Category Archives: farmer’s market

Eating Vegan in Fresno – Farmers’ Market

This Friday was the second week for the Old Town Clovis Farmers’ Market. Personally, it’s my favourite market. I don’t know if it’s the live music, the Old Town vibe, the variety of post-shopping (or pre-shopping) bars, the time of day, or the variety of vendors, but, it’s the one I most often frequent.

For those out of the loop, the Old Town Clovis Farmers’ Market runs Fridays 5:30 – 9:00pm May through September, on Pollasky. In my opinion, best parking is the lot behind Kimmie’s bar on Clovis and 3rd/Tollhouse.

Not only is there a wonderful variety of fresh produce, but, there are two blocks of vendors selling everything from grilled corn, to sandwiches, to funnel cakes, to tamales.

It’s one of the events I look forward to on a weekly basis. Tonight, for only $17.50, I got amaranth, 2 kohlrabi bulbs with greens, yam leaves, curry hummus, blueberries,  squash blossoms, and dinner of a tamale with beans and rice. Awesome! And, it’ll feed me for at least a week. I’ve never had yam leaves, but, the girl at the booth told me they’re awesome stir fried with some butter. I can’t wait!

For a complete list of Fresno area farmers’ markets, check out playfresno.org

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Bitter Melon and Chayote Greens

I tried the bitter melon greens and the chayote greens with mild success.

 

Bitter Melon Greens

The bitter melon greens were so bitter, I couldn’t eat them. They cooked much more quickly than anticipated, but, I think even if they were slower to cook, I wouldn’t have been able to get them any less bitter. Maybe if I had let them sit in salt water overnight? Anyway, I’m really not too disappointed with the way they turned out – it was sort of expected.

 

The chayote greens took longer to cook than expected, so they didn’t go with the dish I made as well as I was hoping. Next time, I’ll know to cook them longer so they break up a little better.

 

First Farmers’ Market of the Season

Friday I went to my first farmers market of the season. Really, it was the second week they set up.

This year, it’s bigger than it was last year, with an extra block of food, music, and other goods.

Every time I go, I fill at least one big canvas bag with every vegetable I can get my hands on. I prefer getting things I can’t find in grocery stores, and the farmers market never ceases to surprise me with foods I’ve never heard of or seen anywhere else. Friday was no different.

I walked away with beet hummus, veggie chips (which includes oven baked carrots, green beans, purple sweet potato, and taro root), frog balls (pickled Brussels sprouts),  apple chipotle bbq sauce,  chayote greens, bitter melon greens, black eyed pea heads (greens?), and round zucchini. Dinner was grilled corn on the cob (on a stick, covered in chili powder) with fresh squeezed lemonade.

I’ve never eaten any of the greens before. I’m pretty excited, and will post an update as soon as I make something with them.

Greens!

>new food of the week: unknown squash

>Okay, maybe not totally unknown – it was bright green and very large. It had sort of a zucchini flavour and I think it was a cucuzza squash. I picked it up at the Farmers Market. I liked it, and would probably buy it again.


Squash chow Mein
1 bright green cucuzza squash (you can use any squash you’d like) – peeled and diced
1 package chow mein noodles
2 vegan sausages (recipe here) – cut in half (lengthwise) and sliced
soy sauce or hoisin sauce

cook chow mein noodles as directed

sautee squash and sausage until cooked. add sauce. add noodles.


eat.

>New Food of the Week – long time no see!

>Dear Reader(s?),
I’m sorry I have been completely slacking on new posts. My excuse? I’ve been totally uninspired. I’m broke, so I’ve been eating a lot of beans. Like, every night of the week. (Exciting?)

A few weeks ago, I may or may not have mentioned my next new food was the plantain. It was a failure, so I didn’t update. Okay, not a total failure. I made a plantain soup that was okay. It would have been better if my plantain was a little less ripe, I think. I also veganized a great-sounding dessert with a sugary “gravy” poured over the fried plantain. I let the gravy get too hot, and it turned to hard candy. It wasn’t as pleasant as that might sound.
I promise to try plantains again sometime, but I’m just not ready yet.

This week, I had much more success. I was at the farmer’s market on Friday, and I picked up quite a few new foods (with Mom’s money — THANK YOU MOM!). I got:
Armenian Cucumber
Lemon Cucumber
Italian Zucchini
Yellow Zucchini
some squash that’s the size and shape of a baseball

and…. pumpkin greens!

So far, I’ve tried the pumpkin greens, and they are fabulous. I made a stir fry. This is kind of my go-to for summer veggies. When in doubt, stir fry.

Pumpkin Green Stir Fry
a large handful of washed pumpkin greens and vine (and flowers if they’re attached); chopped
tofu; pressed, cubed
2 garlic cloves
1/2 lemon
generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper
Splash of soy sauce

Bread your tofu in a mixture of flour and garlic powder — to do this, simply toss the tofu cubes in mixture.

Heat oil in pan (I did vegetable oil with a splash of sesame oil for some flavour). You want it really hot so the tofu doesn’t just soak the oil up. Fry tofu until its brown and crispy. set aside.

lower heat. In same pan, add garlic, crushed red pepper. cook for 30 second to a minute – until garlic is fragrant (NOT burned!). Add pumpkin greens. cook 1-2 minutes. Squeeze lemon over pan, add soy sauce. Let cook until greens are tender. Add tofu.

Eat.

This was great on its own last night. Tonight, I ate leftovers, and put it into a homemade whole-wheat pita and it was pretty awesome.

>I’ve been totally MIA

>And I’m not apologizing for it.

I finally bought plantains. Two of them. I’ve got plans for one of them. and I can’t decide what I’m going to do with the other. I will let you know how they turn out.

I went to the first farmer’s market of the season yesterday and scored big. Honestly, if you want to save a little money on produce, the farmer’s market is the place to do it. For $20, I got dinner for me, my mom, and my sister (3 ears of very sweet grilled corn — hot sauce on mine!), 12 baby bok choy (yeah! TWELVE!), 4 very large daikon (which I will do a post about – it was a new food a few months ago, but I didn’t blog about it – this will be my “re-do”), a bunch of broccoli rabe, and 8oz of blueberries. at the grocery store, this would have cost me at least $35.

The local cherry ranch opened today. We bought a ton of cherries, and will probably need more by Wednesday. They are so tasty. I’ve got to pick up a mango to make some mango/cherry cobbler. (want the recipe?) Its coming, I promise!

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