Saturday, May 10, 2008

To Market To Market: Farmers Market Fresh Salad & Local Italian Pork Sausage

I flew back to Calgary this weekend and one of the first stops I always try and make is to the Calgary's farmers market. I don’t think I realized what great local products we have. From the local organic Italian pork sausage from Sunworks Farm to Sylvan Star’s gouda and gruyere cheese, these products are fantastic! My school course at the moment is called Eco-Nutrition and we are learning about the benefits of eating local and organic. I know I know, you hear it all the time, local, organic…but what does it really mean? Organic meaning free of pesticides, chemicals etc, local being products made, grown or produced near your area. When I first started school I even snubbed the idea of local and organic because I didn’t quite understand what it meant. An apples an apple right? I was wrong! I truly understood what it meant when last year at one of the Vancouver farmer’s market I tasted the crispiest sweetest apple, the ripest juiciest pear you could ever imagine and a tomato that tasted like a TOMATO. Sweet as candy I had never tasted anything like it, I can’t even tell you, it was outrageous! I literally had my paper bag of sungold cherry tomatoes and walked around popping them in my mouth like candy. I won’t preach because I rolled my eyes every time I heard “organic” at first, but the proof is in the product. What could be better then an apple picked fresh off the tree and sold to you days later? I can definitely taste the difference between that and a waxy apple that has been sprayed with chemicals, picked unripened and then gassed to ripen, sent across the country and sold to you a month later. I must admit I don’t eat local and organic all the time, but I definitely appreciate my food a lot more when I do! Today’s dinner incorporated products I found at the Calgary farmer’s market, from the Italian sausage to the whole grain baguette to the beets, apples and green beans, it was a nice light meal that would be perfect for those hot summer nights.

Sun gold cherry tomatoes from last years Vancouver's Trout Lake farmers market. I can hardly wait, next week is when Vancouver's farmers markets start to make their appearances!

Farmers Market Fresh Salad
Favorite greens (spring mix, spinach, baby romaine)
Shredded raw beet
Shredded raw carrot
Green beans, blanched
Apple, julienne
Avocado, diced
Feta, crumbled
Favorite vinaigrette (I used my fave homemade red wine garlic dijon dressing)

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