Tag Archives: healthy

from the market / may 26

this past sunday we only got three things at the market: a bag of mixed red/yellow tomatoes (quickly become a market staple for us), a beautiful little bundle of swiss chard – which was among the first greens i’ve seen yet this year, and a bunch of the most colorful easter egg radishes. we’re going to california this coming weekend, so we kept our grocery and market shopping light and got only what we knew we could eat and meal plan with this week.

k snapped a few photos at the market this week, so i thought i’d share those here, too. it was kind of nice to not have to worry about carrying around a bunch of stuff so we could spend more time just enjoying the ambiance and taking pictures. afterwards we went for a nice walk along the keystone trail and even did a little bit of geocaching.

p.s. we made this tomato and goat cheese tart for lunches this week with the tomatoes we bought!

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from the market / may 18

this time around we decided to go to the downtown’s farmer’s market on saturday instead of our usual sunday trip to aksarben. saturday morning blessed us with pretty much perfect weather so we figured a bike ride down to the market was in order. after this weekend, i think we might be downtown market converts. it’s only about a mile away so it’s a pretty easy bike ride, with the exception that all of our veggies didn’t really fit in my bike basket. if we decide to keep riding down on saturdays, i’m thinking about investing in a flat bed bike basket like this one so we can fit more stuff and bungee it down!

although summer produce is undoubtedly my favorite, i’m kind of enjoying the products of a late start to growing season because we’re getting to enjoy lots of spring stuff for longer than usual. nebraska seems to kind of skip out on spring weather and jump from winter to summer so this year has been kind of a nice change. i was telling k that i don’t remember seeing much asparagus or rhubarb at the markets last year around this time, but this year, it’s everywhere!

here’s what we got from the market this week:
-more GIANT green onions!
-bunch of asparagus
-red radishes
-2 heads of lettuce: 1 green leaf (not pictured) and the head in the photo above (anyone know what kind?)
-cherry tomatoes
-yellow-orange tomatoes
-greek flatbreads
-bouquet of lilacs!

p.s. we also planted a garden this past weekend! if tonight’s rain/hail/tornadoes don’t kill or freeze all of our starter plants, i’ll post photos later this week! :)

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{recipe of the week} strawberry-rhubarb crisps.

it’s rhubarb season! rhubarb is one of those things you pretty much have to cook, but thankfully it tastes delicious in all sorts of baked goods, like these strawberry-rhubarb crisps we’ve been making recently. they are super easy and pretty much foolproof, and even though they do have a little bit of butter and sugar, the main part of the dessert is the fruit so overall they are still pretty healthy!

to make, just add sliced rhubarb and sliced strawberries to two oven-safe ramekins, prepare and add the oat topping, and bake in a 350 degree oven for about 20-25 minutes. that’s it! hope you try this out and love this simple, summer dessert as much as we do!

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{recipe of the week} whole wheat linguine with cauliflower steaks & lemon herb yogurt.

i have to confess that i’ve probably only eaten cauliflower a handful of times in my life. i don’t particularly care for it raw like i do most other vegetables, and it was on the short list of vegetables that we just never ate in my house growing up. since brussels sprouts were also on this list and it turns out that they’re my favoritest food on the planet and i was deprived of them for nearly 23 years, i figured i’d probably grow to have a love affair with cauliflower too if i just gave it a chance.

if pinterest is any indication, i’m calling cauliflower as the next trendy vegetable in the coming seasons. i’ve been seeing tons of recipes using cauliflower in various ways: simple and roasted, as a gluten-free pizza crust, pureed and mixed with potatoes for a healthier side, and of course, “steaks.” i decided to give the steak idea a try this weekend and was pleasantly surprised by how good they turned out. these would work well with lots of different meals but i thought they were very well complimented with simple whole wheat pasta and a tangy lemon yogurt.

ingredients (serves 2):
-2 servings whole wheat linguine or other pasta (about 4oz)
-1 head of cauliflower (you won’t use the whole thing, but you’ll need a head of it so you can cut steaks from the center)
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-olive oil
-salt and pepper
for the lemon herb yogurt:
-6 oz container of plain greek yogurt
-juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
-fresh or dried parsley to taste
-black pepper

boil water and prepare pasta according to pasta instructions.

to make cauliflower steaks:
while your pasta is cooking, prepare your cauliflower steaks.  add olive oil to a skillet and let heat up for a few minutes, then add minced garlic. to make “steaks,” cut the end off of the cauliflower to expose the center, then cut 3/4″ pieces for each steak. if you’ve cut the right amount off the side, the steaks should stay together fairly well. cut the end pieces up into florets and save for another use. (here’s a great how-to video that can probably explain this better than i can)
place each steak in the heated skillet and cook until golden brown on the underside, about 5 minutes, then flip, cooking for another 5 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. season with salt and pepper.

to make lemon herb yogurt:
combine 6 oz plain greek yogurt, zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, black pepper, and fresh or dried parsley (i used about 1 tbsp of dried). mix it up and that’s it!

to serve:
top each serving of linguine with one cauliflower steak and some of the garlic and olive oil from the skillet. top each steak with large dollop of yogurt sauce, and add salt and pepper to taste. enjoy!

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homemade granola bars.

have you guys ever tried larabars? at first glance, they’re just another granola bar, but the best thing about them is how simple they are. these bars contain dried fruit and nuts. that’s it. they’re vegan, gluten free, soy free, kosher, and raw.

i’ve always been a big granola bar lover, but i usually gravitate towards cheaper versions like nature valley because the price of varieties like larabar are prohibitive (the cheapest i’ve seen these is $1.29/each). besides, most bars are just claiming to be healthy when they’re really filled will all kinds of sugar and corn syrup and other crap. at that point, i think we’d all rather just eat some girl scout cookies, amiright?

we grabbed a few larabars to try for the first time this past weekend when they were on sale for $1 each. i was really impressed by the ingredient lists (their website says no more than 9 ingredients in any bar, but most of them seem to have only 2-3), and thought they’d be good for snacks this week.

as soon as we got home, we started wondering how easy (and less expensive) it might be to whip some of these up ourselves. a quick google search revealed lots of tutorials from others who had been successful in recreating many of the flavors. i don’t know why i thought it would be difficult, but i was surprised to learn that all you really need to do it make a paste out of the dried fruit, then knead it together with chopped nuts, roll out, and cut into bars!

 cherry pie “larabar”
-1 1/4 cup pitted prunes
-1 1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries
-1 1/2 cup unsalted roasted almonds
makes 12 bars, approx. 175 calories/bar + $0.58/bar

cranberry-almond muffin “larabar”
(spin off of blueberry muffin larabar)
-1/2 cup pitted prunes
-1 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
-1/2 cup unsweetened dried apricots
-1 cup unsalted cashews
-1/4 tsp vanilla extract 
makes 12 bars, approx. 140 calories/bar + $0.38/bar

 peanut butter chocolate chip “larabar”
-1 cup pitted prunes
-1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
-1/4 of a dark chocolate bar (trader joe’s)
-1/4 tsp sea salt
makes 6 bars, approx. 135 calories/bar + $0.32cents/bar

general instructions:
1. first, add your dried fruit to a food processor. you can use either prunes or dates as a base, and then add other dried fruit to create your flavors. (the prunes and/or dates act as a binder). pulse dried fruit in the food processor until a paste forms. you want to still be able to see some chunks of fruit, but no big ones. set paste aside.
2. next, chop up your nuts in the food processor. you want the nuts to be relatively finely chopped but not fully ground into a flour. (here’s where you can add it any other ingredients, like vanilla, or chocolate chips)
3. add nuts to paste mixture and knead on a piece of wax paper or wooden cutting board until fully combined.
4. many tutorials suggest spreading the mixture into a square glass pan to let it set, but i found it difficult to get out of the pan once it was time to cut, so i’d recommend just rolling the mixture out into a rectangle between two pieces of wax paper instead. i rolled mine out into about an 8×8″ piece.
5. refrigerate for about an hour (longer if you want). this will allow them to set up a little bit and make them easier to cut.
6. remove from refrigerator and cut into desired pieces. i read that some people who make their own just roll them up into bite-size balls instead of messing with all the cutting and wrapping. if you cut into rectangles, i would suggest wrapping them in plastic wrap individually. as cute as the parchment paper and little strings are, it was a pain in the you know what. next time i make them, saran wrap it is.
[i’m unsure on the shelf life of these homemade versions, so we’re keeping ours in the fridge. i’ve read that many people make a big batch and freeze some, too]

although it was a little bit of a messy process, i’d definitely recommend trying out some homemade granola bars if they’re something you like to eat. all of the larabar flavors are pretty easy to replicate, and you can even make up your own combos like we did with the cranberry-apricot version. the real bonus of making your own is that they’re so much cheaper. without really trying to find the cheapest possible prices, we just went to trader joe’s and spent about $35 on various ingredients. yesterday, we made 30 bars, and probably only used about 1/3 of what we bought, so it’s already been cost effective. we’re planning to make this a monthly thing and i’m already excited to try recreating some of the other flavors, especially the cappuccino and the chocolate chip cookie dough. let me know if you give these a try or come up with any unique combos!

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