5 Reasons to Visit Your Farmer’s Market

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Do you frequent your local farmer’s market? For many of us, these open air festivals of fresh produce are among the highlights of spring through early fall. Here are some great reasons to pay a weekly visit to your neighborhood farmer’s market:

Better quality food

Farmer’s markets offer the freshest food around—usually only hours from the field—so you get top quality and perfectly ripe flavor. And the colors, smells and tastes you will find offer a sensual experience that helps to re-establish your connection with fresh, whole, genuine food.

More organic options

Farmer’s markets have many organic options—usually quite affordable—enabling you to protect your family from antibiotics, pesticides, growth hormones, GMOs, dyes and other toxins. Organic agriculture also improves soil fertility, prevents chemical fertilizers from polluting waterways, and encourages species diversity.

Encourages healthy eating

Kids and adults alike enjoy exploring how foods are grown, harvested, and eaten by browsing market stalls and talking to farmers. And beautifully displayed, dewy fresh produce encourages us to eat more fruits and vegetables, making it easier to consume our recommend 6-12 daily servings for optimal wellness.

Supports your community

In an era when sustainable farmers struggle to survive, farmer’s market profits help keep small farms alive. Farmer’s markets are also cheerful social venues where you bump into friends and meet local growers personally. Kids love them too! And many open air markets feature special events, such as cooking demonstrations, music, festivals, and more.

It’s eco-friendly

Eating locally saves vast amounts of packaging waste and energy required to ship food around the globe. To continue that green theme, be sure to bring your own bags. Although most vendors offer small plastic bags, you definitely want to have larger “green” bags to carry your bounty.

Helps curb climate change

According to the American Farmland Trust, with our support, U.S. agriculture can help reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions by adopting new practices and technologies and by producing low-carbon renewable energy. Studies indicate that changes in agriculture practices could offset up to one fifth of current U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

If you’re not already a habitué at your local farmers market, the National Farmer’s Market search engine can help you discover one near you: http://apps.ams.usda.gov/FarmersMarkets/ Eat fresh, eat local.

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Lentil Lime Soup

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Courtesy of Numi Organic Tea.

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

    • 2 tea bags Numi Dry Desert Lime
    • 1 cup red lentils
    • ¼ cup rice
    • 2 large yellow onions (cut into thin strips)
    • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ tsp. salt
    • 1 tsp. cumin
    • 1 vegetable, chicken or beef bouillon cube
    • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
    • Toasted pita chips (these can be bought or made by toasting a slice of pita bread and breaking it up into small chip-size pieces)

      Directions:

        1. Steep 2 tea bags of Dry Desert Lime in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes, set aside.
        2. Boil 3 cups of water in a deep soup pot. Add lentils and rice. Reduce heat to low and cover for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
        3. In a frying pan, sauté onions in oil until golden and tender. Add cumin, salt and bouillon, stir until bouillon dissolves.
        4. Mix into lentils and add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Just before serving, stir in parsley and tea Add meatballs if desired. Serve with pita chips.

          Servings:

          Makes 4 Servings

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          Tofu Chili

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          Here is a delicious and easy recipe for some Tofu Chili! Courtesy of Nasoya®.

          Prep Time: 10 minutes

          Cook Time: 20 minutes

          Ingredients:

          • 1 pkg Nasoya® Extra Firm tofu, patted dry
          • 2 Tbsp chili powder
          • 1 tsp ground cumin
          • 1 tsp paprika
          • 1 tsp dried oregano
          • 1 tsp salt
          • 1 tsp sugar
          • 1 Tbsp canola oil
          • 2 cloves garlic, minced
          • 1 onion
          • 1 carrot, chopped
          • 1 red bell pepper
          • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
          • 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

          Directions:

          1. In a medium bowl, blend chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, salt, and sugar, and set aside.
          2. Crumble tofu into bowl of spices and stir until coated with the spices. Set aside.
          3. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion, and carrot and sauté, while stirring, for 5 minutes.  Add red pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
          4. Add the tofu and cook, while stirring, for 5 minutes.
          5. Add tomatoes & black beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
          6. Season to taste. Enjoy!

          Tip: For a meatier tofu texture, press the tofu for 20 minutes.

          Servings:

          Makes 8 Servings

          Nutritionals:

          Calories 190, Calories from Fat 5, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 450 mg. Total Carbohydrate 26 g, Dietary Fiber 8 g, Sugars 2 g, Protein 12 g

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          Garden Tofu Scramble

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          Recipe submitted courtesy of Nasoya®.

          Ingredients:

          • 1 pkg Nasoya® Firm tofu, patted dry
          • 1 tbsp canola oil
          • 1 clove garlic, minced
          • 1 small white onion, chopped
          • 6 button mushrooms, sliced
          • ½ cup carrots, grated
          • 1 tsp salt
          • ½ tsp turmeric
          • 1 cup baby spinach
          • 1 tomato, diced

          Directions:

          1. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan over medium high heat. Once oil is hot add the garlic and onion and sauté for about 5 minutes.
          2. Add the mushrooms and carrots and sauté for another 5 minutes.
          3. Add the tofu into the pan crumble it into small pieces using a spatula.
          4. Sprinkle salt and turmeric evenly over the scramble. Turmeric not only adds to the flavor but it will also make the tofu look like eggs! Heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to blend well. During this time the tofu can be broken into smaller pieces to resemble the consistency of scrambled eggs.
          5. Mix in the spinach and tomato and heat until spinach is just wilted, about 3 minutes.
          6. Remove from heat and enjoy!

          Servings:

          Serves 7

          Nutritionals:

          Calories 90, Calories from Fat 40, Total Fat 4.5 g, Saturated Fat 0 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 370 mg, Total Carbohydrate 5 g, Dietary Fiber 1 g, Sugars 1 g, Protein 6 g

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          Basic Tofu Stir Fry

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          Recipe submitted courtesy of Nasoya®.

          Ingredients:

          • 1 pkg Nasoya® Extra Firm tofu, patted dry and cut into ½” cubes
          • 1 red pepper, chopped
          • 2 carrots, julienne
          • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
          • 2 mushrooms, sliced
          • 2 tbsp canola oil
          • 8-oz of your favorite stir fry sauce

          Directions:

          1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large nonstick pan over medium high heat.
          2. Once hot, add the tofu to the pan. Allow the tofu to cook for about 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Flip the cubes and cook an additional 4 minutes.
          3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and the vegetables.
          4. Stir often to cook evenly.
          5. When the vegetables are almost cooked, add the stir fry sauce to the pan. Reduce heat to low and stir for 2 minutes.
          6. Serve over rice or noodles. Enjoy!

          Tip: Pressed for time? Use 1 (16-oz) package frozen stir-fry vegetables

          Servings:

          Serves 5

          Nutritionals:

          Calories 190, Calories from Fat 90, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium 420 mg, Total Carbohydrate 14 g, Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 7 g, Protein 10 g

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          Vegetarian Sushi

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          Vegetarian SushiRecipe submitted courtesy of Lundberg Family Farms.

          Ingredients:

            • 1 cups Lundberg Family Farms Sushi Rice
            • 1-1/2 cups water
            • 2 Tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
            • 3 (8 X 7 inch) sheets roasted nori
            • 1 hot house cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
            • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/16-inch-thick matchsticks
            • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted, sliced in 1/4 inch-thick pieces
            • Optional additions: green onions, sprouts, stir-fried extra-firm tofu, steamed asparagus tips, julienned raw summer squash

              Directions:

                1. In a large fine sieve rinse the rice under running cold water until the water runs clear with no milky residue and drain it well. In a large saucepan combine the rice with 1 1/2 cups water and soak for 30 minutes.
                2. Bring the water to a boil, reduce heat to very low and simmer, covered tightly, for 20 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove the pan from the heat, let the rice stand covered for 10 minutes; transfer it to a wide, shallow glass bowl, spreading it in an even layer.
                3. Sprinkle the rice with vinegar to moisten it lightly, tossing it carefully, and cover it with a dampened cloth. (Do not chill the rice.) The rice may be made 3 hours in advance and kept, covered with the dampened cloth, at room temperature.
                4. Place bamboo sushi mat on a work surface with slats running crosswise. Arrange 1 sheet nori, shiny side down, on mat, lining up a long edge of sheet with edge of mat nearest you. Using damp fingers gently press about 3/4 cup rice onto nori in 1 layer, leaving a 1/2-inch borders on long sides.
                5. Arrange several of the cucumber, carrot, and avocado in even strips horizontally across the rice, starting 1 inch from side nearest you.
                6. Beginning with edge nearest you, lift mat up with your thumbs, holding filling in place with your fingers, and fold mat over filling so that upper and lower edges of rice meet, then squeeze gently but firmly along length of roll, tugging edge of mat farthest from you to tighten. (Nori border will still be flat on mat.) Lightly moisten top nori border with water.
                7. Open mat and roll log forward to seal with nori border. Make remaining logs in same manner. Transfer roll, seam side down, to a cutting board; let “rest” for a few minutes then cut each log crosswise into 6 pieces with a wet thin-bladed or serrated knife.
                8. Serve with wasabi paste, soy sauce, and pickled ginger.

                  Servings:

                  1 roll= 186.8 grams   1 piece (1/6th of a roll) =31.1 grams
                  Yield : approximately 18 pieces
                  Serves 3

                  Nutritionals:

                  Serving size 4 pieces, Calories 130, Calories from Fat 35, Total Fat 3.5g (Sat. Fat 0.5g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 85mg, Total Carbohydrates 22g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 2g, Protein 3g.

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                  Penne with Spinach and Mushrooms

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                  Recipe submitted courtesy of Lundberg Family Farms.

                  Ingredients:

                  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
                  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
                  • 1 pound  fresh mushrooms, sliced
                  • 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
                  • 1/2 cup milk
                  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
                  • 8 cups fresh spinach
                  • 1 (12 ounce) package Lundberg Family Farms Brown Rice Penne, cooked al dente, according to package directions. Reserve.
                  • Garnish with:
                  • 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
                  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

                  Directions:

                  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet and add garlic and mushrooms; cook over medium heat about 5 minutes.
                  2. Add cream cheese, milk and red pepper flakes; stir until boiling.
                  3. Stir in fresh spinach and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.
                  4. Mix into reserved pasta, garnish with chopped chives and Parmesan cheese.

                  Servings:

                  Serves  8-10
                  Yield  10 cups
                  1 cup= 182.6 grams

                  Nutritionals:

                  CONTAINS MILK. Serving size 1 cup, Calories 290, Calories from fat 110, Total Fat 13g (Sat. Fat 5g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 250mg, Total Carbohydrates 38g, Fiber 4g, Sugars 4g, Protein 11g.

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                  Black Japonica Rice, Pinto Bean and Corn Salad

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                  Recipe submitted courtesy of Lundberg Family Farms.

                  Ingredients:

                    • 1 cup Lundberg Family Farms Black Japonica™ Rice
                    • 2 cups water
                    • 3 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
                    • 1 clove garlic, minced
                    • 1/3 cup olive oil
                    • 1-1/2 cups frozen corn
                    • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
                    • 4 green onions, sliced
                    • 1 red bell pepper, diced
                    • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
                    • 1 (15.5oz.) can black beans, rinsed & drained

                      Directions:

                        1. Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Stir in Lundberg Black Japonica™ Rice, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook 50 minutes.
                        2. Remove from heat and let steam 10 minutes. Cool.
                        3. Whisk vinegar, olive oil, and garlic in a large bowl. Salt and pepper to taste.
                        4. Add rice to bowl. Add remaining ingredients; toss to combine.
                        5. Cover and refrigerate. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)
                        6. Bring to room temperature before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.

                          Servings:

                          Yield: 9 cups
                          1 cup = 152.4 grams

                          Nutritionals:

                          Serving size 1 cup, Calories 150, Calories from fat 60, Total Fat 6g (Sat. Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 75mg, Total Carbohydrates 21g, Fiber 3g, Sugars 3g, Protein 4g.

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                          Tasty Polynesian Stir Fry

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                          Recipe submitted by Susie V. of TN for the Mambolicious Recipe Contest of 2009.

                          Ingredients:

                          • 1 8-oz. can of unsweetened pineapple chunks
                          • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
                          • 1 1/2 Tbsp. cold water
                          • 1 Tbsp. The Ginger People’s Ginger Sesame sauce
                          • 1 Tbsp. The Ginger People’s Hot Ginger Jalapeno Sauce
                          • 2 Tbsp. apricot preserves
                          • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, thinly sliced
                          • 3 tsp. oil, divided
                          • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
                          • 1 small green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
                          • 1 small sweet red pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
                          • 2 cups hot cooked rice
                          • Crushed, unsalted peanuts and a few dashes of The Ginger Peoples Ginger Peanut sauce for garnish
                          Directions:
                          1. Drain pineapple, reserving juice, set aside.
                          2. For sauce, in a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water until smooth.
                          3. Stir in Ginger Sesame sauce, Ginger Jalapeno sauce, perserves and reserved pineapple juice and set aside.
                          4. In large skillet or wok, stir-fry pork in 2 teaspoons of sauce until no longer pink. Remove and keep warm.
                          5. Stir-fry onion and peppers in remaining oil for 3 minutes.
                          6. Add pineapple, stir-fry 2-3 minutes longer or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
                          7. Stir in cornstarch mixture and add to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
                          8. Add pork; heat through.
                          9. Serve over rice. Just before serving add a few dashes of Ginger Peanut sauce and crushed peanutes for garnish.

                          Servings: 4

                          Prep Time: 15 minutes

                          Cook Time: 15 minutes

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                          Salmon Croquettes

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                          Recipe submitted by Kim V. of Caldwell, NJ, for the Mambolicious Recipe Contest of 2009.

                          Ingredients:

                          • 1 carrot, shredded (1/2 cup)
                          • 1 small zucchini, shredded (1/2 cup)
                          • 1/2 red bermuda onion, diced (1/2 cup)
                          • 1/2 finely diced curly leaf kale, stems removed
                          • 1/2 cup Ian’s Italian Panko Breadcrumbs
                          • 2  7.1-oz. pouches of Wild Alaskan Pink Salmon (packed in broth)
                          • 1 large egg
                          • 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
                          • 1 cup finely ground cornmeal
                          • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
                          • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
                          • 1 tsp. garlic salt

                          Directions:

                          1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
                          2. Add in the shredded carrot, zucchini, onion, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt. Saute vegetable until tender, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
                          3. Drain the salmon; put it in a large bowl. Using a fork breakup any large chunks. Add one large egg, slightly beaten.
                          4. Add 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs, remaining salt and pepper, the finely diced kale and the sauteed vegetables. Fold ingredients together.
                          5. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
                          6. Using an ice cream scooper, scoop salmon mixture into the palm of your hand, forming it into a small, round, flat patty. Roll the patty in cornmeal and place in the skillet.
                          7. Allow to cook for 6 minutes on each side.
                          8. Serve warm.

                          Servings: 4

                          Prep Time: 15 minutes

                          Cook Time: 12 minutes

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