Thursday, January 8, 2009

Market to Table - January 8, 2009

It has been a wonderful week in food. Normally, I'm pretty bad about eating the same things day after day. I mean, when the food is this fresh, this good, why not enjoy it every day? Ok. Fine. So maybe I'm a tad monotonous on the food front, but this week is far from my normal routine. So what did I do with all those farmers market finds last weekend? Let's see...

***********

Steamed veggies - Another farmers market trip, another beautiful rainbow of veggie goodness. This has to be one of the easiest medleys to make. I just washed and cut 2 large carrots, 4 medium red potatoes, and a head of broccoli; steamed it in our steamer; and sprinkled a little salt over top. Everything but the salt came straight from our local farmers market. Making this over the weekend in a large quantity meant that it was ready to be added to any quick meal this week. Or what the heck - these veggies can be a meal on their own. Mmmm!

Polenta and sauteed veggies - Remember the carrots from those steamed veggies? Well, I'm not one to throw out good greens. Nope. I chopped the carrots tops, along with 1/2 an onion, and those two tomatoes from a neighbor's back yard, and sauteed everything in olive oil (all local). It made a wonderful sauce for a serving of polenta, made from the cornmeal I picked up at this past Saturday's farmers market. Simple but hearty!

Spaghetti squash with homemade pasta sauce - Little did I know one year ago, but I was about to eat what was to become one of my all-time favorite foods. I can hardly believe that I had never had a spaghetti squash before last spring. Now I can't get enough of them (be on the lookout for them in my Summer 2009 garden)! This squash we picked up at the Aptos Farmers Market while we were on vacation in California over the holiday. I just couldn't pass it up. Back home, baked at 350 degrees for an hour, this gorgeous veggie made a perfect substitute for pasta (I'm not a big pasta eater) and an even more perfect base for my homemade pasta sauce (tomatoes, onion, mushroom, basil, olive oil - all local; flour, sugar, salt - not local).

Thankfully, the spaghetti squash was large enough to provide the meal pictured plus enough strands for another 2-3 meals. I'll be enjoying more of this in the days to come. And of course I can't forget all those beautiful seeds inside. I toasted them with a little salt and olive oil for a fabulous afternoon snack.

Whole wheat vegan pancakes with pineapple ambrosia - Ok. This one isn't entirely local, but stay with me for a second. Lois Vaughn from our farmers market, whose farm has pretty much fed me over the last 15 months had been talking about her wonderful ambrosia for months. So when she promised to make and can it over the holiday, I made her promise to save a jar for me. Last Saturday, I picked up my jar of pineapple ambrosia and brought it home before I realized I didn't know what exactly to do with it. So I opened it, took a quick bite, and then it hit me (those of you who know me won't be surprised by this...) pancakes!

So I made a batch of my homemade vegan pancakes. Nothing in them in local, but the whole wheat flour, the sugar, and the salt were all purchased in bulk from our local, natural food store. Several mornings this week, I warmed up a pancake in the toaster oven and slathered on a little of that ambrosia. I don't know what I was supposed to put the ambrosia on, but a syrup substitute in definitely in the running for one of my better ideas.

Vegetable stir fry and rice - What would my "Market to Table" post be without my standard rice dish? I wouldn't want to disappoint anyone right? This week's dish started out with chopped carrots (tops and all), onions, mushrooms, spinach, and snow peas (all local AND the spinach and snow peas came from my backyard garden) sauteed in a little olive oil with just a pinch of salt. Next, I tossed in 1/2 cup of brown basmati rice (local and purchased in bulk from our natural food store) and 2 cups of water. Simmering on the stove for an hour, the aroma filled the house with the most wonderful smells. There's just nothing like fresh, local food! And the taste, as always, was as rewarding as the aroma. 

********

Plenty of other things graced the table this week that aren't here in photos. Each day I nibbled on Texas grapefruit, as well as the clementines and dried apricots we bought at the farmers market while we were in California. I also enjoyed some of my homemade, all-local soups from the pantry and sweet potatoes stir-fried in olive oil for easy evening meals.

Sometimes I wonder what I did before I embarked on this (so far) 15-months of eating locally. The only thing I know for sure is that nothing has ever tasted better. Have a great Thursday, everyone. And as always...

Happy (and mindful) eating!

5 comments:

Jenifer@SeattleSoupLine said...

Your eating habits are definitely something to aspire to. I'm impressed with your focus and discipline. I've resolved to eat meatless at least 3 to 4 times a week this year and so far it's been working well. A whole wheat pizza crust with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomato sauce was our veggie dinner last night. It made plenty so we're having it again tonight. 2 veggie meals for the price of one!

Farmer's Daughter said...

Spaghetti squash is one of my favorites, too! I can't convince my husband to eat it, but that means more for me!

I grew it last year with some success. I have a problem with cucumber beetles here (since my whole yard used to be part of a pumpkin patch and they're just hanging around waiting...), so I'm skipping them next year. But did you know you can train them to climb up a fence or trellis? It's pretty cool.

Heather @ SGF said...

Jennifer@SSL - Ooh! I love pizza night! In fact, I've been thinking that we haven't had one in a while. It'll be on next week's menu for sure. I need to work on perfecting my pizza dough anyway (like I need an excuse) :)

Farmer's Daughter - Yeah, I read that in my SGF book so I'm going to try the trellis to keep the squash off the ground (and because the garden is small). I just bought some seeds and am hoping they really take off. Of course before I plant, I have to build the new beds and the trellis. Hmm. So much to do...

Kerrie said...

So I've been reading your post for a long time and have never contributed but I finally have something to offer:) I read about the pizza and I have found one of the best homemade dough recipes and you can do it with everything local except for the yeast maybe. Honey Wheat Pizza Dough:
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl combine flour, wheat germ and salt. Make a well in the middle and add honey and yeast mixture. Stir well to combine. Cover and set in a warm place to rise for a few minutes.
3. Roll dough on a floured pizza pan and poke a few holes in it with a fork.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until desired crispiness is achieved.
5. Enjoy!

Heather @ SGF said...

Kerrie - Thanks for the recipe! I have pizza on the menu for next week so I'll give this recipe a try and let you know how it goes, though I need to head back to Brazos Natural Foods for some wheat germ...