Building Community Around Food
Earth Eats recently took a visit to the Bloomington, Indiana Winter Farmers Market at the Harmony School gymnasium. We found a plethora of locally-grown foods: winter greens, squash, root vegetables, mushrooms, and (the most popular item among the people we talked to) cheese.
The winter farmers market acts not only as a place for locals to go and purchase the tastiest foods of the season, but it also provides a platform for consumers to interact with the local growers and learn more about where their food comes from.
The suppliers also get the chance to educate consumers. Mandy Corey, owner and operator of Schact Farms, comments on the relationship between market goer and provider. “People are really invested in us and what we do. They’re kind of our cheerleaders.”
As one market-goer puts it, “It’s not just money and food exchanging hands, it’s community being built.”
Quinoa, The Super Food
I didn’t see quinoa for sale at the market, but it’s easy to pick up a bag from the grocery store. We got this bag of red quinoa from the Double Oak Farm store in Columbus, Indiana.
Quinoa is a seed. It’s high in protein, but not only that, it’s a complete protein, which means it also contains a balanced set of essential amino acids. It’s also high in iron, dietary fiber, and it’s gluten-free. You can sprout the stuff, too, and unlike the 12 hours is takes to sprout wheat, it only takes quinoa 2-4 hours to grow its tendrils.
Just call quinoa super food!
Cook it with garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper to get some extra taste. It’s tasty served in a salad, or add it as some stuffing in omelets or peppers.
Later-Winter Soup With Turkey And Quinoa
We like to think of this recipe as a big pot of leftovers. Chef Orr shredded some smoked turkey and added veggies from the root cellar – carrots, collard green, leeks, turnips, and parsnips.
Kumquats add some color and a zing of citrus. Their bitterness pair well with the smokiness of the turkey.
- 2 quarts turkey broth
- 2 cup shredded smoked turkey
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 1/4 cup water
- 8-12 kumquats
- 3/4 cup diced carrots
- 3/4 shredded collard greens
- 1 onion, diced
- olive oil
- With the quinoa, add olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper to a pot.
- Add water and bring to a simmer. Continue adding water as necessary. Cook until the sprouts burst forth.
- In another pot, combine broth, turkey, kumquats, and vegetables. Simmer for 30-40 minutes
- Add cooked quinoa toward the end of the cooking process.
Lima Bean Soup Or Ragut
Cooking beans from dry may take longer, but we think it’s worth it in the end. “The thing with cooking beans from dry is that you can inject a lot of flavor into the beans,” says Chef Daniel Orr.
He starts off with some olive oil and garlic in a pan and then, “This is one of my secrets,” once the garlic starts to brown, he adds rosemary for a nice rustic flavor. You can reuse this trick when you’re trying to spruce up some canned tomato sauce. “It will taste like you’ve been cooking it for hours!”
However, you certainly can pre-soak them if you like. They will cook faster that way. To do this, add one part beans to three parts water and soak them for 6 hours before you start cooking.
Whatever you do, make sure to pick through the Lima beans and remove non-bean materials before you start cooking. Also, rinse beans to wash off any “insect material.”
- 1/2 pound washed Lima beans
- 1-2 tablespoons minced garlic
- olive oil
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 15 oz. can chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 chopped onion (red or white)
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots (other root vegetables of your choice)
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 1/2 – 3 cups water
- In a large pot with olive oil, toast the garlic. Add leaves from the rosemary sprig once garlic has browned.
- Add beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped onion, carrots, bay leaves, and water. (Err on the side of adding too little water at first. You can always add more later, but you can’t take it out!)
- Bring to a boil, then simmer until beans become soft.
- Serve as a soup or a sauce over fish.