Fall and Winter Produce Now Available at Farmers Markets!

Now that it is beginning to be mid-November, fall and some winter produce varieties are popping up at local farmers markets. I work for a local DMV vendor, Number 1 Sons, and usually by this time of year we have moved on from cucumber pickles to other root veggie ferments, such as daikon, but it has been so warm that the cucumber pickle has stuck around longer than usual, which is ok by our customers!

Number 1 Sons stand 🙂

More recently, squash in all varieties have been spotted at my weekend farmers market, which I love integrating into main and side dishes! I just recently saw Deb Perlman, aka the author of the wonderful food blog Smitten Kitchen during her recent cookbook tour in Washington, DC and one of my favorite squash or sweet potato recipes is her Miso Sweet Potato and Broccoli Bowl! I have used butternut squash or sweet potatoes in this recipe and both are wonderful!

My other favorites that have made their way back to my local farmers market recently have been cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts and cauliflower. I have been adding cauliflower to many recipes recently, including ricing it and putting it as the base to some of my curries. One of my best friends, Amanda, has a wonderful cauliflower recipe, so as soon as I get that from her and try it, I will also share! Garlic is involved, which is my soul food.

My bounty from last weekend’s market 🙂

I love this time of year because, as my sister would say, it is soup and stew season! The past few weeks I have been making chili, soups and curries, and heartier, warm entrees for our meals. For some reason, during fall and winter months, a cold lunch or dinner option just doesn’t do it for me, I need something warm and comforting. There are ways to make comfort food healthier this time of year, hopefully cutting down on the winter weight gain.

  1. Try soups and stews that are broth based as opposed to cream based. I know, broccoli cheddar soup is really tasty, but I have been leaning more toward recipes that are broth-based, because I can choose a low-sodium options and reduce my calories associated with some cream-bases recipes. I usually substitute lower calorie options in recipes in general, but this may help you think about some recipes in a more health-conscious manner.
  2. Try substituting hearty veggies in place of meat for some recipes. My husband has been turning to more plant-based alternatives more recently in his diet, so I have been experimenting more with tofu, tempeh, and just more veggies in general. I made a vegetarian minestrone two weeks ago and it was very hearty and filling!
  3. Try dairy substitutes. Rarely do my husband and I integrate traditional dairy in recipes, especially cow’s milk, but try out some dairy alternatives, such as vegan cheese or cashew milk! PS: Cashew milk ice cream is pretty great. 🙂

I already shared one of my favorite curry recipes, from Minimalist Baker, but today I am going to share an easy appetizer or main dish featuring mushrooms! I have a love/hate relationship with NYT Food, mostly because I get their daily email updates, so I usually end up sending myself at least two of their daily recipes to myself each week. This stuffed portabella recipe is super easy, vegan-friendly, and very hearty!

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms (adapted from NYT Food)

Please note: I usually double the spinach in this recipe and you will usually have a little of the stuffing left over, depending on the size of the portabellas, so that is amazing in an omelet the next day!

Photo credit = NYT Food


4 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

½ teaspoon sea salt, divided

½ teaspoon black pepper, divided

2 medium-sized shallots, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped

2 cups spinach, chopped and tightly packed

¼ cup vegetable or mushroom broth

1 ½ cups cooked cannellini beans

2 tablespoons flat-leaved parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, plus more if desired

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, plus more if desired


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the mushroom caps on it, upside down. Whisk together 3 teaspoons olive oil with the balsamic vinegar, ¼ teaspoon sea salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Brush the mushrooms with the mixture and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until tender.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil and cook the shallots for 5 minutes, until beginning to brown. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the spinach and broth. Remove from heat as soon as the spinach begins to wilt.

In a large bowl, mix together the shallot-spinach mixture, beans, parsley, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast and the remaining sea salt and pepper. Divide the mixture among the mushrooms. Sprinkle the tops with some extra breadcrumbs and nutritional yeast for more crunch, if desired. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until heated throughout. Serve hot.

Nutritional analysis per serving (4 servings)

385 calories; 6 grams fat; 0 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 3 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 62 grams carbohydrates; 16 grams dietary fiber; 8 grams sugars; 26 grams protein; 308 milligrams sodium

Post by Sarah


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