Hi everyone! I have to admit, I am less than impressed with today’s snowstorm. I mean, tomorrow is the first day of spring!! Apparently Mother Nature did not get the memo…..
So, one great thing about winter is the great selection of local WINTER farmer’s markets. Yes, that is correct, you can get fresh local vegetables in the winter, even in New England 😉
One of my favorite markets is in Exeter, NH and I had the pleasure of going this weekend with my friend Heather. Heather worked on one of our local farms a few summers ago… for me, this experience (you know, second-hand friend-experience) started me on this journey of farm-fresh food and healthier whole food eating.
I’m pleased to report that the farmer’s market is so much more than just vegetables. There is so much to see, and taste, that I could (and did) spend the whole morning there! The highlights……..
The Heron Pond Farm farmstand… this is where Jonathan and I usually do our CSA membership! Tons of fresh produce, always a treat…. and the owners are really great. Come to think of it, I’ve never met a farmer that isn’t great… must be something about all that fresh air and fresh food that makes a person happy 🙂
Fresh bread and local cheese….. (I ONLY refrained because we are still working our way through a loaf of foccacia at the house)
Fresh pasta!! Need I say more? Well okay, I do have more to say… Valicenti Organico is has tons of pasta options, including some made from farro and grains other than your traditional wheat. He also had so many different ravioli choices. I was ten minutes deciding… I went with the multi-grain portobello with spinach and chevre. Yum!!
White Heron is another favorite. I just love their teas. I enjoyed an iced cranberry ginger at the market. They also had a tasty looking quinoa salad… I didn’t buy it, but I did stare at the label long enough to memorize the ingredients. Can’t wait to make a batch 😉
And here I am with Heather, Shelly and Tamara… Shelly is one of the owners at Burnt Swamp Farm. I plan to get her fresh eggs until Jonathan lets me have some pet chickens. She has 224 chickens… I would be happy with just 3-4, totally manageable, right? 😉 And I would be remiss if I failed to mention her greens. Fresh spinach and kale, delish! I also love the market because it’s a chance to catch up with friends and chat with new people.
If you are curious about the market schedule, and live near me, you can check it out here (this is not an exhaustive list!)
Hmmmm… now what to do with all this fresh food? A delicious meal, of course!!
Winter Market Bowl
This meal combines some of winter’s best harvest. Paired with a gingery soy sauce, this bowl is tasty and satisfying. This recipe was also my first use of wheat berries… SO GREAT! Of course, you could serve this with rice or quinoa, but once you try wheat berries, you won’t want to. Serves 2 with extra wheat berries.
2-3 small beets, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/2 cup corn kernels
- 1 cup broccoli, broken into small pieces
- ~2 cups kale, torn into bite size pieces
- 1 cup wheat berries
- sauce: 3Tbs tamari or Bragg’s, 1 Tbs rice wine vinegar, 1Tbs olive oil, 1 tsp tahini, 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2-1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
- toppings (optional): chopped almonds, nutritional yeast
Start by getting the wheat berries going… bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Add a dash of salt and 1 cup wheat berries. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until all of the water has absorbed and the berries are cooked, about 45 minutes. The veggies will cook quickly, so give the wheat berries about 30 minutes of cook time before starting the vegetables.
Chop the carrot and beets. Roast at 450F for 5 minutes then add the corn kernels and roast an additional 5-10 minutes. I like my veggies a bit crunchy.
Here’s the coolest thing ever… Jonathan got me a bamboo steamer!
It is so quick and easy, and vegetables come out perfectly! Bring an inch or two of water to a boil over high heat. You can just pop this steamer on top of the pot… if you don’t have a steamer, a collander works well too. The broccoli and kale were cooked to perfection in 5 minutes. Here it is in action:
While the veggies are cooking, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients. The raw garlic and ginger can be a bit heavy for sensitive taste buds, so you may want to strain the sauce before serving to remove the bits.
Easy assembly… add cooked wheat berries to a bowl… top with veggies. Drizzle with sauce and (optional) top with chopped almonds and nutritional yeast. Not to toot my own horn, but this was seriously one of the best meals!
Mmmmm… transport me to southeast Asia… away from all of this snow!! Tomorrow is the first day of spring. I’m crossing my fingers that I wake up to 50 degree weather 😉
Stay healthy… winter is almost over!!