Support your local farmers and enjoy a locally grown meal with your family for $15 plus what you’ve got in your pantry.

13 Feb

December 6, 2009

The farmer’s market (Green Market) is my favorite place to spend a bit of Saturday morning. Promise of apple cider is my daughter Nina’s favorite reason to get out early. I love the selection you get when you arrive before 10am.

$15 in my pocket, I explained the plan to my almost six year old. A meal for four for $15.. what should we make?
We want something sweet – we check out the squash.
They are out in every shape and size. Nina chooses the little ones – so we can each have one. I’ve got some maple syrup in my cupboard that will turn this into a wonderful dessert. We put 4 in our bag.
Something bright and green – Great for the lungs and to clean out and strengthen our blood. There are plenty of big leafy greens to choose from. There is purple kale, curly kale, and a long stemmed thinner kale I haven’t seen in a long while. Collards and bok choy and cabbage, which one? My little girl loves kale best of all. Her love of kale began when she was 3 and I told her it was mermaid food. She loves it especially when I make kale chips, but she’ll eat it sauteed with gusto as well. We get a bouquet of the curly kale, an old standby.
A head of garlic because it is warming and delicious and is a natural antibiotic and mighty protector – very important with so many coughs and sneezes happening.
Sunflower sprouts because they are beautiful. They are sturdy and robust in flavor, and lovely looking little leaves. I ask Nina if she’d want some in her lunch and she says yes. We get a good lot of them.
We are missing something crunchy and fresh. White radishes will be perfect. These are a bit spicy for most young palates (though you might be surprised), but incredibly strengthening, great for clearing congestion of all kinds. They will be appreciated as accents for the young ones, and in a heartier serving for anyone warding off a cold.
That’s it! We’re at $15.
Nina spots the flower vendor and I agree, a bouquet of dried autumn flowers for $5 will dress up our table right.
The menu:
brown (or red, black, or wild) rice with toasted sesame seeds
baked kale with olive oil and sea salt
shredded radish (or carrot or apple) and sunflower seed sprout salad with parmesan cheese
baked squash with cinnamon and maple syrup
How to:
Rice in all varieties is a great staple to keep in abundance in your pantry. Approximately 2 parts water or broth to 1 part rice, keep it simple or add a little olive oil and sea salt to the pot.
Sesame seeds are nourishing to the kidneys and add a nice flavor and texture. Put them in a pan on medium low heat and stir them around until they are aromatic and start to brown. Put them on top of the rice or serve in a dish for each to self serve.
Baked kale:
You can keep the kale intact, but for my lover of kale chips, I break them up. Here’s how:
Preheat your oven (or toaster oven) to 350 degrees. Put a bit of olive oil in a small bowl. Dip your fingers into the bowl and then lightly coat the kale leaves as you tear them up into 2-3 inch pieces, and place on a baking sheet. Top them with sea salt and/or your favorite spices. Put in the oven for 5 minutes, then flip the kale pieces over and cook for another 2-5 minutes. Stay close by, these burn quickly! Chips should be crispy and deep green, not brown.
Shredded radish and sunflower seed sprout salad
Because radishes are quite spicy for some, it’s nice to cut them into toothpicks or to shred them as I did here. Toss with the above mentioned sunflower seed sprouts and top with olive oil, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese. Yummy.
If the radish is too intense, add or replace with carrots or apples.
Baked squash with cinnamon and maple syrup
Simple to make, and a simply sweet compliment to any autumn meal. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half and hollow them out (we used small delicata squash). Pour 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup in each half and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cover the dish with aluminum foil to keep the moisture in and bake until soft (stick a fork in the squash. When it goes in and out easily, it is ready). The time will depend on the size of the squash. Count on at least 25-30 minutes, and possibly as long as an hour+.
That’s it. Set your table for those you most love and enjoy!

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