Sometimes a girl’s just gotta have fun and when I haven’t been working on the National Nurses’ Stress Survey, I’ve been having a lot of fun this summer. This photo is a small depiction of just how much fun I’ve been having. As you can see, it’s not a traditional farm stand, and it serves its share of unhealthy foods, so I’m writing this article as much for me as for you.
After indulging in too many unhealthy foods this summer (including lobster rolls and French fries at Red’s Eats and later hamburgers, fried chicken and more than I care to admit in this blog 🙂 ), it’s time for me to get back on track and write about, and eat, some healthy foods.
In Houston we have phenomenal grocery stores like Central Market and one of the best Whole Foods in the country (And I’ve been to more than a few.) all with terrific produce departments. But going to the farmer’s market is a rare treat for me, since I’m not a regular.
So Saturday I treated myself to a trip to the Eastside Farmers’ Market to wake up to summer’s myriad fruits, veggies and herbs. Walking the aisles of the grocery store can be fun, but it can also be a task, so much of one that sometimes I only see what I’m seeking which makes for less than adventurous meal planning. Cruising the farmers’ market isn’t a task it all, it’s a fun outing. I enjoy seeing, smelling and tasting everything from the local cheese to the artisanal coffee to the fresh breakfasts being prepared.
I’m not a vegetarian; I’m an unapologetic carnivore. Summer though, calls out for more smoothies and salads and the farmers’ market is a great place to find inspirations as well as fresh, local ingredients.
Go to a local farmer’s market in your area. Pick out some fruits and veggies for your smoothies. Expand your smoothie thinking beyond bananas and strawberries. I’ve tossed in cranberries, kale and spinach. It’s a painless way to get a hidden helping of veggies. Add some Greek yogurt, coconut ice and maybe a teaspoon of cinnamon, mint or slivers of fresh ginger-root. If you want to get your superfood and fiber fix, you can toss in dried acai berries, ground flaxseed, hemp or chia seeds, or cocoa nibs (just not all at once 🙂 ). The list and combinations are endless. You can enjoy a different smoothie every day for the rest of your life!
Let the farmers’ market inspire luscious salads. All you need are three ingredients for a simple, but tasty salad. I learned that tip from my favorite chef, Thomas Keller. When it comes to salads, less ingredients really are MORE. One of my favorites is Insalate Caprese composed of slices of ripe heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil leaves. Oh yes, you can even add some thinly sliced prosciutto and then drizzle it all with extra virgin olive oil. Yum! I recently had a Caprese salad with a mint pesto, reminding me how we can add a new ingredient to an old favorite and give it new life.
Certified Legal Nurse Consultants, I hope you’re having a cool, luscious, carefree summer filled with fresh, healthy foods. I’ll see you at the farmers’ market!
I’m Just Shoppin’
P.S. Comment and share your favorite salad or smoothie recipes.