Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Going to the market, Part I

We just had our last summer Farmer's Market of the year on Saturday.  We also have a fabulous winter market, but obviously it does not have the same bounty of fresh local fruits and vegetables.  The summer market is fab - there are tons of farmers from Pemberton Valley, Squamish Valley and some that drive up from Abbotsford & the Fraser Valley, as well as baked goods, cooked foods and lots of arts and crafts.  This year they also had a farmer with organic eggs & chicken, an organic beef vendor and a cheese stand.  Yum!  Everything sold there has to be grown or made by the vendor.

But the best part of the market is that it is the social hub of Squamish every sunny Saturday of the summer.  I particularly liked going this year as I had lost touch with lots of my coworkers & other friends on my maternity leave, so it was a great chance to see everyone again.  There's always some good music and cooking demos going on too.

Squamish Farmer's Market with the Chief in the background

Rah rah for the market!  Finley is stoked on his salad greens!
This year I was lucky to be involved in a program called the B.C. Farmer's Market Nutrition and Coupon Program.  This program provides free coupons to groups within the community (seniors, low income families, families with babies) that are redeemable for fresh produce, dairy products and meat at the market.   In addition to the coupons, there were also weekly cooking classes where we would use the goods from the market to cook healthy and nutritious meals.  My involvement in this program came about thanks to a "mommy & baby" group we attend every Wednesday.  At my first cooking class it was a big group of moms cooking amazing Indian food together while our babies hung out in the common room.  Last week the group was half moms with babes and half seniors, so it was a nice mix.  We made yam & potato soup and enjoyed lunch together.  The classes are really fun and a great community building activity.

This Saturday was the last market, as I mentioned, and I had $45 of coupon money left.  I planned to hang out at the market all morning, but as usual, I over planned my morning.  As we enjoyed brunch at Chef Big D's, Finley started to suggest that he might like a nap, and I knew my market window was closing fast.  So I made a deal with Derek: if he could entertain the increasingly fussy Finley for 15 minutes, I would do a power-shop at the market.  If there is one thing I am not known for, it's "getting the lead out", as my mom would say.  On this occasion, however, I ploughed through the market, avoiding all well-wishing small-talkers and throwing coupons at vendors (nicely).  I got some organic eggs, chicken and ground beef, but still had a fair bit of coupon money left.  With time running out, I went to my favourite vegetable stand and started pointing willy-nilly at any colourful and pretty vegetable I saw.  I made it out in 15 minutes and we got home in time for Finley's nap.  But now I had to figure out what I was going to make with red potatoes, Swiss chard, leeks, carrots, green beans, green onions and beets.

The next morning I made a delicious chard & red potato frittata with my organic eggs.  I threw in some rosemary from my "garden" for good measure.  It was delicious!

The next day I made Potato and Leek soup.  You are supposed to use the green parts, aren't you?  My recipe didn't specify, so I did.  It tasted great, but it was a lot greener than I expected!

For the rest of the chard, I pulled out one of my yet-to-be-used cookbooks, Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi.  If you were a vegetable, you would like to be cooked by this man.  I've never seen a book with so many beautiful, mouth-watering, vibrant photos of vegetables.  I mean, just look at the eggplant on the cover!  This is what eggplant aspires to be.  I've been looking forward to cooking with this book, and with a bunch of colourful chard in my hands, this was my chance!

Cookbook Challenge #15: Chick Pea Saute with Greek Yoghurt

You must think I am a nut try to serve chick peas sautéed with Swiss chard to my husband.  This is a man who disdainfully calls cauliflower "that white broccoli."  Well, I'm a nut!  He did eat it (not much of it, but some of it anyway!)  In my humble opinion, it was delicious and it was easy to cook.  Only one hitch - it called for caraway seeds.  I must have every seed available in the spice aisle - coriander, cumin, celery, fennel, fenugreek, mustard (black and yellow) - except caraway.  So I used cumin seeds instead and it was great.  Next time I'll try with caraway, though I am unlikely to get this one past Derek twice!

mmm…. pretty and fresh!

Sauté it up!

Serve over rice with a dollop of Greek yoghurt.  Yum!

1 comment:

  1. I am making that frittata tomorrow night! Another really good Ottolenghi recipe, from a different book, is this amazing marinated eggplant salad. File it away for next summer - it is so good!