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.

Consider the Pastries

The Stash--before I got there

Last week was my son's 13th birthday, which means he's reached the age of wanting nothing, or nothing but expensive things (a trip to Hawaii) that I don't intend to buy at this point. One grandma aimed younger and got him Legos. The other gave up and sent cash. We ended up making him a photo book with here's-what-people-remember-about-you testimonies interspersed, which also was not something he wanted at this stage in the game.

But one gift was a hit: at the Market I bought him a truckload of Snohomish Bakery's pain au chocolat, and I put them in the freezer so that he could pull one out whenever the urge struck him. Because, was there ever a person who didn't love flaky, melting puff pastry at their convenience?

Then there was the birthday party the ten-year-old was invited to. The birthday gal was gluten-intolerant or -allergic, so the pastry trick wasn't going to work on her. Or was it?

Remember these beauties, from last week's quiz? (The quiz still doesn't have a winner, so feel free to take notes on your visit this week and win a free jar of Sunny Honey!) Well, these happen to be gluten-free sugar cookies from--spoiler alert!--Sod House Bakery.

We bought two of the cookies, but only one made it to the destination because the other got broken and, yes, we had to eat it. De-li-cious.

And Sod House is not our only source of gluten-free baked goods this year. You've probably also noticed

Wildflour's well-stocked booth. Haven't sampled yet, but I saw quick breads, foccaccia, yeast breads, and treats.

If you were invited to a Memorial Day Barbecue or face barbecues ahead this summer, you don't always have to bring the salad. Offer one of our awesome Market breads, pies, or other treats. Speaking of pie, here's another clue to last week's quiz. That awesome pie?

It's called Three-Berry Pie, and you can find it at Adrienne's Cakes and Pies.

Now that's two answers I've given you!

And, of course, Tall Grass Bakery has returned, with its sourdough rye and soft pretzels and breadsticks and loaves.

Thanks heavens we have months ahead of us to make the rounds and find our new favorites...

In other news, berry season has officially begun, with the arrival of the earliest variety of Washington strawberries from the Skagit Valley. I'll be snatching up some of these for my book party that night, so, judging by how I cleaned out the chocolate croissants at Snohomish Bakery, you may want to hit the Market early!