This weekend’s farmer’s market find(s) are from Living Lettuce Farms, which is located in Pasadena, CA. This is the best spot to grab some fresh herbs and organic lettuce. Not only are their products certified organic, but they also harvest and grow in water rather than soil! …talk about putting a new meaning behind “clean eating” 😛
This nifty technique is called “hydroponic” gardening. There are several advantages to this type of harvesting, including convenience and affordability, no soil is needed, and it is easy to spot any parasites or contaminants. Furthermore, the plants are still able to hold onto their essential minerals.
We typically try to grab one or two things from this stand each week, spinach being one of the definite. Every now and then, especially in the warmer months, we like to grab a variety of herbs. They always offer up the best quality, and variety, of herbs, which help take my cooking up a few notches J My personal favorites from this place are the Thai Basil (robust), Lemon Basil (very sweet undertones), Mint, and Cilantro. They can even make a custom baggy for you, if requested. The older gentleman that runs this stand is always very acommodating to what his customers like. For example, a few weeks back I really wanted some Thai Basil, yet he hadn’t had any basil for several weeks. When I asked about when he will begin bringing back the Thai Basil, and he told me next week. Next week? Yeah right, like he would have them up and fresh that quickly, he was clearly just getting my hopes up. He definitely proved me wrong, because the following week, there was a box full of Thai Basil! woohoo!!
This time around, we opted for a big ‘ol bag of baby spinach, along with a handful of lemon basil.
The lemon basil is a constant reminder that summer is upon us, and it is time for grilling up refreshing dinners! It provides a subtle lemon notes to just about any dish, making just about anything taste far more refreshing!
Both of these items went exceptionally well with yesterday’s lunch…which ironically was about 80% made from items we purchased for the farmer’s market!
Turkey sandwich made on Homeboy Bakery’s whole wheat bread, dressed up with some peppers, a light drizzle of balsamic vinagrette, sliced tomatoes, Living Lettuce’s lemon basil leaves and spinach, grilled to perfection. This was thoroughly enjoyed alongside Salsa Poblano’s YUMMY cactus chips, and fire roasted salsa, made by Romeo, our favorite salsa guy, and his father!
A BIG thank-you is in order to our local farmers for providing us with the most delectable food products for healthy meals.
OH and both the spinach and basil made for a GREAT green monster smoothie this morning…
not to mention, it was my very first attempt, which I was very proud of as I happily slurped every drop while taking Tobey for a morning walk 🙂
1 scoop cake batter protein powder
a few strips of yellow pepper
heaping handful of spinach
water (amount varying upon preferred thickness)
Blend until a smooth liquid texture. The banana added a great sweetness, without all the acidity I would have gotten from other fruits like an apple or berries, which made for easy settling in my tummy 🙂
Now I LOVE the color green; however, the appearance of this green slime-like drink did not make it very appealing. But the taste definitely made up for the funky color! I cannot believe it has taken me this long to actually make one of these bad boys.
Happy Monday, hope your week is off to a great start! If not, then remember, tomorrow is a brand new beginning. 🙂