Recently, I went to one of our local farmers’ markets and at an organic vegetable stand I selected some rhubarb, a shallot, some spinach and Jerusalem Chokes. I had no experience with the knobby, brown chokes but another shopper assured me that they are a tasty root vegetable you can boil in water. At the lone bakery booth I bought a loaf of bread for a pricey $7 that turned out to be burnt along the bottom crust. A defect I missed when purchasing.
That night I sautéed spinach to go along with the lightly boiled chokes and some barbequed chicken.
The next day I tried to salvage the bread by cutting off the burnt crusts and incorporating the remaining cut-up bread into an egg bake but I discovered that soggy bread isn’t very appealing. It tasted better the next day after it had a chance to firm up a bit. The rhubarb purchase was more successful, after I cooked it on the stove top with a splash of maple syrup it made a tart and tasty topping for ice-cream and yogurt. It also worked well in smoothies in my new Ninja blender.
This was my first trip to a farmers’ market this spring and I’m planning to go weekly during the summer months to all of the markets operating in and around Vancouver.
A Few Grab ‘n Go Ideas from Granville Island
Here are a few items I regularly prepare for lunch or dinner that I pick up at Granville Island, a ten minute walk from my condo.
This first option is fresh pasta stuffed with various vegetables and cheese. With some prepared pesto and a bunch of spinach wilted into the cooked pasta it makes a great meal for lunch, or dinner. Tip: remember to reserve a bit of the starchy cooking water to loosen up your sauce and help it stick to the pasta.
Toss in some tomato to add colour and more nutrition and finish it off with fresh herbs and a dusting of grated Parmesan.
Another favourite take-away is a small ‘pizza’ (they call it focaccia) from Terra Breads, very yummy, this one’s potato. I rarely order take-out pizza as this satisfies any craving I may have for a doughy, salty treat. Heat it up at a low temperature in the oven (never microwave bread items) for a delicious snack or add a soup or salad to make a meal.
Another favourite is candied salmon that I buy at the fish monger in the market. I like to crumble it up and add to a salad, stir fry or pasta dish. It’s expensive but it packs in a lot of flavour for only a small amount.
I like to flavour my stir fries with fresh lemon, salt, pepper and some crushed garlic and olive oil.
Here’s the finished salmon & vegetable stir-fry rounded off with brown rice & barley.
I’m lucky to live in a neighbourhood with so many food shopping options! I’ll share more soon!