Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘Farmers Market’

Alien Vegetables

Posted by terrepruitt on February 26, 2013

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaHave you seen this stuff before?  Doesn’t this look as if it is a vegetable from another planet?  The first time I saw it I was at a farmers market and I asked the vendor if I could take pictures.  This vegetable made me laugh.  I thought it was one of the funniest vegetables I have ever seen.  I thought she had called it an Italian Cauliflower.  She had me believing it tasted like cauliflower.  I am not really a fan of cauliflower so I wasn’t interested in buying it and trying it.  But lo-and-behold I received some in my organic produce box that I have delivered.  Yay!  AGAIN, I received something that I would not have bought.  Often times I don’t think about somethings so I don’t buy them, but this particular vegetable I was once faced with buying but declined because I didn’t know what it was!  So here I had some delivered and so I “HAD” to try it.  Well, I actually received two.  One head on one delivery and another head the next.  Yeah, that is kind of long for vegetables to sit in the fridge, but . . . sometimes even though I get it delivered I am still not all that enthusiastic about trying it.  Plus, I am still trying to get my new schedule down.  I have just started teaching Nia classes two nights a week and so I need to have my cooking schedule down and when I don’t know how to cook something a night I am rushing off to teach is not a good night to experiment.  So, I received a new bunch just this past delivery.  Plus I still had the first bunch.  So I decided to cook them both at once.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI bet you know how I cooked them . . . . you got it.  I chopped it up and put it on a pan with olive oil and garlic salt and I roasted it.  I decided to cook it a little later than I normally would have started my roasted veggies – meaning the rest of dinner would be done really quick –  so I really cranked up the heat.  I started it off at 450.  I cooked it for about 10 minutes.  Then I turned it down to 400 and cooked it for about 10 minutes.  Then I think I turned it off and cooked it for about 10 minutes.  It seemed to cook faster than both broccoli and cauliflower.  It browned very nice.

I thought it would take a long time because it seems dense like cauliflower.  Well, it seemed to cook up faster.  Yay!

Well, I was very surprised at the sweetness of it.  It tasted really sweet.  It was very funny having that cornucopia shaped veggie on my tongue.  It is pokey.  It has a mild flavor.  A little sweet.  Well, I have to say that I like it.

Here is what Wiki says about it:  “Romanesco broccoli, or Roman cauliflower, is an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea, and a variant form of cauliflower. First documented in Italy . . . ”

I am unable to find nutritional information on it.  Maybe as it gains popularity the nutritional information will start showing up on the internet?

Have you seen it?  Have you tried it?  What do you think?

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dirty Fungus Or Wet Fungus

Posted by terrepruitt on October 16, 2012

I stopped at the grocery store today on the way home from teaching my Tuesday morning Nia class for the City of San Jose and I had to stop myself from buying mushrooms.  I love mushrooms.  It would be nice to enjoy some mushrooms this week, but I have way too many other veggies from both the organic box that was delivered and from my trip to the Berryessa Farmers market.  I need to make sure we eat those vegetables and don’t need to buy more . . . although I did by additional greens. When I went to the Farmers market I went to buy greens, but didn’t see any I wanted to I ended up with other veggies.  I have gone to the store for spinach.  So many greens means we don’t need the mushrooms.  Which is fine because we have had them twice in the past seven days, so we will survive.  We usually have them at least once a week.  I always wash my mushrooms.  If I don’t buy them already cut I wash them.  If I buy them already cut it is too difficult to wash them.  And I’ve learned that sliced mushrooms must be used the day I purchase them or the very next day.  They cannot sit in the fridge for a couple of days.  When I buy whole mushrooms I wash them.  There are many, many, many who say not to wash mushrooms.  Some say there is no need, while others give specific reasons as to why not to wash them.  The reasons I hear for NOT washing them is that they absorb too much water or they will taste woody.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaWell, I have always washed my mushrooms just because I like the thought of getting matter in which they grow off before I eat them.  😉  And a long time ago, about twelve years ago, I saw Alton Brown on Good Eats do an experiment that showed mushrooms really don’t absorb that much water when they are washed.  It was a little, but not enough in his (and my) opinion to affect the mushroom.  If you would like to see the weighing and washing for yourself it is on YouTube.  Good Eats S02E13 The Fungal Gourmet.  Alton starts talking about the waterlog theory about 2:30 into the video and true to the silliness of the show, he doesn’t actually get to the result until 3:50.

Some people still prefer to just use a brush to get the clods of dirt off the mushrooms.  Some people use a damp cloth or a damp paper towel and wipe the mushrooms.  I really like to wash them.  Sometimes as I am working to get the dirt off they start to peel, it is as if they have an outer layer that just peels right off.  When that happens that feels like a REALLY clean mushroom.  It shed its outer skin.  Now that I think about it, I think I am going to start running the sliced ones under water.  Why I haven’t been all along I don’t know.

So what about you?  Do you wash your mushrooms?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dirt Is A Flavor

Posted by terrepruitt on September 20, 2012

You might have read in my blog I am having an organic box of produce delivered to us.  I love it.  It is so nice to have produce and not have to go to the store.  It is nice to have organic produce.  So far I really like this.  You might also know that part of the reason I decided to have a box of fruits and vegetables delivered is because I was hoping I would be “forced” to use produce that I normally wouldn’t buy.  The last box I received had figs in it.  Turns out I am ok with figs.  I so enjoyed the salad with figs I had made, I tried to order the next box that had figs but I waited too long.  I only have delivery every other week.  Farm Fresh To You posts what will be delivered in a week the week before so I had known for a whole week, but I waited until the day before to decide that I actually wanted an additional delivery.  It was not enough time for them to do it.  So I missed out on another delivery of figs.  But . . . in addition to the figs you might have noticed in the picture I posted on the first fig post that I had beets delivered.  Now, I KNOW I don’t like beets.  I have tried them, and I don’t like them.  They taste like dirt.  For those of you that don’t know what dirt tastes like, eat a beet and then you will know.  So here I was with dirt to deal with.  I was wondering, “WHAT DO I DO WITH A BEET?”

In the same conversations I had with people about figs I had asked about beets.  One person said to boil them, peel them (the skin will come right off), and then put them in a salad.  I think she said she cooks them then uses them as she needs them (within a reasonable amount of time.  A couple of days or so.).  Another person said she didn’t like beets, so she had no suggestions.  Again, I was faced with a salad.  That was the only thing I found that sounded remotely appealing.  I was thinking I would boil the beets and then put them on a salad with goat cheese.  Goat cheese seemed to be what I was finding as the cheese of choice with beets.

But you might have read that I was thinking about making a salad with figs.  The recipes I was finding for figs in salads called for feta.  But for me, I was thinking that the goat cheese would go better with the figs as it is creamy and mild — almost flavorless.  And the feta — which to me is firm and much more flavorful — would go better with the beets.  I was thinking the beets needed a strong flavor to help drown out the “dirt” taste.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia   workout, Nia, ZumbaOne recipe I spotted said to roast the beets.  Well, heck, why didn’t I think of that?  Perhaps you know roasting is my prefered method!  Geez, can’t understand why I didn’t think of that.  Especially since I mentioned roasting beets in Borscht is Beets!  Well, just as I did with the figs I didn’t read the recipes because I thought I could figure it out.  I skimmed them and I saw some say, roast on a pan without foil and some say use foil.  One recipe said the skin will come right off.  Well, it didn’t so much for me, but it turned out ok.

I roasted them until they felt somewhat soft.  I think it was at least 50 minutes, but I am not sure because I just kept resetting the timer and would run off to do whatever it was I was doing.

I had roasted the beets with olive oil and salt and a little garlic salt and I have to admit that even though while I was cutting them they smelled like dirt, they didn’t taste overwhelmingly like dirt.

Salad with beets:

mixed greens
pecans
beets (roasted with olive oil, salt, garlic salt — 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes)
feta cheese
olive oil
balsamic vinegar

Yay!  Another produce item that I had not eaten before and I NEVER would have bought at a store or farmer’s market.

How about you?  Do you like beets?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Fresh Figs So Unlike Fig Newtons

Posted by terrepruitt on September 15, 2012

As you may know I’ve been having an organic box of produce delivered every other week.  My hope was in addition to getting fresh, yummy produce I would receive some new things that I normally would not have come home with from the grocery store or farmers market.  Well, up until last week, I think I had received some pretty basic things.  Different varieties of fruits and veggies, but nothing too new, right?  I am asking because I don’t remember.  Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI am thinking I did receive something else I hadn’t had before, but I can’t remember what it was.  Oh, except those Shishito peppers that did end up being thrown away.  After I tasted one every time I just looked at the container I felt like I needed something to drink to get that bitter taste out of my mouth so I couldn’t bring myself to cook them.  In my last box I received a container of beautiful figs.  Mission figs.  I remember I tried some figs last November.  I remember it was November because we had gathered to watch V for Vendetta and one of the snacks was figs on goat cheese.  I don’t remember have eaten figs before because they just seemed icky to me.  I think I had only been presented with dried figs and I don’t like dried fruit.  I actually KNEW I didn’t like figs because of fig newtons.  Now, I know that a fig newton really isn’t a fig and I should have not based my liking of the fruit on such a thing, but I had.  So here I was with a container of figs.  I had no idea what to do with them.  What do you do with a fig?

So I asked a few people.  Believe it or not their response was the same, “Just eat ’em.”  Um . . . no thanks.  My husband likes to just eat them and he ate one.  When I told him I didn’t know what to do with them he said to just give him the go-ahead and he would eat them.  He said they were good.

The bulk of the recipes I found online seemed to be tarts, pastries, desserts, and ooey-gooey things.  And salads.  Sigh.  I thought I would go to the store and get some goat cheese and try making that dish that I had eaten before, but when I went to the store I found crumbled goat cheese and not a “brick” for slicing.

I can’t remember exactly, but I believe the snack was a piece of fig on top of a slice of goat cheese, with honey drizzled on it.  Really rich, but very yummy.  Kind of desserty.

I was happy and excited I received something I hadn’t had before, but I was stumped as to what to do with it/them.  Even though I bragged about Farm Fresh To You having recipes on their site, I kept forgetting to look at it.

Do you like figs?  How do you eat them?  Do you know a savory dish that uses figs?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Organic Produce Delivery

Posted by terrepruitt on August 23, 2012

SDance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Niao tomorrow marks our fourth box of produce delivered.  Since I have been subbing Nia for a lot of other classes this month, I really appreciate not having to go to the store every other day.  But it seems like two of the boxes I was too busy to cook/eat/deal with right away.  But for the most part we go through the veggies and fruit rather quickly.  I haven’t really received too much that is new to me.  We received some tomatoes that were an odd color to me.  They were red, but they were a very deep red.  Except for the one that had a big moldy hole in it, they were very good.  I realized a while ago when I started trying to eat tomatoes that I don’t like the jelly part with the seeds.  I like the firm fleshy part.  These tomatoes had more fleshy parts then “jelly” part.  They were very good.  So far, despite some quality that I would not have picked from the grocery store or a farmers market, I am really happy with the Farm Fresh To You deliver.

The two things I had a problem with was the moldy hole in the tomato and the lettuce that was already wilted and was so “on the verge” that it left a green ugly smudge of itself on the box that the produce comes in.  Any fruit delivered is always finished first – YUM!  I love the plums I get from my in-laws, I don’t know what kind they are, but they are dark and sweet.  But I loved the ones I got in the second box too.  They had a flavor that brought back childhood memories of summer fruit.  The nectarines were good too.  Aside from the wilted lettuce I love their lettuce.  It is soft and not bitter.  But I could use a lettuce delivery more than once a week, so once every other week is really not enough.  I believe one week the list said we would get a lemon cucumber.  I was looking forward to that, but I didn’t get it.  I did get the broccoli rabe which I had never had before, but it didn’t any different that brocoli.  A little more tender, I suppose.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaThe third box had pluots in it.  They were good too.  I even shared one with my husband.  The pear you see was a substitute.  We were supposed to get a lemon delivered and we did not because I asked not to received any lemons.  We have a lemon tree and while the one they were going to send was a different kind I don’t use lemons as it is so I didn’t need another one.  My husband likes pears so that works.  The cucumbers were awesome. So crisp and flavorful. I really like their cucumbers.  Unfortunately I forgot about the eggplants, so while we ate them we did not eat them at their peak and I did a little disguise technique on them, just in case.  Now those peppers, Shishito peppers .  I don’t even know what those are.  I looked them up online to verify that they were not hot before I tried one.  They information said “sweet” so I tasted one.  That has got to be one of the most bitter things I have ever tasted.  So they are still sitting on my counter.  They will probably sit there until I have to throw them away because I don’t know what to do with them.  I will keep an eye out for those on the list and if they pop up again say, “NO THANK YOU!!!!”

So that is my produce delivery update.  I am a little bummed that I have not received anything out of the ordinary.  I guess I could just got BUY something myself at a Farmer’s Market that is out of the ordinary, but I am really not included to do that.  So I was hoping to get if “forced” on my.  Anyway, every time I cook or make something and my husband says, “This is REALLY good.”  I point out that it is most likely because of our yummy organic produce that we are having delivered.  He had even suggested we get it delivered more often.  I have been entertaining that idea.  But there are a lot of options so I have to think about it.  Could be awhile before I decide.  I mean it took me years to get this far, but now that I did it I am glad I did.

How about you?  Any exciting summer fruit or veggie make it to your table this season?

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Farm Fresh To Me – Delivered Goodness

Posted by terrepruitt on June 16, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I decided to have home delivery of produce.  I had to wait until I was home to get it.  Remember that “stuff” I had posted about before?  The stuff had me traveling out of town that is why I had to move my Nia classes for two weeks.  I scheduled delivery for when I would be home AND I knew that I would have an empty/veggie-less fridge. I have often thought of having home deliver, but I just couldn’t justify it.  I finally decided to do it with the following as justification:

1)  I would have fresh organic produce.

In the grocery store I don’t always by the organic stuff because it is not what I want.  I think I might be 40%/60%.  With the organic fruit and veggies being delivered to me it will probably switch those numbers to 60%/40%.  This will be better for us.

2)  It would be delivered to my door.

I figured with gas prices as expensive as they are having something delivered to my door is very economical.  If they are bringing produce to me, it is keeping me out of the store at least one time a week.  Plus, when I am at the store I sometimes end up spending money on things we might not need to be eating.  I run in to get veggies then I think, “Hmmm?  What else do we ‘need’?”  And most often we don’t “need” anything but the produce I went into buy.

3)  I would get “stuck” with new things.

I am in the habit of buying the same vegetables over and over.  I do the same thing with fruit.  We have a farmers market fairly close to us, but they don’t have a lot of fruit.  The one that is really nice is a bit further and we don’t always get to it.  I have seen questions posted on FB about how to cook what was received in this week’s “box” so I thought that if I ordered produce I would end up with things new to me.   I was thinking that I would get a better variety of veggies if I just took what they were selling.  AND I would learn new stuff along the way.  What do I do with some of the things they send?  I am looking forward to finding out.

Dance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, NiaI did a search on the internet and “Farm Fresh To You” came up.  It is always kind of a risk doing stuff like this because you just don’t know.  But I was really happy when I saw a picture on the website that said, “Capay” because they are a farm that sells at one of the farmers markets I go to.  AND they are one of the vendors I frequent because they are all organic.  I like their produce.  So I was happy that I was familiar with the main farm that delivers.

It is cool they way they do it too.  I was talking to a friend who said that she just decided to do something similar, but with the farm she is working with you have to pick up your box and you subscribe for the whole summer.  I think her subscription is more of what you might be familiar with called a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA).  With the service I went through I just pay per box.  I can start and stop anytime.  There are different types and sizes too.  They have all veggies, all fruit, all “no-cook”, mostly veggies, etc.  It is pretty amazing – to me – what they offer.  They deliver in areas on certain days and the day they deliver in our area works out PERFECT for me.

I know a lot of people who subscribe to a CSA.  Do you?  Don’t you think having produce delivered to you is helpful?

Posted in Food, Fruit, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Frozen Vs. Fresh

Posted by terrepruitt on June 3, 2010

Frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious, if not MORE nutritious, than the vegetables you buy in the produce section.  Yup. You read that the right.  It says that you might be getting more nutrients from frozen vegetables than “fresh” vegetables. IF you are able to buy your vegetables from a local farmers market, that is where you most likely will get the most nutrient rich vegetables.  But be aware.  In our area–in and around San Jose–we have farmers markets pretty much every day of the week during the summer and it depends on WHEN the farmer has come to the bay area and when they picked their veggies.

I know that we attended one local market (and we have not been back) that was on a Sunday.  And the farmers claimed to have been in the area since Friday, and we saw them at a market on Saturday, and to tell you honestly it showed.  They vegetables had to be picked before Friday for them to have come up to the Friday market (and they could have even come to the Thursday or Wednesday Farmers Market).  It was the warm season and without refrigeration, the produce was very tired and wilted by Sunday.  As I said, my hubby and I have not actually been back to that particular market because the produce was so unappealing.  The idea of a farmers market is that you are getting FRESH produce, but when some farmers attend all the markets in the area they might not be that fresh.  The items probably were picked at the proper time, but within days they start to lose nutrients and without refrigeration they start to rapidly decay.

With produce from the grocery stores it is often harvested before it even reaches its full nutrient potential, and then once it is picked it might ripen some more but it will not have the full nutrients as it would have had it been picked after it reached its peak.  By the time produce travels to the stores and is ready for purchase it has lost a lot of its nutrient value.

The popular length of time I am seeing articles state is two weeks.  Vegetables can be picked up to two weeks before it reaches the store.  Then . . . it MIGHT not get put out for purchase right away (lets be generous and say it only sits for a day), then often times we buy it and it sits in the fridge for (lets be generous and say it sits for only two days).  That is a long time in which the vegetable is losing nutrients.  It might still LOOK pretty, but it is not a pack full of goodness as we might hope.

With vegetables that get frozen they are pick at the proper ripeness and blanched, frozen, and/or flash frozen right away so their vitamins and minerals as sealed in.  The breakdown of enzymes is halted in the process.  Supposedly in 1998 the Federal Drug Administration found that frozen vegetables have basically the same nutrient as fresh.  I cannot find anything on a government page confirming that but I can find it on a slew of other pages.

So it is quite possible that the veggies in the grocery stores frozen section have more nutrients than the produce section. Read the labels to check if anything has been added like sugar and/or salt because those are not things you would find in “fresh” veggies so you probably want to avoid them in the frozen ones too.

My plan consists of having fresh veggies, however fresh they are from the store or the local market, within the first two maybe three days of having purchased them.  I have frozen veggies in the freezer for when a trip to the store isn’t fitting into the schedule.  But it used to be that those frozen veggies would sit and get freezer burned because I thought they weren’t good enough.  But now I believe they are good, if not better, so I make sure to employ a rotation exercise, and we eat them in a reasonable amount of time.  Ya know when the schedule is tight and getting fresh ones isn’t quiet happening.  Then on the next trip to the store we get “fresh” and frozen vegetables to back into the fridge for when the schedule is tight again.  I would always rather have some sort of veggie than none at all.  And yes, that even means a canned vegetables.

Posted in Food, Vegetables | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »