Saturday, August 30, 2008

pea shoots as salad base

shadowbrook hadn't sold out of their pea shoots by the time i got to the farmers' market last sunday. at 10:15. (it starts at ten.) a quarter pound costs 2.50 and fills most of a re-used produce bag.

i like using them as the base for a salad, and without any other vegetables. i tossed these with some citrus ginger dressing and let sit for about an hour before serving. meanwhile, i mashed, not too much, a package of tofu with some of the same dressing. before serving, i layered the tofu onto the bed of shoots, followed by sliced almonds, black sesame seeds, and one last dash of dressing.

this was a healthy salad that served eight (as part of a larger meal, of course) and cost less than five dollars.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

mori-nu tofu only 1.29 at wagner's

still not sure why this is so cheap there; there being wagner's at 33rd & a. i think this is around half the price of anywhere else in town. the tofu is in the produce section; refrigerated, even though it's shelf-stable for a year or two.

i never noticed the packaging had a picture of lasagna on it. fantastic! vegan velveeta!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

cheese curds at the dairy store

while not as common in this part of midwest, fresh cheese curds are a popular snack in areas with large cheese- production operations. these are cheddar cheese curds from the dairy store at unl's east campus, and i bought them today. they're the curds that could be pressed into the familiar block form, and aged to a more mature cheddar flavor. they're lighter, saltier, and more fun.

since these are fresh in format (so fresh since they're produced in the building you're buying them in), they're not available every day. which of course makes them even more fun. i'll post with more warning next time. if you know someone in town that grew up in dairyland, usa, you might want to let them know a favorite childhood snack will pop up again soon. the half pound above: two dollars.

Monday, August 11, 2008

farmers' market postcards to you

i'll take a picture of it all after cooking, but all this produce is so pretty, i had to post some food pr0n.

it was a great farmers' market yesterday morning. the recent ridiculously hot weather meant all kinds of fantastic produce, yet the weather yesterday was much more temperate, which made the browsing much more enjoyable. top: lemongrass, okra and leeks. bottom: more eggplant, purple bell peppers, some fresh beans in the prettiest pods.

also got some yellow cherry tomatoes that deserve their own post.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

feed me, seymour: dragonfruit

a reminder to keep your eyes open in the produce department in super saver. i got this dragonfruit at 48th & 0 yesterday. they're 9.48# so this one was four dollars, but it was a fun treat to share with a couple of friends. the yield ratio is good, however: the skin looks artichoke-thick but it's actually thin and soft.

the dragonfruit at super saver right now is the magenta-fleshed, not white-fleshed, variety. it would be fantastic in a cold beet salad. the ubiquitous internet description of the flavor is accurate: inbetween pear and kiwi.

if this interests you, i'd go get one soon.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

ate ate ate: ribfest and the olympic opening ceremonies

yesterday was 8/8/08. a lucky day if you like barbecue, since ribfest is going on downtown. while there is some good barbecue in lincoln, there's nowhere in town to get this quality and variety. it's still going on today and tomorrow, and i swear it's 99 degrees cooler this weekend than at ribfests i've attended previously, so that's worth the three dollar cover alone. there are a half-dozen vendors from around the country and one from australia.

there's live music, if you like that sort of thing. And last night was sponsored by the country station known as froggy. i don't think there were any barbecued frogs though. there were, however, five dollar tallboys of domestic beer. ribfest or robfest?

the particular takeout tray you see here holds a seven dollar pulled pork sandwich and a two dollar side of cole slaw. it's from a jamaican style vendor, from indiana of all places, named (of all unfortunate things) rasta joe's. was it worth it? yes, without a doubt. their sauce was fantastic as well. flavor and heat for days. this plate was clean within five minutes of this snap.

this experience changes my plans for next year's ribfest. i'm going to go over one of the weekday lunches (where you donate food to the lincoln food bank instead of paying three bucks to get in), and then buy enough food for sharing a few meals, walk right to the exit, and back to the car with a stack of take out containers just short enough for me to see over. they should have some different live music during weekday lunches. string quartets. bluegrass.

8/8/08 was also a lucky day if you like spectacle done right and hate it done badly. i'd never seen an olympic opening ceremony that i rewound to watch a part over again. as an homage, the cole slaw in the picture has been forked with until it looks a tiny bit like herzog & de meuron's bird's nest.

Monday, August 4, 2008

sesame sticks as salad croutons

5 oz of organic arugula for less than three dollars at super saver, after a dollar off coupon i clipped out off the sunday coupon ads... i missed the farmers' markets this weekend. while all this produce was a good buy, it still would have been cheaper back thereabouts.

all i added to the potluck-ready container of salad greens was one julienned (then halved) red bell pepper (3 for $2 thru tuesday at hy-vee, and getting more flavorful around now), some ginger sesame dressing, and less than a quarter pound of sesame sticks out of the bulk section at super saver.

[that many sesame sticks cost about a dollar. unfortunately, since i have now reminded myself how great/cheap a cheap/great snack these are {after remembering the sticks even existed, much less in bulk}, i might have to get some every time i shop there, especially since they have five flavors in said bulk. isn't that a lot of flavors of sesame sticks? i felt lucky to find one variety, and then had to choose between several from which to scoop.]

back to the salad, though... a few ingredients means no palate gets bombarded. the arugula, peppers and converted croutons all benefited from being tossed with the ginger sesame dressing before transportation, which took about fifteen minutes.