08 January, 2011

First Time at a Farmer's Market

Check out my finds at the Pearl Farmer's Market this morning! Everything offered there was from no more than 150 miles away from San Antonio, and most items offered were organic.
I was surprised to find produce I could actually use in recipes I already know by heart. It was a little pricey, and I did end up going to HEB afterwards to pick up a few other things that aren't sold there, which gave me a chance to double-check the price differences.

For $41.50, we got:

  • 16oz local honey ($7.50)- I've given up my afternoon sodas, and local honey in my tea is supposed to help relieve my allergy sufferings (Mountain Cedar Fever- yuck!)
  • 1 bunch of carrots ($3)
  • 2 Portabellas ($5)
  • about 16 tomatoes ($6)
  • And the prize of the day- 2lbs Grass Fed Beef from about 20 miles away ($16) Besides Sun Harvest and ONE HEB, I haven't found anywhere with grass-fed beef that aren't just T-bones.
  • Oh, and if you're doing the calculations, my husband may have gotten excited and bought a freshly made kolache or 2 while we were there
Because we spent less than $100 total on our weekly grocery bill, and due to the laid-back and non-snooty nature of the people with booths in the Farmer's Market, I think I am slowly getting the husband on board the Organic/Local boat. Honestly, it's not that much more expensive. Our local state-wide grocer, HEB, offered the vegetables for only $0.75 less. I think the trip alone was worth the extra $3-4 we probably spent.

I did forget to mention that while we were visiting family in the Rio Grande Valley, we picked up some nearly-always-in-season oranges (the in-laws have orange trees in their yard and it's all we can do to escape with less than 40 oranges the 4 or 5 times we visit between August and February). We also stopped at a fruit stand on the way back to San Antonio and picked up a bag of 8 sweet onions for $3 and a bag of tangerines for $2. All of the produce has been GREAT so far, and are keeping well.

So, you may be asking, what's on this week's menu? I won't lie, we've had some pre-made pizza dough sitting in the fridge awhile, so we'll probably use leftover mozzarella and slap some canned tomato sauce on it and see what we get one of these "I'm too tired to even get up and look for the remote" nights.

But here's the "good stuff":

  • Crockpot Roast: makes an awesome stew the second day and all I have to do is chop a few things up before I go to work. Ingredients: carrots, potatoes, onion, beef, beef broth, and usually a can of french onion soup, but I figure that if I pre-saute the onions and deglaze them with a little red wine, I could probably mimic dumping a can of Campbell's in there. And since canned foods are officially a no-no now (unless they are already in the cupboard), it'll have to do. Suggestions? Besides trying to cut down a french onion soup recipe to 8oz?
  • Grilled Tomato Soup with Ham and Mozzarella Portabellas "sandwiches"
Really going to have to avoid soups and stews next week, didn't realize that's 3 meals in a row with soup recipes. See you on the other side of the weekend!

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