Farmers Market Finds: Mother’s Day

It was gorgeous day at the Farmers Market. Everyone seemed livelier, maybe because the sun was briefly out and it was Mother’s Day. There were more people than usual too. I was in bit of a hurry and could not chat much with familiar faces or stop to take beautiful photos. I needed to pick up a few ingredients and quickly prepare for our Mother’s Day picnic and hike. Though, I was delighted to find lots and lots of squash blossoms. We are going to eat amazing frittatas and snacks this week!

squash blossomsSquash blossoms are the flowers of zucchinis. They are delicate and are a special treat. The blossoms go quickly at the market and don’t last long in the heat or fridge. I usually use them up within a few days of buying. They can be eaten raw, slightly sautéed, or stuffed and fried. The blossoms come off as exotic, so it’s fun too serve them at a special meal. At restaurants, I loved eating them on pizzas, but it’s hard to find speciality gluten-free pizza. 

blueberriesI couldn’t resist taking a photo of these beauties.

A tradition only started last year, my brother and I choose a local state park to have a picnic and hike with our parents. We thought it would be a nice way to spend quality time with our parents and get them to hike, something they normally do not do on their own. We try to keep the hike moderate, so it’s enjoyable for everyone. Walking amongst the giant trees sparks interesting conversations. It’s also a nice alternative to worrying about reservations and dining out.

treesThis year, we went to Roberts Regional Park in Oakland. We live nearby so many state parks, but have not visited half of them. Mother’s Day is our new reason to explore the parks and trails around us.

picnic

After a small, homemade picnic, we went for a moderate hike. We had pea pesto marinated chicken, turkey stuffed bell peppers, poha (spiced flattened rice dish), lentil and chard pilaf, dolmas, spicy hummus, mangos, and cherries. A very ethnic and delicious picnic.

treesI am so thankful to live within half an hour of these beautiful redwoods. The air was amazing.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

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Farmer’s Market Find: Stevia!

I cooked a lot last week, almost every single day!  (I usually cook every two days). This week, I have a super tight schedule and I don’t want to think about making meals like I did last week (Saag Paneer, Roti, Chicken Curry, Baked Stuffed Tomatoes, French Toast, Pizza, Salads, Lentils). We have a ton of leftovers too. So I kept it light at the FM today and really restrained myself from going “gaga” over all the fresh, colorful summer  produce. It was truly melon madness at the market- at least 10 different types were spotted. The most surprising and unique find was Stevia! Stevia is a native South American plant grown in desert like conditions. The sweet plant does not thrive in moisture and is 30-45 times sweeter than table sugar and has been touted as safe for those who want a healthy alternative. I am going to experiment this week to see how I can use the leaves, as it’s typically found in powder and liquid form at stores. It can’t get more natural than having Stevia leaves! I don’t normally add sugar to anything I make, except in the occasional homemade lattes and chai. If you have tips, suggestions, or opinions on Stevia let me know!

Stevia! - $2 Hollie’s Homegrown

Look at the beautiful colors! - Happy Boy Farms

Piel de Sapo, super sweet! -$3 Happy Boy Farms

No fog today!!! It was a good day for a picnic, but it was still chilly in the Marina.

Padron Peppers, I used these last week in Saag Paneer and Chicken Curry -$4 Happy Boy Farms

Eat Safe!

Farmer’s Market Finds:
-Heirloom Tomatoes, mixed salad greens with edible flowers, Padron Peppers, Butterball Potatoes- $11.50 Happy Boy Farms
-Stevia Leaf Stem and marigold- $2.50 Hollie’s Homegrown
-Squash blossoms- $2 Serendipity Farms
Total: $16

*I will make one grocery run this week to pick up organic chicken breasts typically costing me $8

Farmers Market Find: Summer Tomatoes

August 1 2010
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I was in bit of a hurry today, so I could not shop leisurely or keep track of how much I spent at each farm. I am a little sad that I did not get the name of the ladies who were selling blackberries and boysenberries. Hopefully, they will be there in two weeks. I was very sad that Serendipity Farms no longer had their heirloom sun dried tomatoes. I really wish I stalked up on them last week, because their taste is phenomenal and add added mystery and depth to my lasagna, roasted veggies, chicken kebabs, pesto, sandwiches, omelets- I used them in everything! Italians first dried fresh tomatoes as way to store them for the winter.  Sun dried tomatoes also have the same nutritional value as fresh tomatoes- lycophene, vitamin B6, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, and folate.

These make me happy, great for Meatless Mondays

Heirloom Tomatoes- Wholeness Farms (CCOF Certified)

Beautiful squashes and eggplant- Wholeness Farm (CCOF Certified)

Couldn't resist these purple beauties- Happy Boy Farms (CCOF Certified)

Aren't these fun looking?- Happy Boy Farms (CCOF Certified)

Planning on making a blackberry sauce-?

Plouts and Plums- Cipponeri Family Farms (Non-CCOF)

Kale- Serendipity Farms (CCOF)

Beautiful squash blossoms- Serendipity Farms (CCOF)