Thursday, January 29, 2009

Market to Table - January 29, 2009

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I readily admit that I hate cooking. I love to eat, but hate the prep work. Now, baking is fun - I mean, seriously, how can you not like playing with all that sugar. Cooking? Yeah,  not so much. But, you  know, there's something about slipping into the backyard to clip spinach or pull green onion that's thrilling. Yeah, you see that? I grew it. Uh huh. Lunch time!

Because of my cooking aversion, I tend to stick to easy meals (as I'm sure most of you have noticed). I like the simple things - a bowl of fresh fruit, a hearty sandwich, a slice of veggie pizza, a bowl of brown rice (the kind the sticks together in a big mass of rice-y goodness)... Sure, nothing I make would be found in a five star restaurant, but you wouldn't find me there either. Simple works for me.

Rice Wraps - That being said, I managed to jazz up my rice dishes this week with some collard greens. With a cup of brown rice (Brazos Natural Foods) cooking one one burner, I chopped and sauteed some carrot (farmers market), green onion (backyard garden), mushrooms (Farm Patch Produce Market), spinach (backyard garden), and a tomato (farmers market) until the veggies softened; then added a 1/2 cup of cooked black beans (DiIorio Farm and Market). When the rice was ready, I added it to the veggie mix. Next, I scooped a few tablespoons of the veggie-rice filling into three collard green leaves (farmers market) and wrapped them up like a burrito. I added some to the side of the dish to nibble on and I even had enough leftover for dinner that night. Let me tell you, it was fabulous! Of course, that side dish of fresh watermelon (Farm Patch Produce Market) doesn't hurt anything (sorry, I had to rub it in a little). And it's all local!

Potato Stir Fry - Some of the rest of those farmers market finds from last Saturday became a wonderful potato stir fry. Let's see. I chopped up some carrots (farmers market), red potatoes (farmers market), lettuce (left from farmers market two weeks ago), green onion (backyard garden), mushrooms (Farm Patch Produce Market), and a tomato (farmers market) and tossed it all in a frying pan with some olive oil (Sandy Oaks). Once the veggies have softened, dig in! 

I don't think it gets any easier than that! And the beauty of a stir fry is 1) there's no limit to the variety of veggies you can add to the dish, 2) you can easily add more veggies to serve as many people as you'd like, and 3) it's fast and easy! My kind of meal AND I used all local foods!

Whole Wheat Rolls - Ok. One more picture. Talk about food porn - how about these gorgeous buns! Pictured here are only half of them. I made them for a Groundhog Day party this weekend. We're each supposed to bring "groundhog" themed food (be creative, our host said). Well, these rolls have been made from "ground" flour. I also thought about bring root vegetables, but these rolls are just too pretty and I wanted to show them off. Unfortunately, the only thing local about them is the honey (farmers market) and well, the water. But the organic whole wheat flour, the salt, the oil, and the gluten flour were all purchased at our local natural food store and both the flour and salt I bought in bulk using my own containers. So they aren't entirely local, but I feel good supporting a local business and there's just nothing like homemade bread!

Anyone drooling yet? Look, you don't have be a famous chef to enjoy the harvest at your local farmers market. You don't even have to like cooking. With easy meals like these, you can enjoy the wonderful flavors that only fresh, local food can provide, and still have plenty of time for fun!

So what local foods made their way to your table this week? 


Anonymous said...

I wish I could make simple foods look as good as you do!

Local food that have made it to my table this week: Lettuce, corn, beans, squash, cucumber, and rhubarb. No fruit unfortunately.

Am enjoying your posts on local food thanks. Cheers, Tricia

Anonymous said...

Do you cook the collard greens at all when using them as a wrap? I bought some recently, my first time to have them, but I've been unsure what to do with them, other than putting them in soup.

Chile said...

Yummy wraps! I prefer to lightly steam kale or collards before wrapping like that, but raw Romaine leaves work great, too.

How about a nice light meme for ya, Heather? See here for the rules.

Kori~Q~ said...

Those rolls are FABULOUS! Would you be willing to share your recipe? I'd love to do more whole wheat baking, but thusfar my attempts have all turned out about as edible as rocks.

hmd said...

Tricia - Ooh! Corn sounds especially good. I haven't had any since last June. I'll definitely be canning some this year!

Don't underestimate yourself. I have no talent in the kitchen so everything here is super easy to make. Give it a shot.

Glenda - I just left them raw, but they were a little thick and probably would taste good steamed a bit. Usually, I just go raw though. Other ways to eat collards are in stir fries. I made some today and will add a picture in next week's Market to Table for you. It was really good!

Chile - Steaming is a good idea. I was just eating them raw, but as I mentioned to Glenda, they were thick and would have been good steamed. I'll have to try that next time.

Re: meme. You got me! I'll have to think of 7 things. Hmmm...

Kori Q - This is a great recipe and I certainly don't mind sharing. Start here:

This is the recipe I use for bread and it's perfect every time. The only changes I have made is 1) additional time for each rise during the winter months when there is less heat and humidity and 2) I don't bother with the egg wash.

Instead of making 2 loaves, I cut the dough into more pieces to make 13 large buns (could be sliced and used for burgers) or you increase the number to make smaller dinner rolls. For the buns I did in the picture. I baked them at 350 for 22 minutes. You want the internal temp to read 190-200 to know they are done.

Hope you enjoy them!

Sam said...

Delicious as always!

I made mint tea like you drink it since I got mint in my CSA share yesterday. So tasty and soothing. I'm going to add it to my lemonade and see how that works out.

hmd said...

Beany - I'm so glad you enjoyed the mint tea. It's good with a little sage added to it too.