Farmer’s Market Favorite: Field Peas, Rice and Tomatoes!

Field Peas, Rice and Tomatoes

Looks delicious, right? The Charleston Farmer’s Market (CFM) is off and running… and it couldn’t be better! Fabulous fruits, veggies, crafts, art, and all kinds of treats for both humans and our four legged friends. We try to get there early because it gets crazy busy which is fabulous! I remember back in 2008 the CFM was ranked 5th Best Farmer’s Market in the Country! CFM has also been named the Top Outdoor Event by the Charleston City Paper readers for the last four years in a row! This year will be no exception!

We headed there last Saturday and stocked up… gorgeous, juicy tomatoes, crisp radishes and these fabulous field peas… What a treat to eat something so fresh and wonderful! I simply browned 2 pieces of bacon (I bought 2 pieces of bacon from EarthFare – best ever!), cut up an onion and threw that in, once it was translucent, I added the rinsed and drained  field peas, covered them with water, brought to a boil and left the cover partially on… Then I started a pot of rice, and by the time the rice was finished dinner was ready! OH! Everything was so delicious!

Here’s a blip about the Charleston Farmer’s Market from their website:

CHARLESTON FARMERS MARKET

Regular CFM Hours
April 13 – December 21, 2013
Saturdays 8:00am – 2:00pm

Select Sundays:
Piccolo Spoleto Festival Hours 9:00am-3:00pm
May 26, June 2 & 9

Holiday Magic Hours 9:00am-3:00pm
December 1, 8, & 15

Location:
Marion Square
King & Calhoun Streets
Admission: FREE

Founded by Mayor Joe Riley in 1989, and the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service, the Charleston Farmers Market is produced by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, in cooperation with the City of Charleston Parks Department.  Over the years, the Charleston Farmers Market has received numerous awards: in 2005, the Charleston Farmers Market newly revitalized and relocated back in the renovated Marion Square, received the Three Sisters Award from the Charleston Save the City Committee; in 2008, the Market was ranked by Travel and Leisure magazine as one of the top 10 best Farmers Markets in the nation; and in the Charleston City Paper reader’s poll, “Best Of,” the Charleston Farmers Market was named Best Outdoor Event in 2009, 2010, 2011 & 2012!

Now, permanently located in Marion Square, the heart of historic downtown Charleston, S.C., the CFM is open each Saturday, from April to December, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with select Sundays During the Piccolo Spoleto Festival and Holiday Magic. The CFM is dedicated to the support the advocacy of Lowcountry farmers and growers. We offer a variety of local produce, plants, herbs and cut flowers as well as breakfast and lunch Vendors, live entertainment and an assortment of juried arts and crafts from local artisans. Attracting citizens and visitors alike, the CFM is the community connection every Saturday morning from April through December, bringing together people from all parts of the Lowcountry and beyond.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

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Roasted Shrimp and Tomato Orzo with Feta… Cool on a hot day!

I am about to make you a very happy camper… I’m going to share with you a recipe that is OUT OF THIS WORLD DIVINE! This salad is refreshing on a hot summer day (hot is an understatement, I do believe the tires on my car are melting as I type this)… You can throw this together in the morning and have it for lunch or dinner… it’s a great light dinner. You know what Dr. Oz says… Eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. Meaning to eat your biggest meal first and lighten up from there. I know. I don’t like to eat breakfast either… but… Dr. Oz said so…! We try to do that when we can, it’s not always possible, but once in a while we get it right…

Ok, onto the reason I’m going to make you so happy… I’m going to share a recipe with you that I have made so many times… I have it perfected… It’s a combination of a few different recipes with my own twists added in… so here goes.

Salad Ingredients

Dressing Ingredients

Pans Prepared with Tomatoes and Shrimp to put in oven to roast… (BEFORE pic), I love before and afters, don’t you?

Tada! What the tomatoes and shrimp look like after roasting. Note: I cut the tomatoes in half (as shown in foreground), be careful, contents are hot and they spit, BIG TIME! I also cut the shrimp in half, you do what you like…

After you whisk together the lemon juice (FRESH lemon please! Red wine vinegar (or whatever you’ve got), salt, pepper and dill. Fresh if you’ve got it, dried if you don’t. Mix it up then slowly drizzle in the olive oil this will make it emulsify (it helps make it cohesive, keeps the oil and vinegar from separating). Pour it onto the orzo and stir to coat.

Add the tomatoes to the orzo mixture. Make sure you add all that wonderful sweet juice as well! It only makes it better!

Then toss in those wonderful roasted shrimp. By now you’ve got to be going crazy to taste the final product, eh? Hee. This isn’t the clearest shot, but it’s COOL, look how I’ve captured the shrimp literally  jumping into that bowl… a true action shot!

Next… add the cheese, also, not pictured are the olives and cucumbers… I usually throw a splash or two of olive juice as well, but that’s a secret so keep it to yourself, ok? Also, the cucumber I usually add right before serving. I love cucumbers, but they can get weird, which rubs off on everything else, you don’t want weird orzo shrimp tomato feta salad do you? Then trust me on this… add it before serving…

Now with all my bossy comments about what to do just know, you can do what you like, add however much of an ingredient you like. Sometimes I don’t have cucumber, so I don’t add it (*GASP*), this time I had a leftover banana pepper, so I used it and it was AWESOME!  Hey, if you make this, let me know. It will most certainly become a staple, especially during the hot summer months!

ROASTED SHRIMP AND TOMATO ORZO WITH FETA

Salad Ingredients:

1 cup orzo

3/4-1 lb. shrimp

4 green onions, chopping, including green

Big handful of pitted Kalamata olives

6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

1 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried

1/2-1 cucumber, peeled and deseeded (or an English cucumber with skin)

Dressing Ingredients:

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh or dried dill

1/3 cup olive oil

1.  In a large pot of boiling water (you do need a large pot, I tried with a smaller pot and it didn’t work), cook the orzo according to package directions (mine said 9-11 minutes, I cooked it for 9). Drain thoroughly. I used a sieve otherwise with my colander the orzo would have gone through the cracks… not good.)
2. In a bowl whisk together lemon juice, vinegar, salt, pepper and dill. Slowly add the olive oil while constantly whisking to emulsify).
3. Heat the oven to 400. Pat the shrimp dry and toss with olive oil, spread on a baking sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil (to ease cleanup), sprinkle with S&P. Roast for about 6-7 minutes or until shrimp are done, DO NOT OVERCOOK. Remove from oven and set aside.
4. Toss the dried grape tomatoes in a bowl with a little olive oil (you don’t need much), spread on a baking sheet lined with heavy duty aluminum foil, sprinkle with S&P, roast for 5-10 minutes or until tomatoes just start to get wrinkly and maybe one or two does burst. Remove from oven and set aside.
NOTE: if you have a convection oven, here is where you can save some time, put it on convection bake, and you can put them both in at the same time. WOOHOO!
5. Add the orzo to a large bowl.
6. Stir in dressing to coat.
7. Add the shrimp, tomatoes, green onions, olives and feta – I usually wait to add the cucumbers until right before serving (they can get watery).
You can eat it right away (room temp) or chill it first.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Pomi tomatoes… skip the BPA in the can and try a carton of tomatoes!

Image: Amazon.com

When you buy POMI tomatoes in a carton you’re buying tomatoes with no BPA in the packaging, no preservatives, citric acid, artificial flavor or water. Just tomatoes. BPA. Bisphenol-A. Once thought as harmless has been undergoing closer scrutiny. It’s in many plastic bottles (which is why we see the emergence of so many “BPA Free” plastics). What everyone doesn’t realize… it’s also in the plastic lining of cans… such as cans of tomatoes, soup, vegetables, the list goes on and on… There is a good article (click HERE) regarding the fact that BPA dangers may be worse from cans vs. plastic bottles… What can you do? Buy cartons or buy from companies who don’t use BPA in their cans, I believe EDEN FOODS and TRADER JOE’S. Hopefully by now there are more, but check it out. It can (possibly) cause many problems INCLUDING breast cancer… (read the article for further details). The best thing to do is not eat out of cans. That can’t always be done, but you can limit the amount of food eaten from cans. MAKE YOUR FOOD. Instead of buying a (processed) can of soup, it’s much healthier to MAKE your soup. Let me tell you… SOUP IS EASY. It just requires a little time and you will have one big pot that you can freeze into individual servings or eat for several days. It will end up being more cost effective if you make it AND you’ll know exactly what’s in it! Let me know if you know of any other BPA-free companies that have canned goods.

Catch you back here tomorrow!

Meatless Monday: Martha’s Tomato, Basil and White Bean Salad

Image: MarthaStewart.com

Let me start by saying. This. Is. Awesome. AND more importantly, I’m not really a bean eater. Some beans are OK, black beans, chili beans, but I don’t seek them out… this recipe changed my outlook on beans. This is one quick dish that is out of this world good. This tastes like it came straight from Italy. The only thing you heat is the oil and mainly to infuse the garlic into it. Trust me, this recipe will quickly become a family favorite!

Click HERE to go directly to Martha Stewart’s site to easily print the recipe, or see below… either way… ENJOY!

MARTHA’S TOMATO, BASIL and WHITE BEAN SALAD

Prep/10 min.  Total Time/35 min.  Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (19 ounces each) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 pound small roma (plum) tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 small garlic cloves, minced

Directions

  1. Combine beans, tomatoes, basil, and salt in a bowl, and season with pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour over bean mixture, and gently toss. Let stand 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld. Salad can be covered and kept at room temperature up to 4 hours.

Foods that should never cross your lips… #1

Image: Prevention.com
Image: Prevention.com
Once again, a wonderful article from Prevention magazine! The article is entitled “7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips”. It provides wonderful insight as to WHY you shouldn’t eat these foods… and they’re COMMON foods. Ugh. Here we go for this weeks food to avoid:

Canned Tomatoes 

Fredrick Vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A, gives us the scoop:

The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”

The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.

Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.

IMAGE: Prevention.com

This is excellent information. I have already found the Pomi tomatoes (wonderful) at a local grocery store in town, so I’ve made the  switch to those… also Trader Joe’s just recently opened, so I will check out their tomatoes as well! See if you can find these tomatoes where you live, if not maybe ask the grocery store if they can order?? Hey, if I got more than one stinking tomato off my tomato plant (the size of a plum yet!) I would love to can them, what could be better than that??!
WOOHOO mom!! This is your LAST chemo treatment (woohoo, can you believe it??)!! Oooowieeee am i ever thankful for that! I love you! me
Catch you back here tomorrow… check out my PHOTO BLOG if you get a minute!