There are so many fun things to do in the summertime! One of the thing that I love to do is to visit local farmers markets and buy some fresh, local produce! I am honored to have been invited to do a summer food tasting and book signing by my friend, Veronica Sotolongo, the manager of the French Broad Tailgate Market on July 15. Some of the summer foods available at the market include kale, cabbage, carrots, blueberries, cucumbers and summer squash! I have put together a blueberry kale salad and some cucumber and summer squash appetizers for the tasting! I hope that you enjoy them!
Here are the farms where I gathered the ingredients:
To make the best salad possible, buy the ingredients as fresh as possible. I bought the cabbage from Milo Acres, carrots from Second Sping Farm, blackberries from Tucker’s Garden, onions and kale from B & L Farm.
Blueberry Cabbage Kale Salad
This seasonal salad is as beautiful as it is delicious! Switch it up to use seasonal, local produce where you live and you can add your favorite protein to make it a complete meal! . To make raw kale easier to eat, try massaging it for a few minutes after you have cut it up. This makes it more user friendly for raw salads and smoothies!
Makes 2-4 servings
1 bunch kale, massaged and sliced thin
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup red onions, sliced
1/2 cup pecans
Add massaged, thinly sliced kale to a large salad bowl, add cabbage, blueberries, shredded carrots and onions. Make salad dressing, add it to salad and toss lightly.
Salad Dressing Recipe
This salad dressing is great on everything!
Juice from one lemon, 1 teaspoon garlic, ½ cup olive oil, salt and pepper ( 1 teaspoon honey if desired)
Cucumber and Summer Squash Bites Topped with Goat Cheese
I created these little tidbits when Veronica, Victoria, my daughter-in-law and I hosted a Garden Party and Farm Tour at First Blossom Farm last summer. I hope that you enjoy this quick and easy way to enjoy these!
Makes 32 appetizers. These veggies also add a decorative touch to salads also.
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons your choice of finely chopped fresh herbs
1 tablespoon milk, for thinning cheese
1 teaspoon garlic minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium cucumber and 1 medium summer, both thinly sliced
In a small bowl, add softened goat cheese, herbs, garlic and salt and pepper. Mix well. Place sliced vegetables on serving plate and add a thin smear of herb cream cheese. For a more elegant look, use a decorating bag with a textured tip and add a dollop of cheese to the veggies and top with a piece of fresh herbs.
I have been fortunate this summer to work with a nutrition student from Western Carolina University, Maria Diprima. She has shared some of her favorite recipes featuring kale from her own kitchen! Thanks Maria for sharing!
Maria’s Spicy Black Bean Soup with Kale
Kale is loaded with vitamin K, C, and A, among a host of other vitamins, and it is a very versatile ingredient. Kale is great it salads, soups, casseroles, and sandwiches. Kale very hardy but can also be bitter tasting, which is why I usually lightly steam my kale before adding to a cold dish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 small portabella mushroom, sliced
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 garlic clove, sliced
3 cups organic vegetable broth (such as Emeril’s) or homemade
5 cups stemmed, chopped kale (about 1 small bunch)
1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ jalapeno sliced (optional)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flake (optional)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (1/2 t of dried)
1. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot, and mushroom, and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, jalapeno and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until kale is crisp-tender.
2. Place half of black beans in a bowl and mash with a spoon or your hands. Add mashed bean mixture, remaining black beans, black and red pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary. For a heartier dish serve over brown rice or quinoa.
Maria’s Grilled Portabella Mushroom and Kale Sandwich
One med/large portabella mushroom
2-3 fresh kale leaves- cut into 1 inch pieces
1-thick sliced onion
Two slices of Swiss cheese
Two slices of focaccia bread (or any hearty bread)
1T olive oil
Marinade for the mushroom
Combine all ingredients-
4T balsamic vinegar
2T olive oil
Pinch of salt
Make marinade and marinade the mushroom while preparing the rest of the sandwich.
Slice bread and hollow out the center
Heat skillet, add olive oil add mushroom and onion removed when cooked to desired tenderness
Grill the bread until golden brown. Place onion, mushroom and cheese on the bottom piece of bread
Toss kale leaves into the skillet and heat until wilted, top sandwich with the kale, cover with top piece of bread. Serve with a little mayo or spicy mustard if desired.
I enjoyed signing a few copies of Farm Fresh Nutrition and was very excited to get a picture of Veronica and Laura together also! I you missed stopping by and getting a copy, they are available on my website and I will be at the North Asheville Tailgate Market on September 6! I will be including additional events also!
If you have not stopped by the farmers’ market near you to get some local produce, you might be missing out on some fun besides purchasing some healthy food. I hope you will plan your next meals based on what’s in season and meet who grows your food!