Tag Archives: Farmers Market

The Family Dinner, by Laurie David…and YOU

26 Sep

We’ve just returned from the Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore. One of the featured guests at the show was activist Laurie David.

Laurie’s new book, The Family Dinner, draws on one of Laurie’s passions: creating more awareness about the importance of the family dinner to the health and well-being of both children and parents.

We’re all for this crusade, and also appreciate her tips to help make it easier for you all to start, keep, and pass on this tradition in your homes.

We have a Cooking with Kids article on our website offering you ideas for ways you can creatively engage your kids in the kitchen. We’ve found that involving them in the process makes them want to share the meal afterwards all that much more.

And while sharing the responsibilities of cooking with the younger people in your life, introduce them to the fun of using spices. It’s a great way for them to use their creativity and curiosity to dream up new and interesting dishes, which in turn keeps them coming back for more fun and sharing.

This recipe dresses up peas with spices and pasta. It’s a good way to integrate farmer’s market goodies into the lessons in the kitchen, too.

Give it a try and let us know what happens!

Picnic Peas & Pasta Salad

You can add any garden-fresh veggies (like cukes, peppers, green beans, tomatoes) to this salad staple.

Ingredients:
4 cups cooked pasta (bowties work well)
1 cup cooked and cooled green peas
1/4 cup shredded carrot
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon thyme leaf
1 to 2 teaspoons tarragon leaf
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon mustard powder
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Directions:
Combine pasta, peas and carrots together in a serving dish.In a small bowl or jar, whisk together remaining ingredients (except pepper). Pour dressing over pasta combo and mix well. Sprinkle with pepper.

Please share your family meal ideas with us. Did you grow up in a house where this was a priority? How do you make sure you all sit down together in your house? Do you see the benefits?

Father’s Day at the Farmers Market

19 Jun

As we did on Mother’s Day, we headed to the Farmers Market to take some photos of dads enjoying their special day.

We knew it was going to be a fun excursion when this was the first thing we saw.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hope you had a wonderful day, dads!

Guest Post: Sri Lanka Sourcing Trip, by Tony Bedard

15 Jun

Today’s post is by Frontier CEO Tony Bedard, who accompanied Purchasing Manager Kai Stark to visit Well Earth partner SOFA, the Small Organic Farmers Association, in Sri Lanka. For more about SOFA and the Frontier-funded Training Center there, see our website article, Organic Training in Sri Lanka.

At least once a year I try to make a sourcing trip with a member of our purchasing team. I not only get a better understanding of the work of our purchasing staff, but the trips give me firsthand knowledge of our relationships with our grower partners. I can then share what I learn with our employees, our board, the media, and our customers.

Early this year, I accompanied Kai Stark on a trip to Sri Lanka — an island nation off the southeast coast of India. Sri Lanka is roughly half the size of Iowa with seven times as many people.

Until 1972 it was known as Ceylon — the source of true Ceylon cinnamon. Sri Lanka is the center of the Buddhist religion and culture. It’s a very beautiful island with lush tropical forests and a very diverse landscape. It’s also said to have beautiful white beaches, although we didn’t get to see any of those.

The island was prized for its location on a main shipping route early on, and it was colonized by the Dutch, then the Portuguese, and finally the British before gaining its independence as Sri Lanka in 1948. I guess this partly explains why they drive on the wrong side of the road (to us, anyway). Sri Lankans showed us time and again that they had no problem passing into oncoming traffic or driving on the shoulder of the road.

It takes a lot of travel time to get to and from Sri Lanka. On our trip home, we left at what was 9:00 AM Saturday morning back home in Iowa and arrived here at 10:30 PM on Sunday night, worn out by two ten-hour flights, a couple long layovers and another two-hour flight from Dallas.

After a similar long flight on the way there, we landed in Colombo and drove to a city called Kandy, where we met with our supplier partners. The company has a number of facilities around the city of Kandy that process and package cinnamon, cloves, lemon grass, ginger, nutmeg, and teas along with a few other spices and herbs.

While we found their plant and facilities to be very nice and the employees extremely positive, it was even more impressive to see the network of over 2000 small organic farmers — most of whom farm less than two acres of land to support their families. While in the fields, we saw how the farmers grew and processed the nutmeg and cinnamon that we buy.

We’re glad that Frontier’s purchases allow the farmers to earn a 10-15% premium for growing organic products.

One of our primary goals for the trip was to check on the progress of a new training center near Dambulla, in the central part of Sri Lanka. The training center includes roughly 100 acres of experimental farm ground where growers can get both classroom and hands-on training in growing organically and bio-dynamically. During the first year after the center opened, over 120 farmers were trained — some from as far away as Pakistan.

It was a joy and a privilege to see firsthand the impact that our business with them has on the growers and other workers and their families and communities. We can all be proud that our work here at Frontier has such a positive impact on people halfway around the world.

Tony Bedard, far right.

Kai Stark, left.

Check out the Frontier website for more information and a video about this sourcing trip to Sri Lanka.

Mother’s Day at the Farmers Market

8 May


We can’t think of a better combination than

Mother’s Day and the first outdoor Farmers Market of the season.

We hope you all had a beautiful day.

View as a slideshow.

Meet author Terry Walters, and enter to win a copy of CLEAN START

21 Apr

Last summer, we had the pleasure of meeting cookbook author Terry Walters at the Rhinebeck, NY Farmers Market. Terry’s first book, CLEAN FOOD, presented recipes that deliciously explained the benefits of eating locally grown, seasonal, and fresh foods. Her new book, CLEAN START, features 100 exciting new recipes designed to inspire you to make that clean start yourself.

Terry was kind enough recently to take some time out from her busy book tour schedule to answer a few questions for our blog.

Terry, tell us about your earliest realization about clean food — how did it come about for you?

I grew up in a home where we sat down as a family to dinner made from scratch every night, where soda was kept in a removed cabinet for company only. Every now and again we would get lucky and mom would let us pick a “sugar cereal.” I knew the difference between junk food and healthy food, but when I was in college, my father had a heart attack and I discovered that I, too, had high cholesterol.

My family already ate almost no meat, never drank milk, and ate what we thought was a healthy diet. My choice was to go on cholesterol-lowering medicine, or figure out a diet that would allow me to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

My cookbooks are full of the recipes and information I wish someone had given me all those years ago when I was trying to figure out how to make brown rice and kale both satisfying and delicious!

The day we met, your young daughter was helping you with your demo. What is your daughter’s perception of Clean Food? Do you ever have to steer her away from junk food?

That was my youngest daughter you met. She never had baby food. When she was 7 months old she reached across the table, grabbed a roll of brown rice and avocado in nori and gummed it until it was gone! She’s always been a healthy eater, but she’s human too. I served kale and collard greens for dinner for years before my girls gave in and started eating them. Now they are among their favorites.

I’ve never kept foods in the house that I don’t want my girls (or myself, for that matter) to eat. That makes my role more like the cruise director, directing my children to healthy choices, as opposed to the police, always having to say “no.”

We follow the 80/20 rule. At home (80% of the time) we eat clean, so that when we’re out, we can eat whatever we want. My children like the freedom that gives them, but what they don’t realize is that 80% is not only good enough for good health (thankfully), but also enough to influence their tastes and choices the other 20% of the time. We splurge, we treat ourselves and we enjoy a variety of food, but we also talk about how to make healthy choices and empower ourselves with the knowledge to do so. All that said, if you asked my girls what CLEAN FOOD is, they would tell you it’s their mommy’s cookbook!

Terry and her daughter at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market.

Talk to us a little bit about your whole family’s food habits. How do they manage their meals while you’re traveling on book tours and such?

I can tell you that feeding a family-on-the-go is a challenge, and I’m sure many (if not all) of your readers would agree. It’s been clean for my family from the start, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a process and a constant challenge. Even when I’m home, the girls have activities most nights after school, and more often than not I’m picking them up with dinner prepared for them to eat in the car! It’s far from ideal, but I still do my best to make sure it has a rainbow of color and comes from the green kind of plant and not the cement kind of plant!

My traveling for work definitely makes things harder on everyone. Sometimes the choices are not nearly as clean as they would be otherwise, and sometimes they’re even cleaner! In the colder months, I make a lot of soups and stews that I freeze so they can have them easily in my absence. I’m blessed to have a mom that not only helps out when I’m unavailable, but also prepares lots of delicious clean food for my husband and girls.

My oldest daughter likes to create in the kitchen and has a few healthy meals she likes to prepare. My youngest isn’t nearly as comfortable or even interested in cooking, but before I went on my first trip she asked me to teach her how to make her favorite collard greens so she could have them while I was gone. I know they get more take-out and treats in my absence, but I also know that their comfort foods, the meals and recipes they’ll come back to year after year, are healthy and clean.

We watched you at the cooking demo, and you made it look so easy. What’s it like to do cooking demos? Any stories about when things may not have turned out, or you forgot something you needed?

I’ve been teaching for over a decade and I’m a mom, so multi-tasking comes naturally to me. Is there any other way? Talk, chop, talk, stir…it’s what I do! I love connecting with others, benefiting from our shared perspectives and wisdom and, of course, sharing the journey.

There are all sorts of cooking demos – from 2+ hour in-depth classes to 3 ½ minutes on live television to make 3 recipes and get your message across. I love them all. The message that eating clean can be easy, delicious and help you live a great life is what fuels me. If one person leaves my demo with newly gained tools and the confidence that they can improve their health and diet, then I am happy. One demo, one person at a time…that’s how we’ll change the way we nourish ourselves as a nation.

I forget things all the time, but as my mother taught me, “If you put good things in, you’ll get good things out.” Fortunately, that’s been true for me. There have, however, been a couple of tense moments in cooking demos. There was the time when we had 10 minutes left in class to bake the apple crisp. Did you know you can cover a crisp with foil and bake it at 500 degrees? I don’t recommend trying this at home, but it definitely saved me that night!

There was also the time I put the tofu kale lasagna in the oven, the oven switched to self-clean, the door locked, the temperature started to rise and my heart skipped a beat! I kept tugging on the door to no avail. After 15 minutes I discreetly broke the door free and casually said, “Well look at that! The lasagna really got done quickly!”

Finally, my favorite blunder was during a class focused on getting children to eat clean. My daughter thought it would be nice if we co-taught the class, so I asked her to show everyone how to make nori crisps. She laid out all the ingredients, was just about ready to go, and then sneezed all over everything! It was clearly a room full of moms who took instant pity on me, and they said, “Don’t worry about it! It’s fine!” which of course it was absolutely not! Everything was cleared and thrown away, the work surface sanitized and a new batch of ingredients taken out to start all over again. She did a great job, but none of us will ever forget it or let her live it down!

Talk, chop, talk, stir -- the formula for a cooking demo.

Have you noticed any particular “fan favorites” from your demos?

Favorites really depend on the season. When you and I met at the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, the Yellow Plum and Tomatillo Salsa was definitely the hit that day, and many days thereafter! This past winter, people were devouring my Carrot Cashew Miso Spread, the Shallot Fig Spread and the Red Lentil and Turnip Soup with Parsley – all from CLEAN START. More recently, I’ve made dozens of batches of Cocoa Brownies and I guarantee you there have been no complaints!

The Watercress and Fennel Salad with Blood Orange Thyme Vinaigrette is popular, as is are the Stuffed Mochi Dumplings… I could go on and on, and the point just becomes clearer and clearer. We don’t need to sacrifice our good nutrition for convenience. Eating clean is fun, it’s quick, it’s easy and it’s delicious!

The day we met you, you were traveling with our cinnamon. Do you have a favorite recipe for our cinnamon?

Was it Frontier cinnamon or was it cumin? I recall making my Black Bean Salad, which would have used cumin. It could have been any number of Frontier or Simply Organic products. I grind your milk thistle and flax seeds nearly every morning to add to my granola (which is full of Frontier cinnamon and whole nutmeg), I thicken my soups, sauces and even my brown rice pudding with your arrowroot. My favorite always depends on what I’m craving at any particular moment, but I’ve made a lot of friends by gifting my granola recipe! It’s from my first book, CLEAN FOOD, and you can season it with cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves…whatever suits you!

MAPLE NUT GRANOLA

The key to making delicious granola is to bake it at a low temperature for a long time. Of course, a little bit of shredded coconut and a lot of cinnamon and maple syrup help, too! My husband devours this granola every morning and at the end of each week leaves the nearly empty Mason jar on the counter to remind me to make more.

4 cups rolled oats

2 cups crispy brown rice cereal

1 cup toasted sunflower seeds

1 1⁄2 cups shredded dried unsweetened coconut

1 cup sliced almonds

1⁄2 cup pecans, cashews, or walnuts

1 cup raisins

2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

3⁄4 cup canola oil

3⁄4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 250°F.

In large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients. In separate bowl, whisk together oil, syrup and almond extract. Pour wet mixture over dry and stir to coat. Transfer granola to 9 x 12-inch glass casserole, spread evenly and push raisins into granola so they are not on the surface.

Place on top rack of oven and bake 60 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and cool completely to set. When cool, slide spatula along bottom of casserole to release granola. Break into chunks, and store in airtight container.

Makes 10 cups.

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As we’re headed into summer, you may want to try my Black Currant Plum Crisp with hints of nutmeg. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed!

BLACK CURRANT PLUM CRISP

Crisps are so easy to make and so satisfying – whether you’re serving them for breakfast, a snack or dessert. Make sure your plums are ripe, and be sure to select a variety of plum that is more sweet than tart to avoid ending up with an overly tart crisp. A scoop of vanilla rice cream or ice cream is the perfect accompaniment.

FILLING

2 1⁄2 pounds plums (10–12)

1⁄2 cup dried currants

2–3 dashes ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1⁄4 cup maple syrup

1⁄4 cup ivory teff flour

CRISP

1 cup almond meal

1 cup ivory teff flour

1⁄4 cup sliced almonds

Pinch of ground nutmeg

Pinch of sea salt

1⁄4 cup virgin coconut oil

1⁄4 cup maple syrup

1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

PREPARING FILLING

Leaving skins on, halve plums, remove and discard pits and slice into thin wedges (about 1⁄4 inch thick). Place in large mixing bowl and set aside.

In small pot over medium heat, place currants with just enough water to cover, bring to boil and simmer 5 minutes to soften and plump. Drain well and add to bowl with plums. Add nutmeg and salt, and stir. Add maple syrup and teff flour and stir until plums are evenly coated and ingredients are combined. Pour mixture into 8 x8-inch casserole and set aside.

PREPARING CRISP

Using same mixing bowl, combine almond meal, teff flour, almonds, nutmeg and salt. Over low heat, melt coconut oil in small skillet. Remove from heat, whisk in maple syrup and vanilla and pour over flour mixture. Stir to combine and crumble over plum mixture.

Bake 45 minutes or until top is golden brown and plums are soft. Remove from oven, and cool slightly before serving.

Serves 6.

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Visit Terry’s website for more inspiration about making a clean start, recipes, her blog and much more.

She’s on Facebook and Twitter too.

Terry and her publisher, Sterling, have given us 4 copies of CLEAN START to give to you! We’ll randomly choose 4 winners from comments here.  Leave yours by May 5, and you’re eligible.

With farmers’ markets on the horizon (finally!) tell us what produce you’re looking forward to finding at your local market, and how you plan to use it in your own healthy cooking.

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