Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday Farmer's Market Trips

I love Saturday mornings. For one, I wake up for nothing. Even though I'm a very early riser naturally, I crawl out of bed and relish in the fact that I don't have to go into work. It is truly my day to do whatever I want, whenever I want. One thing in particular is the quaint farmer's market downtown. Although small, it is filled with a bounty of local produce, meat, and eggs, handmade crafts and jewelry. It opens at 8 am and you better believe that I am one of the first ones there. Noodle and I hop in the car, windows open, the new day's cool air swirling around us and make the 12 minute drive downtown.

I love being there early because I get first dibs on everything. My favorites there are the red bell peppers and farm fresh eggs and I am sure to load up on both of them. While I am a fan of all the vegetables there, these two go very quickly and cannot be purchased in the grocery store. The red bells are gorgeous, nothing like the ones out of grocery stores. Their flavor is so concentrated and sweet and their imperfect shapes make them even more beautiful. The eggs are so fresh that most were just collected off the yard the day before. After I started eating these, tasting an egg from the grocery store was almost flavorless. It is evident from the flavor and color of these golden yolks that the birds are fed well, roam free, and are cared for well.

I usually leave the farmer's market with bags hanging all over filled with butternut squash, spaghetti squash, zucchini, onions, tomatos and my eggs and peppers. It looks as though I'm feeding a family of four for the next two weeks when really... it's just me! Amazingly I'm right back there again in a week ready to collect yet again!

The best part is bringing them home and creating delicious, healthy, fresh meals from them all week long. Stuffed peppers, zucchini pasta, roasted butternut squash and so on. My mind spins with all the ideas! One of my absolute favorites that I could truly subsist on daily is my butternut squash recipe with walnuts and sage. If you're not a fan already you soon will be after this!

Roasted Butternut Squash with Herbs, Walnuts and Parmesan Cheese

1 large butternut squash 2 T dried sage
1 t dried thyme
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder 2 T olive oil 1/3 cup chopped walnuts 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese 1 t salt

Skin, seed and cube squash. Toss with 1 t salt, sage, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, and olive oil. Roast at 375 until tender, about 45 minutes tossing half-way through or until squash begins to golden. Add nuts and cheese and let sit in oven five final minutes minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for three minutes. Makes a perfect side dish or meal on it's own.

Serves 4

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