Thursday, August 20, 2009

Market to Table - August 20, 2009

I have to admit, after eating almost nothing but stir-fries for a couple months, I'm actually tired of them. Go figure. Or maybe I was tired of cooking. I mean, we are in the middle of our 10th week of 100 degree temperatures. Seriously. Who want to cook?

Meals this week took on a twist here at SGF with a special focus on SIMPLE. Not that the stir-fries are quick and easy, but does it get any easier than snacks, salads, and sandwiches? Ok. I suppose eating out would be easier, but not so frugal.

So what made it from the farmers' market to my plate this week? Let's check it out...

Salad - Ever since we got back from California, where I was downing sometimes 2 salads a day, I've been craving them like mad. One problem - we're still about two months away from local lettuce (it's just too hot here).

Thankfully, I had just the thing to replace lettuce in my own backyard: lambs-quarter. More of a weed than anything, lambs-quarter is a great substitute for spinach. I've been using them in my stir fries and combined with some of the spinach I bought from the farmers' market this past weekend, it made for a great salad base. In addition to the greens, I added cucumber, tomato, and carrot from the farmers' market; okra and asparagus beans from local Dogrun Farms; and avocado (so not local, but it's organic and I couldn't resist) and Texas pecan from our local grocery. Topped with some olive oil (farmers' market) and vinegar dressing, the salad was just what I was craving.

As a little side, that's one of my homemade whole wheat rolls (made with local wheat and honey) with some of the pear butter I bought at the farmers' market last weekend. Mmm! Lois makes a mean pear butter!

Pesto Bean Burger - Ok. So it gets even better! I had some leftover pinto beans and rice in the fridge, but was SO not feeling the whole stir-fry vibe this week. No problemo! I knew just what to do. I tossed the beans and rice (both local) in a large mixing bowl and added another jar of my home-canned local pinto beans, making sure to mash it all up. Next, I added some seasonings and nutritional yeast to add flavor and help hold things together. A few minutes on a skillet to brown on each side and I was ready for a vegan veggie burger.

Slicing another of my homemade whole wheat rolls, I layered spinach (farmers' market), tomato (farmers' market), and mushrooms (local but from the grocery), added the bean burger, then last but not least, slathered the roll with homemade vegan pesto (made with basil and olive oil from the farmers' market). This was the first time I've ever made pesto, but thanks to our new house-mate's blender, I've now made it twice. Blender, where have you been all my life?

Because I can never get enough of those fresh veggies, I added as a side some of those asparagus beans and some sliced cucumber from local Dogrun Farms.

Evening Smorgasbord - In the evenings, I've felt more like snacking so I've been making my own personal smorgasbord out of random containers in the fridge. Pictured here is Tuesday night's meal: Texas pecans, homemade hummus (again thanks to the new blender), steamed green beans and carrots from the farmers' market (I don't bother heating them up - it's so hot here in Texas, I prefer to eat them chilled at this point), and a couple of dried dates (not local). I love dipping the pecans in the hummus. Definitely drool-worthy!

But seriously, it takes all of 60 seconds to set this all out on a plate, then I'm free to nibble to my hearts content. And when it's 100 degrees outside, a nice cool snack is exactly what I need.

Ok. So I left out breakfast. I don't have a photo handy, but I have been having serious cereal cravings lately, so I made my own granola. The latest batch has rolled oats, brown rice flour, pecans, cinnamon, ginger, dried cherries, honey, and canola oil. The honey (farmers' market) is the only thing that is local, but this is definitely what my taste buds have been asking for. With a little rice or almond milk on top and some local watermelon on the side, breakfast fuels this old bod with enough energy to get all my errands biked around town before the heat become unbearable.

So that's what made it from the farmers' market to my table this week. What wonderful local foods have you enjoyed?

Until next time... Happy (and mindful) eating!


Sweet Potato said...

Heather ~

Have you tried skillet granola?

I toast oats in canola oil and sugar - you could use honey - on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet. Doesn't heat up the house!

Heather @ SGF said...

Sweet Potato - I haven't. What do you do differently? I've been doing my granola in our toaster oven so that's also good at not heating up the whole house. And it's oh so yummy!