This is National Farmers Market week – how exciting!!!  What better time to take a little trip to the local market.  If you need recipes check out the following website sohttp://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/me , for example here is a great recipe to make with your kids.  And why not add some cantaloup from the market – it’s delicious!

Fruit Kabobs with Yogurt Dip

1 cup

watermelon (chunks)

1 cup

pineapple (chunks)

1 cup

grapes, red seedless

1 cup

strawberries (stemmed)


kiwi (peeled and cut in quarters)


bamboo skewers (6 inches long)

1 cup

yogurt, light strawberry


1. Place fruit chunks on bamboo skewers. Place fruit kabobs on platter.

2. Place light strawberry yogurt in bowl. Serve kabobs with yogurt on the side.

 I think one of the best ways to introduce healthy foods into your children’s diet is to take a trip to the farmers market.  One of the things that kids love is seeing new things and picking out new things.  HavIMG_1592e your child find a new food they have not tried and then let them help you prepare it at home.  My personal experience with kids is the less you do to the food the better they like it.  That is why the above recipe is fun – they can help pick out a melon, help you cut it up (depending on age) and they can put the fruit on the skewer.  

Another idea is to allow your kids to try fresh green beans without even cooking them (wash them first), then let them eat raw or dip into a veggie dip.  Cherry tomatoes are abundant at the market and kids love to eat these as finger foods.  The best way to tempt  kids try new things is for you to try it first.  Kids learn by watching so if they see parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles eating a variety of foods so will they.

 Have fun this weekend and take a trip to the market.

Below – ML Susan made Black Bean Summer Pasta at the Webb City Farmers Market last Saturday.  Watch for the recipe later this week.  It’s perfect for a Farmers Market meal!


Guests of the Ladies, Mary Ann Pennington and Julie Graue with Extension, are making Farmers Market Salsa tomorrow at the Webb City Farmers Market.  You’ll find almost all the ingredients at your local farmers market this week!


Farmers Market Salsa

Serves 4

1/2 cup fresh raw or cooked sweet corn*

1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup fresh tomatoes, diced*

1/4 cup onion, diced*

1/4 cup green pepper, diced*

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 cloves garlic, finely minced*

1/4 cup picante sauce

Baked corn tortilla chips or cut up vegetables for dipping

Wash your hands well. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Drain before serving. Serve with chips or veggies. Refrigerate leftovers immediately.

*Available now at the market.

Crisp Cucumber Salsa

 crisp cucumber salsa

2 cups finely chopped seeded peeled cucumber

1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley

1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped

4 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro

1 garlic clove, minced or pressed

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt


Place all ingredients in bowl and mix gently.  Refrigerate and serve with tortilla or fresh vegetables.

The cherry tomatoes are finally coming in from the field and out to your local farmers market.  They’re great for snacking and make a flavorful addition to any plate.  They’re also great for stuffing.  Market Lady Trish Reed shares her secret to hollowing out a cherry tomato and a refreshing filling (that also is dandy with pita chips as a dip).

cut top of tomato

Cut the stem end off the cherry tomato.

Take a 1/8 teaspoon measuring spoon,

and starting just inside the cut, hollow it out.  tip tomato

As simple as that!

final tomato


cucumber tomato

Cucumber Dill Dip

8 oz cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons mayonnaise

1/2 cup peeled cucumbers, finely chopped

2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped

4 teaspoons minced fresh dill

Combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth.  Stir in cucumber, onion, and dill.  Mix well.  Refrigerate until served.  Serve with pita chips, tortilla chips or use as a spread on crackers.  It also makes a lovely stuffing for cherry tomatoes.

Put the dip mixture into a zip lock bag, seal and cut the tip off of one corner.  It the bag like a pastry bag, squeeze the mixture into the tomato.


Many markets have growers specializing in herb plants like Frederickson Farms at Webb City and PT Gardens at Farmers Market of the Ozarks in Springfield.

I purchased an apple mint plant from Fredrickson Farms at the Webb City Farmer’s Market earlier this year.  This is my first experience growing mint.  I planted it in a large pot since my research showed it can be invasive.  Apple mint has bright green leaves with a woolly texture and makes a nice garnish.  It has a slight apple scent and a mild, fruity flavor.  I have been crushing a few leaves and adding them to the tea bags when I steep a pitcher of iced tea.  It makes a refreshing summer drink.  I sometimes add apple juice and/or cranberry apple juice to the tea pitcher to add variety.  Others have said apple mint is  a nice addition to lemonade.    I have been adding sugar or sweetener but I am wondering if some leaves of the Stevia plant would add the right amount of sweetness.   I purchased a Stevia plant at the market last week and will be experimenting with it as soon as it has a chance to develop a few more leaves.  Does anyone have other suggestions for using apple mint?

carolyn smith

Market Lady Carolyn Smith


Oriental Cole Slaw with fresh from the market ingredients – Napa and Chinese Cabbage, onions and broccoli.

Whether you use Napa Cabbage or Chinese Cabbage for it’s mild flavor or regular head cabbage for it’s bargain price for quantity, you’re going to love this Cole Slaw from our Market Lady Trish Reed.

Oriental Cole Slaw

1/4 cup butter
2 (3 oz) pkg Oriental flavor ramen noodle soup (reserve seasoning packets)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 lb cabbage (shredded)*
8 oz broccoli crowns (chopped in small pieces)*
1/2 cup chopped green onion*
1/2 cup salad oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup white sugar or equivalent sugar substitute

 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl in microwave.  Crush the ramen noodles into small pieces.  Stir crushed noodles and almonds into butter.  Spread mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven until brown and crunchy (about 8 to 10 minutes).  Allow to cool completely.

 In a large bowl, toss together shredded cabbage, broccoli crowns and green onions.  Whisk together salad oil, vinegar, sugar or sugar substitute, soy sauce and reserved seasoning packets in a separate bowl.  Stir the noodle mixture into the dressing and pour over Coleslaw mixture, tossing well.

* in season now at a farmers market near you!


Trish elbow deep in cabbage at the market.


To be at the farmers market last Saturday and see the beautiful fruits and vegetables gave me hope that summer is just around the corner.  I had almost given up hope as I listened to the rain beating down lately.  We are truly blessed to have professional farmers that are able to overcome the weather challenges of southwest Missouri and grow beautiful fruits and vegetables.

 Recently I did a cooking demonstration that focused on Cooking for One or Two (people).  Sometimes the quantity offered at the market seems a bit overwhelming for a small household.  So think about multiple uses for that food.  For example, when purchasing a basket of tomatoes you may use them in a salad, a sauce, sliced eaten alone, a BLT or taco, or even tomato and cottage cheese.  Planning ahead will prevent waste from your purchase.  Looking at the many vegetables at market Saturday I could see multiple uses:  salads, stir fry’s, roasted, a simple soup. 

 Another idea suitable for many vegetables is to preserve them for later use by blanching and freezing.  Blanching is a process that stops the enzyme action in the vegetable and will help preserve the color and texture when it is frozen.  To blanch a vegetable, drop the vegetable in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes, remove and place in ice cold water to stop the cooking process and then drain.  Once the vegetable is drained you can place in a freezer bag, remove as much air as possible and freeze.  This is a great way to package in servings for 1 or 2.

The following recipe is so easy and  can be reduced or multiplied to fit your family size. Place the meat and vegetables in foil or parchment paper and bake or grill until the meat is done.  The freshness of the market vegetables will make this a delicious simple dinner.  Feel free to substitute with what’s available at your market.

Chicken en Papillote with Garden Vegetables

Serves 4       

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (6 oz each) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper 
  • parchment paper 
  • 1 whole lemon, thinly sliced 
  • 4 oz baby zucchini, quartered lengthwise 
  • 4 oz baby carrots 
  • 4 oz cherry tomatoes, quartered 
  • 16 asparagus spears, trimmed 
  • 16 fresh morel mushrooms 
  • 1/4 cup shredded basil, plus more for garnish 
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 


1. Preheat oven to 425F. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place each piece of chicken in the center of a 14-inch square piece of parchment paper (or foil) and top with lemon slices, zucchini carrots, tomatoes, asparagus, morels, and basil, dividing evenly. Sprinkle each with 3 tablespoons wine and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.

2. Bring the edges of the parchment to the center and fold together twice to seal tightly, leaving space between parchment and contents. Place the 4 packets on a large baking sheet.

3. Bake until parchment is browned on edges and center puffs up, 14 to 16 minutes. Remove from oven, put each packet on a dinner plate, and serve, letting people pierce the center to reveal the food.

Nutritional Facts per serving

Calories         355.3 calories

Fat                  11.9 g

Saturated fat2.1 g

Cholesterol   108.9 mg

Sodium          516.6 mg

Carbohydrates          13.3 g

Total sugars              4.4 g

Dietary fiber              4.9 g

Protein                       41 g

From:  http://recipes.womenshealthmag.com/Recipe/chicken-en-papillote-with-garden-vegetables.aspx