Monday, August 29, 2011
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Come out to the market Saturday August 27th at 10am or Wednesday August 31st at 1pm to learn what is in season when in Texas, discuss why you should eat local and seasonal, and pick up some tips on seasonal meal planning.
See you there!
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Just In @ The Market - Prickly Pears, Gluten Free Jalapeño Cheddar Buns, Spaghetti Squash and Miniature Eggplant!!
|Thanks Heather for these gorgeous prickly pears!|
|Yum! Jalapeño cheddar buns from Serious Sourdough.|
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
This fruit, native to the Americas, seems rather unassuming from the outside, almost resembing a yellow watermelon, but once baked the flesh magically transforms into long pasta like strands, hence the name Spaghetti squash. A vegetable surprise, spaghetti squash is a great thing to cook with kids.
Not only is the Spaghetti squash delicious, entertaining, and easy to prepare, but it is a great low calorie & gluten free alternative to pasta. You'll find both Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in this unique vegetable as well as Vitamins A & C, Potassioum, Folic Acid, and Manganese. You can also toast the seeds like pumpkin seeds for a healthy snack!
Store your squash for about a month at room temperature. No need to refrigerate. The humidity in the fridge will shorten the squash's life span. Spaghetti squashes will keep for many months at 50 degrees in low humidity, but most of us do not have root cellars here in Texas so that dry cool space is hard to come by.
Like most winter squashes, the best way to cook spaghtti squah is to bake it. You can bake it whole by piercing the skin with a knife to release steam and then cut and remove the seeds after it cools. Alternatively, you can cut the sqaush in half and remove the seeds before baking. Then place the halves cut side down in a baking pan. Either way, bake it at 350 degrees for about a half hour to 45 minutes, until you can pierce the skin it easily with a fork. Let the squash cool for about 15 minutes and then use a fork to scrape the golden strands of squash from the skin.
One of the things I love about all winter squashes that holds true for the spaghetti is that they can be prepared either savory or sweet. Once cooked you can top the squash with pasta sauce, toss with garlic and olive oil, or butter and honey. One of my favorite dishes is spaghetti squash tossed with Monument Pesto and cherry tomatoes. Mmmm....pesto....
Here's a super easy savory spaghetti squash recipe
- 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 3 tablespoons sliced black olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Place spaghetti squash cut sides down on the prepared baking sheet, and bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a fork can be inserted with only a little resistance. Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
- Use a fork to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
If NASA can manage to grow potatoes in space, than you can surely get them growing in your backyard.
Come out to the Monument Market this Saturday, August 20th at 10am or Wednesday, August 24th at 1pm to learn how to cultivate the beloved tuber.
We'll also discuss some alternative potato growing methods, including container growing and growing potatoes in straw.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Even in a year with cooler temperatures and average rainfall, August is a tough time to be growing food in Texas. There is a natural lull in the season as most plants go into a semi- dormancy to preserve water and energy in the hot hot heat of a Texas summer. But the one veggie you can always count on in August is okra.
Related to hibiscus and cotton, this tropical plant was cultivated by the Egyptians as early as the 12th century BC. Okra was brought to the Caribbean and the southern US in the 1700’s from West Africa in the slave trade. In French, okra is known as gumbo, from which derives the name of the popular Creole stew thickened with okra. Now Okra can be found in cuisines from most tropical and subtropical area of the world where the plant grows prolifically in the heat.
When buying okra, choose pods that are bright green and not woody. Store okra in a paper bag in the
door, or other warmer part of your fridge. Do not wash the okra until you are ready to cook it.
Mostly we see okra either fried, in gumbo, or stewed with tomatoes. These are all delicious, but there are many other ways to cook the pods. Be aware that the more you cut okra and the longer you cook it the more gooey it can get. If you’ve been turned off by okra in the past because of the goo, try just chopping off the ends and grilling the pods. Super fresh okra can even be eaten raw! My favorite way to cook okra is to saute 1 inch pieces in a cast iron skillet over very high heat with onion, garlic, fresh ginger and Indian spices like curry, turmeric, cumin and coriander. I might even throw in a diced tomato if I’ve got one handy....
Here' a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's _World of the East Vegetarian Cookbook_:
Basic Indian-Style Sauteed Okra
1.5 lbs okra cut into 1 inch pieces
6 T veg. oil
6 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt (Adjust to taste)
1/4-1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper
Sauté the onions and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes. Add the okra and saute another 5 minutes (the okra should be a bright green after this). Add the spices and mix to coat the okra with them. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the okra is tender. Uncover and cook down until any water is gone.