Heat-Wave-Proof Food

It's time for the annual heat wave, folks! Which means it's time to think about food that doesn't heat up the house. The Market can help.

And I don't just mean ready-made food, though there's that:

Beef Picadillo was a-w-e-s-o-m-e

A cool soup, paired with salad?

And then there's the pizza, the falafel, the hum baos, and other food trucks, of course.

But supposing you wanted to have guests over? We recently had a surprise guest roll into town, and I wanted to share our Market-Fresh dinner menu with you, with all Market-available items marked with an asterisk (*).

hors d'oeuvres
carrot* and celery sticks
cubed Ladysmith with Chives cheese*
cubed Cheddar (although a second Market cheese would've been great)
raw or roasted almonds or hazelnuts*
sliced pepperoni*
main courses
Grilled Two if by Seafood salmon brushed with Seven Red Tagine's Elemental Basil Sauce
Strawberry*-Spinach* salad
Steamed sugar snap peas*
Brown rice pilaf
Blueberry Pie* with vanilla ice cream
A couple notes: strawberries are ending soon! Grab them and cherries while you can. Spinach can be hard to find, but you can substitute another favorite green. I did cook the pilaf on the stovetop, but since it only takes about five minutes of active attention, I don't count that as "slaving away." Finally, we made our own blueberry pie out of Market blueberries and the pie-crust recipe featured in the Bellevue Farmers Market Cookbook, but pie-baking definitely counts as heating up the kitchen...
They're promising another shipment...

I'll leave you with the salad dressing I adapted from an Allrecipes version. It's delicious for summer salads because it pairs well with fruit/greens combinations.

Summer Salad Dressing
2 Tbsp sesame seeds (toasted, if you like)
1 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 cup honey*
1/2 cup olive oil or hazelnut oil*
1/4 cup rice or apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp minced fresh onion*

For Spinach-Strawberry Salad, blend and serve over 
10 ozs fresh spinach or greens of your choice*
1 cup sliced strawberries*
1/4 cup sliced almonds or hazelnuts* 
1/2 avocado, cut in chunks
2 green onions, chopped*

Have a great week and keep cool! As a P.S., I did get around to reading Wheat Belly and will give my report at a later date. In the meantime, suffice to say we will continue to eat wheat products in the UrbanFarmJunkie household...



The Omnivore's Bonanza

"I've really been reading a lot lately on nutrition," said a friend to me at the pool, as she pulled a Terra chip out of the bag and popped it in her mouth, "and I'm getting serious about getting rid of the junk food. Have you read Wheat Belly?"

I have not read Wheat Belly--only read about it, and its claims that modern American GMO wheat is the root of all evils. (Having not read the book, I wouldn't swear to that thesis in a court of law!)

Whether or not you believe that--I don't happen to, but I've dutifully put the book on hold at the library--I'm finding plenty to eat, wheat and otherwise, at this season's Bellevue Farmers Market. And speaking of the Market, Opening Day for the Saturday Market is here!

Ye Olde Compass Plaza

You remember Compass Plaza from last year, right? Across from CPK, and right in front of Rock Bottom Brewery? Barnes & Noble (of the blue check mark) has graciously offered to supply us with Market parking again, so think about adding a book to your picnic basket this weekend. Saturday Opening Day means, starting this week, we have two places to pick up all that wonderful food.

Which brings me back to my original point. If you have managed to freak yourself out about GMO wheat, the Market can help you with that. I mentioned our new vendor Wildflour last week:

Owner and baker Dr. Rebecca Johnson has traveled her own road of gluten-intolerance and suffering through awful-tasting, wheat-free alternative foods, with delicious results for us. Wildflour offers just about every kind of bready product, from loaves to muffins to cookies to scones, all gluten-free, mostly dairy-free, and baked in a peanut-free environment. Johnson also avoids bean, corn, and soy flours, for those of us who do freak out about GMO soy (hand raised).

Buy. Unwrap. Stuff in mouth.

In place of baked products, it seems Wheat Belly recommends Atkins-y diets of the carbless food groups, and the Market can help with that, too.

Cheese, glorious cheese and meat!
Eggs galore
Wild-caught salmon
And of course, vegetables a-plenty

Two or three more weeks of asparagus, folks! We had some on the grill the other day, brushed with olive oil. Perfection.

And the first strawberries of the season? They're called "Honeyeye." As in, Honey-I-am-never-eating-those-giant-tasteless-red-golfballs-called-California-strawberries-again. Even though we all know the berries get sweeter, the farther we go into summer-variety territory, these Honeyeyes from Hayton Farms were good enough to rinse and serve plain at a book launch party, as I did:

One last note--my ten-year-old Sherpa and I had to grab a quick dinner before said book launch party last week, so we took a friend's recommendation and hit up the Contigo food truck.

We both went for the "bowls," she for the carnitas (pork), and I for the beef. My mouth waters, even typing about it almost a week later. I highly recommend. If we hadn't been planning to put it aside for later, we would have tried the tacos. Thankfully, there are many more weeks to come, in which we hope to try every prepared food at the Market at least once!

See you this week, Marketgoers, for more food and fun in the sun.