Current 2017 Market Schedule Saturdays 9:00-2:00, Tuesdays 2:00-6:00
 

 

                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                                               

Coastal Alabama Farmers & Fishermens Market

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Located in Foley, Alabama


Keeping Earth Healthy Too

Our planet provides us with soil, water, and other natural resources we need to grow food and create useful products for health and beauty. In the pursuit of healthy eating, don’t forget to keep the earth healthy too. 

The best way to keep Earth healthy is to buy from your local farmer’s market. Food and products there have fewer or no harmful chemicals because they were grown locally. Food traveling a long way to get to your table has chemicals added to it to keep it fresh. It also has to be packaged to protect it along the way. All the extra packaging ends up in landfills emitting chemicals that pollute the soil and eventually water as it slowly decomposes. Traveling long distances increases foods’ chances of being contaminated along the way. 

Vendors at local markets can answer any questions you have about how a food was grown and how animals and seafood were raised. This is true of handcrafted and homemade products too. Craftsmen and women can tell you what materials and ingredients are in their products. 

The Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen's Market celebrates Earth Day every Tuesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. by offering a variety of items that will keep the earth healthy. 

 

-Liz tetley-


Spring into a Health Makeover

 

Want to get a head start on your “summer body”?                                                                                             

Spring into action now by visiting Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen's Market where you can start building that summer body from the inside.

Fresh food contains more and better nutrients that help your body combat common health woes like seasonal allergies and digestive issues. Since the veggies and seafood come from local sources, nothing needs to be added to keep the food fresh. The fresher the food, the better it tastes. Your taste buds will be happy. Your cells will be happy to get the best nutrients to use for their jobs. You’ll be happy with the results of looking and feeling better.

Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen's Market is stocked with a variety of veggies, fruits, seafood, and treats Stop by the market Tuesdays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

 

-Liz Tetley


Heart Health Made Easy

You can get everything you need for a healthy heart at the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fisherman’s Market. The American Heart Association recommends shopping local farmers markets for seasonal fruits and veggies, eating foods in all colors, and being physically active. At Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fisherman’s Market, you can find leafy green vegetables, fresh fruits, and seafood, along with other healthy foods. Don’t forget to add some dark chocolate to your basket. You don’t even have to wait for Valentine’s Day to indulge because dark chocolate has health benefits.

Just as filling your plate with healthy, locally grown, fresh produce will boost your heart health, so will the actual shopping for those foods. You’ll enjoy fresh air, a little physical activity, and interact with awesome vendors and other shoppers. Preparing your foods will add even more activity. You’ll feel better than ever and want another trip to the Coastal Alabama Farmers’ and Fisherman’s Market.

Find serving recommendations here: https://healthyforgood.heart.org/eat-smart/infographics/what-is-a-healthy-diet-recommended-serving-infographic

Roses are red.
Violets are blue.
A colorful heart
Makes a healthier you.

-Liz Tetley-


Fresh Year, Fresh Food

Many people find it easier to start a new diet plan as part of the fresh start a new year offers. Stocking your kitchen with locally grown produce will set you on the road to a healthier year.
At the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermen’s Market, you will find this month:Cabbage, Napa cabbage, turnip greens, collards, mustards, kale, lettuce, broccoli, spinach, bok choy, carrots, radishes, rutabagas, and other green, leafy vegetables and those with edible roots. Fruits include beets, strawberries, and satsumas.
Fill your basket, then your kitchen (here is a link for vegetable storage tips http://www.popsugar.com/…/How-Keep-Fruits-Vegetables-Fresh-…), then your belly with delicious and healthy foods. 
-Liz Tetley-


What Exactly Are Microgreens?

What Exactly Are Microgreens?

 

Statement about Microgreens from Heather Pritchard:  Part of what a farmers’ market can do for farms or other businesses is product introduction. With direct access to the public, vendors can “test” an item and quickly learn what the public likes, which also helps diversify market products.  Microgreens have only recently been introduced to consumers at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and the response is amazing. Knowing how super nutritious they are coupled with the many flavors and uses, it is no wonder they are popular. Furthermore, it is an example of alternate ways of growing in the home or small spaces.  With all of the stress and uncertainty in folks’ lives, I believe that purchasing and feeding yourself something like this is a reward that most can afford and enjoy.

 

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are tiny edible plants with an intense flavor, usually vegetable garden plants, that are grown in quantity and harvested while they are still juvenile plants, generally around 10 days.  (www.growingmicrogreens.com) Popular microgreens are red cabbage, cilantro, radish, sunflower, kale, broccoli, amaranth, Bok choy, arugula, and basil. (from a Wikipedia article)

 

Are they healthy?

As reported by WebMD.com, in a research study conducted by the University of Maryland – College Park, microgreens were found to be anywhere between four to 40 times more concentrated in nutrients than a fully grown plant. 

 

How are microgreens grown?

The advantage of microgreens is that they can be grown in small spaces, even in container gardens.  Microgreens can be grown in soil or hydroponically.  By harvesting microgreens after only ten to fourteen days after sprouting, microgreens can be intensely planted in a small space.  A 10 x 10 feet space can easily supply a fine-dining restaurant, for instance, of all the microgreens needed.  (Wikipedia)

 

Disadvantages?

Microgreens tend to have a short shelf life.  Commercial microgreens are most often stored in plastic clamshell containers for viewing and for a quick sale.  Farmers’ markets are the ideal venue for microgreen farmers to sell their product as the microgreens can be purchased by a consumer looking for something fresh and nutritious that will be consumed quickly rather than stored for later use.  www.growingmicrogreens.com

 

How to Use?

Microgreens can be used almost anyway that a person’s imagination can create.  Salads, toppings for meat or vegetables, pasta, smoothies, stir fry, and steaming.  Many fine dining restaurant chefs use microgreens because of the intense flavor as well as making a great food presentation on the plate.

 

Are microgreens available at the Market?

Currently, at least two vendors sell microgreens at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market with others exploring the possibility. In addition, Forland Family Market often has microgreens in their weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box.

 

Recipe of the Week:  Chicken Alfredo Farmers’ Market Style

 

My oldest granddaughter loves Chicken Alfredo and she says it is her favorite Italian food.  Of course, Chicken Alfredo is as authentic an Italian dish as Chicken Chow Mein in Chinese … neither are an authentic anything.  However, I offer this recipe as a means of using microgreens and spoiling my grandchild.

 

Ingredients:

 

Chicken tenders (I use Publix Green Wise) about three per person

Butter (Forland Family Market)

Olive Oil

Half and Half (most recipes you can find call for heavy cream but ½ & ½ cuts fat and calories)

Farmers’ Cheese (Forland Family Market) shredded, about ¼ cup per person

½ tablespoon of drained capers per person

Parsley (from a plant I purchased at the Market)

White wine

Fettuccine

Sea salt

White pepper

Basil microgreens (available at the Market)

 

Directions:

 

  1. Over medium heat, warm a pan.  Add olive oil and chicken.  Sprinkle salt lightly.  Brown and cook thoroughly.  Just before the chicken gets brown, add a splash of white wine to the pan and continue cooking until the wine is reduced by ¾’s. 
  2. In a separate pot, cook fettuccine.
  3. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  4. Deglaze pan with half and half milk making sure you get all the debris (i.e. flavor) from the bottom of the pan but do not burn the milk. 
  5. Add shredded Farmers’ Cheese and stir as it melts
  6. Remove from heat.  Add capers and parsley.  Stir.
  7. Add chicken back to the sauce and coat thoroughly.
  8. In a pasta bowl, add cooked fettuccine and sauce with chicken.  Top with a sprinkling of microgreens.

 

For my granddaughter, she gets a soft drink (grandparents have a license to spoil) and a green salad with ingredients from the Market.  For me, I have a glass of white wine and a green salad.

 

Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.


18/21 Rule and Other Advice I’ve Read That Actually Makes Sense

18/21 Rule and Other Advice I’ve Read That Actually Makes Sense

 

Health advice is abundant.  While it reflects a worthwhile trend to having access to more information about health, some articles I’ve read are not very helpful.  Ubiquitously, advice in articles frequently say for better health, “Lose weight” and it is given as casually as “Floss Teeth.”  To get ready for bed you should brush and floss your teeth and lose twenty pounds.  Hmm, I’m exaggerating, of course, but such casual advice is not helpful and unnecessary.  In the same type of advice, articles frequently relate how many calories in a meal and how many grams of protein and how many grams of carbohydrates.  I don’t know about you, but my life cannot be centered around perfection and following healthy advice all the time

 

However, there are some suggestions that I’ve found are helpful and actually make sense for our less than perfectly ordered lives:

 

18/21 Rule

To explain this rule, here is a personal example.  My granddaughter is a cheerleader for her high school that’s located in Mobile.  During the fall months, my wife and I make Friday afternoon trips to Mobile to sit through the first half of a game before coming home.  I’m sure you immediately envisioned what the Bayway and other sections of the Interstate Highway are like at that time of day on Fridays that we are traveling so we have to allow plenty of time.  Sitting down to a perfectly constructed meal with nothing but fresh, healthy ingredients is not possible.  Somewhere I read about, what the author called, the 18/21 rule and it made sense to me.  Seven days a week, three meals per day, that’s twenty-one meals per week.  The advice was to eat eighteen healthy meals.  Twenty-one meals per week.  Can I eat at least 18 healthy meals?  Yeah, I can do that and that gives me three cheat meals.  So, on Friday nights during the fall months, we stop at Five Guys, order a Little Hamburger with the veggies only – lettuce, tomato, and pickle – with mustard (no sugar-laden condiments like ketchup and no fat-laden mayonnaise or cheese) and a bottle of water.  It’s one of my cheat meals, not bad, but not good either.  Of course, I don’t go crazy with my three cheat meals, though I would like to.  What does this have to do with the Market?  Very little.  But, read on.

 

Eat more Seafood

We can live by this advice, easily.  At Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market we have two options of vendors from whom we can buy seafood, most of which is packaged in a manner that can be eaten that night or put in the freezer to eat later.  Shrimp, fish, crab cakes, shrimp cakes, good healthy eating.  Recently, we were going to be out of town visiting relatives and returning late Sunday night.  I bought a pound of shelled, deveined shrimp and stuck in the freezer.  When we returned late Sunday night, I took the shrimp out of the freezer and put it in a large bowl.  Sprinkled seafood seasoning on it and added a beer and some water.  I then unloaded the car, unpacked, started a load of clothes in the washing machine, poured a glass of wine, and checked email and the news online for the day.  Made a green salad using Craine Creek Farms lettuce as well as vegetables from the Market and then steamed the shrimp.  Poured another glass of wine and I’m eating more seafood.  Using the stock phrase of one of my wife’s favorite television chefs, “How easy is that?”

 

Eat Fresh Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

This one is so easy for frequent shoppers at the Market that it’s superfluous to mention or expound upon. 

 

Limit sweets and only indulge with sweets that have a redeeming value

This piece of health advice that I read took me by surprise, but it makes sense.  We’ve seen the “limit sweets” advice a lot, but the author of this article took the advice a step further.  I’ve never been one to enjoy sweet tastes, so I never felt I was sacrificing, but when I read this admonition, it made a lot of sense to me.  Redeeming value to sweets means such things as a fresh fruit pie, pecan pie, dark chocolate, as I said, it makes sense.  In addition to a year-round supply of fruit, another advantage we have visiting a farmers’ market regularly is the vendors who bring their homemade goods to the Market to sell:  salsas, jelly, jam, bread, brownies, and pies.  Fortunately, we have vendors who sell these delights at the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market.  With fresh fruit, I feel I can justify the indulgence as having a redeeming value and possessing some nutrition, but that’s only rationalizing as I know I’m not getting a lot healthy benefits but the pies are so good … and the pies have a redeeming value of being made with fresh fruit.  Even this non-sweet lover can appreciate that.

 

Those are four healthy pieces of advice that I know I can follow, with the help of the gentle people of Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and the advice actually make sense to me.

 

Recipe of the Week:  Marinara Sauce

 

If you’ve followed the blog for any length of time, you probably have picked up on the idea that I like Italian food.  Guilty.  In reference to the theme of today’s blog about health advice that makes sense, one health advice that makes no sense but became popular in recent years was to eschew pasta.  In what universe is pasta bad for you?  I’m eating pasta and wishing every time I go to the Market that a vendor would be there selling freshly made pasta.

 

Ingredients:

 

Italian sausage, defrosted (George Family Farms)

Shiitake mushrooms, when available (Terry Underwood)

1 cup sweet yellow onion, diced (available from several vendors)

1 cup bell pepper, diced (available from several vendors)

1 cup celery, diced (Forland Family Market)

1 cup of carrots, diced (Forland Family Market)

1 clove of garlic, minced (Forland Family Market)

1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (Note:  I prefer Muir Glen)

Oregano (from a plant purchased at the Market)

Basil (from a plant purchased at the Market)

White wine

     Sea salt

     Olive Oil

     Pasta of choice (My personal choice for this recipe is fettucine, but any will do.)

     Cheese of choice

 

Directions:

 

  1. Break up the sausage into small pieces and brown in a large pot. (see note below)
  2. After the meat is browned remove it from the pot leaving juices.
  3. Add onion, garlic, celery, and carrots.  Sprinkle lightly with Sea Salt.  Stirring often cook vegetables until wilted.  (Note: Sausage from George Family Farms tends to be lean.  You may have to add a little olive oil.)
  4. Add mushrooms and bell pepper.  Cook until wilted.
  5. Add tomatoes and herbs as well as a splash of white wine.
  6. Adjust heat to medium low and cook for two hours.  Do not let the sauce boil.
  7. Cover and let sit for 1 hour.
  8. Cook pasta to directions.
  9. While pasta is cooking, warm the sauce slowly.
  10. Serve the sauce over the pasta.  Add some fresh basil to the top as well as shredded cheese.  I like Farmer’s Cheese from Forland Family Market.

 

[Note regarding meat in marina sauce:  In graduate school I got to know a guy who is first generation American whose parents immigrated to the United States from Italy and became naturalized citizens.  I asked him about marinara sauce and he said that to truly understand marinara sauce, you have to think peasant food.  It’s using what’s available and stretching it to feed a large extended family.  He said that a true marinara sauce will have several meats, but a little of each – a little piece sausage, a little piece chicken, or a beef bone the neighborhood butcher gave you that has a few pieces of meat still clinging and can be cooked off.  That’s the lagniappe for this week.]

 

Serve with a fresh salad made with Craine Creek Farm lettuce and a glass of red wine.

 

Enjoy!  See you at the Market


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 


Ain’t it awful? convenience food that is... Try the Recipe of the Week: Summer Vegetable Stir Fry with Pasta

Ain’t it awful?

 

Something interesting with a disturbing purpose is going on with refrigerators.  Have you looked at new refrigerators lately?  Do so and you will see that all new refrigerators come with an expanded freezer section and a smaller refrigeration section.  Have you noticed that grocery stores are adding more freezer space?  Also, have you noticed that grocery stores are stocking less frozen produce like fruit and vegetables and are stocking more frozen ready-made meals and frozen meal packages?  Refrigerators are changing in order to hold stacks of frozen ready-made meals purchased from grocery stores that are expanding their inventory of frozen meals.

 

The Norman Rockwell scene of an All-American family having dinner together is all changed.  Mother, Father, Sister, Brother come into the kitchen, pick out what they want for supper from the freezer, microwave it, and sit down for their particularly selected meal, often straight from the package rather than from a plate.  I’m not making up some fantasy, it’s real.  The worst part of all this is what’s on the back of the packages from which they are having their supper.  (Do you know how weird that felt writing that last sentence?  “package from which they are having their supper”) What are the ingredients in the frozen, microwaveable meal?  First, more and more evidence is calling into question what happens to food when it is microwaved, especially meat.  Occasionally, I use a microwave to heat water for my afternoon tea, but microwave food?  No way.  Second, take a look at the ingredients of a microwaveable meal and try to decipher what those chemicals are for.  In addition to the list of indecipherable chemicals, somewhere in the list of ingredients is the nefarious Monosodium Glutamate or one of its dozen or so aliases.  Of course, what’s messing on the ingredient list are the herbicides, pesticides, and glyphosate that are contained in the food.  They’re there, just not listed.

 

Wait, you say.  Health food companies also make frozen, microwaveable meals and you are right.  But, the price is higher and it’s still not a family sitting down for supper.  Eating like that you can’t have a conversation, “Daddy, would you pass me the locally, sustainably grown potatoes, please?”  Okay, maybe not realistic, but you get my point.

 

An argument can also be made that the trend towards single unit frozen foods mirrors the trend to people remaining single longer and towards many couples without children who prefer not to cook extensively.  I concede to all arguments, but what I don’t concede is the dangers inherent with the practice of eating microwaved food and eating food that is highly processed. 

 

Many health problems are being linked to microwaved foods, if only anecdotally.  A true empirical study could not be ethically conducted.  However, collected information is starting to accumulate that food cell changes that occur during heating by way of microwave does something to food that is probably not good for us.

 

I joke that people my age start all conversations with “Ain’t it awful?” and proceed to complain about health, politics, and society in general.  Around our house, if one of us starts complaining about something the other one will say sardonically, “Ain’t it awful?”  It brings a halt to the complaining and we both have another laugh over our continuing joke.  As I wrote earlier about the changing meal time structure, I wondered if I were coming across as some old man that yells at kids to get off his lawn in an “Ain’t it awful?’ kind of lamenting for the good old days.  However, my memory is not failing and I don’t have rose colored rearview mirrors.  I know and remember that the good old days were not all that good.  However, some things need to be preserved, like healthy food, safe meals, and [throat clearing for effect] meal times.  By the way, I don’t yell at kids to get off my lawn.  As a kid, I played on too many lawns and helped wear out too many base paths to yell at some kid playing on my lawn.

 

Of course, I do have a freezer section to my refrigerator.  I just checked and right now, it contains lima beans and purple hull peas that I bought at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, a chicken from NatureNine Farms at the Market, meat from George Family Farms at the Market, trigger fish from Shrimp to Go, and shrimp patties from J&K Farms at the Market.  And, ice packs for aches and pains, but that’s another blog.  No frozen dinners to microwave, just good food from vendors at the Market.

 

In following some advice that I read somewhere, and subsequently wrote in another blog entry, in our kitchen, we have six hand thrown pottery bowls and three handmade baskets for storing fresh food in a manner that is always visual and always calling to us, “Here we are, good, fresh food to be eaten!”  Confession:  there’s a bag of corn chips in one of the baskets next to fresh tomatoes and zucchini.  Okay, so I don’t eat perfect all the time, I do snack on corn chips occasionally.  Next week’s blog is the 18/21 rule.

 

Obviously the point I’m concluding with is that fresh food, nutritious food, safe food, and a variety of food can be found at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, Forland Family Market, and Shrimp to Go.  We can eat fresh, not microwave, not worry about ingredients, and we can sit down with family and friends and enjoy great food.  Just one more good reason to go to the Market.  See you at the Market.

 

Recipe of the Week:  Summer Vegetable Stir Fry with Pasta

 

Ingredients:

 

Pasta (I use rotini a lot for dishes like this one)

Italian seasoning blend (I use Cantanzaro Herbs from Savory Spice Shop)

Olive Oil

1 medium yellow onion cut in bite-sized chunks (various vendors)

1 zucchini cut in bite-sized chunks (various vendors)

1 red bell pepper cut in bite-sized chunks (various vendors)

1 carrot cut in bite-size chunks (Forland Family Market)

6-10 grape tomatoes, quartered (Forland Family Market)

Basil leaves (from a plant I purchased from a vendor)

Sea salt

Red pepper flakes

Balsamic vinegar

Can of Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (I use Eden’s Organics)

Farmers’ Cheese, ½ inch cubes (Forland Family Market)

 

Directions:

 

  1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, dice vegetables.
  3. Drain pasta, splash with a little olive oil, stir, and set aside.
  4. Over medium heat, heat a large pan and add olive and seasoning blend.  Stir until olive oil starts to take on the coloration of the seasoning blend.
  5. Add onions and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.  Cook until translucent.
  6. Add carrots and cook until bright orange.
  7. Add bell pepper and zucchini.  Sprinkle lightly again with sea salt.  Cook until warmed.  You still want the vegetables to have a slight crunch to them.
  8. Add pepper flakes to taste and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. In a pasta bowl, layer with pasta, add in order – stir fry vegetables, tomatoes, garbanzo beans, basil, and cheese. [All amounts are subject to the eyeball test.  Put in the amount that looks right to you.]
  11. Splash with balsamic vinegar.

 

Enjoy as a main dish or as a side dish.  I like this dish as my entire meal along with a glass of wine.

 

See you at the Market.

 


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Slow Money - Recipe of the Week: Sweet Potato, Corn, Black beans, Tomato

Slow Money

 

Are you familiar with the Slow Money movement?  The movement focuses mainly on the benefits to our economy based on farmers’ markets and similar venues.  Quoting from their website: “Today, people are hungry for real alternatives to faster and faster, bigger and bigger, more and more global. Investing in local food systems is a way to begin fixing our economy and our culture from the ground up.”  “We are building a movement of individuals who … are choosing a constructive, hopeful course of action. Slow Money … is built on the premise that … we need not only new technologies and new policies, but also new sensibilities and new behavior, without which the words sustainable and transparent and accountable and socially responsible and metrics and impact will mean little in the end.”

 

Principles of Slow Money

  1. We must bring money back down to earth.
  2. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down — not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.
  3. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place, diversity and nonviolence.
  4. We must learn to invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating healthy relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.
  5. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making a Killing to Making a Living.
  6. Paul Newman said, “I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out.” Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:
    • What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
    • What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
    • What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?

 

You can find out more information about Slow Money on their website:  www.slowmoney.org

 

 

 

Big business farms are not only questionable in their health practices and environmental practices, but as an economic driver, are not sustainable for everyone and are causing economic problems as a result of their dominance in the food market.  We have to ask ourselves, “Do we really want our food from a handful of food sources?  My answer is a resounding “NO!”  Almost weekly, we read or hear about another food recall from the grocery stores.  Early this summer, one well-known food company that makes toddler food that my youngest grandchildren love had a recall due to listeria outbreak.  That recall brought the scare to another level for me and I immediately contacted my son and daughter-in-law.  The food in question was in the garbage before they went to work that morning, thankfully.    

 

Back to the main point, where do you want your money to go?  Do we really want our money to go to a family that controls a fortune equal to the wealth of the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined?  This same company built a big marketing campaign claiming it was selling food produced by local farmers.  Yeah, they were offering extremely low, poverty level deals to the local farmers.  Sorry store-who-shall-not-be-named with the massive parking lot, I’m not impressed.  (As an aside, I have still have not forgiven them for cutting down all those trees to pave an unnecessarily large parking lot, but that’s another blog.)  So for me, no, I don’t want my money going to them.

 

In the publishing business, 95% of all books published are by companies owned by only five corporations.  To reverse that sentence, five corporations own 95% of all book publishing companies.  For an author who is published by one of the 5% that is not owned by the Big 5, it gives me freedom that other authors do not necessarily have.  However, it also makes it harder on me because I have to handle marketing on my own and often times my own selling, which is one of the reasons I can empathize with the local farmers at our Market.  Our food sources are rapidly moving to mirror that trend to massive ownership.  Currently, 10 corporations control most of the world food supply.  All these corporations have profits in the billions annually as they control food sources, labor, costs, and most importantly, they control what and how people eat.  (I’ve outlined another blog about “what and how people eat” and how farmer’s markets make it better.  Later…)

           

I know I’m sounding real doomsday here and I’m sorry.  But, it brings me to the positive point I want to make.  We are fortunate that we have alternatives.  We can choose to whom our money goes and we can choose what we eat.  When we purchase our food from our neighbors at the local farmers’ market, not only are we getting good quality food that’s a lot healthier than the highly processed food of questionable safety, we are supporting the local economy.  You help pay for the college education for your neighbor’s children, you help pay for uniforms of a local high school band color guard member, you supplement someone’s retirement, and by the way, these aren’t just randomly selected phrases, these are real examples of slow money being spent at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market. 

 

In addition, our neighbors are controlling the cost of what we pay for our foods.  Most of the time, when I’m told how much my purchase will be, my response is “You’re kidding?  You’re not charging me enough.”   I said that one Saturday to a farmer and he said, “You’re right.  Here. Have another cucumber,” and he threw another vegetable in my bag.  Our choice, build the wealthy empire of people of questionable ethics or support our neighbors who treat us fairly and keep our money locally.  It’s an easy choice.  See you at the Market.

 

 

The original premise of Recipe of the Week was to stroll through the Market, pick up a few items, and take them home to create a recipe.  Also, I have a self-imposed rule that I must use at least three items.  Of course, I’ve broken the premise a few times and will do so again this week.  Two items in this week’s recipe come from the CSA box I received this week as well as corn I bought several weeks ago and had in my freezer.  So, the spirit of the premise remains, just slightly bent.

 

Ingredients

 

1 sweet potato (CSA)

Kernels of one ear of corn (several vendors)

1 can of black beans (I use Eden’s because of no BPA in its can linings) drained and rinsed

Grape tomatoes (CSA) quartered

Basil (from a plant purchased at the Market)

Olive oil

Cayenne pepper

Sea salt

 

Directions:

 

  1. Peel and dice the sweet potato, approximately bite sized pieces.  Coat with olive oil.  Sprinkle with sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Cook in a shallow baking dish at 450° for 30 minutes.
  2. In a separate baking dish, sprinkle corn kernels with sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Bake at the same time as the sweet potato.
  3. Warm the black beans approximately five minutes at 450°.
  4. In a bowl, line the bottom with sweet potato chunks.  Add corn and black beans. 
  5. Top with tomato quarters.
  6. Add torn basil.

 

I had this for lunch with a big glass of water on my meatless day.

 

Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.

 

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 


Vote with your fork- Pollan

My wife was a fan of an afternoon television show in which a doctor talked with women in the audience about health issues.  Occasionally, when I walked through the room, I would pause and listen to what he was covering for that day.  A frequent topic of his was to discuss the health benefit of a spice or nut or dried fruit.  He always concluded the segment with something like, “Just put a little on your cereal each morning.”  After about the dozenth time hearing him say that, I commented to my wife, “If we followed his advice, we would need to eat cereal from a barrel and it would take all day with all the toppings he recommends.”  I think I ruined the show for her as she has not been watching it since, but that’s another matter.

            Following health advice gets complicated.  Recently, I read an article in which the author attacked the holiest of holies – fruit.  He wrote that fruit should not be eaten alone because of sugar content, but paired with protein or with whole grains.  Now, a couple of weeks ago I did create a recipe that I posted with pork chops and peaches and I did receive some feedback about some folks who tried the recipe with positive results.  However, the author of the article arguing for exclusive fruit pairing goes to messing with Baldwin County blueberries or strawberries or with Chilton County peaches, have mercy I’m not going to be an adherent to that advice.  Peaches and cheese make a good snack, but so does a peach by itself or a handful of blueberries by themselves.  If we followed all the health food-related advice, we simply couldn’t eat everything we supposedly need to eat and in right combinations.  So, what do we do? 

As I have expressed before, we are offered way too much contradictory advice.   However, no one can argue that our current Western diet of trans-fats, refined sugars, highly processed foods is not good for us.  Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, says of strategies to escape our highly destructive diet, we must “vote with our forks” and purchase foods from farmers’ markets and from local farms.  “It is hard to eat badly from the farmers’ market, from a CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture), or from your own garden,” he writes.  [Note:  See Alescia Forland at Forland Family Market for a great CSA option.]

He goes on to write, “when you eat from the farmers’ market, you automatically eat food that is in season, which is usually when it is most nutritious.  Eating in season also tends to diversify your diet.”       He adds, “To shop at a farmers’ market … has several implications for your health.  Local produce is typically picked ripe and is fresher than supermarket produce, and for those reasons it should be tastier and more nutritious.”

Changing the subject on you slightly, I’m a fan of the comic strip Arlo and Janis, for two reasons.  First, I see myself in the humor of the comic strip and I can laugh at myself and the second reason is that I’ve known the artist, Jimmy Johnson, since my college days.  My roommate was the editor of the college newspaper and Jimmy was drawing a cartoon strip for the college newspaper back then.  Through my roommate I got to know Jimmy as well as his future wife (from whom he is now amicably divorced), author Rheta Grimsley Johnson.  When my youngest son was in high school and considering potential careers, he briefly entertained the idea of becoming a cartoonist.  Through my former roommate, I was able to arrange for my son to meet Jimmy Johnson, who is still one of the nicest people you will ever meet as he was back in college.  He spent several hours talking with us and helping my son know the intricacies of cartooning. 

This long introduction is to deliver a punchline:  In one of my favorite Arlo and Janis strips that’s still on my refrigerator, Janis asks Arlo, “Is this just another Baby Boomer fad?”  To which Arlo answers, “Probably, but this one actually makes sense.”

Farmers’ Markets are one of the fastest growing entities in the country, partly based on the fact that it’s another Baby Boomer fad, but this one actually makes sense as we can get what we need and support local, small farmers who are the mainstay of our economy from the beginning of time and always will be.  Each week as I cruise the farmers’ market, I realize that the solution to healthy eating dilemmas is stacked up on the back of the pickup trucks at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market. 

 

Recipe of the Week:  Summer Vegetable Soup

 

The inspiration for this soup occurred one-day last summer as I was shopping at the Market.  I decided to experiment with the same vegetables as I have listed, went home, and created a light summer soup that was perfect for a good lunch.  A famous soup company, that creates some of the most disastrously tasting soups that amount to mainly water, salt, corn syrup, and Monosodium glutamate with a scintilla of something that vaguely resembles food, several years ago put together a summer-time ad campaign for soup that actually made sense.  Eating their soups does not make sense, but they advertised that eating soup in summer was the perfect meal – you need more hydration and eating soup is a light meal for hot weather.  Following that advice, I offer to you Summer Vegetable Soup.

 

Ingredients:

 

1 eggplant

2 zucchinis

2 yellow crook squash

2 tomatoes

1 red bell pepper

1 onion

~1 quart of thin chicken broth (I make my own using a half chicken from NatureNine farms or use No-salt Kitchen Basics broth)

White wine

Basil, oregano, and rosemary

Olive oil

Sea salt

Ground pepper

 

Direction:

 

  1. Dice all vegetables into bite-sized chunks.
  2. In a large, warm pot, add olive oil.
  3. Start with onions, add vegetables in this order, adding after the previous addition gets softened or translucent – eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell pepper, tomatoes.  Sprinkle with lightly with sea salt and add pepper to taste.  Cook slowly and do not overcook.
  4. Add at least 1 quart of chicken broth and water to create thin broth (more or less depending on the amount of vegetables).
  5. Add a splash of white wine, stir slowly.
  6. Add fresh herbs. 

 

I served this for lunch with a glass of cold water with a slice of lemon and it was enough.

 

Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.


Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            


Food As Medicine

Earthly Bodies

Recently, I typed the words, “food as medicine” in my search engine and sixteen books came up as well as several websites.  The whole notion of finding ways to get healthier and stay healthy is probably at its highest level of interest among people.  Baby boomers are getting older and looking at longevity issues as related to health and preventing diseases as well as ways to address current health issues that they are experiencing.  Millenniums seem obsessed with the topic and are often more knowledgeable than their parents regarding health issues and foods.  Any health issue you can name, you will find information about foods that can reportedly help you.

Now, don’t go throwing away your prescription medications and I don’t have a 1-800 number for you to call as operators are not standing by, but there are some age-old notions as well as new research worth noting as the idea of food as medicine may be worthy of consideration and individual research.  A good place to start is with Johanna (pronounced Yo-hanna) Earthly Ramos and you can find her at http://www.earthlybodies.org.  You can purchase her specialty juices formulated for various health concerns – high blood sugar, inflammation, skin conditions, overweight, PMS, heart problems, and the list continues.  See below for instructions on how to order her juices.

Her story with making juices to address health concerns began with a personal tragedy followed by months of being on, what she calls, “an emotional rollercoaster.”  However, from her own experience she realized that she could turn tragedy into something positive for herself and ever since that realization she has been making her life better as well as other people’s lives better with her 52 juice recipes.  She strictly uses blends of multiple seasonal fruits and vegetables to create her juices.  Personally, I love the Kale Yeah! juice and have a little each morning for breakfast. 

To purchase her juices, you can go on her website and make a purchase through the “Store” before Friday and then pick up the formulated juice at Forland Family Market on Saturday.

More information can be found on her website, her Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope TV. 

Bonus Recipe of the Week:  Acorn Squash

I’m having to give a bonus recipe as I have a self-imposed rule that all recipes must contain at least three ingredients obtained from Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, Forland Family Market, or Shrimp to Go.  This bonus recipe is a simple recipe for acorn squash and only contains two items purchased at the Market.  

Ingredients:

Acorn squash (various vendors)

Butter (Forland Family Market)

Raw sugar

Sea salt

Cinnamon (I use Badia as the flavor tastes consistently fresher and more intense to me than others.)

Olive oil

 

Directions:

 

  1. Cut the squash into halves, crossways.  Spoon out the seeds and pulp.
  2. Coat the bottom of a shallow baking dish with olive oil.
  3. Place the acorn squash, cut side down in the baking dish and cook for 20 minutes at 350°.
  4. In the meantime, in a small sauce pan melt ~1 tablespoon of butter (more or less depending on the size of the acorn squash).  When butter is melted add 1 tablespoon of raw sugar and pinch of sea salt, cook while stirring over low heat until sugar is dissolved.  Add cinnamon to taste and stir.  Remove from heat.
  5. Turn acorn squash over and coat with butter mixture.  Cook 20 more minutes.
  6. Test doneness with fork tines to ensure the squash is soft.

 

Recipe of the Week:  Meatloaf

 

Ingredients:

 

1 pound of grass-fed, free range hamburger meat (George Family Farm)

1 egg (various vendors)

½ cup of non-GMO, organic oatmeal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)

1 small sweet onion diced (various vendors)

Sea salt

Tony’s Tejas Salsa

3 tablespoons raw honey (various vendors)

1½ tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

 

Directions:

 

  1. Combine hamburger, egg, oatmeal, and onion.  Add sea salt to taste.  Put in a slightly greased pan.
  2. Mix salsa, honey, and mustard.  Cover the top of the hamburger mixture.
  3. Bake 1 ¼ hours at 350°.  For the last 30-45 minutes, cook with an aluminum foil tent to prevent the honey and salsa from burning.

 

Both of these foods complement each other as a pairing and go great with a glass of red wine.  I served them with a green salad made with Craine Creek Farms lettuce.  Enjoy and I’ll see you at the Market.

 

Bob Zeanah

Author of No Anchor (published November 2015)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

Author of Work to Do (published July 2014)

Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device

bobzeanah@gmail.com

www.bobzeanah.com 


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