Saturday, November 24, 2012


That’s how little I paid for these fresh fruits and veggies at the Dekalb Farmer’s Market. The organic golden beet was the priciest item at $2.60, so if you’re not passionate about biennial Eurasian plants, the rest of the items pictured would only cost you $5.74. Please don’t check my math, but do consider how much a cappuccino costs, or worse, a sad little Happy Meal. For about the same price I purchased an organic Fuji apple, a Minneolos orange (which is a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit), an artichoke, a turnip, 1 organic zucchini, 5 radishes, a bunch of arugula, a golden beet, and a lemon. Even if you haven’t a clue what to do with these items, don’t they make a beautiful centerpiece? It makes a lot more sense to buy fruits and veggies than a vase full of cut flowers that are only going to last 3 days. They’d make a much better gift too, especially for a food nerd like me.

I bought these goodies as a prop for Oakhurst Cooperative Preschool’s Art Auction Jubilee, to which I donated a week of free food coaching. I literally chased the poor winner down, blocking her exit, to ensure she didn’t leave the bounty behind. I really wanted to introduce her to my good friend, the golden beet.

If you’re still wondering what on earth you would do with the above mentioned treasures, here are some tips. Arugula makes a fabulous, peppery-tasting salad and I’d peel and section that orange and put it right on top. A little lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper would make a yummy dressing and goat cheese would be a lovely addition. If you’re not in the mood for a salad or your arugula is wilted and doesn’t come back to life after washing it, just saute it with a little garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Peel and chop both the golden beet and the turnip, remove the outer layer of the fennel bulb, chop it into similar sized chunks, and roast them in a pan with olive oil, garlic, herbs and/or vinegar at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Eat the roasted veggies plain or use them in a salad, on a pizza, or in a sandwich. Don’t be afraid of the artichoke – it won’t hurt you. Steam it, roast it, boil it, you can even microwave it. Ocean Mist Farms has a good video on preparing the artichoke. Radishes can be used in your salad, of course, but I prefer them sliced thinly and served with a little bit of butter on whole grain toast. The zucchini could be sauted, but tastes even better grilled, just try not to overcook it or you’ll make my friend, Manashi, gag. I also like raw zucchini and raw shredded beets in my salads. That leaves the Fuji apple, and I’m not going to insult your intelligence and tell you how to eat an apple (with peanut butter).

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