Today was an impulse purchase kinda day. I’m trying to keep within a budget (now that I’ve moved out on my lonesome my rent has gone up!) so I came to the market tonight armed with only 15$ burning a hole in my pocket.
I was pretty stocked up with fruit and vegetables at home so I thought I would try something new. Introducing…. sprouted beans!
Yes I’m aware that these look like some weird experiment gone wrong. But hear me out, they are tasty! The beans I bought are sprouted chickpeas, peas and lentils. Basically you start off with dried peas/legumes, and they are soaked, rinsed and re-soaked until germination happens (aka the beans start to sprout).
These sprouts can be added to salads, sandwiches or tossed into a stir-fry. I topped a lentil curry (that I purchased at the Farmer’s Market) with some sprouts and it gave the curry a nice crunchy texture. And like their cooked counterparts, these lentil/pea/chickpea sprouts are a great source of protein and fibre.
If you are pregnant, have a weakened immune system or are part of a vulnerable population group (e.g. elderly and young children), I would not recommend eating these sprouts, or other sprouts (e.g. Alfalfa, Mung bean) raw. Commercially produced sprouts have been linked to outbreaks of salmonella and E.Coli. I take the risk by eating them as they are, but I strongly recommend reading this safety page from Health Canada. Safety is always number 1!
This Monday was the first week of the indoor market. I feel very fortunate to have access to a Farmer’s Market all year round, especially in the dead of winter!
The indoor market felt a bit cramped, and I was a little disoriented as I wasn’t sure where all my favourite booths were! Some booths appeared to be missing, I’m not sure if this is because they don’t participate in the winter market, or if I just bypassed them by accident :). Luckily I scoped out the West End Food Coop and bought my usual from Nicole! I got some Tibetan Momos for Chris for dinner (if you aren’t sure what these are, check out a description here. They are yum yum yum!)
This week I purchased only a few items: Carrots, sweet potato, garlic and a little somethin’ somethin’ new. I was feeling like a leafy green, however I wanted to get out of my spinach and kale comfort zone (plus I recently purchased frozen chopped kale for a curry dish I’m planning to make). So I decided to purchase sunflower sprouts.
Say what? Sunflower sprouts? WTF? Yes my friends, you heard right. These cute little greens are going to make a few appearances in my cooking this week:
I sampled a few before I purchased, and was surprised on how mild and slightly nutty they were. Since I’m not the biggest salad fan (I rarely just bring a big salad to work or have one with dinner), I’m excited to sprinkle these on top of soups, stews and curries. Not only are they a beautiful garnish, but they fit my mantra of “eating 1 dark, leafy green every day”. Unfortunately I could not find any research available about their nutritional benefits (and I didn’t just want to copy and paste from some holisitic website). I will keep you updated when I find a reliable source!
I am back to the market after a 2 week hiatus! It felt good to be back. I’ve been going to the Sorauren Farmer’s Market for almost a year now and many of the vendors I purchase from now know me by name and know what I like to purchase. That added touch makes shopping at the market so much more meaningful, knowing that I purchase food right from the farmers and the interaction is much more personal than a grocery store.
Today I spent a bit more than usual. I unfortunately ran out of both honey and maple syrup this morning so I had to re-stock. My haul included:
Maple Syrup (made in Goderich Ontario, close to my hometown!)
2 small bags of pure maple syrup candy (dessert for Chris and I)
Unpasteurized wildflower honey (made by Clover Roads Organic farm in Hagersville ONT)
2 chilli bowls (West-End Food Coop)
Organic hummus (West-End Food Coop)
Bunch of carrots
Basket of sweet potatoes
Basket of white potatoes
I skimped out on my produce today as I already have quite a few things at home (spinach, celery, mushroom, acorn squash). I bought all my produce at the Clover Roads Organic farm booth. The lovely couple who owns the farm are quickly becoming some of my favourite people at the market. They are friendly, knowledgeable and their produce has always been fantastic quality. I have never bought honey from them before but they explained how they make their honey, and the reasons for the different colourings, depending on the pollen.
When I bought carrots I was sifting through the big basket, looking for ones to take. The farmer mentioned to me “oh, not many people like the ugly ones”. When he said that I had to chuckle and tell him about this news story I read online. The report talked about a new grocery campaign in France, where selling “ugly” vegetables and fruits has become really popular. The campaign started to bring awareness to food waste and how “ugly” produce is on par with their “beautiful” counterparts. You can read about it here.
Stay tuned over the next few weeks… I spoke with one of the lovely staff at the West End Food Coop, who agreed I would be able to interview one of their coordinators! I’m super excited to share with everyone the wonderful work they do in the Parkdale/Queen West neighbourhood.