Imagine how much more I would absorb if I were actually awake during our conversations, LOL. Rudy is fascinating to me because not only is he an organic farmer but he is a biochemist. He pointed me to an article on BPA and schizophrenia this morning. Once I find and read that I will let you know the upshot. Since Rudy was high on this article I am guessing it is something I will enjoy reading. I learn something every week talking to him; he is such a fascinating guy. :-)

We bought an almost ridiculous amount of produce today at the market. Today’s haul included: 1 large basket of gala apples (probably 100), 1 small basket of peaches (about 20), 2 bunches of kale, 2 bunches collards, 1 pound fresh ginger, 3 big beets, 6 cucumbers, 3 bell peppers, 1 huge leek (for more crispy dehydrated leeks) 2 small baskets blackberries, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bunch parsley, 1 bunch green onions, 1 head cabbage, 6 ears organic corn from our CSA, 1 box of Roma tomatoes (about the size of paper box). While we were there we also picked up produce for my parents. As you can imagine we had to go back to the car half way through the shopping trip because we were loaded down with food. How can two people eat so much produce? It never ceases to amaze me. ;-)

Food today:

Breakfast today was a quick smoothie which contained: 2 tablespoons oats, 1 tablespoon chia seeds (I am trying to use them up because they have been open for too long in the refrigerator), 1 peach, 1 frozen banana, 3 collard leaves, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon powdered ginger and a pinch of stevia. I also added water and ice until I liked the texture.

Lunch was a simple salad of ½ head of shredded romaine, 1 Roma tomato, ¼ cup sliced cucumber, a couple tablespoons of salsa, ¼ cup or so of fat free hummus with roasted red pepper. I finished the salad with cashew crème fraiche (which I keep in the refrigerator in a squeeze bottle) and a few raw sunflower seeds.

I followed the salad with a plate of fruit which included peaches, blackberreis and sliced almonds.

We were running very low on hummus today after I packed Dan’s lunch so I knew I needed to make some chickpeas. When I started them cooking I was planning to make hummus but I changed my mind while they were cooking. Here is how my warped little mind works. I really liked the caponata on salad the last week but I also wanted something different. Then I started thinking of Indian food since turmeric is so healthy. The next thing you know I am making curried tomato sauce with no idea what to do with it. I thought if I cooked the tomato sauce down until it was a bit thick and “jammy” it would make a nice salad topping. Then I remembered that I had green beans and shitakes that I should use up and in the sauce they went. Green beans in tomato sauce is a classic combination and shitakes work well in Indian food which I learned that from my chef friend Ian. The next thing you know the chickpeas were going into the sauce too. For those of you that ask where my recipes come from now you know. They are all some variation of that process above, LOL. ;-) Nothing scientific in the recipe development process just thoughts that dance through my head and slow down long enough to be executed.

While I was cooking the curried bean dish there was plenty of tasting because I need to get the flavors right.  This may be why I wasn't very hungry tonight when I should have been thinking about dinner. ;-)

The nice thing about a dish like this is that it can be used hot over a grain or cold on a salad. If I get bored with it like this I can use it to top a sweet potato, or add a little coconut milk to change the texture just a little. It would also be excellent with broccoli or cauliflower stirred into it. It could also be turned into a soup which would make it a different meal. I love dishes like this that have so many uses.

It was also on my agenda to make soup and seitan today but I get distracted with exercise and then cleaning. I have had the organizing bug lately so I can feel purging coming again. It would be nice to start the fall with less “stuff” in the house. It always amazes me how many “things” two people can accumulate. What do we need all this stuff for? I am feeling the need to pare down to the essentials, or least closer to the essentials. That doesn’t mean I am getting rid of many books, kitchen gadgets, or my Deruta ceramica, but everything else might be fair game.

Dan didn’t leave for work as early today he had planned which meant dinner was later than I would prefer. I got too preoccupied doing things here and forgot to make dinner. How long have I been feeding myself? Who forgets dinner? Tonight we had a quick meal that I can make in less than 20 minutes. Since I like to keep cooked brown rice in the refrigerator all I needed to make was a sauce to top the rice. I combined ½ of a large thinly sliced yellow onion, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 cup Muir Glen Fire Roasted Pasta sauce and, ½ cup water, 2 jarred thinly sliced roasted red peppers, 10 ounces quartered frozen artichoke hearts, ½ teaspoon fennel seeds and fresh minced parsley to taste. I finished this with a squirt of fresh lemon juice to taste to brighten the flavor, ¼ cup fresh minced parsley, and pine nuts and served it over brown rice (much more for Dan than me). This is quick dish I make when I need food fast. Sometimes I make the tomato sauce and other times I used the jarred fire roasted sauce from Muir Glen, either way we enjoy it.

Sorry for the lack of properly documented recipes with nutritional stats. Today was a little more busy than usual but it was a great day.

I hope you all had a great weekend. Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. ooooo I never added oats to my smoothie before, sounds good! Nice thing to change it up :) I am going to add tahini to my smoothie tomorrow because I haven't tried that before either!

  2. one POUND of ginger???!!! lol thats a lot! thats a huge haul, making my mouth water jsut thinking about all that good healthy food.ttysoon Alicia

    ps when you find that article can i read it?

  3. Carissa,

    I like to add oats to my smoothie they make it a little thicker. If you aren't using a Vitamix grind the oats into flour first before adding the other ingredients to the blender. Raw sesame seeds are great in a smoothie so tahini should be a good addition.


  4. Michelle,

    We go through a lot of fresh ginger in Dan's fresh veggie and fruit juice and I like to add slices of it to my green tea. LOL, but yes it is a lot of ginger. ;-)

    I think I have found the article but I need to read it to be certain. If it is the right one (which I will know tomorrow) I will email you the link.

    have a good evening,

  5. Coming home fully loaded with baskets (formerly known/similar too bushels) is the business. My mom always brought hauls like that from the market this time of year....and she'd want to with 6 people to feed!

    This is truly harvest time, and what a boon! Glad to see you're reaping the benefits!

  6. Rose,

    I am ashamed to admit I don't know the difference between a bushel or a peck let alone the other sizes, so I call them all baskets. ;-)

    With all that food, plus the stuff for my parents even with most of it organic we only spent $60. I still find that fascinating. The farmers' market is always such a great deal price wise.

    I hope you had a good weekend in the garden,

  7. Oh Ali,

    don't be ashamed...I have no idea what they are called these days either...I'm given to believe that "bushel" is an old-fashioned term...around here, farmers sell things in "flats" and "crates"...whatever the's great value! Enjoy.

    I was idle this weekend...just some casual maintenance and cucumber picking in the garden...very nice indeed. I love this time of year.

    Happy weekend to you too! :)

  8. Rose,

    The farmers' here seem to know all the "basket terminology". I stare at them blindly like they are speaking Klingon and then say something pithy like "I'll take a big basket please". *bats eyes and smiles* They must think I am quite the bubble head, but I get what I want, LOL. I am sure you can visual the scene. ;-)

    Glad to hear you had a nice relaxing weekend. Those are the best aren't they?


  9. That tomato sauce is calling my name. I cooked off some chickpeas last weekend so I have them staring at me every time I open the freezer now.

  10. I never thought about adding ginger to my smoothie. I will have to try that. Your curried bean dish looks delish. Sounds like you got a lot of great things at the farmers market! That's funny what Rose said about bushels...Everything was bought by the bushel when I was growing up. You just don't hear of that these days. :o)

  11. Throw the chia seeds into the freezer--they will last for quite a while in there! I have had some in the freezer for 4+ months and they are perfectly fine :-)


  12. Heather,

    I love to cook a big batch of beans and keep the extras in the freezer too. Chickpeas are particularly handy to have on hand.

    I really like the curried tomato sauce. I had some lightly warmed today on my salad for lunch. It worked well that way. ;-)

    talk to you later,

  13. Michelle,

    I add ginger for the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Also, I like the zip it adds. ;-)

    Bean dishes like this can morph into many different leftovers. Today I had it warmed on salad. Expect to see other variations through the week as I play around with it.

    The old school farmers here still seem to sell things by different sized baskets. But it is definitely not universal like when we were younger.


  14. Courtney,

    The white chias had been in my freezer for at least 6 months before I moved them to the frig. I was tired of looking at them so I wanted to use them up. Especially now that there is a bag of black chia seeds, two bags of flax and a bag of hemp seeds in my freezer waiting for me. I really need to stop overbuying, LOL. ;-)



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