Thursday, February 5, 2009

Market to Table - February 5, 2009

Late last week, I was reminiscing as I perused some of my old "Market to Table" posts. Every week has been filled with fabulous meals (I hate to call them recipes because I pretty much make things up as I go along), but I noticed a few things I haven't made in a very long time. So, I decided it was time to pull some of those oldies but goodies from what can only be called my insanity in the kitchen repertoire and do a little veggie magic.

Stuffed tomatoes - What was once only a summer dish can now be a year-round delight thanks to one of our farmers market vendors who runs a fabulous tomato greenhouse. I often wonder if I'm dreaming when I'm buying my winter veggies only to see those plump juicy orbs of summer goodness. Mmmm! 

Right. Anyway, per my usual procedure, I just started pulling things from the fridge: brown rice, black beans (previously cooked), green onion, 2 tomatoes, collard greens, and mushrooms. While the brown rice steamed, I 1) cored the two tomatoes and set them aside; and 2) chopped the remainder of the veggies (including the tomato innards) and added them to a frying pan with a little olive oil and salt. Once the veggies were soft, I added the beans. Of course, when the rice was done, I stirred it into the veggie-bean mixture creating the filling. I filled each of the tomatoes and baked them in my toaster oven for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. As you can tell, they were so good, I had almost finished the first before I remember to take a picture. Good stuff and it's all local (well, except the salt)!

Stir fry veggies and mashed potatoes - Something else I realized I sorely missed was mashed potatoes. And with red potatoes on hand, it was an easy wish to fulfill. All I did was steam the potatoes in a steamer, then toss them in my KitchenAid mixer (peels and all - I love peels) with a little rice milk. Yeah, the rice milk isn't local, but I'm thinking I might try veggie broth next time (aka, the runoff from steaming other veggies like carrots and broccoli - I'm thinking it might add a nice flavor and it would definitely be local).

I used the mashed potatoes as a base for sauteed veggies (I'm a perpetual kid, always trying to mix my food up before I eat it). So I stir fried some collard greens, onions, carrots, mushrooms, and broccoli in olive oil and plopped them right on top of the mashed potatoes. Everything here is local except that rice milk and a little salt. Wish granted!

Rice and Veggies - Then back to my usual fare, though with new veggies every week, my meals are always just a little different. This week's highlighted rice dish started out with collard greens, onions, carrots, and mushrooms ; all sauteed in a little olive oil and placed on a bed of steamed brown rice. Again, everything but the salt is local. I have to say, I'm a HUGE rice fan and I never tire of these dishes.

Sweet Potatoes - Last, but certainly not least... remember all those sweet potatoes from the farmers market run? You can be sure I've been nibbling on them all week. All it takes is some chopped potato (bite size pieces), onions, mushrooms, a little salt, and some olive oil in a frying pan. Cook until the potatoes are soft and enjoy every local bite. It just doesn't get any better than this! (But then I have plenty of those 'taters left. I'm planning of whipping up some sweet potato soup soon...)

Of course, I've also been eating some wonderful Texas fruits like watermelon, grapefruit, and oranges; as well as sipping my morning all-local mint and sage tea. Now, look back at those photos. Not only does local food taste better than anything you can buy in the grocery, it looks pretty fabulous too! Should I expect anyone for dinner?

Have a great day, everyone! Don't forget to be fearless and try a little something new with your local produce. And, as always, Happy (and mindful) eating!


Anonymous said...

Do you deliver? :-)

Those are some great, simple, mouthwatering recipes. It's nice to read about cooking ideas that don't involve half a day of preparation!

Anonymous said...

Your food does look good, but Im curious: does your husband also eat these lovely veggie dishes? Does he eat meat? Are you on the same page here?

hmd said...

Darren - Maybe. Are you within biking distance :)

Anonymous - The easiest answer is yes AND no. Ok. Let me explain. Yes, Dave definitely is a meat eater and we do have some fabulous sources of local meat in our area, some of which I have bought for him from time to time. I also get cheese for him from our local dairy.

But my husband usually gets his "big" meal of the day when he lunches with co-workers so when he's at home for both breakfast and dinner, he tends to eat pretty lightly - cereal, toast and eggs, sandwiches and veggies. The bread I make from scratch myself, same for the jams and jellies. The eggs we get from the farmers market. The veggies I steam for his veggie medley I also get from the farmers market. The cheese often comes from the dairy. I guess the only thing that isn't local is his lunchmeat.

So, he does eat many local foods because I do most of my shopping at the farmers market, but he's not on an exclusively local diet like I am. I felt like he has to make that decision for himself.

Does that answer your question. If not, feel free to comment again or send an email my way.

Anonymous said...

Yummy veggies. I have been trying to eat more locally ever since my first visit to the farmer's market. Now, it is funny but the market vendors are happy to see me because they know that I am there for them every week(as well as their goods). I was way happy to see salsa(some of it made w/Tonya's tomatoes--new this past market) and coffee. I buy so many things but the past two weeks it has been speed shopping because my work has been crazy lately too.
I am buying some grassfed beef from Lois because it seems like a good thing to do.
Strawberries are probably starting in Plantersville now, so it will be field trip time soon.
My sister's wedding was sweet, I called it a romantic comedy. It was less stiff and more fun than most weddings I have seen. It was pretty expensive, per guest, so it was mainly family with a few very close friends.
Her due date is June 14th, I believe and the preacher who married them wants to come and bless the baby when he is born, it seems like a good thing, so it's all pretty cool. Perhaps we could visit in the hospital when she has him if you would like, or are available to come...just a thought. I know she wants me there to help her with the birth, but later on I know she will want to show off her new family member. Anyway, let me know.
As always, it was good to see you at the market.

hmd said...

Tammy - I'm looking forward to hearing how everyone likes Lois' grass fed beef. What cuts did you get?

The market really is addictive. Everyone is as happy to see us and we are to see them. Talk about the best way to make new friends!

Anonymous said...

Heather, it is by the animal on the grassfed beef, so I got all the cuts so to speak.
It is less about friendship(precious as that is) than the community of people who provide and purchase food that isn't scary(pesticides, herbicides and fertillizers) or from a million miles away. I am really coming to like my weekly visits. The sense of community is definitely on the upswing. I tell my friends, co-workers and relatives every chance I get.

hmd said...

Tammy - I agree. It's a great place to hang out. Everyone coming together to celebrate good food and a great community.

Anonymous said...

Thanks! You probably have answered that question before, but I missed it. I love your focus on local eating!

hmd said...

Anonymous - I'm glad you're enjoying the local food posts. They are my favorite too (I LOVE food!). Watch for this Thursday's Market to Table. I'm including one of Dave's meals just for you :)