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Wednesday, February 25 2015

Eating plenty of fresh, seasonal produce is a no-brainer during the summer when fresh fruits and veggies are everywhere. However, hunting down seasonal produce gets a little trickier during the dead of winter. One thing you can find in abundance are root vegetables. Most root vegetables are in season from the fall through the spring and store well throughout the year! Root vegetables are a nutrient powerhouse. Since they grow underground, they absorb tons of nutrients from the soil. They are packed with antioxidants, iron, and vitamins C, B, and A. They are loaded with fiber and slow-burning carbohydrates that regulate blood sugar and help you stay full longer. When choosing root vegetables pick ones that are firm and free of gouges or bruises. Once you get them home it’s best to store them in a cool, humid place. If storing them in the refrigerator, it’s best to keep them in a paper or plastic bag so they don't get soft too quickly.



In the same plant family as chard, these colorful veggies contain powerful nutrients that aid in detoxification and help protect against heart disease. Beets have a crunchy texture that turns soft and buttery when they are cooked. To receive the most nutritional benefit from beets, cook them lightly. Try steaming them whole for 15 minutes then gently wiping the peel off with a paper towel. If you want to eat them raw, try grating them and then serving them on top of salads or as a colorful garnish to soup. 
 



The antioxidant beta-carotene is actually named after carrots because they are so rich in this nutrient that boosts eye health. But that’s just one of many health-supporting nutrients found in this veggie. If you like your carrots sweet, look for larger ones. The sugars are concentrated in the core and bigger carrots tend to have larger cores and are therefore sweeter. Looking for something a little different to do with your carrots? Try making carrot fries! Cut the carrots into matchsticks, toss with olive oil and roast at a high temperature. It’s fun to experiment with different herbs and seasonings. I like mine sprinkled with fresh rosemary and sea salt and then dipped in a honey Dijon dressing.



Carrot's big, white cousin! Parsnips are harder than carrots and have a deep, warm flavor. They are anti-inflammatory as well as anti-fungal. They are delicious roasted with a little sea salt and olive oil and are excellent in soups and stir-fries. Try adding one to your next batch of broth! 



One of the most nutritious vegetables around. Sweet potatoes are anti-inflammatory, rich in antioxidants, help regulate blood sugar, and have more beta-carotene than leafy greens. They lend themselves well to sweet or savory dishes and are best served alongside some form of fat since it increases the uptake of beta-carotene. Try eating a sweet potato for breakfast with a tablespoon or two of almond butter sweetened with a touch of maple syrup. 




People have been eating turnips since prehistoric times. Turnips are very subtle in flavor and pair well with other veggies. They are high in fiber and vitamins C and B6, but can lose a lot of their nutritional value if boiled. They are best steamed until soft or sautéed. That being said, adding steamed turnips in with your already-boiled potatoes before mashing is a great way to up the nutrient value of ordinary mashed potatoes. 



Mild in flavor, much like a turnip, but with more of an earthy flavor. Rutabagas are often confused with turnips but are actually part of the cabbage family. They make a wonderful, healthy substitute for potatoes and are best when roasted or pureed. Be sure to peel their tough outer skin though! 



These tiny roots pack a big punch of nutrients. They are natural antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and detoxifying. In fact, turmeric is so powerful as an anti-inflammatory it’s comparable to over the counter medications such as Motrin. Ginger is also effective at relieving gastrointestinal problems. Which is why your mom used to give you a ginger ale when your tummy was upset! They are both quite aromatic and pungent in flavor with ginger being a bit spicier and turmeric more peppery in flavor. They look very similar and can be easily confused, but turmeric has an orange undertone that is noticeable when you look closer. To remove the skin, use a spoon to easily peel around all the ridges and bumps. For a powerful, health-boosting tea, chop fresh ginger and turmeric, cover with boiling water and steep for five minutes. Enjoy with fresh squeezed lemon.

 

Posted by: AT 05:24 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Wednesday, February 18 2015

Student of Agriculture and Nutrition at Evergreen State College, nanny for the drummer of Phish (yep, that Phish), and 1st chair clarinet for three years in high school. Allison joined the Farm Fresh team in April of 2014 and when she can take a break from cooking, ambling outdoors and school you can find her smiling face behind the register! 
 

What do you do at Farm Fresh? I do a lot of different things, but mainly customer service. I work at the cash register a lot, but stocking is a big thing too. 
 

How did you find out about the job? I went into Farm Fresh because my aunt and uncle told me about the rotisserie chickens. While I was there I asked if they were hiring!


What do you do in your spare time? I like to be outside. I do a lot of yoga and kayak. When the season is good I am in my garden. I also like to play cards with my friends. And of course, cooking. I cook a lot of soups and stir-fry right now and I do all sort of different egg dishes. I cook a lot of salmon. I like this one marinade that is lemon, garlic, and ginger in tahini. The tahini makes it very creamy! Then I bake it with the paste on top and it gets this crusty layer. Yummm. 


What drew you to natural foods? I was Vegan about four years ago because I wanted to eat lower on the food chain. I thought, logically, if that's my purpose for eating a plant-based diet, then I should also avoid processed foods because it has 100 ingredients in it and they are shipped all over the place. Eating local was a lot more environmentally conscious. Then I just became more and more passionate about eating organic food that had the least amount of chemicals. It made me more aware of the source of my food. 


Are you a native Washingtonian? I grew up in Vermont and lived there until I was 20. Then I moved out here when I transferred to Evergreen. 


What’s your favorite thing about working at Farm Fresh Market? I love the customers. It’s fun to work in a small store where you get to see a lot of the same customers and having ongoing conversations with them from week to week. I like having a closer connection with the customers. Nothing feels impersonal or forced. I really like sharing what I know about food with people and getting people excited about eating healthy things. 


Do you have any products that you absolutely love? Oh man… I buy a lot of Egg Lady Pastured Eggs. I probably go through a dozen eggs a week by myself. I eat eggs everyday. I really like the Vanilla Tera’s Whey and the Theo Peanut Butter Cups. Oh yeah, and the Millet & Brown Rice Ramen with Miso from Lotus Foods. I add two hardboiled eggs, cut in half and sometimes I add kale or spinach. It’s a good, hardy soup. That’s one of my go-to meals right now because I am so busy with school and I can make it in 10 minutes. I buy a lot of the Teas too!


What is your favorite winter produce? Kabocha squash, by and large. I roast it or make it into curry or soup. It’s a great squash for soups in particular because it blends to a creamy texture and it’s really sweet. 

 

Posted by: AT 06:23 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Saturday, February 14 2015

You've probably heard of Nineveh Assyrian Food Truck by now, right? Maybe you've even been by to try their shawarma or falafel. But did you know that you can find a handful of Nineveh's delectable Middle Eastern treats at Farm Fresh Market?

After three successful years of running the food truck at the corner of Plum and 4th, Lisa David and her brother, Jacob, started distributing some of their ready-to-eat goodies to local markets in Olympia. One of Lisa's favorite things about owning her food truck is being able to share the food she loves with her community. Having her lovingly crafted (and ready-to-eat!) foods available in stores is just another way to share the food of her ancestors!

Until relatively recently Lisa and Jacob's family lived in the village of Urmia in modern Day Iran. When the Ottoman Empire fell there was a massive genocide of Armenians, Assyrians and Pontic Greeks. Most of the villages that had been Assyrian for thousands of years had to pack up and flee. Her grandparents, who were just children then, were lucky enough to escape to Baghdad in 1915. Then, in 1964, their father moved from Baghdad to America. As an homage to her family's rich ancestry, Lisa named her food truck for the ancient capital city of Nineveh.

After moving from Ohio to study ceramics and print making at Evergreen, Lisa noticed there wasn't a Middle Eastern restaurant in Olympia. She dreamed of opening a restaurant to make authentic Middle Eastern foods, like shawarma, a sliced meat that is marinated in spices and then cooked on a vertical rotisserie. It's similar to a gyro or doner kabob, except for one big difference: the meat. Most American gyro meat comes from one company near Chicago. "It's a compressed cone of meat made from ends and whatnots." Lisa explains, "It's like the baloney of Middle Eastern food." Lisa wanted to offer a better option.

Their food truck serves up Iraqi street food made from fresh ingredients that are locally sourced when possible. The falafel, for example, starts with organic chickpeas grown right here in Washington. After soaking the beans, they are ground with spices and fresh onions and parsley from Calliope Farm in Olympia. Then the falafel is fried and topped with veggies they pickle themselves. Lisa talks about her dream of opening a sit-down restaurant with home-style Assyrian meals someday. Her passion for the authentic food of her people is obvious as she describes the hearty braised meats, tantalizing soups and cracked wheat dumplings stuffed with meat called kibbeh. In fact, it's almost possible to hear her salivating as she talks. And that love for the cuisine comes through with each delectable bite.


Since the Nineveh food truck got rolling, the community has embraced the Assyrian-style Middle Eastern food they serve. According to Jacob the hardest part of the whole venture was actually getting the truck to Olympia. Jacob 

was living in Ohio at the time when Lisa found the truck on Craigslist in Michigan. Jacob drove the truck across the country with his best friend and it ended up taking them an entire week. Lisa chuckles retelling the story of its 

journey. "It broke down in the middle of nowhere in Minnesota and a wheel had to be replaced." And as these things tend to go, "it happened over a holiday weekend. Then the part that was sent wasn’t right." But eventually the truck did arrive and with some minor fix-ups they were in business.


And business is good. They are growing slowly and thoughtfully. When asked about plans to expand their selection of ready to eat foods in markets Lisa was hopeful. "Maybe next year. We're not trying to expand too much since we're still operating out of our food truck and commissary (a licensed and inspected kitchen facility for food preparation)" she explains, "It would be easier if we had our own restaurant and kitchen." For now you'll have to get your fix at the food truck or pick up some of their ready-to-eat foods at Farm Fresh Market. You can currently find tabouleh, kale and lentil salad, fava bean and chickpea salad, pickled beets and turnips, baba ganoush, and za'taar pita chips. Or keep them in mind if you have an event coming up. They love to cater and create unique menus for specific events. For more information or to check outtheir menu visit their website at nineveholympia.com. 


 

Posted by: Erin AT 06:48 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, February 10 2015

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Curry Sausage and Kale & Guilt-Free Chocolate Mousse
 

Pillowy, homemade sweet potato gnocchi and fragrant, comforting curry sausage are a match made in heaven. Invite a little sauteed kale, toasted walnuts and parmesan cheese to the party and you have a meal that is sure to melt your valentine's heart. Homemade gnocchi requires a little extra effort, but the rest of this meal comes together in a snap. 
Pair it with this Guilt-Free 3-ingredient Chocolate Mousse for the ultimate romantic dinner!

 



Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Kale and Curry Sausage

 

Ingredients
 

For the gnocchi:


• 2 large sweet potatoes

 1 egg yolk

 1 to 2 cups of flour (substitute rice flour for gluten 

   free or, to make it paleo, use 1 cup almond

   flour and 1/2 to 1 cup of arrowroot powder)
 

For the sausage & kale


 1 lb of Farm Fresh Market curry sausage,

   chicken or pork

• 2 cloves of garlic, minced

• 1/4 cup of dry white wine

 2 bunches of kale, stems removed and chopped

 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for topping

 1 cup of raw walnuts

 

Directions
 

  1. Start by cooking the sweet potatoes at 400 degrees. Poke each potato several times with a fork and cook for about an hour to an hour and a half until they are tender. Cooking the sweet potatoes the day before makes them easier to work with and you won't have to wait for them to cool! If cooking them the same day, slice each potato open to let them cool quicker.
     
  2. Mash the cooled potatoes in a food processor or with a potato ricer. Add egg yolk and 1 cup of flour. Stir to mix all ingredients. Continue to add small amounts of flour and mixing to form a dough that can be rolled. The dough will still be sticky.
     
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface (if making paleo gnocchi, dust surface with arrowroot powder). Cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll each piece into a log 1/2 inch thick. Flour surface as needed to keep from sticking. Cut the log into 1/2 inch pieces and transfer to parchment paper or floured surface and set aside.
     
  4. To cook sausage and kale, heat large dutch oven to medium-high heat. Brown curry sausage then add garlic and cook for an extra 30 seconds. Add white wine and scrape brown bits and garlic from the sides and bottom of pan. Turn down heat to medium, add kale and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove lid to allow the liquid to evaporate while the kale finishes wilting.  
     
  5. While the sausage is cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the walnuts to the hot, dry pan, stir frequently until walnuts begin to brown and smell toasted, about 5 minutes.
     
  6. After you've added the kale to the sausage mixture, add the gnocchi to heavily salted, boiling water and cook in batches. Cook until they begin they begin to float to the surface then transfer to a strainer. 
     
  7. Add gnocchi to sausage and kale mixture along with 1/4 cup of parmesan. Stir in parmesan until melted. Serve with toasted walnuts and grated parmesan on top.

 


 
Guilt-Free Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate mousse is crazy decadent. It's so rich and creamy your valentine won't believe that it only has 3 ingredients and no refined sugar! 
 

Ingredients
 

• 1 can of Native Forest Coconut Milk
 

• 1 cup dates, packed firmly
 

• 5 tbsp cacao powder

 

Directions
 

  1. Chill the can of coconut milk in the refrigerator upside down overnight to allow the cream to thicken. The thick cream should now be on the bottom and the liquid on the top. Pour off the liquid and save for smoothies or stirfry. 
     

  2. Soften dates in warm water for five minutes then add to food processor or high-powered blender along with 2 tablespoons of the coconut cream. Blend until it turns into a thick paste. At this point the paste will have little bits of date skin giving it a slightly chunky texture. Press the paste through a fine mesh strainer into a small mixing bowl leaving the skins behind. 
     

  3. Add the remaining coconut cream and cacao powder to bowl and mix. Transfer mousse to 2 ramekins and chill for a couple of hours, or until firm. Top with whipped coconut milk, shaved chocolate, berries or nuts!

 

Posted by: Erin AT 05:32 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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