Saturday, October 11, 2008

Punk rock died when the first kid said...

Despite my morning grumpiness, the sun, perfect blue sky and not-quite-chilly temp made me glad to be a vegetable obsessive, rather than the sunglass-wearing aging punk I sat across from on the train back to Brooklyn. Nothing wrong with his way, of course, just that fiddling with the safety pins on a black hoody while reading Barthes (whom I recognized by the author photo alone - thanks, liberal arts education!) just doesn't strike me as the way to get the most out of such a lovely morning. Though shuffling through a crowded market with aching, laden shoulders may not appeal to lots of folks either, I suppose.
Greens greens greens:
1 bunch beets with greens
1 (gigantic) bunch Swiss chard
1 bunch dinosaur (lacinato) kale
1/3 lb. mixed salad greens
1 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
1 head celery
2 1/2 lbs. carrots
2 lbs. German butterball potatoes
1 lb. seedless grapes - green Lakemont and purple Jupiter
6 lbs. mixed apples (Empire, Gold rush, Macoun, Gala)
2 Bosc pears
1 pint strawberries (?!?!)

Total spent: $56

Being on a budget at the market always requires sacrifices: today, I gave up on getting tomatoes, and had to forego goat cheese in favor of eggs and bread. Though I suppose there was no question of whether or not to buy the strawberries once I saw them, which are some of the best I've had all year...and will be perfect over our favorite coconut milk ice cream for dessert tonight. Beets always make me feel like a smart shopper, though, since they're two vegetables for the price of one.

The Brussels sprouts were an impulse buy as I was still in the shallows of the market - they're not really an economical choice for the household since the photo assistant won't eat them. But if buttered Brussels sprouts and toast for lunch at 11 a.m. are wrong, I don't want to be right!

It's become the time of year when hearty greens make it into every meal - blanched and chopped in tacos instead of lettuce, added to chilis and soups, and sauteed with garlic and olive oil to accompany just about anything. Tonight I'll probably have garlic-sauteed beet greens (my current fave!) along with roasted potatoes and veggie sausage for dinner. My friend Amanda makes a yummy dish with lacinato kale, lemon, and I think red pepper flakes - I'll try that this week.

And of course, given the tough economic times (which for me have nothing to do with Wall Street, rather the increase in my monthly student loan payment for culinary school), I'll save the stems from all the greens and stir-fry them with tofu at the end of the week, like I did last night. Not the tastiest dish in the world, but good if it's spicy enough, healthful with brown rice, and frugal.

One of my favorite greens dishes lately is toasted English muffin halves topped with (in this order) goat cheese, minced chives, garlic-sauteed chiffonade-cut greens (chard is ideal), a butter-fried egg each, and more minced chives on top. The chives may seem optional, but they absolutely make this dish - combined with the goat cheese they elevate an ordinary breakfast combo into a dinner-worthy meal. Tomatoes on the side are an excellent accompaniment and predictably, I precede this with a big green salad.

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