Let the Farmers’ Markets begin! Those of you in milder climates probably have the wonderful option of year round Farmers’ Markets so my enthusiasm may seem little over the top. But in the harsher weather zones we have to wait until the snow is gone and warmer weather has arrived. And wow…did we have the perfect weather!
It’s the first week in May in the Columbia River Gorge and typical of our mountain spring season the weather is different every day. Growers, especially those with greenhouses and hoop houses, have been busy for several months preparing the soil, seeding flats of veggies and planting food.
What kinds of food will you find in the cool days of spring here in the north? I can guarantee lots of greenery! Kale, spinach, lettuces, peppery arugula, chard, beets with their greens, and maybe, a cabbage or two?
What is the best benefit of shopping at Farmers’ Markets? Quality! Unlike the items in grocery stores which are picked as much as a week before showing up at the store, market growers usually pick the morning of the market, bringing all those nutrients to the market.
Greens should be on every person’s daily intake list. They are nutritional powerhouses and can be prepared in a variety of ways: raw, blended (smoothies), sauteed, steamed, stewed, fried (kale chips) and baked.
As part of my overall fitness plan, I have been eating a lot more cooked greens. The truth is I am not a big fan of cooked greens but I have been exploring several new recipes and love what I have been eating. Cooked greens for breakfast?
Fry some locally produced bacon or sausage (nitrate-free). Remove the cooked meat and leave the fat. (Organic animal fat is good for you.) Don’t eat meat? Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter or olive oil in a pan.
Clean your greens. I prefer kale, and I strip off the tender leafy parts from the ribs. Rinse, drain and throw into the melted fat. Add chopped onions, garlic and any other veggies you like.
Cook until desired softness. Kale & chard take longer than spinach to cook down.
Move greens to side of pan and add a bit more fat. Break 1 or 2 eggs into the pan and fry to preferred style. (Scrambled eggs work, too.) Move warm greens to plate, place meat on top of greens and then the eggs.
A little hot sauce for the adventurous and you have a healthy and delicious protein-filled breakfast to start your day.
The best part of this meal? You can find locally produced greens, eggs and meat at the Market.