Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bound

So excited for my trip back east. Food, family and fun. Not necessarily in that order. Be back soon!

Listening to the Avett Brothers to get in the mood.....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Summer's Bounty

Sometimes I think I am nuts because I get such joy in going to the Farmer's Market and ogling over how perfect all the vegetables look in their baskets and bins. All the work the local farmers do to bring it to use each week- yes it costs more but this is a labor of love. To me, if it was my last dollar, I would give it for the taste of an apple, peach or a juicy ripe tomato straight from a local farm anyday!

When I look at this bounty I don't just see picture perfect produce- I see a ratatouille with zukes, eggplant, tomatoes and fresh herbs- I see a juicy sweet plum, peach and raspberry crisp. I see a Swiss Chard and potato tart......I see my body saying thank you for feeding me all this healthy food. I see people gathered round the table sharing stories, sharing this great food- staying healthy. There is nothing better than that and that's why I hope you will try to get out and support you local Farmers Markets. It's a great community of people and they are all bound by one single thread- to bring you fresh, delicious produce straight from the farm to your table. Don't be afraid to try something you never have before- there are a million recipes out there for you to try. Enjoy!

 teeny tomatoes about to go in a salad

colorful plums at Seedlings farm stand at Green City Market

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Simple Quinoa Salad

If you haven't yet discovered the wonders of quinoa, I am about to give you a delicious recipe for you to put into your side dish repertoire.

Quinoa (pronounced "keen-wah") is a great source of protein with a slightly crunchy texture. It is available now in most grocery stores and of course health food stores as well. Make sure you always rinse it before cooking and strain it in a fine mesh sieve. What I find is that it's very adaptable to whatever ingredients you want to mix in with it. You can do something as simple as adding a little butter and fresh herbs or really get creative with combinations of flavors and ingredients. Any way you make it, you will start to wonder what you did without it! Here is the recipe:

 Quinoa Salad with Asparagus, Pesto and Sun-dried Tomatoes

1 cup white quinoa, rinsed well
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 white or yellow onion, diced small 
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small carrots, diced
1/2 red or orange pepper, diced
6 stalks of asparagus, sliced in 1/4 discs
1/2 of a zucchini, diced
4-6 sundried tomatoes, sliced thin
olive oil for sauteing
2 tablespoons fresh pesto sauce (can be store bought!)
1/4 fresh parsley, chopped
handful of walnuts, or pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa in salted water until tender.  This can be anywhere from 15-20 minutes depending. Drain off any excess liquid and set aside to cool.
Next, saute onion in a little olive oil until soft, add the the carrots and saute for 5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables, and cook until soft but not mushy. Cool.

Transfer the quinoa to a bowl. Add the vegetables, pesto, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold to incorporate all ingredients. Top with toasted nuts. This makes enough for 4 healthy servings.

 It's funny because my sister and I were having a conversation about quinoa salads just the other night so she just sent me a recipe she tried and liked. I am going to make her version next and maybe I'll post it here! Hope it's good MB! :) I am sure it is!