Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sentinel column by Carol Foat - 6/17/11

"Half of all the foods you eat should be made up of real food. Food that comes out of the ground looking the way it looks when you eat it." This recent health advice is from TV’s Dr. Oz. Thanks to the Webb City Farmers’ Market, we have that suggestion covered and then some!! Our fabulous market is nothing but “real food” that is the absolute freshest – it’s only a few hours from coming out of the ground. There’s a big new word for farmers’ market shoppers – a locavore is someone who eats food grown or produced close to home. Being a locavore is a challenge in many parts of the country. It’s easy here, thanks to the Webb City Farmers’ Market.

Not only do we enjoy fresh vegetables very early in their season but we also have a selection that beats most markets. We are so fortunate that most every vegetable grows well in Missouri. Thanks to our talented market farmers , we have everything from tomatoes to kohlrabi, bok choy, cilantro, leeks, arugula, baby garlic, Swiss chard, and Asian mustard just to name a few. New items this week are cucumbers and green beans.

Locavores not only shop for vegetables but also eggs, cheese, meat, baked goods, fruit, honey and garden plants. Raspberries, blackberries, and blue berries are now starting to show up at the market.

Our market offers all-natural pork, beef, lamb, chicken and eggs from chickens that have access to grass. Amos Apiaries sells tasty honey and honey-based products. Pick up some cheddar curds, Neufchatel, Monterey Jack, Havarti or mild cheddar from Lomah Farmers. Marilee’s Dairy sells raw milk in pints, half gallons and gallons.

Fairhaven has eggs, jams and jellies while Black Forest House will tempt you with American and European pastries. The selection of artisan breads from Redings Mill and cakes, pies, and fruit breads from Freda Mae’s is fantastic. Pick up some freshly roasted coffee beans from Small Cottage Coffee and you will have completed your grocery shopping for the week!

It’s not too late to purchase lovely herb and vegetable plants for your own garden from Fredrikson’s Farms. While shopping, sip on a smoothie or lemonade from Stella Dolce.

On Friday, June 17, the Gospel Strings will perform. Treat yourself to lunch – meatloaf, au gratin potatoes, green beans, cheese cake, and a drink for only $6. Or have a Luncheon salad for $4.

On Saturday, June 18, Greyhound Pets of America will serve breakfast. Enjoy the music of Center Creek Bluegrass.

The Audubon Society will provide Cooking for a Cause on Tuesday, June 21. The talented Rob Pommert will perform contemporary classics, jazz and classical guitar.

Here are some of my favorite recipes with market ingredients in bold print:

Slow Cooker Tomato Minestrone Soup

3 heads of baby (green) garlic (also the light green part of the shoot) – chopped
6 green onions – chopped
6 c Swiss chard (include the stems) or fresh spinach (leaves only) – coarsely chopped
2 c. celery – chopped
2 tbsp parsley – chopped
1 c. uncooked pasta (any kind)
2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano
4 c. tomato juice
1 qt. water
3 beef bouillon cubes
1 pound ground beef, browned and drained
1 can beans (red or white)

Cook everything in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Sprinkle on parmesan cheese when serving.

Versatile Stir Fry

2-3 Tbsp Oil
1/3 c chopped green onion
1 bulb - finely chopped baby (green) garlic (head and light green of shoot)
2 c. coarsely chopped bok choy
1 c. broccoli florets
2-3 c. coarsely chopped Napa Cabbage
1 c. Snow peas (Optional)
2 c. leftover (fully cooked) chicken, pork or beef

1 pkg. Ramen noodles, broken up.

Soak noodles in 1 ½ c hot water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Start stir-frying with onions, garlic, broccoli, then bok choy, cabbage. Add snow peas. Add noodle seasoning packet, 1/8 c water and a splash of soy sauce. Add chunks of meat and Ramen noodles. Cook until meat and noodles are heated through. A super way to use (and stretch) leftover meat and a variety of fresh vegetables.

Remember market hours are 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. on Saturdays.