Thursday, September 3, 2009

Market to Table - September 3, 2009

Wow! Last week was a truly amazing week in food and I didn't think I could top it, but it turns out, I'm on a roll. As promised, this post includes my homemade granola recipe to go with the rice milk I've been making from local rice. I also (although prematurely) dug up one of the sweet potatoes from the backyard (just to check on the progress of course) and enjoyed my first ever backyard sweet potato. Awesome! There's even more, so let's get right to it!


Granola has been on and off the menu now for a couple years, but never has it been so delicious or so local. It's taken me many tries, but I've finally researched and tested enough recipes that I was able to make one of my own, exactly the way I like it. And with some of that homemade local rice milk and a local pear from the farmers' market, I'm enjoying la vida locavore even as the sun rises (ok, I don't really get up that early, but you know what I mean). So without further ado, the recipe...
Heather's Homemade Granola

Dry Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flour (I used local whole wheat)
1/2 cup nuts (I use local pecans)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or 1/4 cup coconut and 1/4 cup raw cocoa nibs)
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp salt

Wet Ingredients:
1/3 cup local honey
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly coat. Place in a jelly roll pan (I use a 9x10 inch pan that fits in my toaster oven. If you use a bigger pan, your bake time will very because the granola won't be as thick) and bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until lightly toasted. Do not stir. Allow to cool completely before breaking into chunks. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I've been through a lot of granola recipes. This works for my particular preference because of the clumping (I love clusters of granola!). The flour helps this process as does the fact that you don't stir while baking and let it cool before breaking up the pieces. I finally mixed and matched enough recipes that this is a real winner for me. Hope you enjoy it! Oh, and don't forget the homemade local rice milk!

Sweet Potatoes

I do love my granola, but this week, sweet potatoes were my crowning achievement. Why? Because after being coached from making my own slips through to harvest (and soon curing), this sweet potato came right out of my backyard. Let me tell you, it was beyond thrilling to reach past the intertwining vines that I've watched grow for 3 months now, dig in that beautiful soil, discover that fat bright orange root, and then enjoy every last bite of it for dinner.

And as you know, I'm all about easy food. So all I did was cut the sweet potato into those bite sized pieces, dropped them in the frying pan with a little olive oil (farmers' market) and salt, and let it cook through. I kept the pan covered mostly, other than stirring it a few times to keep it from burning. Delicious! The real trick will be seeing if I can resist harvesting the remaining 80 square feet of potatoes until their scheduled harvest at the end of the month. I don't know. They might just be too good to resist...

Pesto Veggie Sandwich and Steamed Carrots

The last, but certainly not least, featured meal started with one of my homemade whole wheat rolls (wheat and honey are local). I slathered both sides of the bun with vegan pesto, made from the basil I got from last weekend's farmers' market. Next I added tomato (also from the farmer's market) and lambs-quarter (from the backyard). Seriously drool-worthy!

On the side are farmers' market carrots that I steamed earlier this week. I like to nibble on the carrots cold (it's still pretty hot here in Texas and cold food is good food). It was both a tasty and wonderfully colorful meal.

Not pictured are the rice and veggie casserole I made out of a quart of all-local soup and some local rice I had stocked in the pantry. The pantry is getting full, so there is sure to be many more casserole dishes in the weeks ahead as I clear a little space.

What can I say? It doesn't get any better than local food. You don't have to be a chef to enjoy culinary perfection. You just need to start with the best produce. It just so happens, you can find it right around the corner so be sure to visit your farmers' market this weekend.

Until next time, Happy (and mindful) eating!


Chile said...

The sweet potato is exciting! I'm sure you posted about the slips so I need to go back and find it (unless you want to link to the post...)

I love granola, too, but rarely make it because I don't use oil so it doesn't always come out the way I'd like. Also, my TMJ doctor really doesn't want me eating hard stuff like that. (grumble, grumble)

hmd said...

Chile - Actually, I haven't posted about the slips quite yet. I've been taking photos the whole way and was going to do one big post next month about sweet potatoes from slips to curing. Almost there...

Yeah, oil is probably important, but I did see some recipes that used applesauce. Have you tried that?

Sam said...

The sweet potato news is exciting! I looooove sweet potatoes. Since I like everything spicy, I'd add some chili powder to mine. Mmmmmm

Your granola recipe is very similar to mine (I don't add flour), but I love it. So simple, and tasty.

hmd said...

Beany - I've never played around with spices on the sweet potatoes. But there are so many out there, they are just begging for experimentation :)