Archive for the ‘Beans’ Category


It’s always about this time of the year that I start to get antsy for the growing season to hurry up and make it’s appearance. Maybe because of all the seed catalogs I’m thumbing through, the farmers’ markets workshops/conferences I’m attending for my job, the diminishing frozen vegetables in my deep freeze or maybe because I’m just tired of the cold weather already – and it’s only December!

The good news is that there are a number of farmers markets that remain open year-round and offer a wealth of local products for your family to choose from.  Check out this list of markets for a winter market near you.

Baldwin Lentil Soup
from my mother
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 cups water
1 cup dry green lentils
1 red potato, peel and dice
1 large tomato, peel and dice
1 small celery stalk, diced
1 small carrot, slivered
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
½ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

In a deep soup pot, saute shallots and onions in heated oil. Add water and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, adding more water if needed to keep the 3-cup level of liquid. Cook lentils until barely tender. Add all other vegetables and seasonings. Continue cooking at least 20 minutes longer. Fork mash or puree mixture. Serve warm, garnished with croutons or chives.

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I made a light and tasty pasta salad at the Aurora Farmers Market that includes fresh products that can be found at a local farmers market.  Watch our cooking video from the market visit and try making this easy Garden Salad for your family this week.

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Fresh edamame from Echigo Farms

I am so excited to be using Echigo Farm’s edamame tomorrow during one of the three cooking demos at the Greater Springfield Farmers Market.  I met Mark, his wife Kumiko and their beautiful children more than a year ago at the Christian County Farmers Market.  When I saw they had edamame for sell at their vendor stall…I was impressed.  But, as I learned more about their farm and all the beautiful Japanese variety vegetables they also grew, I knew they were going to make a SPLASH with Ozarks’ consumers.

This organic farm sells products at a variety of outlets- learn more on their blog or Facebook page.

My son loves to snack on edamame and for all your mothers out there- edamame packs a healthy nutritional punch you can feel good about!

Below is a recipe incorporating edamame, from the farm itself.  I will be demonstrating this recipe at the market on Saturday, July 9.  Come out and sample edamame and my sweet corn and tomato dishes.

Mark and Kumiko among their edamame

Spicy Edamame “azuma-ni”
Courtesy of Echigo Farms

Here is a delicious traditional Japanese recipe for edamame boiled with sugar and soy sauce:

Uncooked edamame in the pod (1/2 pound bag)
Dried red hot pepper (1) (or cayenne pepper to taste)
Vegetable oil (1/2 tbsp)
Soy sauce (1 tbsp)
Sugar (1tbsp)

Snip off both ends of the edamame pods, and wash them quickly in cold water.  Cut the pepper in half lengthwise; remove and dispose of the seeds.  Heat the oil and lightly sauté the pepper. Add the edamame and coat thoroughly in the pepper oil. Add the soy sauce, sugar, and 1/3 cup water.  Cover and cook on low flame for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Point: The sauce cooks inside the pod–it’s delicious when enjoyed together with the beans!  You can leave out the pepper for a mild version of the recipe.

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Green Beans from the Market

Green beans are one of my favorite parts of the summer season.  Fresh and tender green beans make a perfect pair to any meal.  Lovingly hand-picked local beans are much more likely to be unbroken and unbruised, keeping moisture and nutrients in.  And, as usual for tender summer veggies, nothing tastes as good! But, there are some things you should know about green beans.

SEASON: Late June through September

GROWING: Beans produce numerous harvests from the same plants, and take well to summer heat if watered enough.

SHOPPING TIP:  Good fresh beans should be firm and SNAP when you bend them.  You can buy ‘em big or skinny, but avoid ones that have big bulgy beans under the skin, which might mean it’s overgrown and tough.

VITAMINS AND MINERALS: Very high in vitamin K, which helps blood clotting and bone strength, plus vitamins A, C, some potassium and iron.

STORAGE: In a bag in the fridge, green beans will last 4-5 days before they begin to loose their crispness and nutrients.

Kelsie and Lane at the Marshfield Farmers Market

– Rinse in cool water, then snap the stem-end off.  No need to snip the curved, pointed end – it’s perfectly tender, and pretty too.  Modern varieties are bred without strings along the bean-side, but with an heirloom variety, you may need to peel it away when removing stem end.

– Steaming preserves vitamins more than boiling.  Place prepped beans in a steamer or strainer set into a large pot of water.  Cover and bring water to a boil.  Test one after 5 minutes; larger beans may need longer.

– Stir-frying, a.k.a sautéing: heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over fairly high heat, & add prepped beans.  Stir almost constantly for about 3 minutes, until they turn emerald green & are just cooked through.

– Chilled for salads:  Steam beans, and once beans are barely cooked – still a little crispy – run them under cold water to cool and set color.  Spread out on a dishtowel, gently patting dry.

Lane serving up hungry folks at the Greater Polk County Farmers Market

– Serve chilled over green salad with toasted slivered almonds and your favorite dressing (simple vinaigrette is nice, as are buttermilk or ranch).

– Toss barely-cooked beans in a spoonful of pesto, tapenade, or aioli.

– Freshen up a holiday classic for summer – sauté green beans with a handful of quartered mushrooms.  Stir in a dollop of sour cream, season, and top with a sprinkling of canned onion rings.

I’ve got a great salad recipe for you that can be prepared in a snap!  Watch for the green bean cooking demo at the Greater Springfield Farmers Market on July 19.  Come on out to the market and watch our demo and learn about local foods.

French Green Bean Salad
½ pound prepped green beans                                 2 T. red wine vinegar

Big handful of cherry tomatoes                                 ¼ cup olive oil

1 T. minced shallot, or red or white onion           1 T minced tarragon

In a bowl big enough for everything, stir together vinegar, olive oil, shallot or onion, tarragon (or other herb), and salt and pepper to taste.  Cut tomatoes in half (or use diced regular tomato), and stir into dressing.  Steam beans until just cooked – keep them on the crisp side.  Cool off as above.  Just before serving, stir beans into tomatoes & serve (if you do it ahead, the beans will go army-green, not so pretty).

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Lebanon Farmers Market

The Market Lady, Lane McConnell, will visit the Aurora Farmers Market in Aurora, Mo., Wednesday, June 29.  The Market Lady and video crew will begin at 8 a.m., with one cooking demonstration incorporating products from the market and will be interviewing producers and consumers for various other segments.

The purpose of The Market Lady Project is to educate consumers about eating healthy, locally produced food found at their farmers market.

“I strive to inform folks on the ease of preparing homemade meals for their families through shopping at the market,” said McConnell.  “Consumers can log on to our website or Facebook page to view short videos of interviews with the farmers that grow our food, topics such as food safety, organic, naturally grown and learn how to cook simple meals.”

“People need good news about local produce and idea’s on fixing it,” said Market Master Trish Matheny. “Home grown, home town.”

Below is the recipe that The Market Lady will be preparing at the market. Be sure and come out to the Aurora Farmers Market on June 29 to meet the Market Lady and video producer and Aurora native Kelsie Young.

Garden Spaghetti Salad
from the White Harvest Seed Co., Hartville, Mo

8 oz. spaghetti, broken into 2 pieces
1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 Cups cooked fresh corn
2 Cups cooked fresh lima beans
2 medium tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped
3/4 Cup thinly sliced green onions|
1/3 Cup minced fresh parsley
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, then divided

1/3 Cup olive or vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. cider or red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
Dash of pepper

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I love when I have others pass on recipes to me to try. I received this recipe from a new seed company in the Ozarks, White Harvest Seed Co. from Hartville, Mo.  The family-owned business specializes in heirloom seeds and works with folks on ways to build their own backyard gardens.

This recipe is not only healthy, but packed full of flavor!  I hope you enjoy this fresh spaghetti salad.

Garden Spaghetti Salad , from White Harvest Seed Co. Hartville, Mo            
Makes 10-12 servings

8 oz. spaghetti, broken into 2 pieces
1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil
2 Cups cooked fresh or frozen corn
2 Cups cooked fresh or frozen lima beans
2 medium tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped
3/4 Cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 Cup minced fresh parsley
6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled, then divided

1/3 Cup olive or vegetable oil
3 Tbsp. cider or red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
Dash of pepper

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; rinse in cold water and drain. Place in a large bowl; toss with oil. Add the next five ingredients; stir in 3/4 of the bacon. In a small bowl, whisk all dressing ingredients. Pour over spaghetti mixture; toss gently. Garnish with remaining bacon. Serve immediately or chill.

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