Frontera Farmer’s Market

So as mentioned previously, on Sunday I went to the Frontera Farmer’s Market which benefitted the Frontera Farmer’s Foundation. It was an incredible event- the food was so fresh. I went with my friend Michael, and we really had a great time. The event was set up in stations, each run by one of the local farms that provides food to Frontera. See, Rick Bayless, owner of Frontera, really supports local agriculture and he likes to focus his menu on what’s in season at the time. 100% of the money we paid to go to this event was donated to these farms so they can increase their yield for Frontera…which is interesting. But I like it. Besides tasting all of the farms’ goodies (at least once…), we also got to watch a cooking demonstration by Rick Bayless himself!

Rick is a really cool guy. He had good things to say on not only local agriculture and being “green” but also on what food means to him in terms of bringing people together. He talked about memorable meals, and how food is not only the topic of countless conversations but how he likes to hosts parties that focus on food and flavors coming together in front of the guests’ eyes.

While he was talking, he demonstrated local ingredients by making roasted poblano gazpacho. I am definitely making this soon. It was so flavorful, and took advantage of the delicious tomatoes that are in season right now. He demonstrated how to skin the roasted poblanos, how to garnish (with chopped hard boiled egg, croutons, cucumber…), and he also went into depth about the ingredients. What really stuck out to me was that he talked about the difference between yellow and white onions, and how white onions are his preference. Also, he talked about how rinsing the onions after cutting into them decreases the strong flavor and also washes away the gases that cause you to cry!( This information would have been helpful to me a day earlier while I was helping my dad prep for his party!) I guess in Mexico they have a word for this called “Deflaming” the onions. I like it!

After the demo, I was downstairs again tasting more food when Rick walked by. Michael was brave and said “hi” and I shook his hand! We were both star-struck…I mean he did win Top Chef Masters ! Anyway, take a look at the event…

^^gazpacho^^

^^Chefs prepping^^

^^Mariachi band^^

^^pretty flowers!!^^

^^Corn meal pound cake- my favorite dessert^^

^^Guac and chips^^

^^Again^^

^^Black bean tamale, and white wine :)^^

^^Fresh vanilla bean soft serve with strawberry rhubarb topping^^
There was also: 
  • lettuce wraps with smoked salmon and asparagus
  • roasted garlic soup
  • my favorite thing: mustard greens with lots of garlic and olive oil. Oh. My. God. The flavor. This dish simply demonstrated the importance of fresh ingredients.
  • Potato Salad with fresh, FRESH herbs
  • Meat stuff…noooo thank you! (Lots of pork and chicken)
  • Beer (Goose Island has a few new varieties…I loved the green line kind!)
  • Strawberry margarita included (At Frontera they use a 1/2 lime as the margarita shaker lid- cool huh!- well, I liked the idea…Attention to detail is really what it’s about. )
  • Wine- I went for the Sauvignon blanc – I believe from New Zealand. It was so crisp and refreshing. I think that is my favorite type of white wine.
  • Bottled Evian Water (why? I didn’t get why they’d have that…I mean this whole event was based on sustainability soo…)

^^The man himself^^

^^Rick Bayless!^^
 So here’s what I bought…
^^Genovese and Lemon basil from the Frontera Family Farm (In Bucktown)^^

^^Strawberries^^
Ok so I mentioned this yesterday, but these strawberries, all small and cute like this, are the way strawberries are meant to be, without all the pesticides and chemicals that makes them blow up 5X their size…
^^Not natural!^^
Ok I’m not gonna go as far as to say I won’t be eating these big strawberries anymore, but I will make an effort to buy the smaller, natural ones when possible. I mean the taste is so much different. Like all of the flavor of the big strawberry packed into a little juicy bite. I recommend going  to a farmer’s market in your area to try them out. But go soon! The season is only 4 weeks long…Please, please go take advantage! Let me know what you think…
And that’s all I have to say about that. (Forest Gump…anyone???)
Onto today’s eats…
The usual breakfast…
^^Oatmeal sweetened with raw agave syrup, and bananas. Side black coffee^^

^^While I ate I iced my foot^^
I love killing at least 2 birds with one stone.
I also read a cooking magazine in the meantime. I mean, I had 15-20 minutes of icing to take care of.
Did 30 minutes of good, sweaty pilates then showered before work.
Lunch was a creation and I loved it.
^^Eggplant and zucchini parmesan (?) sandwich^^
I combined grilled eggplant and zucchini (Thanks dad) and ricotta cheese (riggot) and some homemade pasta sauce (gravy) on a toasted sandwich thin. There was also some parmesan cheese. It was as messy as it was delicious. And filling.

^^The best riggot we’ve found in a while.^^
A while later I had 1/2 grapefruit and…
^^Strawberry greek yogurt with banana, cashews, and almonds^^
^^YUM!^^
For dinner I picked at pizza my dad made like last time, with his homemade whole wheat crust…this time with pesto and red pepper and lots of fresh mozzarella. 
I also made this BBQ crispy tofu salad.

^^See that caramelization??!!^^
Crispy Crunch Tofu Salad
Ingredients:
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1/4 cup chopped red pepper (or orange, or yellow)
1/2 cup red onion, slivered or chopped
1/4 cup halved grapes
1/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 block firm tofu, cubed (1/4 inch)
1/4 cup BBQ sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
Preheat oven to 400. Toss cubed tofu in bbq sauce in bowl. Pour onto sprayed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, toss, then 15 more minutes. It will be caramelized and crunchy crispy. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to balance the sweetness of the BBQ sauce.
While that’s going, toss the rest together. Add the tofu once cooled.
^^I also made some barley, just to have for all week and add to salads and such.^^
So I have some great news on my foot. It first off feels much better today. All that icing and resting is paying off! I also went to the foot doctor to basically confirm what I thought…I hurt it due to poor support, and my doctor thinks that if I really rest and ice, I should be good to run by Tuesday…maybe just a couple miles but still…SO excited about this! My 1/2 marathon isn’t out of the question! I think when I start up again next week, I will more evenly combine swimming, biking, and running to keep up my cardio but not hurt my foot. I will also make sure to ice bath NIGHTLY. Just to be safe. After all this work I’d be really upset to not be able to run…Now I’m just getting repetitive.
Ok hope everyone had a great day! XO 🙂
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This entry was posted in basil, cheese, Fruit, grains, markets, oatmeal, Running, sandwiches, tofu, yogurt. Bookmark the permalink.

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