Thursday, November 20, 2008

Market to Table - November 20, 2008

Get ready to drool, people, cause it has been a mighty fine week! Between some new items at our local farmers market on Saturday and a trip to a CSA sponsored market in Brenham on Sunday, I was loaded down with all kinds of local goodies. Anybody up for a little food porn?

Pizza - The homemade pizza crust I picked up from Home Sweet Farm's Market Day didn't last 4 hours in my house. The smell was absolutely fabulous and as I was at risk of eating it right out of the bag, I decided I'd better make quick work of a dinner pizza. Thankfully, I had made some pasta sauce the day before with onions and tomatoes from Saturday's farmers market along with basil from my back porch (all local). I also added a little whole wheat flour for thickening, a dash of salt, and some olive oil (these items not local, although the woman who had the olive grove in Tuscany lives and sells her oil here in town). Since I'm eating vegan these day, I left a section of the pizza dairy free and sprinkled some cheese on Dave's 3/4 of the pie. We both loved the blend of flavors and now I wish I'd have picked up a second crust. Next time...

Spaghetti squash with homemade pasta sauce - with one pint of my homemade pasta sauce still in the fridge and a spaghetti squash that my dad had delivered last week, I had no question as to what Monday's lunch would look like. First thing Monday morning, I put the squash in the oven (whole) at about 375 degrees for an hour and let it cool completely so that I could work on the inside, separating the seeds from all those beautiful spaghetti-like strands. At lunchtime, I just dished myself out a plate full of spaghetti squash and topped it with my homemade sauce. DELICIOUS! Not to mention the seeds were washed, dried, and baked with salt and olive oil for a wonderful mid-afternoon snack. Mmmm!

Rice and veggies - I wasn't sure what to do with the kohlorabi I got from Saturday's farmers market since I'd never had one before, but when in doubt... sautee! As instructed, I peeled the bulb (though I liked the taste of the peel and ended up eating it) and cut it into bite sized pieces (if you're a nibbler, kohlorabi tastes good raw). Then I dropped it all in a small frying pan with a chopped onion and some olive oil. I let the veggies cook until softened, then added the kohlorabi leaves until they had cooked through. I set this pan aside while I started my pot of rice - 1/2 cup of brown rice, 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped, and some water. Once the rice was pretty well cooked, I added some of the sauteed kohlorabi and some leftover steamed squash sitting in the fridge. Not only was this rice dish fabulous (and almost entirely local), but I tried a new veggie (and REALLY  liked it!). 

Sauteed veggies - The spaghetti squash I baked on Monday was huge and gave me three meals worth of strands. With only 2 meals worth of pasta sauce, I decided to do a little something different with the rest. I started out with a chopped tomato and a little olive oil. Next I added a little basil from the back yard, some black beans that I had cooked earlier in the week, the rest of the spaghetti squash strands, and some of the leftover sauteed kahlorabi. I let it all cook on the stove just long enough for everything to warm through. Let me tell you. It was as tasty as it was pretty. Most of this meal was leftovers from other cooking escapades and you  know, sometimes letting your imagination run wild really does pay off. I just kept pulling foods out of the fridge. You know... whatever sounded good and it turns out this dish was fabulous! Yeah for leftovers!

Of course, there were plenty of other goodies on the menu this week. I've been eating my homemade (though not local - except the honey) whole wheat toast with homemade, local jam for breakfast. Throughout the day I snack on lots of local fruits like grapefruit, persimmons, and oranges. Dinner has been mostly sweet potatoes (local), sauteed in a little olive oil and salt with steamed green beans (I can't get enough of either of them). I still have a few tomatoes in the fridge and have plans for some wonderful local veggie sandwiches. I'll have photos in next week's edition of Market to Table. 

Of course, I've obviously used many of the veggies in the fridge, but I also have enough leftovers from each of these dishes to eat many of them again (or create new meals just by combining them differently). Where to begin?

As the week closes, I'm looking forward to another farmers market this Saturday. Will there be more broccoli? What other newbies will be available? Carrots? Cabbage? Will we see one more week of those beautiful tomatoes? I'll be in downtown Bryan early Saturday morning to find out. Hope to see some of you locals there! In the meantime...

Happy (and mindful) eating!


ttammylynn said...

What an amazing spread you got there! I admit that I haven't eaten as many veggies as I should the past few days... my idea of sweet potato perfection involves baked with butter and maybe some cheese(I know, dairy), and my pizza was very overridden with veggies(it was eaten within two days by me and hubby). Now, I need to crack down on myself because I slipped up big time yesterday. My daughter, Bonnie, turned 18, so it was her choice where to eat. She wanted Red Lobster, but she was talked into Olive Garden. I had salad and lasagna, two bites of chicken parmesan and a couple of bread sticks. Fortunately, my leftovers were gone by morning(saving me from eating them--a benefit of hungry teenagers), but I am going to have to make all of this up to myself because I have been slipping for a while and refuse to go back to where I was...dang holidays.
Anyway, with one Farmer's Market to go before Thanksgiving and no veggie pickup from Vicki next week, I must eat every easily perishable veggie in the house over the next few days and start fresh at market, including holiday veggies and my diet for the next several days afterward. This will be a huge commitment. I may even have to make soup to pull this off. The cool weather does make soup sound particularly inviting.

eco 'burban mom said...

mmmmmm, Pizza! You can never go wrong with pizza! I'm hungry for lunch!

Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

You know, I am a squash lover, and I have only had spaghetti squash once. I feel very uncreative every time I think about what to do with it. Hello - treat it like pasta! Where is my brain sometimes?

As always, your rice dish looks fantastic. I would happily come over and eat your tasty local rice concoctions every day if I could. YUM!

Heather @ SGF said...

Tammy - Yeah, the holidays can be rough for people who are really trying to watch what they eat. There are just sweets EVERYWHERE! From what you told me though, Thanksgiving will be mostly local and there'll be plenty goodies for you to enjoy (and hopefully some leftovers :)

I'd love to hear what all ends up in your soup! That's my favorite way to "get rid" of extra veggies in the fridge. You can just freeze it and use it when you're low on veggies. Good luck!

eco 'burban mom - I agree. As ttammylynn said the other day, I'm just going to have to start making my own crust. I hadn't had pizza in so long and now I'm craving it! :)

jennifer - that's my favorite way to east spaghetti squash. I'm not a pasta eater, but I love pasta sauce so this works out perfect for me.

I know it's a long way, but you're always welcome for lunch :)