Eating from the Farmers’ Market: Week 10

I’d been feeling sort of cranky and out-of-sorts about this project for about 10 days (last week and part of the week before), and I couldn’t figure out why.  But over the weekend, while I was at the Market, it hit me: I was tired of trying to fix “main” dishes.  I’d been trying to figure out meals according to the usual American standards: one “anchor” dish (usually meat), with a side or maybe two.  In absence of that, I’d rely on pasta dishes, which are more culturally acceptable as “one-dish-wonders.”  And I realized that when I first started doing this, without regard to what the recipes would look like, and whether or not there would be a balance of meaty “mains” and non-meaty “sides,” my eating habits started to change.  Not in the usual “diet-y” sense, but more in how I was structuring my meals.  When I cook without trying to figure out how to squash all the ingredients into a main dish, I end up with a lot more variety in my diet.  I also end up eating antipasto-style all the time.

For instance, instead of chicken with potatoes and some broccoli, I’m more likely to eat a helping of roasted beets, half an artichoke and some sauteed cabbage.  If I toss the beets in olive oil and use a creamy dipping sauce for the artichoke, it fills me up enough that I’m not hungry again in half an hour.  Likewise, if I need something even more substantial, it’s easy to cook some pasta and toss that in with the veggies.  The upshot is that although I’m not focusing on eating less meat, more veggies, etc., I end up doing it, anyway.  So with that in mind, this week I’m going back to fixing things that seem more like side dishes, and not worrying about it if I feel short on “traditional” American main dishes.  🙂

And at the Market this week, I bought:
1/2 chicken – $4.75/pound = $11.50
Ground beef – $7/pound = $7
Napa Cabbage – $3/ea = $3
Snap Peas $2/bag (about 8 oz) = $2
Beets (with greens attached) $1.50/bunch x 2 = $3
Eggs – 1 doz. @ $2.25
Artichokes – 2 @ $3/ea = $6
Apples – $2.00/lb = $2.90

I also headed over to the regular grocery store to buy organic butter, and olive oil and grapeseed oil in glass bottles.  (The glass is important – more on that later.) 

So the week overall was kind of pricey, but I’ll be able to fix a lot more stuff.  I roasted the beets, and they were just ok, but I was able to punch them up with some added ingredients after the fact.  I was going to stir-fry the cabbage and peas, but ended up with a mini-disaster.  I did manage to save it, and I’ll eat it, but it wasn’t great: the flavors were good, but it ended up overcooked.  😦  Artichokes are easy: just steam them and dip in sauce!  And I sauteed the beet greens (instead of throwing them away) – they were AMAZING (I kind of liked them better than the beets themselves), and I’ll share that recipe, too.

Recipes to come on Wednesday!!

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