Eat Fresh! What’s in Season NOW: October 2014

Fall is in the air!

Fresh Crisp Fall Apples

Fresh Crisp Fall Apples

A nip in the morning, time to grab a light jacket.

Here is a quick listing of what’s in season now.

These are the things you should be seeing in the markets, things that are growing locally.

Click on the links for recipes and other great information while you read the list!

Apples – Quite abundant for apple dumplings  and apple sauce now through February. Find an orchard and go apple picking!

Beets –  get some baby ones and roast them. So delicious! Pickle some for later. Ummm

Pickled beets

Pickled beets

Apples on display

Apples on display

Bok Choy – debuts mid month! Make a refreshing salad of crisp stir-fry

Cabbage – plenty on hand until mid December. Try your hand at making Sauerkraut or Kimchee

Cherry Tomatoes – these juicy gems will be gone by November. I’ve witnessed my plants slowing way down in production. Enjoy them now!

Collards – A year round favorite green. Make some cornbread, cook up some pinto beans, add simmered collards and YUM! You’ve got quite a meal.

Cucumbers – are saying good bye. As in days of yore, if you haven’t put up your pickles yet, you’re almost out of time!Chow Chow Pic

Greens – Like cooler weather so there should be a good selection through mid December. Time to fortify.

Herbs – There are many you will find in the markets. They are quite easy to grow so you should consider a small container of herbs for your kitchen.

Indian Corn – for decoration

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Stuffed Mini Pumpkins

Kale – Hearty and healthy; abundantly available. Make salads, stews, soup,  smoothies, chips, saute it, wraps. . .

Lettuce – makes another quick season before it gets too cold.

Muscadine Grapes – nearly gone. Freeze some for holiday punch bowls and drinks. Crush, simmer and extract the juice. Make sorbet to die for. Definitely worth doing

Muscadine grapes

Muscadine grapes

Mushrooms – you should be seeing a nice supply through the end of November

Napa Cabbage – shows us a quick cool season until mid December when the deep cold sets in with shorter sunlight hours

Peanuts – Seems these are always available

Pears – Nice juicy pears are around until the end of October. Poach a few, can a few more for winter treats.

Persimmons – The perennial Fall Favorite to those who like them. Honestly, I don’t get it.

Pumpkins – Yay! I get them for carving, roasting, eating, I plant succulents on them, decorate with them. After Thanksgiving, I paint them Christmas colors.

Painted Pumpkins Lined up to dry

Painted Pumpkins Lined up to dry

Radishes – There should be a bunch of radishes this month. I love the French Breakfast Radish. Yeah.

Raspberries – Fresh and short lasting. Enjoy them, freeze them but that’s just not the same as fresh. Gotta love those little seeds!

Romaine – Another lettuce for the Fall season. Practice your Caesar Salad skills.

Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad

Snow Peas  – Toss some into your Stir-fry, I like to snack on them like chips. So crisp and delicious!

Spinach – Add just a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg to your spinach for an awesome flavor compliment. Just a small pinch is all you need.

Sweet Potatoes – Available all year.

Tomatoes – If you grow them, watch for the first freeze and pick whats left. Make Green Tomato Chow-chow or Green Tomato Pie (tastes just like apple!)

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

A delicious Green Tomato Pie

Turnips – add some to soup, mash some with your mashed potatoes. Toss some into your greens as they cook. My favorite, Pickled Turnips!

Pickled Turnips

Pickled Turnips

This, is the list for the Piedmont area of North Carolina.

What’s growing where you live?

#localfood #eatfresh #healthyeating #freshfood #seasonalfood #localfarmers #farmersmarkets #freshfruit #freshvegetables #whatsinseasonnow

 

 

 

 

 

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Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

 

This is a delicious way to serve a whole roasted cauliflower. Instead of drying out in the oven, the spicy yogurt dressing serve as a marinade and a tasty barrier holding all the yummy juices inside.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

The yogurt dressing will turn golden brown when the cauliflower is done. Pierce carefully with a slim knife to test for tenderness all the way through.

Do not over-cook, you don’t want the vegetable to fall apart and be mushy.

Each head of cauliflower will serve 4 people generously, 6-8 as a side dish.

This would make a fun “roast replacement” for any vegetarian (not vegan due to the yogurt) meal.

Plated roasted cauliflower

Plated roasted cauliflower

Here’s what you need:

Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower
2 cups plain Greek yogurt (or drain plain yogurt so it is nice and thick.)
Zest and juice from 1 lime, more if your taste prefers
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Method:

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Very Tasty!

Very Tasty!

Trim the base of the cauliflower to remove any green leaves; trim so it sits flat.

In a medium bowl, combine yogurt with the lime zest and juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.

Spread the mixture all over the cauliflower; use a brush or your hands to smear the marinade evenly over the surface. Save any extra for serving later.

Place the cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 40-45 minutes in a 400°F. The surface will be dry and lightly browned. The marinade will make a crust on the surface of the cauliflower.

Place the cauliflower on the serving platter and cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Slice the cauliflower into wedges and serve with a fresh green salad.Whole Roasted Cauliflower Enrobed in Spicy Yogurt Dressing

Serve any extra yogurt marinade on the side of the roasted cauliflower; add good quality bread and you’ve quite a meal.

Try this for Meatless Monday!

#wholeroastedcauliflower #roastedvegetables #cookingvegetables #cauliflower #meatlessmeals #meatlessMonday #vegeterianmaindish

Eat Fresh – What’s in Season NOW! September

Here is a quick run down on Eating Fresh – What’s in season now, September 2014.

Every where you look, people are trying to eat better.

To be an educated eater, you need to be aware or what fresh #fruitsandvegetables are available according to season.
Simply going to the grocery store or that busy farmers market on the corner isn’t a good way to determine what is in season. Food gets shipped in from all over the world so the availability seems season-less.

Eggplant and Okra

Eggplant and Okra

Knowing what is in season and that winter would be the “bleakest” food season; you can prepare and plan to have a pantry full of amazing things. But that’s another discussion.

Summer is winding down, days are getting shorter. Tomatoes are in full swing, melons are ripening on the vines.
Okra is growing over your head the plants have become so tall!

Here's what you can buy fresh from the garden in September:

Click on the hyperlinks to get fun, interesting ideas and recipes.

  • Apples- are coming in, crisp and fresh! Look for more varieties in the market as fall progresses.

    Apples on display

    Apples on display

  • Blackberries– soon to be gone! Make some Blackberry Sage Jam for a cold winter morning.
  • Cabbage – a good winter staple
  • Cherry Tomatoes – great for salads, snacking, roasting or sauté – abundant now through first frost
  • Collards – Simply an amazing green to simmer and eat with beans and cornbread, ’nuff said! Don’t forget the hot pepper vinegar!
  • Cucumbers– until first frost, time to make some pickles. Here’s a primer to get you going.
  • Figs–  get them quick! They are almost gone. Fig and lemon jam will capture their essence, or simply do whole figs in syrup. Wrap them in prosciutto. . .
  • Green Onions I find they winter ok if you grow them yourself. For fun, try sprouting the root end again by putting it is a small glass of water, it grows!
  • Greens– Easily available, get baby varieties to eat raw
  • Herbseasily available in most varieties. Mint may be dying back, Basil is trying to seed. Freeze fresh herbs in ice-cube trays for winter use.
  • Indian Corn– begins to hit the market through October
  • Muscadine Grapes– Short season, all-time favorite regional treat. Freeze some for Halloween, use them as ‘eyeballs’ in the punchbowl or drinks.
  • Mushrooms– Late summer varieties rich flavors!
  • Mustard Greens– start coming in mid-September. Try some for a spicy different taste.
  • Peaches– leaving the market soon. Get your fill now! Make some fresh peach ice cream this weekend and serve it over warm peach cobbler or pie.
  • Peanuts– a year round favorite, raw, roasted or boiled.
  • Pears– the best pears are just starting to show up. Pears will only be here a short while, through October.
  • Persimmons– tricky to get just right, those who do love them!
  • Pumpkins– YAY! I adore pumpkins, eating and decorating and carving, flesh seeds and all! (Check out the links! You’ll have fun, promise!)
  • Raspberries– Almost gone until next year. Freeze some.
  • Snap Beans– Coming to an end of the season. I adore green beans and freeze some for winter. I think canning them makes them to soggy.
  • Yellow Squash– I know some aren’t sorry to see these go. Still available through mid October.
  • Sweet Corn– the symbol of summer, gone by the middle of the month. If you haven’t yet, grill you some corn on the cob for dinner.
  • Sweet Potatoes– Available year round although some specialty varieties come and go. I adore the garnet type from mid summer.
  • Tomatoes and Tomatillos– Through first frost. Be sure to get the green ones at the end of season to make chow-chow!
  • Watermelon– Another summer classic about to depart as fall descends.
  • Zucchini– only through the end of September. Shred some and make some Brownies!

I hope this helps. If you’re at the market and see things that really don’t seem right, like strawberries in September, ask where they came from and how they were grown. Leave them behind if you don’t like the answer.

Use your dollar to vote for better food and health with every purchase you make.

How do you eat, do you follow seasons? Buy Local? Please comment below and tell us how you plan your meals.

The What to Eat Now – October will be out soon. Subscribe to Spoon Feast so you are sure to get it! Use the subscription button on the right.

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

#eatfresh #seasonaleating #localfood #fruitsandvegetables #foodinseason #supportfarmers #eatlocal #seasonalfood

 

Hot and Spicy Chicken

So here is a recipe for a hot and spicy chicken from Paul Prudhomme. He calls it “Frontier Chicken”; I call it delicious!

The flavor resembles Chicken Creole and will leave you smacking your lips because it is so good.

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

I left out the jalapeno because I thought it had enough spicy heat, but if you can tolerate them, add them in. We served sliced jalapeno on the side.

There’s one element that will surprise you.

Banana! Don’t leave it out! It makes for such a delightful complex surprise when you’re eating and there’s that bite. . .

Paul Prudhomme's Frontier Chicken

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Seasoning Mix

  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek (I left it out because I couldn’t find it)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Combine everything into a small bowl; set aside while your prepare the rest of the dish

For the chicken and the rest of the dish:

  • 6 (4-6 ounce) chicken breasts or 1 cut-up 8 piece chicken or 8-12 chicken thighs, bone in
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups of chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped red peppers
  • 1 cup chopped green peppers
  • 1 cup chopped yellow peppers
  • 1 large ripe banana, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 fresh jalapeno, chopped (remove seeds and robs for milder heat; wear gloves to protect hands)
  • 1 14 ½ ounce can diced tomatoes

Sprinkle each side of the chicken breasts with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture. Be sure to massage it in well.

Heat oil in a large skillet or 5-quart pot, add the chicken to brown each side, typically 2-3 minutes on each side; remove from pan.

Brown the seasoned chicken on both sides

Brown the seasoned chicken on both sides

(Notice the color of the oil! A great golden brown from the turmeric, it’s quite dramatic!)

If you notice the chicken or the pan is starting to burn, turn the heat down.

Once the chicken is removed from the skillet, place it in the oven to keep warm. It will finish cooking later.

Add 1 cup of the onions, only half of each of the chopped peppers (not jalapeno) and the banana and the remaining seasoning mix to the pan. Cook; stirring occasionally and scraping the pan for about 10 minutes. IF anything starts to get too brown, add chicken stop to loosen everything from the bottom of the pan.

Add garlic, ginger and flour, stir until the flour is absorbed; add the remaining peppers, onions, cilantro and jalapeño.

Cook for 5 minutes, add the tomatoes and remaining stock. Bring to a boil.

Add the chicken and any juices that may have accumulated to the pan, reduce to low and simmer about 10 minutes more until the chicken is cooked through.

Serve hot over steamed brown rice; add a crisp, crunchy salad that includes cucumber to cool the mouth down!

The heat is coming from several sources: cayenne, cumin, and ginger, dry mustard, chili powder, and jalapeno.

Adjust any one of these to cool it down if it gets too hot for your taste. I just left out the jalapeno for us and served them on the side.

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

Hot and Spicy Chicken!

 

Quick and Tasty Summer Lunch

This quick and tasty summer lunch is fresh out of the garden.

Who can resist this?

Quick and Tasty Summer Lunch

Quick and Tasty Summer Lunch

The tomato is of an heirloom variety that has a purple top and green bottom that slowly turns red as it ripens. It is the sweetest tomato I have ever tasted! I have no idea what the name of it is so if you know, Please let me know in the comments!

The cucumber was cut from the vine just minutes before it was sliced for the plate.

On the way in the door, I stopped and pulled a scallion and a few basil leaves.

Freshly pulled scallions

Freshly pulled scallions

I added some pickled cauliflower for a fermented food aspect and whole grain flat bread crackers.

Fresh and Pickled cauliflower

Fresh and Pickled cauliflower

 

Add some cheese and nuts if you want some protein.

One Delicious Bite!

One Delicious Bite!

Related Articles:

Pickled Cauliflower

Appetizing Cheese Board

Make your own goat cheese at home

Farmers Market Visit

French Toast Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Slathered in Blueberry Sauce

French Toast Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Slathered in Blueberry Sauce is delicious and nutritious although not diet food. This dish came to me while trying to use up some things to make room in the refrigerator.

French Toast Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Blueberry Syrup

French Toast Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Blueberry Syrup

I make 95% of the bread we eat and typically use lots of grains in the loaves. We buy organic eggs from the farmers market and the blueberry sauce is made from a batch of berries I bought to make a pie but never did. So instead of the berries going bad (I couldn’t believe no one ate them!) I made a sauce. The recipe is below and is very simple.

Goat Cheese Stuffed French Toast with Blueberry Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 4-6 slices of good quality, nearly stale bread
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg (fresh ground is best!)
  • 1 tablespoon oil or just enough to coat the bottom of the pan
  • 1 ounce of fresh plain goat cheese for each serving

Mix all the ingredients, except the bread, in a flat pan. Place the sliced bread in the egg mixture, turning to coat. Let the bread sit in the mixture so it can soak it all up.

Heat a pan large enough to hold all the slices, place the soaked bread in the hot pan and cook until each side is golden brown.

Place the French Toast on a warm plate, immediately spread the goat cheese on one side of the bottom slice, top with another slice of hot French Toast.

Pour Blueberry Sauce all over and serve.

Now if you wanted, you could whip some honey and cinnamon into the goat cheese before spreading it onto the French Toast. It would put this dish completely over the top!French Toast stuffed with Goat Cheese

This is soooo good! And made with whole grains so you will feel full and had great energy all morning.

Like I said, not diet food, but whole, real food.

I hope you try this recipe and enjoy every bite.

French Toast stffed with Goat Cheese

Blueberry Sauce

  • Servings: Varies
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

  • 1 pint of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup organic sugar
  • 1/4 cup waterIMG_9355
  • Pinch of salt
  • Dash of cinnamon or zest from 1/2 lemon (Optional)

Wash and pick through the blueberries. Discard and soft, moldy or squished berries, leaves, stems and twigs. Combine everything into one pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until its thick. If you want the sauce smooth, put it in a blender or use an immersion blender to puree the sauce to the desired consistency. I like mine to have a few whole berries left in it. You can always choose to put some fresh berries with it when you serve it too.

This sauce is great on this decadent French Toast and over pancakes, ice cream and even over grilled salmon. Treat yourself and try that one!

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Wings

A healthier Buffalo Chicken Wing is totally possible. Avoid deep-frying and a butter loaded sauce and you can still have a Buffalo Wing that satisfies that craving.

Plate of wings The secret is to get rid of the fat by boiling the wings first, then broiling or grilling them to crispy perfection.

Don’t forget the celery and bleu cheese dressing either! You can make a lower fat version by using plain, non-fat Greek yogurt, a good quality crumbled bleu cheese, a dash of garlic powder and a splash of Worcestershire Sauce.blue cheese dressing

The “Buffalo Sauce” which is typically full of butter, can be made using a non-fat chicken stock, lemon juice and, of course, your favorite hot sauce. Being a North Carolinian, I use Texas Pete, a good North Carolina brand.Wing Sauce

Ready for the recipe?

Healthier Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • Servings: about 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Wings!

1# Chicken Wings (I prefer Organic), flat pieces or drumettes

Place the wings in a large pot, cover with cold water. Place over high heat, bring to a boil. Add salt, garlic, herbs de Provence or whatever seasonings you like.

Once boiling, boil the wings for 10 minutes. Drain.

Pre-heat the broiler on high for 5 minutes.

Line a broiling pan with foil. Place the drained wings on the pan. Place under the broiler for 6 minutes. Watch carefully. Once browned, turn the wings over and broil again for another 6 minutes or until brown and crispy on both sides.

Toss the cooked wings in Buffalo Sauce.

Serve with Bleu Cheese Dressing and Celery Sticks.

For the Buffalo Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Texas Pete Hot Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons non-fat chicken stock
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

Place the ingredients in a small sauce pot and warm. Toss the wings in some of the sauce; serve the remaining sauce on the side for dipping.Dip the wing!

IF you must have the Buffalo Sauce with the butter, consider using Kerry Gold Butter or another butter made from cows who actually graze on real grass, not some sort of “cow chow” product.

For the Bleu Cheese Dressing:

Crumble 1/4 cup good quality bleu cheese into 1 cup of plain non-fat Greek style yogurt. Adjust flavors with a splash of Worcestershire Sauce, garlic powder and a sprinkle of chopped parsley, if desired.

wings on a plate