Peaches & The Farmer’s Market

Guess what tomorrow is?
peaches |
peaches and nectarines | santa rosa community farmer's market |
It’s National Eat A Peach Day. I looooove peaches, especially white peaches. They’re probably one of my favorite fruits. No national proclamation required for me to fawn over this fragrant stone fruit that drips down your wrist with its peachy-goodness the minute you bite into a ripe one. And if Saturday August 22nd isn’t enough of a fuss over this sweet orb, then let’s celebrate it again on Monday August 24th as that’s National Peach Pie Day.  Sounds like there’s going to be some baking in store for me! I personally am going to enjoy these little guys all weekend long by bringing home a huge basket full from the Santa Rosa Community Farmer’s Market.

gravenstein apples | santa rosa community farmer's market | whiskandmuddler.comWhen I took these photos at the Market recently (thank you for the tour Jim!), the first lot of the Gravenstein apples had just made their debut for the season in a few of the stalls. Needless to say, shopping a local farmer’s market is one of the best things you can do for your community to support local farmers, growers, and artisans. Eating seasonal, fresh foods that are organically or sustainably grown is great for your health too, as there’s nothing like food straight from the garden with all its vitamins, nutrients, and minerals intact. The perfect way to keep your body in tip-top shape— you know, so that we can indulge in some sinfully good peach pie now and again! :>)

Enjoy my walk through the Market and then get out there this weekend to shop your local Farmer’s Market. Don’t forget the peaches!!

strawberries | santa rosa community farmer's market |



cabbages and zucchini at santa rosa community farmer's market |

fresh veggies at SRCFM |

carrots and beets | SRCFM |

All the vendors at this market have amazing produce. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get around to everyone (next time though!). Here are the ones I included in the photos above: Revolution Bread, Coyote Family Farm, Rize Up Farm, Rojas Family Farm, Garden Earth Farms, Triple ‘T’ Ranch Farm, La Chiquita Farm, Toscano & Sons, and J&J Ramos Farms.

Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m |  Wednesdays 9 a.m. to Noon
1351 Maple Avenue (Veteran’s Bldg) | Santa Rosa, CA 95402 | 707-237-5340
Market Manager: Jim Fenton

Super Greens Smoothie Discs

If it’s good for you (and green), it’s in here.
super greens smoothie discs
Talk about a healthy start to the morning. Or whiz up this super greens charged goodness for a healthy snack anytime of the day. My Super Greens Smoothie Discs are chocked full of vitamins, minerals, vegetable and seed proteins, nutrient-dense fruits, cleansing detoxifiers, and heaps of antioxidants. Whatever “anti-something” ingredient you can think of, I probably added it. I’ve been making these super greens frozen discs for a few years now. They make blending up a quick breakfast smoothie fast and easy. I make a huge batch of these at a time, them store them individually in the freezer for when I need a good dose of greens. And after reading (and drooling over) the May issue of yum. Gluten Free Magazine, an on-line Australian publication featuring gluten free and whole  & organic foods, I was inspired to pull out the blender and get the summer season kicked off right.
super greens smoothie discs 2
greens smoothie overview
What’s in these? And why are they so good for you? This power-packed smoothie mix contains vegetables and fruits which are dark green and high in fiber. I also included seed proteins for an extra helping of nutrition. For the super greens, I bought this ‘Power Greens’ pre-washed mix by Earthbound Farm. It’s organic, and has all three leafy greens in one box. What’s inside:
Baby kale= vitamins A, B9, C and K, calcium, potassium and lutein
Baby spinach= vitamins A, B, C, E, K, calcium
Baby chard= vitamins A, B9, C and K, calcium and lutein & zeaxanthin (the last two are beneficial cartenoids (good for the eyes))

Then added in some Spirulina powder. What’s inside:
Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica= protein, betacarotene, phytonutrients, enzymes and other essential vitamins & minerals. I like the  Nutrex Hawaii brand. You can buy it in powder or tablet form. I like to take a couple of tablets daily, so for this recipe, I used a mortar & pestle to create a powder.

spirulina powder in mortar & pestle
For the seeds, I happened to have these in the pantry, and they blend up nicely. What’s inside:
Flax seed= omega-3 essential fatty acids, dietary fiber, vitamin B1, copper,  magnesium, phosphorus, and selenium.
Black chia seeds= fiber, protein, calcium, antioxidants, omega-3s, zinc, vitamin B1, 2, 3, and potassium.

For the fruit–use anything green. Honeydew melon or even some avocado would be good too. I happened to have dried mulberries in the pantry but choose whatever dried fruits you like. I used:
Green apples= vitamin A, B6, C, E, Iron, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Niacin and Thiamin.
Citrus (limes and lemon) =  vitamin C, flavonoid compounds that have antioxidant and anti-cancer properties, fiber.
Dried mulberries = antioxidants, vitamin K, B-6, and folic acid.

For the vegetables & herbs– more green! Choose what you like. The ginger (ok, it’s not green but I like the hit of spice from it) contains gingerol (found in its oil) and is a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant.
Celery (including the leafy tops) = antioxidant nutrients, vitamin C, beta-carotene, manganese and  phytonutrients.
Zucchini= vitamins A, B complex, C, folate, and potassium.
Fresh mint & parsley= potassium, calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium., vitamin A, C, E,  and beta carotene.

For the sweeteners–keep it as natural as possible:
Agave syrup= low on GI scale, natural- not processed.
Candied ginger pieces= anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. (I know, they have a little sugar in them so that’s a bit of a cheat, but I only used 2 tablespoons for the entire batch…plus they’re so tasty!) You can absolutely omit them though, and instead add a bit more agave, honey or maple syrup. Some medjool date pieces would be good too.
agave syrup
super greens in blender 2super greens in blender 1

super greens smoothie disc
super greens smmothie 2

Super Greens Smoothie Discs
yields 18 discs | printable version

2 large handfuls of mixed dark greens (kale, spinach, arugula, chards)
3 stalks celery + tops
2 small zucchini
1 green apple
2 limes, zested and peel removed
1 lemon, zested and peel removed
1 bunch each fresh mint & parsley
1/4 cup dried mulberries (or any dried berry of your choice)
1/4 cup flax seeds, ground
3 tablespoons spirulina powder
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
2 tablespoons candied ginger chips (optional)
2-3 tablespoons agave syrup, honey or maple syrup
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup almond milk

Chop all vegetables & fruits. Zest citrus and then peel and chop pulp. Discard peels. Add all the vegetables, fruits, zests & herbs to a blender. Top with dark greens, spirulina, gingers and seeds. Add in coconut water and blend on medium speed until mixture has formed a course texture. Add in almond milk and sweetener. Blend again but on high speed to full incorporate all ingredients. The greens mix will be thick– that’s okay; it doesn’t need to be finely blended. You’re going to blend it again when you make the smoothies. Pour into muffin tins and freeze overnight. Pop discs out and wrap individually in parchment or wax paper, then wrap again in plastic wrap to ensure no moisture can get in. Store all the discs in a zip-top freezer bag for up to 3-4 months.

To make a smoothie, remove 1-2 discs from freezer, pop in blender with liquid of your choice (I like half coconut water, half almond/coconut milk) and blend until smooth. Add in additional sweeteners or fresh mint if you’d like. Or protein powder to really kick up the nutritional factor.
super greens smoothie 1

For more healthy eating inspiration, check out the yum. Gluten Free May issue*. I love their clean, eye-catching layouts and each edition always has recipes that are simple to make…..and more importantly, delicious! Here’s what I’ll be cooking from this issue– looks like I’ll be busy!
Prawn & Pork Pad Thai
Passion Fruit Chia Seed Panna Cotta (made it; loved it!)
Roasted Beetroot Salad with Goats Cheese & Watercress Dressing
Sweet Potato, Haloumi & Quinoa Salad
Zucchini, Mint & Feta Fritters
Spiced Eggplant & Chickpea Salad with Paprika & Roasted Garlic Dressing

*Notes: magazine cover photo featured with permission from editor. This was not a sponsored post; just sharing some of my favorite things with you  :>)

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The Perfect Match: Spring Petite Pea Tapenade with Grilled Haloumi

Nothing says spring like beautiful petite peas.
oetite spring peas
petite spring peas
I snap them up whenever I see them fresh in the stores and always have a bag of them in my freezer. And as luck would have it, I came across some nice looking Haloumi too. If you’re not familiar with this firm cheese (sometimes spelled Hallumi), I’d have to describe it as a cross between a mozzarella (in texture) and a feta (in salty tang). Classically served grilled, haloumi is one of the few cheeses I know of that will hold up over heat. It softens slightly, and gets all bubbly around the edges- yum!  Its origin is in Cyprus, but you can get locally-made haloumi fairly easily nowadays. I’ll be honest though; it’s not always cheap to buy-  usually upwards of $10-12 a wedge (gulp!) in the fancier markets for the imported brands. But I found one at Trader Joe’s for less than half the price. Heck, you can even make it at home (I’m totally going to try Martyna/The Wholesome Cook’s recipe one day soon). So with petite peas and haloumi in my basket, I decided to make one of my favorite dishes. This Spring Petite Pea Tapenade with Grilled Haloumi makes a delicious light lunch or dinner. You could also cut the haloumi into bite-size pieces before grilling and turn this into a stellar party appetizer. The bright, clean flavors of the peas, mint, chives, lemon zest and lemon-infused olive oil against the saltiness of the cheese, is indeed, a Perfect Match. Both the tapenade and cheese only take a few minutes each to prepare, so this can be whipped up in no time!
petite peas, mint, chives, lemon oil, haloumihaloumi
I like the tapenade to have texture to it, but you can absolutely purée it until completely smooth.  The edamame in this spread adds some extra protein too. When you’re grilling the haloumi, be sure to cook over medium-low heat with no oil and watch it closely. It will brown quickly (like mine did– a tad too much perhaps?), so keep an eye on it. I used a cast iron pan (as it was raining so didn’t want to fire up the grill) and it worked just fine.

spring petite pea tapinade
grilled haloumi
spring petite pea tapinade with grilled haloumi

Spring Petite Pea Tapenade with Grilled Haloumi
printable version

Spring Petite Pea Tapenade
(yields 3/4 cup)

1/2 cup spring petite peas, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup edamame, cooked and shelled
3-4 sprigs of fresh mint
fresh chives, 1/4 of a small bunch
2 tablespoons lemon-infused olive oil (I like the Limonato from Olive Press )
1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (optional)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
pinch of Citrus Salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a small food processor. Pulse until course texture is achieved, or continue to pulse if a smooth consistency is desired. If mixture is too dry, add plain extra virgin olive oil to loosen it up  If you’re using frozen peas, the mixture will be more dry as compared to using fresh peas.

Grilled Haloumi
(yields 2 servings)

1 Haloumi wedge, cut horizontally into four pieces
pinch of pepper, to taste

Heat a grill (or cast iron pan) to medium-low heat, no oil. Season cheese and grill until crust forms and cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Serve warm with Petite Pea Tapenade and seasonal vegetables (pictured with steamed baby bok choy). Here’s another great haloumi recipe to try – Haloumi & Watermelon Balsamic Bites.
petite pea tapinade with grilled haloumi
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