Aimee’s Post: My First Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Market

This past weekend, I attended my first farmers market as a Seacoast Eat Local Intern, and I had so much fun! One component at the market that I loved was the smell of the broth from one of the vendors. The next day I went home and found an incredible soup recipe, and I thought what better thing to write about than how to make homemade soup, particularly in this cold weather. I also am currently fighting an illness, so luckily I had leftovers of this, and I hope it brings comfort to any of you battling illness right now. This is a recipe I found from Taste of Home, and it turned out absolutely delicious for me! Also, I would recommend visiting your next farmers market to pick up some of the ingredients for this soup!

Ingredients:  

  • 2-1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 10 cups chicken broth
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 cups uncooked egg noodles (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions:

1)    Pat chicken dry with paper towels; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and salt. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken in batches, skin side down; cook until dark golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; remove and discard skin. Discard drippings, reserving 2 tablespoons.

2)    Add onion to drippings; cook and stir over medium-high heat until tender, 4-5 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from pan. Bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Add celery, carrots, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until chicken is tender, 25-30 minutes.

3)    Transfer chicken to a plate. Remove soup from heat. Add noodles; let stand, covered, until noodles are tender, 20-22 minutes.

4)    Meanwhile, when chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones; discard bones.

5)    Shred meat into bite-sized pieces. Return meat to stockpot. Stir in parsley and lemon juice.

6)    Adjust seasoning with salt and remaining 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Remove bay leaves.

(Ultimate Chicken Soup, Taste of Home.)

Melissa’s Post: Slow Roasted Shallots

I had a wonderful first experience at the winter market this past Saturday at the Exeter High School, and it was so lovely to meet with many of you that stopped by the SEL table throughout the day.

One of the very first things I noticed about the environment of the market was the wonderful smell of onions and garlic! It got me thinking about some good recipes to really highlight some of our winter vegetables. I overheard some customers at market saying that they were running out of ideas to work with cold-season gems, so I wanted to share a roasted shallots recipe with you all. This recipe is for a side dish that pairs best with game birds, steak, chicken, and turkey. I can almost smell that deliciousness from here! Enjoy!

Slow Roasted Shallots      Serves: 4

Ingredients:

·      12 shallots, peeled

·      4 cloves garlic, peeled

·      1 cup olive oil

·      4 springs thyme

·      1 tablespoon Kosher salt

·      1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions:

1.     Preheat oven to 250°F

2.     Combine all ingredients into a shallow baking dish, toss to mix well.

3.     Roast, stirring occasionally, for about 1 ½ hours, or until shallots are soft, carnalized, and a deep golden brown.

4.     Discard thyme and rosemary springs and serve.

Source: The Farmer’s Market Guide and Cookbook, Sally Ann Berk

SEL Providing Emergency SNAP Support in February

As many people may know, the recent Government Shutdown caused unforeseen adjustments to SNAP disbursement in New Hampshire. All SNAP funding for the state (i.e. the food benefits which eligible families receive) is typically disbursed on the 5th of every month. Due to the Shutdown, benefits for February were distributed early, in late January, but will not be distributed again until March 5, meaning that recipient families must make the same amount of benefits last nearly 2 weeks longer than normal.
Understanding the potential for strain and food insecurity for those receiving SNAP benefits, Seacoast Eat Local mobilized support among its funding partners. We are proud to announce that The Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare Foundation’s Healthy Food Fund, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the New Hampshire Children’s Health Foundation have all provided funding making it possible for Seacoast Eat Local to provide SNAP customers extra support at our farmers’ markets in February.
The Program:
SNAP recipients attending the Exeter, Kittery or Rollinsford Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers Markets will have the same opportunity to access any remaining benefits they may have on their EBT cards and receive 1:1 matching fruit and vegetable coupons.
Additionally, any SNAP customer may receive $20 in SNAP tokens and $10 in Granite State Market Match. This program will operate only in February and only at the Kittery, Exeter and Rollinsford Seacoast Eat Local Winter Farmers’ Markets.
SNAP customers should come to the Seacoast Eat Local token booth at market with their SNAP/EBT card.  Tokens can be used to purchase any SNAP eligible foods, including fruits, vegetables, breads, eggs, meat, dairy, as well as a variety of prepared foods.  Market dates, times, and locations can be found at seacoasteatlocal.org.

Aimee’s Post: Harvest of the Month

Today, for my blog, I thought I would talk about a wonderful program known as “Harvest of the Month.” The goals of this program are very simple- seasonal eating, healthy diets, and supporting the local economy. The harvest for the month of February is cabbage. Despite the fact that it does not sound all that exciting, cabbage packs a wide variety of nutrients- particularly vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate! Therefore, it might be worth trying this month! A simple cabbage recipe, that is one of my personal favorites, is braised cabbage. The recipe below yields four servings, and requires the following:

Braised Cabbage  

  • 1lb cabbage (1 head)
  • 3/4 stick of butter (6 Tbsp)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste, any herb or spice, or even bacon!

Directions:

  1. Slice cabbage into 1/2 inch-wide ribbons and place into a wide pan with the water.
  2. Cook, covered, over medium heat until the cabbage is tender, approximately 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the cabbage and toss with butter, salt, and pepper.

If that isn’t enough to convince you, check out how beautiful this vegetable is!

I hope you all enjoy this beautiful vegetable! 

Learn from a “Fungi!”: A Mushroom Workshop!

Join Seacoast Eat Local and Vernon Family Farm for the next installment of our very popular local foods workshop series! 

Come see a small scale commercial mushroom production operation at Vernon Family Farm.  Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of a working farm and learn about the process of

producing oyster and shiitake mushrooms for a commercial market.  Taste hot mushroom broth, see a fruiting room, and harvest your own fresh cut shrooms to take home with some mushroom broth!  Vernon Family Farm’s store will be open and cozy with a wood stove and warm broth.  Bring an above average attitude and you might just meet some fungies.

 

Saturday, March 16

10:30am-12pm at Vernon Family Farm

$40/pp

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis and space for this event is limited! Please contact the staff of Seacoast Eat Local with questions.

Aimee’s Post: Joining the SEL Intern Team!

Hey everyone! My name is Aimee, I am excited to be one of Seacoast Eat Local’s new interns! This is my first time working with Seacoast Eat Local, and I am looking forward to working with a wonderful organization that puts a strong emphasis on healthy and locally sourced foods.

A little bit about my background, I am a senior at the University of New Hampshire of the Nutrition and Dietetics program. I have a dual major in Ecogastronomy, in which I study sustainable food systems and how they impact various aspects of life- including nutritionally and economically. As you can see, I devote my studies to food and sustainability.

My interest in Seacoast Eat Local stems from my desire to work in the field of community nutrition and public health. I have done some work at a local food pantry that puts an emphasis on locally grown food, and I thoroughly enjoyed this work. Through my work at this food pantry, called the Waysmeet Center, I discovered where my strongest interests regarding nutrition were and have been working to expand my experiences in it.

Before college, I grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. I often went to farms to find different vegetables with my parents and friends, and those trips were always enjoyable. I remember being interested by all the types of foods at farms and farmers markets that could not be found in our regular grocery stores (typically Hannafords or Market Basket) and I am excited to work at the farmers markets with Seacoast Eat Local and spread my excitement about food!

If anyone has anything they would like to see on this blog, do not hesitate to reach out! I hope to see you at the markets soon!

Also, this is a picture of me at one of my favorite farms! Parlee Farms, in Tyngsboro, MA, has a pick your own flowers and blueberries in the summer time! I am in their beautiful flower field, and fun fact- it was pouring in this picture!

Melissa’s Post: Back at SEL!

Hello there! My name is Melissa, and I am one of the Seacoast Eat Local interns this year. This is my second time around with SEL, having interned over this past summer at the farmer’s markets, and I’m very excited to be working in a great environment and be totally surrounded by wholesome, locally grown foods again!

I am a senior at UNH in my last semester of the Nutrition and Dietetics program, as well as a dual major in EcoGastronomy, which is the study of sustainable food systems and its impact it has socially, economically, and nutritionally. I can’t wait to graduate, and while I haven’t sorted out my exact dream job, I feel a strong pull towards community nutrition and sustainable local foods—so you could say this job is a great fit for me!

One of my favorite parts about the markets would have to be watching the young kids get all excited about being able to pick out the fruits and veggies they want at the market, and seeing them have the same excitement about picking fresh carrots as I’ve heard some little kids get excited about candy. It warms my heart as a future nutrition professional, and makes me think about how I was raised around food. I didn’t have parents who were really into it and brought me every week to help them pick out our groceries like I see many children with their parents, but instead grew up the rather “conventional way”. I grew up in Hooksett, NH, a nice town in the middle of Concord and Manchester, but spent most of my time in either Hooksett or Manchester. I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the Manchester market almost every weekend of the summer when I was about 11 or 12, and though the market is pretty small there, I loved everything the market had to offer, and wished I could have spent more time there. But my parents just weren’t into it, and I was pretty much only allowed to go there to grab a little snack after they picked me up from the nearby summer camp. Looking back on an adult and experiencing the market every week now, I’m so happy for all of the little kids I see running by with our wooden tokens, racing to find a bundle of carrots or rhubarb, sort of wishing I had the same up-bringing, but knowing that it only enriches the advice I will give to parents as a future dietitian, because I believe that once the children think it’s fun and are on-board with healthy eating choices, the rest of the family just sort of follows suit, and it leads to better chances of a healthy lifestyle sticking in a family over a longer period of time.

I’m looking forward to this spring with SEL to experience a spring harvest for the first time, and I’ll be sure to provide some fun, interesting blog posts in the future for recipes and nutritional information, so if you have a request in mind, don’t be a stranger! Come visit me at the Rollinsford markets, I would love to meet you and chat!

Margo’s Post: A Food Resolution

January is a beautiful month for fresh starts. Many individuals decide to make New Year resolutions, especially around food. And I’m no different. However, this year the main objective isn’t based on looking a different way, but feeling a different way. 2019 for me is the year of nourishment – of sharing delicious homemade meals with friends, not restricting fun foods, and being in the present to savor the flavors of locally grown and produced foods. Using ingredients that were taken care by the farmers I have gotten to know better over the last eight months to me adds an extra level of enjoyment to cooking and tasting. Food is such a social vehicle, and to add an additional element of community provides me with such joy. So here is to a year of taking in beautiful local food, the community that local food creates, and the memories created and shared over this abundance.

Included below is one of the first recipes I made in 2019 and ate with a few of my best friends. It is a flavor explosion in the best way possible – sweet, savory, salty, and with slight heat. Warning – it’s hard to stop eating them once you start! Best enjoyed with loved ones 🙂

http://thefirstmess.com/2015/04/02/vegan-curry-garlic-sweet-potato-fries-miso-gravy-recipe/#more-5766

Kaidy’s Post: Pear Apple Crisp

Pears are a member of the Rosaceae plant family, along with apples, peaches, plums, cherries and an abundance of other fruits. There are many different varieties of pears, however the most commonly grown in the United States include Bartlett, Anjou, Bosc and Asian pears. Pears are in season in the seacoast area through October, however they are still available at the farmer’s markets and can be used if you have some leftover from this year’s harvest!

One pear has approximately 100 calories, 28 carbohydrates, and 5.5 grams of fiber. A pear also contains 12% vitamin C, 10% vitamin K, 7% copper and 6% potassium of the daily recommended values. Due to their high vitamin C content, pears help support a healthy immune system and help to prevent free radical damage. Pears also contain a large amount of soluble fiber, which helps to maintain blood glucose levels after eating a meal and has also been shown to decrease blood cholesterol levels.

Ever since I was little I always loved eating pears. I would always have them when I went over to my grandma’s house. She would leave them on the counter, by the window and let them ripen until they were soft and juicy and delicious. They are the perfect snack to hold you over in between meals or even for a little after dinner dessert. Below I have shared one of my favorite ways to incorporate pears into a healthier dessert dish.

Apple Pear Crisp

Apple Pear Filling

3 pears, peeled and sliced
4 apples, peeled and sliced
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3 tablespoons raw honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of lemon juice

Crisp Topping

1 cup regular oats
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350.
2.  To a large bowl add, sliced pears, sliced apples, cinnamon, nutmeg, raw honey, salt, and lemon juice. Gently toss to coat all the fruit with the spices.
3.  Pour fruit mixture into 13×9″ baking dish.
4.  In medium bowl, add regular oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and butter.
5.  Using your hands combine the butter into the dry ingredients until everything is combined and crumbly.
6.  Sprinkle Crisp topping on top of the fruit mixture.
7.  Bake for 35-40 minutes, until top is browned.
8.  Remove from oven and serve! (optional: top with vanilla ice cream)