Hey everyone! I found some absolutely stunning produce at the Marietta Square Farmers Market yesterday (as you know if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook), so of course I had to share! I feel so lucky to live where I do because my market is open all year long. They'll take a break right around Christmas and New Year's Day, but otherwise my stinkin' awesome farmers are hustling every Saturday. I know, I write about them a lot, but they DESERVE the recognition. 😉
Though we are going into winter, there is still a whole lot available at the local market. I'm sure I change my mind every season, but I really do love this time of year. All of the greens are so much sweeter when it is cooler out, and all of the brassicas are back full force. Root veggies are my jam, and you can still get those in all of their glory for a while longer! This particular week I was so excited when one of my favorite farmers had purple broccoli available.
This actually would be beautiful in a bouquet, but then it would be a travesty not to eat it!
I can't resist pretty much anything purple. Besides just being drawn to the stunning color, purple fruits and veggies are packed with anthocyanins and other amazing nutrients. Cruciferous vegetables are so healthy as is with their sulforaphane and fiber, but throw in that deep color and you're packing even more nutrients per bite! This was another one I couldn't help snapping lots of photos of before digging in to taste.
I was also drawn in by some new microgreens that I couldn't resist grabbing! I've done my own broccoli sprouts and some other sprouted items at home before, but can you blame me for gravitating right over to this amaranth??
Yes, I can probably find the seeds to try these at home, but you all know I love to support my local farmers, too! I need to remember the name of this farm next time since this was the first time I popped by his table. He had all kinds of different varieties--broccoli, pea shoots, and a few others. Not to mention he was very knowledgeable about all the health benefits of each.
Though broccoli sprouts generally reign supreme as far as the nutrient content (40x the sulforaphane of broccoli stems!), this vibrant pop of color called to me this week. I mean, how many other things can you buy that are naturally pink AND good for you? These are going to "pretty" up just about ever meal I make this week. Oh, also the container is biodegradable! Plastics are on the way out all over the place, including the farmers market. This container is made from corn I think he said. I'll have to look into it some more to get the full scoop.
Once I got home with these and other goodies, it was time to formulate my usual plan for the week. It still amazes me sometimes how far I have come in my cooking and meal planning abilities. I used to be so tied to specific recipes to the point that I would only buy things if I already had a plan. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that method. Actually, it is a fantastic way to make sure you're not wasting anything. With my current lifestyle, though, I love getting creative with what's in season and available now! Certain items may only pop up at the market for a week or two, so I snag them when I can and figure out what I'm going to do with them after I bring my bounty home. We never have anything go to waste, even if it means I freeze some things or make really interesting smoothies. 😂
Though I knew it would leach out that beautiful color, I opted to do a quick boil and blanch on my lovely broccoli. I munched on a few stalks raw while I cooked and it is absolutely delicious. Perhaps slightly sweeter than the traditional green broccoli? Though most fresh produce from the market just tastes so much better than store-bought to me anyway. Lynn from Straight From the Backyard Farm said they'd have some more next week, so I knew I could chance losing the color on this one and still have more to play with next week raw if I choose.
The broccoli formed a base with some kale for a few of our meals this week. Even just a few minutes in the boiling water pulled out the color, but never fear. I used the cooking water for a vibrant smoothie so as not to loose out on the wonderful nutrients! Sounds funny I know, but I won't even taste the broccoli flavor with all the other goodies I packed in there.
I had some beets left over from last week's market trip, so into the blender went my purple liquid, beets, tatsoi, flax seed, matcha, fresh ginger, frozen strawberries and frozen pears (both picked locally). Yum! This will make for a quick breakfast tomorrow morning when I have to get up early for my first client of the day.
To finish out the rest of my meal with the broccoli, I made another batch of my scalloped sweet potatoes and a new mushroom lentil loaf. A little more labor intensive than some of my usual meal prep, but worth it for a really comforting meal.
I think I might have packed too much goodness into one meal, though. I over-stuffed my containers just a wee little bit! I do always like to have my portions spread out so I know exactly how many meals I've got on hand. Makes it super easy to grab and go if I have a busy day ahead.
I had to shove down the lentil loaf to get the lids on, but luckily I have no qualms about my food touching. If anything, I live for getting that perfect bite with everything on my fork at once!
All of this smelled delicious, so I'm sure lunches this week will be a real treat. As usual, it feels great to start out the week with a full refrigerator. I made veggie burgers with black rice for dinner, so perhaps I'll try to share those later on. I'm pooped from my kitchen endeavors now, which means it is time to chill out for the few waking hours left of my Sunday. I'm finally feeling pretty well again, however I don't want to push my luck and relapse back into that nasty head cold from last week. Hopefully all these awesome foods this week will ensure continued good health!
Make sure to check out all of the other awesome #fruitsandveggiesmonday post on Steemit this week! I know @lenasveganliving is excited for another great roundup of goodies to keep the vegan love going to end out the year. 💚
Posted from my blog with SteemPress : https://plantstoplanks.com/celebrating-the-beauty-of-the-market-more-sunday-meal-prep/