Farmers Market Meals

by Samantha Scott
( July 21st, 2014 )

Fresh Farmers Market Meal

Last week, I posted a list of Farmers Market Tips, and here is one of my favorite Farmers Market Meals to make!

I love doing a really simple stir-fry, putting it over pasta or just having it on its own.  Best thing about this is the ingredients can change depending on what ’s fresh!

It’s one of the greatest ways to showcase the beautiful flavors of farm fresh ingredients, and doesn’t take long to prepare.

1. Chop all vegetables to give yourself an idea of how much you have and what you’re using. This is also the time to put a pot of water on to boil if you’d like to serve over pasta.

2. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan on medium to low heat.

3. Once the butter is melted and coating the entire surface of the pan, add anything you want to brown, or anything that might take a little longer. For me this is usually mushrooms or halved brussel sprouts. Give them enough time to get fully browned, flipping once.

Browning Mushrooms

4. Add all other veggies except tomatoes. These will go in near the end. Give a big stir, add a small dash of salt, and let simmer.

5. Add chopped garlic and stir again.

6. If I’m planning to put my stir fry over pasta, this is usually the time when the water is boiling and I can put the pasta in.

7. If you are using tomatoes, add them now. The pan will be hot enough so they will cook but maintain flavor and some shape.

Farmers Market Stir Fry

8. Drain pasta and put on a plate in layers, alternating with your delicious Farmers Market stir-fry, so that every bite is full of different flavors!

Farmers Market Meal

Do you have some favorite Farmers Market meals to make with your market finds?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

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Hangover Cures from Around the World

by Samantha Scott
( July 18th, 2014 )

We’ve all been there. You wake up and your head gives you an immediate, painful reminder of how much fun you had the night before. As this is a universal experience, hangover cures can be found in every country and there are some common themes, namely pickle, carbs and tomatoes. So if you’re going out this weekend, make sure to hit the grocery store first and prepare for the day after in any county! Here are a few of my favorite hangover cures, adapted from this list on BootsnAll.com.

1) Pickle Juice: A few different sources I came across indicated that this is the hangover cure of choice from Russia. I want to believe they know what they’re talking about…but there’s not much about this that sounds good.

2) Pickled Herring wrapped around gherkin and onion, called a “Rollmop,” is Germany’s cure of choice. While I’m not sure I could stomach this on a hangover, I can’t deny that the saltiness of the fish and the tartness of the pickle and onion definitely fall into the classic hangover food category. Ok, Oktoberfest anyone?

3) Irish Breakfast: like the US, the thought process here is to fill yourself up with greasy food and carbs. What I like about this is the lack of any serious sauces. Just plain is just fine when you’re curing a hangover.

Irish Breakfast

4) Shakshuka from Israel follows the tomato tradition for curing a hangover. Spicy and revitalizing, it is full of nutrients sure to help your energy levels rise.

Shakshuka

5) Poutine from Canada has all the earmarks of a classic hangover cure. Though to me it just looks way too unappetizing to do any good.

Poutine

6) Rosti from Switzerland keeps it simple and delicious. Similiar to hash browns, this is a standard breakfast item in Switzerland.

Rosti

7) Tomato soup and toast is the hangover cure from my house. The US is also credited with creating the Bloody Mary, consisting of, what else? Tomatoes and pickles.

Bloody Mary

What are some of your favorite hangover cures?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

Photo Credits


Irish Breakfast: LWYang via Flickr

Shakshuka: a_b_normal123 via Flickr

Poutine: Roland Tanglao via Flickr

Rosti: Jules via Flickr

Bloody Mary: Ben Husmann via Flickr

 

 

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WanderFood Wednesday: Farmers Market Tips

by Samantha Scott
( July 15th, 2014 )

 

Blueberries at the Farmers Market

Farmers Markets are one of my favorite thing about summer and living in California it’s a sin not to go as much as possible to take advantage of and support the many farms in the area. Here are a few tips on how to make your Farmers Market visit live up to its fullest potential!

Fruit at the Farmers Market

1) Always have cash, preferably small bills. This might seem like a no brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times I get all the way to the market only to realize I don’t have cash on me. What I like to do is always keep a small amount in my bag (see #2), so I never have to worry about remembering.

Squash at the Farmers Market

2) Always bring your own bag. Not only does this lesson the burden on you having to carry multiple small bags of fruits and veggies, it gives you the eco-friendly option of not using plastic bags!

Grapes at the Farmers Market

3) Ask questions! I’ve never been good at approaching strangers being of a more shy disposition, but at a Farmers Market you’ll often see things you don’t recognize. They’ll be able to tell you how to cook it, where it comes from, what sort of factor the weather has had that year…anything you can think of to ask, they will be able to answer. So don’t be shy! In my experience, farmers are some of the friendliest people I’ve had the pleasure to talk to.

Eggplant at the Farmers Market

4) Either only buy what you need or buy in bulk. I only have myself to cook for, so it’s very easy to just buy 1 or 2 of each item (and very inexpensive!). But if you have more mouths to feed it is still vastly less expensive than the grocery store and healthier to buy in bulk. This is also a useful tip because local Farmers Markets are typically not open everyday.

5) Sample! It was one taste that prompted me to buy two beautiful sweet white peaches, and another that swayed me away from some nectarines too ripe for my taste. Anytime you have the option, be sure to take advantage of a free sample. And don’t feel obligated to buy if you do. I always struggle with this because it feels like it should be common courtesy to purchase. But ultimately you need to be happy with what you buy and this way you can sample different stalls and maybe find a regular stop!

Plums at the Farmers Market

Sampling also gives you an inside look at otherwise nondescript fruit. Would you have ever thought the grayish-brown plums pictured above have that deep, delicious blood red inside?

Do you have a favorite Farmers Market in your area?

Eat Well, Travel Well ~ Samantha

 

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