Archive of ‘farmers’ market’ category

Piano, Raw Salads, Farmers’ Markets – Oh my!

Before I get to the food, look what we got yesterday:

yamaha piano ydp160

It’s a wonderful Yamaha electric piano (Arius YDP160) from Guitar Center. It’s not just a keyboard – it is electric, but it has weighted keys (all 88 of them) and sounds better than most real uprights. It’s a gift from Bobby’s parents: thank you so much! We love it. We really really love it. I played last night a little bit and as soon as I finish this post I’m going to play some more. I set a lofty goal to learn 10 new pieces by the end of the year so I have to get moving.

Here are some of the salads I’ve had over the last few days.

Raw salad #1:

07 raw salad

  • base: various lettuces
  • toppings: red cabbage, raw blue cheese, heirloom tomatoes, red peppers,
  • dressings: Herdez red salsa, liquid gold elixir

Raw salad #2:

09 tomato braggs

  • simple tomato (heirloom) salad with bragg’s liquid aminos

This was eaten last Saturday while watching 27 Dresses… which was so bad that I didn’t even finish it. Maybe my tastes have changed, but I really was not feeling that movie. Maybe I just don’t like Katherine Heigl.

I don’t think I ever showed you guys my farmers’ market bounty from last week. While making a salad…

10 farmers market

This was so much food. I’ve managed to eat most of it (and I had to supplement some of the juicing items like celery and cucumber). This was all from the Santa Clara market.

Raw salad #3:

11 raw salad

  • base: interesting green from the farmers’ market; it’s something Asian
  • toppings: raw beets, red peppers, fennel, Brussels sprouts, raw blue cheese, kohlrabi
  • dressing: liquid gold elixir

All mixed up:

12 raw salad mixed

See the thick bottoms of the greens? I didn’t like them much and ended up throwing them out. For the rest of the greens (that I hadn’t used yet) I juiced the bottoms.

I actually have more salads, believe it or not, but I’m going to save them for a later date. I have to go find my battery charger for my old camera (which I’m using now; the newer one broke – er, I dropped it). I’m going to the San Jose farmers’ market today to check it out and update my Bay Area Post.

Words of the day!

Bay Area Resources for Organic Produce, Local Produce, and CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture)

I’ve gotten several requests lately for some Bay Area info regarding farmers’ markets, organic produce, and meetupsThe Bay Area has a lot of great farmers’ markets. Unfortunately, a lot of them are expensive – it’s cheaper to go to Whole Foods to buy your produce, and it really shouldn’t be. These are just the places that I’ve been; there are more.

Some Bay Area Resources for Organic Produce, Local Produce, and CSA (Community Sponsored Agriculture)

Farmers’ Markets

  • MAGGIE’S PICK: Santa Clara Farmers’ Market (Saturday mornings; off of El Camino on Jackson Street). I went here for the first time on Saturday. It was great – romaine heads for $.50 each, heirloom tomatoes for $1.50/pound, 13 pounds of oranges for $8, etc… And these were the early deals – I was there around 9:15am. I bet they’d have killer sales towards the end. A lot of the stands here aren’t certified organic (yet), but they don’t use spray.
  • Japantown Farmers’ Market (Sunday mornings in San Jose). I also went here for the first time this weekend. Unfortunately we went at the end and most things were closed, but it seemed like it would be just as good as the Santa Clara market. I got 4+ pounds of kohlrabi for $3, and a bunch of fruit for $1/pound.
  • Union City Farmers’ Market (East bay; Saturday mornings). I used to go here about 1.5 years ago when I lived in Union City. It had very good prices. Maybe not quite as much selection as the big ones (Sunnyvale, Mountain View), but I always found everything I needed.
  • Mountain View Farmers’ Market (Sunday mornings @ the train station). This market is overpriced. It has a lot of variety, but not many deals. If you go at the very end (after 12:30; it ends at 1pm) sometimes you can get things on sale. But at that point you don’t have a lot of options and I don’t like haggling.
  • Sunnyvale Farmers’ Market (Saturday mornings). This one is just as overpriced as Mountain View. I think they have a lot of the same vendors. If you go at the end you can sometimes get deals. It’s hit or miss.
  • Ferry Building Farmers’ Market (San Francisco, a few days during the week). This one is okay… cheaper than Mountain View and Sunnyvale. But I never go anymore because I don’t live near it. When I worked in SF I would go on my lunch break sometimes.
  • San Jose Farmers’ Market (Fridays 10am – 2pm). I actually haven’t been here yet but I plan on going tomorrow. I’ll update this post once I know how it goes.

CSAs…

  • MAGGIE’S PICK: Two Small Farms. From their website: “Two Small Farms is a collaboration between High Ground Organics and Mariquita Farm in Watsonville and Hollister. We grow organic specialty vegetables, greens, strawberries, flowers, and herbs for our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Francisco counties, and Silicon Valley.” I subscribed to this CSA for a few months last summer. Bobby and I split a share with another couple. It was $20/week for the share, so we only ended up paying $10/week for fresh, local, organic produce – and lots of it. The only reason we stopped is because you can’t pick what items you get. Two Small Farms just gives you whatever they have ready. I was actually thinking of starting up again because I’ve been juicing so much and using more produce that I was last summer.
  • Farm Fresh To You. I haven’t done this one, but it looks awesome! They deliver to your home or work, you can cancel anytime, and they offer deliveries starting at just $23/week. Their website is fantastic; I have high hopes for this one. Here’s the review on Yelp – pretty informative. If you don’t have time to do your own shopping this would be great.
  • Full Circle Farm. This place is specific to Sunnyvale. It’s a small farmstand at a middle school. The produce is overpriced, but it looks like it’s good quality. All organic.
  • Terra Firma Farms. I honestly don’t know much about this one; I haven’t tried it. They serve San Francisco, north East Bay, and the Sacramento area. I hear good things. See their website for more info.
  • Eat Well Farm. Don’t know much about this one either; it also serves the north Bay Area. Check out the website for more info.

Events

Is anyone interested in starting a Bay Area blogging meetup group (not necessarily through meetup.com)? Or some kind of mailing list? Email me or leave a comment and I’ll start a mailing list and maybe we can get something together.

Word post – how big is your lexicon?

Japantown Eats

On Sunday we went to a new farmers’ market: the Japantown farmers’ market. This Japantown (Nihonmachi) is in San Jose, but there are others as well, most notably the San Francisco Nihonmachi. The market ended at noon and we were running late (as usual) so we weren’t able to explore much. I did manage to get some kohlrabi (4+ pounds for $3):

16 kohlrabi

My dad introduced me to kohlrabi a while back; he told me the best way to eat them is peeled, sliced, and dipped in fresh salt. I love it. They are quite easy to peel – I actually slice them first and just pull off the skin. It comes away easily.

I also got fresh plums and some green grapes for freezing. I got firm, tart plums in an effort to make my fruit consumption slightly less sweet. It works in my head.

Anyway, back to Nihonmachi (Japantown). Nihon is the Japanese word for Japan, says Bobby, and machi is the Japanese word for city or town. It’s an adorable little square of San Jose, about 8 blocks long and 1 block in width. After the farmers’ market, we went to a ramen place for lunch. Bobby got this, and I stole some:

13 miso ramen

I was holding out for my green juice when we got home. This was miso ramen: ramen noodles topped with various veggies (bamboo – my favorite, scallions, sprouts, seaweed, and maybe others), some pork, and a perky swirly fish cake.

Speaking of Japan, my kabocha (Japanese pumpkin) love is back in full force. I had about 2.5 pounds of it, steamed, last night and I had some the night before as well. I can’t believe I went so long without it!

Have you ever been to a Japantown/Nihonmachi? Or another very cultural town?

P.S. I wrote about language & thought at my other blog – if you’ve ever read 1984, you might enjoy this.

BEET it!

Someone told me recently that I should try juicing beet… greens. She advocated beets, and especially the greens, as being great for cleansing the body as well as for satisfying cravings. I’ve been enjoying the beets and the greens in several ways.

The Green Smoothie Blog says, “Beet greens are delicious and are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as beta-carotene and lutein. They have almost twice the potassium of the beet root and contain high levels of folic acid...” Read more here.

In my Whole Foods the beets are sold alone – no greens. On Saturday I went to the farmers’ market to track down some with the greens still attached, so that I could make these…

08 juice beet greens

14 juice beet greens

I made juices with the beet greens.

  • juice #1 (gave some to Bobby): beet greens, a cucumber, celery, 1/2 lime, fuji apple, part of a granny smith apple, knob of ginger, mint
  • juice #2 (just me): beet greens, 3 mini cucumbers, bottoms of some Asian greens, part of a granny smith apple, 1/2 lime, knob of ginger

They look crazy when they come out.

15 red juice

Did you know that beets have the highest sugar content of all vegetables, but are still very low in calories? (The World’s Healthiest Foods; Sept. 7, 2009.)

Did you know that people used to just eat the greens of beets? We only started eating the roots about 2000 years ago but the greens were prepared long before that.

Betacyanin, the pigment that makes beets red, can increase the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by up to 400%. Beets are used to treat leukemia. They can prevent varicose veins (I’m so in!). They stimulate the liver and help our bodies cleanse. Beet juice is highly alkaline (most people are overly acidic).

Beets are pretty powerful, so don’t go overdosing too quickly. Like all good things, beets are best in moderation.

Do YOU like beets?

Oh, yes – Happy Labor Day! Here’s a little blurb about the words.

Raw KABOCHA

Raw kabocha.

Oh yes I did. It’s shredded. On a salad.

05 raw kabocha salad

  • base: red leaf lettuce
  • toppings: raw shredded kabocha, seaweed, raw corn, radishes, purple cabbage, heirloom tomatoes, raw blue cheese (I added that after the picture), maybe something else…
  • dressing: liquid gold elixir

Was it good? Yes. Great, actually – but only because of the liquid gold elixir. I tried some plain and it was starchy and yuck. Only try this if you make the liquid gold elixir. Seriously – if you haven’t made it yet, you must.

The other fun topping was a bunch of radishes:

04 radishes

I saw them at Han Kook (Korean grocery) and nabbed the bunch for $0.50. They were kind of bland. I like my dad’s homegrown ones better.

This morning I was up early (5am! why? I went to bed at 1am!) and after lying in bed for 1.5 hours after waking, I gave up and decided to be productive. I got in a nice 35 minute yoga flow (on my own, to Chopin) before I drove Bobby to a networking class over at Mission College (where I’m taking my classes) and then I went out to a new farmers’ market (new to me) in Santa Clara where I bought way too much produce. Now I’m lounging, but I think I’ll go read or do a GRE essay practice (still haven’t done this… putting it off). I also want to get some rebounding in today.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend :)

I’m a juice addict

I made Bobby a treat for lunch today. It’s based on some Cuban sandwich that he used to have in Miami a lot.

38 bobby bagel

  • 1 sesame seed bagel, buttered
  • marinated beef (thin thin slices) from Han Kook
  • heirloom tomato slices
  • crunchy pita chips and a crumbled veggie cracker

I made myself a huge juice, which I think tasted just as good. Or better!

39 morning juice cuke

  • 1 large cucumber
  • celery (a little more than pictured)
  • 1/2 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 lemon
  • large knob of ginger

40 big juice

This was my biggest juice yet – it almost overflowed towards the end.

Tonight we’re going over to our cousins’ new place for dinner. They just bought a new place and they’re cooking (salmon). We’re bringing a big raw salad. I think I’ll make one of my favorite raw salads with liquid gold elixir.

This morning we went to the farmers’ market towards the end – and got 5 pounds of heirloom tomatoes for $1/pound. We also got some grapes ($1/pound). The farmers’ market is really beautiful, but in general it’s overpriced. In general, it’s more expensive than Whole Foods. I only buy things when I can get a deal towards the closing of the market. It’s frustrating; I want to support local farmers directly, but it’s easier and cheaper to just go to Whole Foods if I want to go oraganic/local.

I also did some yoga this morning – Sadie Nardini’s power half hour. I’m a little sore from all the yoga I’ve been doing this week. It’s a good kind of sore though; it’s almost refreshing.

Word time

  • salmon – first recorded around 1205. this word comes from Old French (salmun), which was from Latin (salmonem). it might have originally meant “leaper” – the word for “to leap” was salire in Latin. it replaced the Old English word læx – which actually kind of stayed around… as lox!

I’m off to read some more. I did just get The Hot Zone (a terrifying true story about ebola, by Richard Preston – I read his other book the other week) from the library and I kind of want to break into that… but I’m already in the middle of about 5 other books so I should probably finish them first. Or not :)

Green Eggs & Ham… or corn.

I think this was dinner from Saturday night…

26 corn eggs

I made eggs (5 total, the whole eggs) and fluffed them up with shredded zucchini, then added spices (oregano, chili powder, garlic powder I think).  Sauteed in olive oil, which is a good heart healthy fat. Topped with fruit-sweetened organic ketchup of course. Honestly I prefer egg whites.  I really don’t like whole eggs.  I had raw corn on the side.

27 gazpacho

Also made this gazpacho with heirlooms from the farmers’ market.  They were mushy heirlooms so I got a big bag (3-4 pounds?) for $1.  I might post the recipe sometime soon.  Do you want it?  It was really good. It’s vegan of course.  Basically just tomatoes, corn, balsamic vinegar, and spices.  On Saturday I added shredded yellow squash but I made it again last night without and I liked it better.

Desserts have been of the corn variety.

28 corn honey cocoa

Corn, honey, salt, cocoa powder. Simple but delicious.

Happy Monday :)

Chard Oat Bran & salad (duh)

I bought red chard last weekend at the farmers’ market for $1…

15 rhubarb

But I had no idea what to do with it.  It sat in my fridge all week until yesterday when I decided to try adding chard to my oat bran (instead of just spinach). I used half chard greens, half spinach.

14 green rhubarb oat bran

It had a few pretty red specks from the red chard!

Surprisingly good.  I could definitely taste the chard more than I can normally taste the spinach, but I liked it.  I don’t think this would be a good choice for someone new to green oats though – too intense.

Instead of my usual peanut/almond butter, I used ABU (3-4 tablespoons?).  I loved how the ABU blended so smoothly into the oat bran.  Sometimes with nut butters I get lumps, even after blending – I prefer no lumps of nut butter so this was great.

Since it’s summer, I’ve been having a lot of salads.  Okay, I always have a lot of salads.  But more so now, if that’s even possible.  A recent addition has been honey mustard salmon, which is just the cheapo salmon from Han Kook (the ugly cuts after they cut the sashimi – $1.50/pound) rubbed with honey, mustard, and lemon juice.  Then I bake it and put it on top of things like this:

06 salmon salad

Can’t forget those vegan bacon bits.  I’m actually all out and need to get more very soon.  I decided to make my own honey mustard dressing (since I love Annie’s lite honey mustard so much) but it’s still a work in progress.  I forget which dressing went on this salad.

I’m teaching the Math SAT all day and I’m on my lunch break… it’s very hot.  I want to go home and do some yoga.  This morning I did a 35 minute flow on my own to some yoga music.  Hope your Sunday is going well :)

Sometimes life gets in the way

I have some new veggies.  I got these lemon cucumbers at the farmers’ market on Sunday:

02 lemon cucumber

Lemon cucumbers are a bit sweeter than normal cucumbers.  The guy I bought it from said “you don’t even have to peel it!” I’ve been having the cucumbers raw, either dipped in salt or as a salad topping.

03 lemon cucumber

I still haven’t tried my bootylicious chayote, but maybe I’ll make it tonight.

I also got these Indian bitter melons:

05 indian bitter melon

But I chickened out.  I cut them open, took one whif, and pitched them.  I don’t like (actually despise) normal Chinese bitter melons and I wasn’t in the mood yesterday to be disappointed by my food.

In yoga news, I discovered yesterday that Cardio Yoga is back on On Demand!  You can find it in the “Lose the last 5 pounds” section (or something like that).  Cardio Yoga is my favorite Tom Morley video (20 minutes; vinyasa) and it’s actually the video that got me into yoga oh-so-long-ago (or last fall).  I did it after my treadmill walk/run with Bobby.  He woke up today with no back pain and credits it to the video.  Every time he does yoga his back issues disappear almost immediately.

Today’s question is – what do you do to unwind/destress?

Sushi Fridays, Chayote, Delicious Fruit

I think Bobby and I are going to start doing “Sushi Friday” every week.  We did it yesterday and also last Friday (Bobby’s birthday) when my mom was here.  I made kabocha-ushi and real sushi.  This fushi stuff is my new obsession.  Thanks Emily :)  We had:

39 sushi friday

  • sashimi on the far right (tuna, salmon, and yellowtail pieces – precut from Han Kook)
  • sushi rice (for Bobby – white rice + vinegar/sugar mix)
  • seaweed (nori) and lettuce for wrapping
  • jicama “rice”
  • shredded kabocha + garlic, sauteed
  • daikon sprouts
  • bacon bits
  • soy sauce + wasabi for dipping

I did not make enough of the fushi ingredients because I underestimated my white-carb-loving boyfriend.  Bobby loved the shredded kabocha, loved the bacon bits, the sprouts, and he even loved the jicama rice.  This is a boy who could live on white rice – I couldn’t believe he enjoyed my crazy version.  He tried the wraps with regular rice and with the jicama and actually preferred the jicama rice for these wraps.  He says it was very “fresh“.  I’ll definitely be making this again.

When I was at Han Kook getting the sashimi and some groceries, I picked up this guy:

41 chayote

Heather had one the other day so I wanted to try it.  It’s called a chayote.  Chayote has a big booty.  What should I do with it?

This morning Bobby and I went to the farmers’ market where we got these delicious yellow nectarines and yellow peaches – 3 pounds for $5.

40 yellow nectarines peaches

My mom and I got them last week from the same place (we tried all of the stands and this one was the best).  They’re really delicious.  I like eating them when they’re still really firm, and so does Bobby, so we found the firmest ones possible.

In other news, I have a new layout!  Thanks for the comments on it so far :)  Stop by and check it out to let me know what you think.  Happy Saturday!  What have you done so far this weekend? Remember to call your dad tomorrow :)

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