Farmers Market Finds: Thorny Artichokes

My Instagram feed has been flooded with pictures of cherries, rhubarb, purple artichokes, and naturally pigmented cauliflower from other farmers market goers, which got me curious about what I would find. It was another, unusually sunny Sunday morning and I knew the good weather crowd would be at the farmers market too. Satish joined me today, which is something I always welcome since he can help me carry my bags back home!

Photo Apr 14, 12 04 37 PM

The cauliflower had a pinkish-purple pigment, which is naturally occurring from an antioxidant in the purple vegetables and fruits. 

Photo Apr 14, 11 58 02 AM

I did find these gorgeous artichokes, which were not at the market last week. The purple ones had really sharp thorns, which I pricked my thumb on! 

I was especially eager to go to the farmers market after being inspired by what the students at Mission High school (where I volunteer) made in class. The high school has a nutrition and leadership program, where the students learn healthy cooking and eating skills, teach their peers, celebrate cultural recipes, and tend to their school garden. The students harvest fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers to use in the cooking portion of the class. Every week, they make something impressive and extraordinary. I certainly did not learn about kale or romanesco in my Home Ec class nor did I grow up eating these foods. Last week, the students made strawberry short cake using whole wheat flour, homemade whip cream, and just picked strawberries. They also made a stunningly beautiful Three Pea Radish Salad, which I couldn’t resist Instagramming. Actually, I was not the only one, the teacher and other students also whipped out their cell phones to take pictures of the beautiful food.

Pea Salad

After this class, all I wanted to do was rush to a farmers market to pick up these ingredients and make this for dinner.

Mission High School school food
The students made farro with asparagus, arugula, crispy pancetta and herbs along with the pea salad and strawberry short cake.

What did you find at your farmers market?

Farmer’s Market Find: Helping Hunger

I opted to skip the Farmer’s Market this week- gasp! My fridge is still full of vegetables from last week (I overbought) and decided to do something a little different this Sunday morning. I finally got a chance to volunteer with Boobs4Food, a passionate volunteer organization committed to fighting hunger in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The founders are four women (Boobs) who are striving to “unite the food-loving community with those for whom the next meal is an uncertainty” (Food). All of the volunteers met at Out The Door for brunch, before we headed to the Fort Mason Farmer’s Market to pick up and deliver food to Harbor House and Friendship House for Food Runners. Food Runners  picks up perishable and prepared food from businesses such as the farmers markets, restaurants, caterers, etc. and delivers it to shelters and organizations that feed the hungry. As a dedicated farmer’s market shopper, it was really great to see where to all of the unsold produce and food end up.

Over brunch, the ladies of Boobs4Food and I discovered that all of us grew up in the same town, went to the same elementary, junior high, and college!

Out The Door is the quicker, sister restaurant of the famous Slanted Door. I really like OTD, because they use fresh, local ingredients and the menu is really healthy. Their new brunch menu is amazing; it has favorites like beignets and Vietnamese coffee, eggs in a hole, a variety of Pho, and green papaya salad. The menu offers plenty options for vegetarian and gluten-free diets.  Restaurants like OTD inspire me to epxand my cooking horizons and explore different flavors in the kitchen.

Boobs4Food organizes volunteer events monthly. Join them on Twitter or Facebook to find out about upcoming events.

Did you know that Club Dine In! is on Twitter and Facebook? Follow @clubdinein for daily health, fitness, and social news, recipes and delicious tips! Join the Club Dine In! community on Facebook to connect with like-minded people and find out about exclusive Club Dine! events.