Archive for the 'Market Bounty!' category

oh my Green Goodness!

June 11, 2013 8:53 pm

Got a CSA box today!

June 11th

The picture is a little dark, but look at this bounty! Two heads of broccoli, three heads of lettuce, a bag of mixed tender greens, a bag of spinach, a bunch of kale, a bunch of chard, some radishes, and a bunch of green onions! Holy cow, I’d say we got our $8.75 worth of veggies and some!

So, what’s on the menu?, you ask. The broccoli was sort of a surprise, but I do have some plans for the leafy-er greens. The spinach will join the bag we bought at the market, and with the chard I’m going to take my first attempt at a saag curry. The kale will go into another batch of lemon goat cheese pasta. But the broccoli? I didn’t know I would get broccoli! What a gift! I’ll have to think about that one.  How exciting 🙂

Oh yeah, and here’s tomorrow’s salad with the mixed salad greens, radishes, and green onions from our CSA bounty and not-a-local carrot. And more of Farmer John’s gorgonzola, yum!

lunch salad 2

Week 2 Progress (Good!) & Week 3 Bounty (Large!)

June 8, 2013 1:17 pm

Another week has gone by, and it’s time to reflect on this weeks’ progress! Let’s see how we did.

Goal 1) To eat fresh local food! We did a lot of this, but I also used some stuff I already had, again. In the colcannon, I used up some potatoes that had been hanging around my fridge for a while and towards the end of the week, I pulled out some stuffed shells that had been in the freezer for I-don’t-remember-how-long. Somehow, that always seems like a good indicator that we should eat it soon! One success this week was popcorn. I am obsessed with popcorn and we have made popcorn on the stove with local kernels every single day this week!! I even took a bag of it to the IMAX for the new Star Trek movie (shhh – don’t tell, but it was WAY better than theatre popcorn!) Yum!

Goal 2) Eat healthy! We did okay here… maybe some of our meals were a little more oily than others. I’m really missing curries, but we just haven’t gotten a lot of amenable veggies yet. Perhaps I will get around to making a spinach curry next week.

Goal 3) Don’t break the bank! We spent just a little more than last week, which is amazing considering I bought a whole chicken in addition to all of those veggies. I am sure that pulling the stuffed shells out of the freezer contributed to this. All together I spent $93 on groceries, about $65 at the market and $28 at the grocery store. That means I’m doing just a little better at spending food dollars at the market than I did last week 🙂

Goal 4) Learn more about buying local meat! Definitely met this goal. Glenn bought a whole chicken, and I cooked it (with some success). I learned that I probably can’t deal with buying a whole chicken again until one of my gracious friends wants to come over and show me what to do. Until then, I will stick to more manageable meat purchases.

All-in-all it was a good week, I’d say!

We went to the markets again this morning (of course!). I REALLY wanted to go downtown, but I just couldn’t handle it on my crutches (yup, I’m still using those dumb crutches). But, the westside and hilldale markets were really easy to get around, and they are all just sweethearts. Want to see our market bounty for this week? Of course you do! (So did the girls, you’ll notice.)

June 8

Did you notice that this was a more expensive bounty than usual? Three (count’em) types of pasta (hey – they were cheaper if I bought more and they’re good until August), jam, salsa, peanut butter, AND sortofexpensive tortillas?! Yes, I did. Also note that we bought a block of pepper jack (not one of my favorites), a tub of cottage cheese, and a tub of goat cheese despite the fact that I have over half a lb of cheese left from previous bounties *sigh*. Why did I allow myself to go overboard like this? (Actually – I reigned myself in from also buying cheese curds and beef sticks, if you can believe it.) I had no plan!!

“WHAT, NO PLAN?!”

“yes. no plan.” whoops!

At first, I was excited. Look at all this stuff! It’s going to be a great week! And then I realized how much I spent…$67 in total today. That’s more than we’ve ever spent on food at the market, in a whole week. And this, this is the problem with not planning. Overspending and an overabundance of high-fat dairy! This does not bode well for half of my goals this week, but we’ll just have to see how this week unfolds. Perhaps some of these ingredients will get saved for future endeavors. Glenn had to remind me, again – this is a learning experience. If I’m thoughtful, by the end of the week I will have developed some new strategies for meeting my goals. We shall see 🙂

Glenn’s Market Success!

June 1, 2013 1:16 pm

Deterred from going myself by clumsy crutches, I nervously sent Glenn to the market and texted him every five minutes to see how it was going. I had a long list which included vague statements like “a half pound or bunch of two different vegetables”.

At first, I was nervous — would he bring back something weird by accident? extra sweets and snacks we wouldn’t need? would he misinterpret my list?

Actually, all three things happened, but I couldn’t be happier! Here’s the bounty:

The first market bounty of June!

The first market bounty of June!

Glenn brought home a bag of spinach ($3), a nearly 5lb chicken ($17.40), a small aloe plant ($2.50), a large cuke ($2), a small tomato (<$2 – he didn’t remember), a bunch of sweet red onions ($2), 2lb of popcorn kernels ($5), a goat cheese quiche ($3.50) and rhubarb muffin ($3), smoked mozzarella tortellini ($4.25), 7oz of garlic goat cheese ($6.25), small bunches of chard + kale ($3), and a surprise find: 24oz of organic low fat yogurt ($2.50). He also brought home a 6oz wedge of brie from Farmer John’s ($5.50) that didn’t make it into this picture.

I have so many recipes floating around in my head. I thought I knew what I was going to cook went I sent him with a list, then I spent the whole time he was gone lurking on my favorite foodie blogs, and when he got back and I saw the produce for myself, I totally re-worked my plan. Right now, the plan is pretty ambitious and means I’ll cook every night (starting tomorrow – we’ll order in tonight so I don’t have to be on my feet) and have leftovers for lunch. We’ll see how it goes!

Swiss Chard and Black Bean Soft Tacos

May 30, 2013 7:58 pm

Our market visits this week have really reminded me that the smaller markets are their own little community. If you have a chance to stay and chat for a while, you can learn so much! We went to two markets yesterday, Hilldale and Downtown. At Hilldale, we finally got up the nerve to ask what I felt was sort of a “stupid question”, what is kettle corn, really? Is it just corn popped in a kettle? Or is it specifically that salty sweet goodness that I think of when I hear the phrase “kettle corn”? According to our new friend at Chippy’s popcorn, it is the latter! Everything else is just popcorn 🙂 So he tells us this, and then proceeds to tell us all about how his popcorn is made, how typically movie theater popcorn is made, and all about his different varieties (stories which include samples, of course)! I just can’t get over how friendly he was, much like our encounter with the honey lady yesterday. See, small markets have their charm, too!

So, what did we buy? This!

Market bounty!

Market bounty!

After talking to the popcorn guy, of course we had to buy cheddar popcorn! This big bag was $6. We also bought two tomatoes (one regular, one very large blemished one for cooking) for $4, a large cuke for $1, a little more than 3/4 lb of our dearly beloved smoked gouda ($6.25) and a little less than 1/2 lb of gorgonzola ($4.75), and a plate of peanut butter cookies ($3), just for fun!

The un-blemished tomato, cuke, and gorgonzola are going in my salads the rest of this week and the smoked gouda went into a ridiculously yummy gouda-and-ham sammy that Glenn had for lunch. I’d have been jealous if I hadn’t made a gorgonzola dressing for my salad *whew*. Perhaps I’ll get around to posting a picture tomorrow :).

Enough about lunch. Here’s dinner:

Swiss Chard and Black Bean Taco

I know, it doesn’t look like much, and the swiss chard and tomatoes got cooked down so much that they’re hard to see here. Honestly, it wasn’t our favorite meal. Glenn gave it a 6.5 out of 10. Which is basically a “good, but needs work”. The big success here was making my own tortillas (yay!).

Homemade Tortillas
1 c flour (I think you could pretty much use any flour, but I used bread flour bc it was in arm’s reach!)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (needed more salt!)
1 tbsp butter or ghee, cold
1/2 c hot water (added slowly)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large-ish bowl. Then, add the butter/ghee/lard, whatever. Mix it in with your fingers, until sort of crumbly. (Mine wasn’t super crumbly, but maybe could have been better). Then, add your hot (but not boiling) water. Add it slowly! I didn’t use quite 1/2 cup of water. The dough should be soft, not sticky. My neighbor Deep said it should be like playdough, and I agree – a dry-ish playdough. Let dough sit for 10 minutes.

Then, split the dough into 6 pieces, and roll them out as thin as you can. I tried my best to get to an 8-in round. Heat a non-stick skillet at medium/medium high heat and grease it a little. (I melted a little ghee in mine for the first one, and then didn’t add any more to the pan. I’m not sure it really needed any fat.) When you see little bubbles on top, flip it.

We had a few leftover, so I cut them up and fried them (the triangles in the picture). As delicious as any salty fried dough would be!

Swiss Chard with Black Beans and Tomatoes
I’m not going to give you a recipe for this one, just a summary, since it wasn’t great.
1. I boiled a bit more than 1 c of dried black beans, early in the day. I salted them and stored them in the fridge for later.
2. I diced three cloves of garlic, cut up one big tomato, and de-stemmed and chopped up a bunch of swiss chard.
3. Heated a tsp of olive oil, added a couple shakes of red pepper flakes, and garlic. I sauteed the swiss chard. When it was tender, I added the tomatoes and black beans.
4. Juiced half a lime into it, and added salt, pepper, and chili vinegar to taste!

The original recipe called for pinto beans and adding dots of goat cheese and baking the whole thing. I didn’t find goat cheese at the market, so I just stuffed a tortilla or two with this stuff and a little white rice and some cheddar we had laying around. Not super fancy, but a good use of ingredients, I think.

I wasn’t very exact in the preparation of this recipe, so I don’t have nutritional info for you on this one. But, it was low in fat, high in fiber, and chock full of nutritious chard 🙂