Farmers Market Finds: Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

I’ve been to the grocery store at least four times this past week. I know, it sounds ridiculous right? It wasn’t because I hadn’t planned properly or was cooking up a storm each night. I started a new job as the nutrition and culinary instructor for Mission High School’s summer school program. I am teaching a total of 150 students each week basic nutrition and cooking skills. It really is a great program to introduce these students to concepts delicious yet healthy foods. Last week, the students made kale and goat cheese frittatas and strawberry protein smoothies. I have to admit, I got a little ambitious introducing kale and goat cheese to the students at once on the first day of class. Most of them did not know what kale was and some of them were really grossed out by the fact that goat cheese comes from goats. Lesson learned.

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This week, I am going to teach them the importance of reading labels and choosing foods with as few ingredients as possible. Instead of using canned or bottled pasta sauce, they can make their own sauces and pestos from scratch using local, fresh ingredients. I bought cherry tomatoes and the ingredients to make basil pesto from the farmers market today. I will try to Instagram how everything turns out tomorrow during break or after class.

20130609-161311.jpgMy trunk full of tomatoes and ingredients for Monday’s meal.

Even though its been super windy and miserably gray in San Francisco, the farmers market is full of bright colors. I love to get a bag of mixed salad greens from Happy Boy Farms, because they always top the bag with edible flowers. Edible flowers also contain antioxidant properties.

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Meatless Mondays: Fascination or Obsession

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I am love with farm fresh vegetables, particularly tomatoes. I fell in love with tomatoes when in first grade I got to take home a small tomato plant from a school field trip to a greenhouse. About 15 years later, my parents went on a vacation leaving my brother, a blooming tomato plant, and myself to fend for ourselves. For some reason, I couldn’t let the beautiful heirloom tomatoes  rot on the vine and there must have been a dozen ripe tomatoes.  These tomatoes were shiny, imperfect in shape, large, dark greenish red, and plump. I had an urge to use all of them up at once, so I decided to make an Italian meal. I had no clue on how to make my own sauce, but I had convinced myself that it was easy. I also convinced myself that I didn’t need to look online for methods on making your marinara from scratch. I cut each tomato in half, put them into the food processor, and liquefied them until they became a thin juice….to make a long story short, we had liquidy lasagna for dinner. And my brother and I still swear that it was the best lasagna we’ve ever had.



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