On weekends, as a family outing, we like to visit the local Farmers’ Markets. Today we went to the Del Mar Flower Hill Farmer’s Market . For under $25.00, we picked up a cornucopia of fresh vegetables and fruits. I am excited to share our Sunday Super Farm to Table Menu with you, prepared from the bounty of produce we purchased at the Farmers’Market.
A tour of any Farmers’ Market provides home cooks with inspiration. Seeing nature’s fresh bounty, speaking with the vendors about how to prepare various offerings, and getting hungrier by the minute due to all the temptations, can put anyone in creative cooking mode. But for gluten-free families, the experience of taking your children to the Farmers’ market is especially rewarding. Children learn about many foods that are naturally free of gluten, they get excited to see, taste and smell the farm fresh produce, understand what foods can be grown locally, find out about sustainable farming practices and get inspired to learn to cook. In addition to produce, Farmers’ Markets often have gluten-free baked goods and breads, fresh fish, and jams, olives, pesto sauces and other artesian items that are naturally gluten-free.
Shopping and buying your food at a Farmers’ Market can help improve the nutrition of your family too. Many of the farmers harvest their produce the morning of the market so you will be getting the freshest and ripest foods possible. This also means that the food will taste, look, and smell the best and these foods will be higher in nutrients like phytochemicals which can protect against certain cancers. Even your picky eaters will try new foods when they are able to pick them out from the farm stand.
This week our first stop was the Shroom Shack where dried and fresh mushrooms were for available. Shroom Shack sells gorgeous mushrooms at 10 farmer’s markets from San Juan Capistrano to San Diego. Usually my children do not want to touch mushrooms, but after seeing all the varieties, funky shapes, and speaking with the kind vendor, they were excited to purchase a pint size medley mushroom basket and a container of dried morels and porcinis. My Lentil Porcini Mushroom Risotto dish will be a great mid-week dish along with a green salad.
Our next stop was Behneman Farms, a local farm that grows organic fruits and vegetables. Here we picked up blackberries and nectarines for a Fruit Crisp.
We also bought enormous leeks, only $1.00 for two, organic white potatoes— put those together and what do ya got? Potato Leek Soup, or served cold, Vichyssoise.
The avocados and citrus lined up together reminded us of a salad we make frequently that is featured in my cookbook. It’s called Ensalada Verano. After sampling one of the juicy oranges, we decided to make a salad featuring citrus and avocado. We also purchased cucumbers and beautiful baby Roma tomatoes for the salad and for snacks throughout the week.
Shopping together at the Farmer’s Market is an opportunity to reconnect both with the food you eat, and the people who grow it. The more you can engage your kids in selecting, buying, preparing and cooking real, fresh, sustainable food, allergen-free foods, the better equipped they’ll be to make wise food choices in the future. The fact that you’ll be teaching your children to cook is just icing on the organic gluten-free carrot cake!
I am excited to share our Sunday Supper Farm to Table Menu using the bounty of produce we purchased on our family outing to the Farmers’ Market.
Potato Leek Soup
Gluten-free/Dairy-free Option/Vegan Option
4 medium leeks
2 celery ribs, including leaves
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4-5 medium yellow potatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups leek stock (made from leek stocks)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon Tumeric
2 tablespoons butter, or butter substitute such as coconut oil
1/4 cup The Pure Pantry Organic All-Purpose Baking Mix
1/2 cup milk of choice, unflavored (rice, coconut, or regular 2%)
Cut off dark green stocks leek where it begins to turn pale green. Wash stocks thoroughly.
Place in stock pot and cover with 6 cups water. Add 2 ribs celery and 1 teaspoon salt. Simmer over low heat for 1 hour.
Cut white part of leek in half. Wash sliced leeks in a large bowl of cold water, separating layers with your figures to flush out the dirt. Drain well in a colander. Slice leeks into 1/2 inch pieces.
Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes. Place 6-quart heavy pot over moderate heat. Add olive oil, leeks and onion. Sauté until onions are soft. Add potatoes, salt, and pepper, wine, leek stock and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, about 15 minutes until potatoes are tender.
Discard bay leaf. Melt 2 tablespoons butter (or butter alternative) in a 1-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then add flour and cook roux, whisking, until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add 2 cups simmering stock (from soup), whisking vigorously (mixture will be thick), then whisk mixture into remaining soup and return to a simmer. Whisk in milk of choice.
Blend soup in batches in a blender until smooth about 1 minute per batch, transferring to 4-quart saucepan. Serve chilled or hot. If serving chilled, let soup cool to room temperature and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Farm Stand Salad
1 head red leaf lettuce
1/2 cup Nicoise olives
6-8 baby heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup goat feta cheese optional
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon
1 cub Dorot basil*
1 cube Dorot garlic*
1 teaspoon raw agave nectar, preferably Nature’s Agave
Place all ingredients in blender and process on medium until emulsified.
Pour into container and store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
*Dorot makes frozen herb puree cubes. They are available at most natural food stores and Trader Joe’s.
1– 2 1/2 – 3 lb. pork loin roast or pork shoulder roast
2 cups Pomegranate-Chipotle BBQ Sauce or store bought gluten-free BBQ sauce
1 nectarine, pit removed, roughly chopped
4 oz. can green chilies, chopped
Place pork shoulder in roasting pan (with lid). Pour BBQ sauce over top. Spread nectarine chunks over pork. Add chopped green chilies.
Place in center of oven at 325˚ for 60 minutes. Remove roast from over and turn over, ladle juices on top of meat. Return to oven for 40 minutes.
Remove roast from oven. With two forks, pull pork apart and stir pot to combine juices with sauce and meat. If desired, stir in 2 more tablespoons BBQ sauce before serving.