Coastal Alabama Farmers & Fishermens Market


Located in Foley, Alabama

The Blue Zones 1. Eat fresh

The Blue Zones

A few years ago, in coordination with National Geographic, author Dan Buettner published a book that he titled The Blue Zones that was based on research he conducted among the peoples throughout the world that exhibited unusual longevity traits.  To do so, he found locations where living past 100 years old was normal and the average lifespan far exceeded the world average. 

I won’t go into all his findings and conclusions but there are some items worth noting that he found in these peoples throughout the world:

  • Intergenerational living arrangements (the delightful owners of Forland Family Market must on to something)
  • Walking as the main means of transportation (love the construction of sidewalks everywhere)
  • Lots of social contacts (something you can get at the Market)
  • Learn something new often (I hope that this blog does that for you)
  • Being active outdoors (i.e. gardening). 
  • Also, the people tend to stay active late in life.  Continuing to work past 100 years old is not unusual.


Of course, the primary recommendations from his book relate to fresh foods.  Keep in mind, most of the places that were studied have little or no access to refrigeration or microwaves or other appliances.  Hmmm, they live longer without modern conveniences, because they eat fresh foods.  Just one more reason to go to Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market.  Some recommendations from the book that relate to foods:

  • Limit meat (including seafood) to one meal per day and eat only fresh meat or seafood. (Available at the Market)
  • 4-6 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables daily (Obviously found at the Market)
  • Showcase fruit and vegetables -- store fruit and vegetables in bowls and baskets around your kitchen.  (See Alice Noyes of Handwoven by Design for handwoven baskets and thrown pottery.)
  • Consume fresh herbs daily.  (Plants sold at the Market)
  • Eat dried beans and peas (Okay, not available at the Market)
  • Eat a handful of nuts daily. (Forland Family Market has nuts by the pound)
  • Drink 1-2 glasses of red wine or dark beer daily. (also, not available)


Recipe of the Week:  Roasted & Grilled Vegetables


This week’s offering is really not a recipe but a listing of vegetables that do well being roasted or grilled.  Along with the list, is how to bake or grill.  All the vegetables listed I have found at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market.


Vegetables suited for baking:


Okra:  Cut off the ends.  Cut into ½ inch pieces.

Beans:  Cut off ends.  Cut into 3-4 inch pieces.

Onions:  Quarter

Squash & Zucchini:  Slice into ¼ inch – ½ inches.  Cut across.


With any or all of the above, coat thoroughly with olive oil.  Lay out on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.  Bake at 350° Turning the vegetables often.  Remove from oven when brown or to the doneness you prefer.  Let cool.  Goes with anything.


Vegetables suited for grilling:


Zucchini:  Cut the ends off.  Slice lengthwise about ¼ - ½ inch thick.

Onion:  Quarter

Carrots:  Cut in diagonals, ½ inch – 1 inch thick

Squash:  Cut in slices, ½ - 1 inch thick.


With any or all of the above, coat thoroughly with olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and grate pepper on the vegetables.  Cook on a hot grill for no more than two minutes.  Turn.  Cook for no more than two minutes.  Note:  Tends to do better on a gas grill but a charcoal grill work too.


As always, 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 










Simon & Garfunkel Chicken

Have you met Barbara McDonald?  She is the founder of Prim and Primal that began with a desire to make a healthy deodorant for friends and family. A couple of months later she decided to share it at the local farmer's market.  From her website she writes, "About a year later when repeat customers were regularly making me promise that I will never stop making it, I decided to branch out further."  She continues, "I’ve always been about finding the healthiest products. When I can’t find any I make them myself and I love being able to share my passion with others."  She’s an incredibly nice person and a fascinating person with whom to converse. 

I’ve quoted author, Sophie Patrick, before as I find her writing about healthy lifestyles to be challenging to some of my thinking and to some of my long developed habits that may not be the best for me.  “The idea of … (a healthy) lifestyle overhaul can seem like a gargantuan task … leaving you feeling overwhelmed and defeated before you’ve even begun.”  [Patrick, Sophie (2016-01-04). Organic Housekeeping Made Easy: 50 Simple Tips for Making Your Home a Healthier Place (Kindle Locations 92-93). Sophie Patrick. Kindle Edition.] 

In my opinion, living healthier starts with healthy eating such as fresh, locally grown food such as what I can find at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market.  However, when I start pursuing healthier lifestyle in eating, I started thinking about other ways to be healthier.  Should I be exercising more?  Am I getting the right kind of exercise?  How much is stress taking away from my health?  Are my sleep patterns detrimental to my health?  Is this product safe to put on my skin?  Ah, for the last question, I always ask Barbara. 

Of course, she’s not the only person making healthy products to sell at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and at Forland’s Family Farms.  If nothing else, these vendors’ wares are interesting to browse and the vendors are fascinating conversationalists about their products.

Recipe of the Week:  This recipe is an oldie, just like me.  Back in the 60’s, Simon & Garfunkel were an incredibly popular duet and exerted profound influence on the music scene of the time.  Later they parted ways (I’m still not over it), but Paul Simon continues today as a phenomenal music writer and Art Garfunkel’s voice continues today as pure as it ever was.  They do, however, reunite occasionally for a concert or benefit.  Their last concert in Central Park drew 500,000 people.  Obviously, I’m not the only one who’s a fan. 

One of their most popular songs, released around 1965, I believe, was their version of a seventeenth century Scottish folk song called Scarborough Fair.  Do yourself a favor and put “Simon and Garfunkel + Scarborough Fair” in YouTube search.  Enjoy!  From one of the lines of this hit song came the recipe for Simon & Garfunkel Chicken (seriously, I’m not making this up), which any good dinner host or hostess at the time knew how to make.  Here’s a version using Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market ingredients.  History does not record exactly what Scarborough Fair is though many speculate it was an open market somewhere near the Scottish coast, just like ours and probably selling the same things our beloved vendors sell.

Simon & Garfunkel Chicken

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?

Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme;

Remember me to the one who lives there,

For she once was a true love of mine




Half Chicken, defrosted (available from NatureNine Farms)

1 Tablespoon, loosely packed, of diced Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Thyme (from plants purchased at the Market)  [Tell me you didn’t sing it as you read these four herbs]

Olive Oil

Sea Salt

Unsalted Chicken Stock

1 beer




  1. Preheat oven to 450°
  2. Coat chicken with olive oil and place on a wire rack in a roasting pan
  3. Salt the chicken slightly.
  4. Arrange herbs over the chicken, patting them in place
  5. Add Chicken Stock (~1 cup to the bottom of the roasting pan.
  6. (Optional) You can add onions, garlic, and/or celery in the bottom of the pan for more steamed flavor.
  7. Cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Add beer to the bottom of the roasting pan
  9. Lower the oven to 350°and cook for an additional 20 minutes/pound.  Yeah, use the decimals, it’s important to get it exactly right. 
  10. Remove and let sit for 5 minutes.


Serve with fresh vegetables or salad from the Market, of course.  I had beans and roasted new potatoes with the chicken as well as a glass of white wine.  Of course, I listened to Simon & Garfunkel as I ate supper.


Enjoy!  See you at the Market.


[Lagniappe:  Search YouTube for “Simon & Garfunkel + Central Park” and listen to Bridge Over Troubled Waters.  It doesn’t get any better than that.]



Fourth of July Brunswick Stew

Overwhelming Information and a 4th of July Recipe

Do you feel overwhelmed with information about “healthy eating?”  In spite of all the advice we receive about healthy eating, Americans still suffer from higher rates of obesity and chronic diseases caused by poor eating habits more so than ever before.  One major problem, in my opinion, is that over the years we have received so much contradictory information that we tend to quit listening.  Fats are bad.  No, wait, we need good fats.  We need high carbohydrate diets.  No, wait, carbs are bad.  High protein diets.  No, wait, meat is bad.  Lots of seafood.  No, wait, heavy metals in fish are bad.  So, we give up and go through the fast food drive-in.

What we really should be doing is following relatively simple advice: eat a variety of foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables; whole grains; and farm fresh eggs and meats.  Get more exercise.  And watch how much we eat (guilty).  Stripping away some of the advice that I find difficult to believe, I have found some advice along the way that makes sense.  Sorry, I don’t remember all the sources or I would properly give references.


  • If your grandparents wouldn’t recognize something as being food, don’t eat it.
  • Don’t eat anything you can’t pronounce.  (Similar to the grandparent advice)
  • Eat plenty of seasonal foods.  (Sounds like an invitation to a farmers’ market)
  • Add a variety of plant-based foods to your diet. (ditto above)
  • Eat your vegetables colorfully.  (I like this plain, simple advice.  Of course, following this advice would result in eating foods that provide a variety of vitamins and nutrients.)
  • Never eat an amount of meat or seafood larger than the palm of your hand.  (This one is the hardest for me, but it’s a good way to ration proportionally the amount I need … and no more.)


Obviously, the best place for us to find the foods we need is at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and Forland Family Market.  Nothing makes me feel healthier than a plate full of vegetables on Saturday night after having selected foods at the Market based on the advice above.  Just not too much, I keep reminding myself.  Plus, there are a variety of farm raised meats available in unique sizes (like the size of my palm) other than the factory produced versions in grocery stores and a variety of seafood caught in the Gulf.


Another thing I love to do at the market is talk with the farmers and vendors about how they prepare foods.  They have lots of ideas and are willing to spend time telling you.  (Okay, when customers are stacked up waiting, I just come back later when they’re not busy.) Baking, stir frying, lots of ways other than, as my mother always put it, “drowning your vegetables and cooking the nutrients out.”  By the way, another thing my mother always said that I thought was good advice that she gave me, “You weren’t born loving fried chicken.  Bake it.”  But, that’s another blog.

In other matters, in my family we have our traditional foods for holidays and most of the time, the foods are not what others might consider to be traditional.  For instance, for Thanksgiving, we have gumbo or some other seafood dish.  For New Years’ Day, we have red beans and rice for good luck.   Here’s recipe for our Fourth of July meal tradition, including ingredients that can be found at the Market.  Normally, I share recipes based on foods I found that day at the Market, but this is a special holiday recipe that will take a little planning ahead and I offer to you my recipe for Brunswick Stew utilizing ingredients from the Market.


Fourth of July Brunswick Stew

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”  ~ Kahlil Gibran




Whole chicken (NatureNine Farms)

2 cups of thinly sliced onions (from various vendors)

2 cups of diced celery (Forland Family Market)

1 ham hock (George Family Farm or NatureNine Farms)

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

¼ cup chopped parsley (plants available at the Market)

1 diced jalapeno pepper (various vendors)

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce

1 pound potatoes (from various vendors) (Any type will do, but I like red potatoes quartered)

3 cups lima beans (from various vendors, but if not available then frozen will have to do)

3 cups corn (from various vendors, but if not available then frozen will have to do)

Sea salt

Ground pepper

Hot sauce




1.Cook a whole chicken in a large pot with water.  Slow, rolling boil about 4 hours.  Add water as needed to keep covered, but just barely. 

2.Let cool.  Pull meat, tearing into small pieces, and set aside.  Discard bones and chicken skin.

3.Add onions, celery, and green peppers to the broth.  Add sea salt and ground pepper.  Cook on medium heat until vegetables are wilted.

4.Add ham hock, tomatoes, parsley, jalapeno, and Worcestershire.  Cook on low for 90 minutes.  At this point until the end you want to let the water evaporate and make a thick stew.  Go easy on adding water as you will want a thick stew unless you are expecting a lot of company and then do as they say in Louisiana, “Baptize it.”

5.In another pot, cook diced potatoes under tender.  Drain.  Let cool.  Mash coarsely and reserve.  (Note:  I save potato water for soups and stews.  You can add this water to the stew if you need more water)

6.Add lima beans and cook for 20 minutes. 

7.Cut off any meat from the ham hock and return to the stew pot. Add chicken back to the stew.      

8.Add corn and cook 10 minutes.

9.Add potatoes and cook 10 minutes.

10.Turn off heat and let sit covered for 1 hour.  (If still watery, let sit uncovered)

11.Warm the stew to serving temperature when ready to eat.


I serve this stew with cornbread and a selection of pilsner beer and red and white wine.  Set the table with sea salt and a bottle of hot sauce for individual tastes.


I hope you enjoy.  Happy 4th of July!


See you at the Market. 

Saturday Night Farmers’ Market Pizza

Why a Farmers’ Market?

Farmers' markets are one of the oldest forms of direct marketing by small farmers. From the traditional "mercados" in the Peruvian Andes to the unique street markets in Asia, growers all over the world gather weekly to sell their produce directly to the public. In the last decade farmers’ markets have become a favorite method for many farmers throughout the United States, and a weekly ritual for many shoppers.  Shopping at a farmers' market is a great way to meet local farmers and get fresh, flavorful produce. [Paraphrased from Wikipedia]

While the reasons to shop at a farmers’ market are numerous, one of the most important is what happens to our local economy.  When you purchase from a local farmer at a farmers’ market, approximately 90% of the money stays in the community.  By contrast, when you shop at a well-known chain box store, approximately 7% stays in the community.  That is not a typo, only 7¢ out of every dollar remains in the South Baldwin County communities when you shop at that big, impersonal store that shall not be named.  However, when spend your money at Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market, 90¢ out of every dollar stays here.  Ninety cents versus seven cents.  Hmm, that’s a no-brainer for me to decide where I want to shop for my food.

Further, research by Farmers Markets of America found that food prices at farmers’ markets are lower than supermarkets 91% of the time. In surveying consumers who favor farmers’ markets, the following were listed as the top reasons for shopping:

  • Fresher foods
  • Seasonal foods
  • Healthier foods
  • Better variety of foods (Examples: organic food; pasture-raised meats; free-range eggs and poultry; handmade cheeses, jams, and breads; foods that cannot be transported and therefore disfavored by grocery store chains)
  • A place to meet neighbors and chat
  • A place to enjoy an outside walk while getting groceries
  • A way to contribute personally to the community

Food quality, better prices, and a great social atmosphere!  Is it any wonder that people become regulars!  See you at the Market.


Saturday Night Farmers’ Market Pizza

This is one of my favorite foods for which to shop when I’m at the Market.  I buy lots of veggies that go great on a pizza – mushrooms, onions, carrots, zucchini, squash, peppers, cherry tomatoes, and anything else that fits my imagination as I shop around the market.  If you must have meat on your pizza, see the note at the end.


1 cup of all-purpose flour

½ cup of whole wheat flour

½ teaspoon of sea salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3 teaspoons of powdered yeast

½ cup of warm water


Dissolve yeast in warm water and let stand for 10-15 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, combine the dissolved year with the other ingredients.  Knead dough for 15 minutes adding flour or water to achieve a smooth, elastic, and not sticky dough ball.  Put the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place.  Allow 1 hour to rise.


Pizza topping ingredients


Small can of tomato sauce (I prefer Muir Glen)

~ 1 cup of shredded soft cheeses such as Farmers Cheese (Forland) or mozzarella (AA Farms)

~ ¼ cup of shredded hard cheese such as Montasio (AA Farms)

Combination of diced vegetables all of which are available from numerous vendors:  zucchini, squash, onions, carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes

Diced shitake mushrooms (Terry Underwood)

Fresh basil leaves (available from several vendors)



1.On an oiled pizza pan, stretch the dough to cover the pan.

2.Spread tomato sauce over the dough

3.Add combination of toppings

4.Add basil leaves

5.Add cheeses

6.Cook in preheated oven at 500°for 25-30 minutes.

7.Let sit for 2 minutes before slicing.



NOTE:  For those who must have meat on their pizza, purchase Italian Sausage from George Family Farm.  Remove the skin, break into pieces, and brown in a pan.  Remove the excess fat.  Use the sausage as a topping along with whatever vegetables you select.

Egg – Crab Cake – Grits Stack

Farmers’ Market Nerd

One Saturday morning recently when the weather was pleasant, I ate breakfast on my front porch.  During the week, I usually have oatmeal and eggs for breakfast fulfilling nutritional needs and doctor’s suggestions, but weekends are spent being more adventurous with my breakfast – still nutritious, but a little more variety.  On this particular morning as I was eating breakfast and making out a grocery list for purchases at the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and at Forland Family Farm, I stopped making notes and looked at my breakfast – two eggs (Farmers’ Market), a roasted new potato (Farmers’ Market) with rosemary (from a plant purchased at the Farmers’ Market), grilled zucchini (Farmers’ Market), and banana nut bread (Forland).  I thought, You’ve become a Farmers’ Market Nerd!  Of course, I can’t think of a downside to being such a nerd.

My oldest son lives in Memphis and when I go visit, one of our regular stops is the Memphis Farmers’ Market.  My youngest son lived in Denver for three years and I visited him three times and that meant three visits to the Denver Farmers’ Market.  Before that time, he was in graduate school at The University of Texas in Austin and we made a couple of trips to the Austin Farmers’ Market.  He moved to Dallas a year ago and is currently looking for a new apartment and is considering one particular apartment based on the fact that it’s close to the Dallas Farmers’ Market.  During a recent visit to see him, we went to the Dallas Farmers’ Market.  In addition, my mother lives in Tuscaloosa and whenever I visit her, we go to one of the Farmers’ Markets there. 

Healthy, locally produced food, nice people. Pretty good combination. If I’m a Farmers’ Market Nerd, so be it.

Recently, as I was telling Heather Pritchard about visiting the Dallas Farmers’ Market as well as the others I have visited she asked me, “What do they have that we don’t have?”  Good question from someone obviously devoted to her job and wanting to ever improve the quality of the Farmers’ Market experience for customers. 

I thought a moment and came up the fact that Austin, Texas being Austin, Texas, the Farmers’ Market had a stage with a music group entertaining the customers.  Memphis Farmers’ Market had food trucks – one for tacos and one for gyros – the times I’ve visited.  Those are the only two things I saw that Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market does not have.  Of course, three of these markets are in huge urban areas and our Market matches theirs. 

However, the one question Heather did not ask me was, “What do we have that they don’t have?”  I would have answered, “The nicest people you’ll meet anywhere.  The fairest prices you’ll find anywhere. Seafood.  Fresh brewed coffee.  And, a fantastic Market Director!”  Of course, having Forland’s nearby increases the options that other markets do not have.  Amazing for Coastal Alabama.

Recipe for this week is not really a recipe as it is something I like to put together for a weekend breakfast.  You’ll note that everything is from either the Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market or from Forland Family Farms.

Egg – Crab Cake – Grits Stack



Bayou Cora Farms Heirloom Grits (vendor at the Market)

Crab Cake (J&K Farms)

Tejas salsa (if not a vendor at the Market, available from Forland)

Egg (available from several vendors)

Parsley (from a plant I purchased at the Market)

Butter (Forland)




  1. Heat a frozen crab cake at 375° for 40 minutes.  (This is almost the exact length of time it takes me to walk my dog in the morning, which I do while the crab cake cooks in the toaster oven.) 
  2. Prepare grits according to package directions.  Add butter (optional).
  3. Cook an egg according to preference – poached, over easy, or sunny side up work best.
  4. Assemble on a plate:
    1. Ladle grits, flattening slightly
    2. Place a crab cake on top of the grits
    3. Place a cooked egg on top of the crab cake
    4. Dollop of salsa on top of the egg
    5. Sprinkle with parsley
    6. Enjoy


This recipe can be expanded, of course, to fit the number of people eating breakfast. 


See you at the Market.








Cooking Fresh Peas

You toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards

meet the weavers and the potters and gatherers of spices


Back in my college days, more years ago than I care to think about, like so many others of my generation, I became enamored with the writings of Kalhil Gibran and I still have several of his books and read them occasionally, particularly when I want a good quote or I want to find solace and quiet in the evening.  The Prophet, which was first published in 1923, is considered his masterpiece, translated into more than twenty languages, and has sold more than five million copies in the United States.  The Chicago Post wrote of The Prophet, “Cadenced and vibrant with feeling, the words of Kahlil Gibran bring to one’s ears (a) majestic rhythm.” 

Relating to a Farmers’ Market, Gibran wrote,

“To you the earth yields her fruit, and you shall not want if you but know how to fill your hands. 

It is in exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied.

When in the market place you toilers of the sea and fields and vineyards meet the weavers and the potters and gatherers of spices.”

Such a poetic expression of the work of vendors who come to Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market and to Forland’s Family Farm.  Speaking of weavers and potters, one aspect of the Market that I enjoy each week is the variety of vendors, not just food vendors.  Alice Noyes of Handwoven by Design fits the words of Kalhil Gibran and I enjoy looking at her baskets and pottery and have purchased several pieces of pottery and baskets from her.  Of course, there are several other such vendors – painters, jewelry makers, candle makers.  We are incredibly fortune to have such diversity in a single place. 

Recipe of the Week: 

Recently, fresh peas started showing up at the Market and I purchased a bag of already shelled pink-eyes.  By the way, many of my childhood memories are filled with summers spent in rural West Alabama, picking peas in the morning, shelling peas all afternoon, and then having been excused from chores, being too exhausted to play while my mother, grandmother, and aunts blanched and prepared the peas for freezing.  But, that’s another blog. 

Here’s what I did with the first bag of peas I bought at the Market.


Cooking Fresh Peas


1 slice of bacon, diced (George Family Farm)

1 cup, unsalted chicken broth

1 small onion, diced (available from numerous vendors)

1 bag of shelled peas (Forland’s or other vendors)

Filtered water

Thyme (from plant purchased from Lilly)

Sea salt

Hot sauce, pepper sauce, or Tony’s Tejas Salsa




1, In a pot, cook bacon over medium heat.

2. As the bacon starts getting wilted, add onions.  Stir often

3. After the bacon and onions are cooked thoroughly, turn the heat to high.

4. Watch carefully to prevent burning, but you want the bottom of the pan to have debris turning brown.

5. Pour in chicken broth and deglaze the pan with the bacon and onions still in the pan.

6. Turn the heat to low. 

7. Add water to even with the top of the peas.

8. Sprinkle with sea salt and add 2-3 sprigs of thyme.

9.  Cook slowly until peas are tender.  ~ 20 minutes.

10.Adjust salt to taste and serve with hot sauce, pepper sauce, or Tony’s Tejas Salsa.


I like eat fresh peas with mixed grain rice as a meal and enjoy with a glass of red wine.


Enjoy.  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 




Cucumber – Tomato – Avocado – Rice Salad

There is a theory, an obscure, unsubstantiated theory for sure, but a theory that the human body desires or craves the nutrition derived from fresh, in season, fruits and vegetables.  If you enjoy the first strawberries or blueberries of the season as much as I do, you probably understand that feeling of tasting the first of the crop.  When we’ve gone months without fresh berries (no, grocery store berries just don’t satisfy) and the nutrients available, there is something immensely satisfying in the taste.  Of course, the same feeling results in first vegetables.  Is there anything better than a fresh off the vine tomato when they first start producing?  The theory is that our body is receiving nutrients that it craves and the nutrients are in greater supply in a fresh product. 


The theory also includes a component the human body will crave a substitute of fats, salt, and sugar when the nutrients are not available.  Our bodies tell us that nutrients from fresh fruit and vegetables are needed and we substitute drive-through fast food and super sweetened drinks instead.  Even after finishing a hamburger, fries, and drink, we will still feel something is missing – a lingering hunger for something.  That something must be nutrients from fresh food.


Sometimes from the Market I buy a vegetable that just came in and for supper I will either steam it or lightly grilled the vegetable.  This spring I got a bunch of the first yellow wax beans.  I steamed them, added a little sea salt and flavored vinegar, and I felt healthier with each bite.  One of my favorite vegetables to eat fresh is zucchini.  I slice zucchini lengthwise, lightly rub olive oil over each piece, lightly salt with sea salt, and grill it.  While still crunchy, it makes a great sandwich on whole wheat bread or as a side dish. 


The recipe this month includes some fresh vegetables from vendors at the Market plus some other foods to make a salad.


Cucumber – Tomato – Avocado – Rice Salad




1 Cucumber (available from various vendors)

8-10 Cherry Tomatoes (available from various vendors)

1 Avocado (Forland Family Farm)

½ cup of Farmer’s Cheese diced (from Forland Family Farm)

¼ - ½ cup whole grain rice (chilled – this is a great way to use leftover rice)

Note:  We use a mix of different whole grain rice at our house, but other grains such as Quinoa work well.

Cilantro (from a plant I purchased from Lilly)

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Sea salt

Ground Pepper





  1. Peel and dice cucumber ~ ½ inch pieces.  Add to a large bowl that will allow mixing.
  2. Quarter cherry tomatoes and (Any tomatoes will do, but I like the flavor of cherry tomatoes in a salad.  However, when the Cherokee Purples come in, I’ll use that tomato.)
  3. Dice avocado into ½ inch pieces or larger and add.
  4. Add diced cheese. 
  5. Add chilled whole grain rice. 
  6. Mix the ingredients with your hands.
  7. Add finely chopped cilantro ~ 1 teaspoon.  Cilantro can overpower, use discreetly.
  8. Mix ingredients.
  9. Sprinkle lightly with olive oil and balsamic vinegar (about ~ ½ - 1 tablespoon of each to taste)
  10. Mix
  11. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and ground pepper.
  12. Mix.
  13. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
  14. Stir the mixture before serving.


Note:  This salad lends itself to using other fresh vegetables available – radishes, zucchini, squash, bell peppers, and/or carrots.  I just included the vegetables I found the day I was shopping for the purposes of this salad.


This salad can be a side dish or a stand-alone salad.  Also, the salad can be served on Craine Creek Farms lettuce (available at Forland Family Farm). 


I like this salad as a stand-alone to accompany a thick vegetable soup.  Goes great with red or white wine.  My wife likes to eat the salad as a late-night snack with whole wheat crackers.




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 

Chicken Cacciatore

Bob's kitchen boasts Coastal Alabama Farmers and Fishermens Market as well as our onsite retail store Forland Family Market's fresh food. Dedicated customers like Bob fall in love with fresh and support local farms. Dedication of our customers is realized as local farm numbers rise. This week 7 new farms will be at the market. Summer season is ramping up quick as we see blueberries, blackberries, peaches, strawberries, squash, zucchini, beans, new potatoes, sweet corn, lettuce, vegetable transplants, flowers, herbs, and so much more that is new to the season. Gulf Seafood, especially fresh shrimp is always here as well as eggs, chicken, beef, pork and lamb. Fresh baked is a treat as well as locally roasted coffee. Food staples are plentiful! Include fresh to your kitchen this week! Here's Bob..

   Recently I had the opportunity to meet an author online through Facebook and we friended each other. Her name is Sophie Patrick and she specializes in writing books about healthy living. One of her books is entitled, Healthy Eating Made Easy: 50 Simple Tips for Healthy Living Through Clean Eating.  A lot of the information in the book is good reminder type of knowledge – things I know, but don’t practice as I should – and some of the information I found to be new things to challenge my thinking. It’s a worthwhile read and I recommend it.  The book can be downloaded to a Kindle or a Kindle app for only 99¢.


In reading the book, the section about Farmers’ Markets and why to frequent those venues caught my attention.  Attending a farmers’ market regularly offers, she states, “a place to shop for healthy whole foods.  Farmers can tell you exactly how the crops were grown or animals were raised and you can be confident you are getting the freshest product. As a bonus the foods are grown locally and therefore have less impact on the environment, and you can also feel good that you are supporting local businesses.”  [Patrick, Sophie (2016-03-01). Healthy Eating Made Easy: 50 Simple Tips for Healthy Living Through Clean Eating (Kindle Locations 399-402). Sophie Patrick. Kindle Edition.]


The ability to eat healthy, safe foods is getting more worrisome as news emerges about unhealthy practices of food suppliers, meat and seafood substitution scandals, or massive recalls of food not processed correctly that has become contaminated.  Add to those concerns, foods labeled healthy or labeled organic in the grocery stores carry a ridiculously high price tag, well out of the reach of a middle class family to eat on a regular basis.  However, when I buy meat or seafood and vegetables from the Market, I’m talking to the person in charge and not having blind faith in a massive corporation somewhere far, far away and I’m not depleting a savings account in order to eat healthy.  I’m talking to my neighbor who is charging me a fair price. 


What’s amazing for us living in Coastal Alabama is that we can shop at Coastal Alabama Farmer’s and Fishermen’s Market and Forland Family Farm year round.  With only an occasional exception for holidays, we can shop the Market two days a week and at Forland’s six days a week, which affords us the opportunity to purchase healthy foods grown locally twelve months a year. 


This week’s menu is an adaptation of the Italian classic, Chicken Cacciatore or Hunter’s Chicken, that is prepared with a slow-cooker using a chicken grown and processed in Magnolia Springs at Nature Nine Farm.  As with other recipes featured in this blog, the recipe includes at least three ingredients purchased at Coastal Alabama Farmer’s and Fishermen’s Market and/or from Forland Family Farm.


Coastal Chicken Cacciatore




Whole frozen chicken (purchased from Nature Nine Farm)

2 carrots (available from numerous vendors), diced at an angle in bite-sized pieces

2 onions (available from numerous vendors, but I prefer Vidalia onions from J&K Farm) diced

1 red bell pepper (available from numerous vendors) diced in bite-sized pieces

1 green bell pepper (available from numerous vendors) diced in bite-sized pieces

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes [Note: I prefer Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced tomatoes]

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (from a plant I purchased at the market)

2 sprigs of fresh oregano

Montasio Cheese (from AA Farm)

Olive oil

Sea Salt




  1. Wash frozen chicken, inside and out.  Pat dry and set aside.
  2. Line the bottom of the slow cooker with half of the carrots, onions, and bell peppers. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  3. Rub the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  4. Place the frozen chicken in the slow cooker on top of the vegetables.
  5. Pour the diced tomatoes over the chicken.
  6. Add the remaining vegetables.
  7. Line the top of the chicken and vegetables with rosemary and oregano.
  8. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
  9. Cook 8 hours on low. 
  10. After serving on a plate or pasta bowl, add shredded cheese to taste.  I used Montasio, but any cheese from AA Farm will do.

Note: Do not add any liquid as the chicken and vegetables will have plenty of moisture.


With the Chicken Cacciatore, I had whole wheat pasta, tossed salad (Crane Creek Farm lettuce available from Forland’s), and a glass of Pinot Grigio. 


See you at the Market and be sure to purchase Sophie Patrick’s book at 


Next week:  Tomato, cucumber, avocado, whole grain rice salad









Coastal Alabama Fritatta

You must understand that I am an unabashed fan of the Coastal Alabama Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market; I make no pretense about it.  Fresh, healthy food from local people.  However, the experience of shopping at the Market goes deeper than that simple, definitive statement.  The vendors are, without a doubt, some of the nicest people you’ll meet anywhere and they are passionate about what they do.  For an example of that passion, I urge you to stop by the Sweet Bee Farm booth sometime and strike up a conversation with Daryl Pichoff.  First, he’ll give you a sample of honey and then, if you start asking questions, you’ll learn how passionate he is about the purity of his honey, about protecting his bees (of course, it’s well known that something dreadful is happening to bee populations), and about his selectivity regarding where he will allow his bees to collect pollen and pollenate plants.  From him, I learned some of the methods that local farmers are using to minimize or eliminate pesticides from their crops and, in turn, that protects his bee populations.  Not only do I feel better about buying his honey, but I feel better about buying vegetables from local farmers who are using careful methods to protect their customers from harmful pesticides.  As I stated, fresh, healthy food from local people.

On the subject of honey, for many years, researchers have attempted to verify claims that consuming a small amount of local honey each day can help alleviate the symptoms of airborne allergies.  While medical researchers can neither confirm nor refute the beneficial claims, I can report that formerly I was a serious allergy sufferer being in my doctor’s office two times a year seeking relief from pollen-related allergies.  More than a year ago, I started adding a ½ teaspoon of Sweet Bee Farm honey to my non-GMO oatmeal each morning.  Since that time, I feel better … a lot better.  I have now survived two major pollen seasons with little or no noticeable detrimental effects from the pollen.  Some will dismiss my experience as an example of the placebo effect and maybe they’re right.  I don’t care, I’m adding Sweet Bee Farm honey to my diet every day because it makes me feel better and healthier.

As promised, this week’s recipe is my favorite Sunday morning breakfast.  Let’s call it a Coastal Alabama adaptation of an Italian classic dish – the frittata.  As stated before in this blog, each recipe will have at least three ingredients purchased at Coastal Alabama Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market or from Forland Family Farm.  Also, as a reminder, I’m not a trained chef and make no claims to be other that a self-taught cook who cooks with foods he loves.  So, if you see a cooking instruction that doesn’t read like a professionally written cookbook would be written, you’re right.  Enjoy it anyway.

Coastal Alabama Frittata


2 yard eggs (available from numerous vendors) at room temperature

2-3 small red potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes (available from numerous vendors)

Handful of diced tomatoes or quartered cherry or grape tomatoes (available from numerous vendors)  

Optional ingredients: No more than a heaping tablespoon of diced carrots, diced bell pepper, and/or diced green onions (all available from numerous vendors)

¼  cup – ½ cup of diced cheese from AA Farm  (I use Montasio, but a softer cheese such a Fontina or Mozzarella works best and you can even add shredded soft cheese after cooking if you want more cheese.)

Basil and parsley (from plants purchased from Camellia Gardens)

Butter (I use the Amish butter from Forland’s)

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


  1. Scrub potatoes clean and quarter potatoes into bite sized chunks.  Coat with olive oil and salt slightly.

  2. Bake potatoes at 350° until browned.  Remove from oven and leave the oven on.

  3. Warm a skillet over medium heat.

  4. Scramble eggs with salt and ground pepper.

  5. Add butter to skillet.

  6. Add potatoes and arrange evenly.

  7. (Optional step) Add vegetables and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Arrange vegetables evenly.

  8. Add eggs and rotate the skillet until egg mixture is distributed evenly.

  9. Add diced herbs.

  10. Add cheese.

  11. With a rubber spatula, lift the egg mixture lightly around the edges.

  12. While the egg mixture is still very runny, put the skillet in the oven for 10 minutes.

  13. Remove and again lift the egg mixture lightly just around the edges.

  14. Let sit for 2-3 minutes.  

  15. Slide the frittata onto a plate and add sprig of parsley for garnish.  


Next week:  Another Coastal Alabama adaptation of another Italian classic, but made in a slow cooker.

See you at the Market.

Bob Zeanah, Author

Work to Do.  Available online from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Books a Million

No Anchor.  Available online from Amazon or Barnes and Noble or Books a Million

14410 Oak Street

Magnolia Springs AL  36555

251-752-5174 mobile device 

Recipes from the market- Black eye Peas


The entire experience of using Coastal Alabama Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market results in using fresh foods as well as using what’s “on hand” in order to create something economical, healthy, and good.  Many times when I come home from shopping at the Market with a head of broccoli, I cut into florets or a bunch of carrots, I dice into bite-sized pieces, and just steaming either or both of these slightly is wonderful.  Add a little salt and/or some flavored vinegar and it’s a treat.  That’s one of the great things about being fresh from the farmers who grow vegetables – most food is picked the day before and nothing tastes better than a really fresh vegetable – something you can’t find in a grocery store.  Fresh steamed broccoli or carrots for lunch with a slice of bread.  Fantastic!


Another advantage of cooking from items selected from the Market is the economic value – both time and money – of using what’s on hand with what I picked up at the Market.  The recipe that follows is based on the fresh ingredients purchased from the Market as well as some dried peas that I had on hand.  Of course, adding fresh ingredients is what makes the recipes so much better.


Recipe for Black-eyed Peas




[Note: First three ingredients purchased at Coastal Alabama Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market as well as a clipping from the thyme plant that I bought at the Market and is currently growing in a pot on my back deck.]


1 diced bacon slice (purchased from George Family Farm)

1 Tablespoon diced onion (can be purchased from several vendors)

Salsa to taste (Purchased from Tony’s Tejas Salsa)

Dried black-eyed peas (when in season, I buy fresh peas, but on this day, peas were not in season and I used dried peas stored in a mason jar)

Water/Chicken broth mix ~ 4:1)

Thyme (from a plant purchased from Lilly at the Market)



In a pan, cook diced bacon over medium heat until browned.

Add diced onions and cook until translucent.

Add dried peas and coat with bacon oil.

Add all the ingredients to a slow cooker and turn to high for 1 hour.

Change the setting on the slow cooker to low and cook 3 hours.


Serve with generous ladling of salsa on top.  Last week, I wrote about having ham steaks that I had with black-eyed peas, some brown rice, and a glass of red wine.


In a few months from now when peas are fresh, I will use a similar for fresh peas, which I will, of course, purchase from the Market.


Next week I’m going to share with you my favorite Sunday breakfast using nothing but Market ingredients.


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



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