Cooking with farm fresh produce
So we all go the our local farmers markets for all the farm fresh produce from our local area farmers and growers. We like to support the local economy and want that farm direct access to our food. Now what to do with all the farm fresh goodies we get from the market each week? Where do you get good recipes? Of course, many of us rely to go online, a great resource. We also have family recipes that are always delicious and reliable.
For myself, I have an unconventional way of cooking. My motto is: “A little of this and a little of that”. I use to think cooking was somewhat a chore when my children were younger. I had to make dinner fast and needed quick and easy recipes for my hungry kids and then rush to get them to their next activity or my next chore. Not until when I got into my 40s did I really begin to enjoy and absolutely adore cooking. Wow, what have I been missing this entire time!
When I cook most of our dinners, I do not follow a formal recipe. I do not measure my ingredients, at least with my dinner entrees. I usually see my available staple items in my kitchen and go with it. I’ll start with a protein, a starch and a veggie then decide the seasonings and garnishments there after. Depending whether I bake or sauté, I usually follow a basic method. Cook the protein, add or side a pasta, rice or potato and finish with the vegetable. Lately, I’ve been blending everything together. I’ve blended Quinoa with potatoes or rice with diced or sautéed veggies. Last season, I had blended Kale with everything. This season I’ve been blending Arugula and Bok Choy with my dishes.
I now look at cooking as an art form. I never understood that term “cooking is an art”, but now I live by it! As a self- proclaimed foodie, when I go out to dine I observe the presentation and have a higher appreciation of food and the quality of its taste and the way it’s prepared. Yes, I am one of those fanatics that takes photos of my meals at home and restaurants and post them on my Instagram. Social media has taken eating and food to a definite next level. It can be considered a subculture.
As shown in the photo, I used Asian style noodles, sautéed with some minced garlic, blended in some local farmers market Bok Choy and Arugula then garnished with some sliced Red Pepper. So easy to prepare and can be duplicated with a different pasta or green. It’s about blending textures and complimenting the different tastes together to make the dishes work.
Ask your local farmer how to cook certain greens and produce. Farmers know best how to best utilize their own crops. And by all means experiment and have fun! Cooking is fool-proof and you can never go wrong.
As Always, Amelia
Market Manager, Gresham Farmers Market