Market Fresh: Healthy new year starts with your food

Karen Curtis tells us the benefits of eating clean.

Healthy New Year!

Don’t we all start off thinking this is it, the year I (fill in the blank with whatever words you choose).

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If some of those words for you are “get in shape,” “eat healthy,” “find balance,” “eat more plant-based meals” or even “listen to more live music,” then your local farmers’ market is the place for you.

Let’s have a look at all the amazing options for kicking 2019 off to a great start.

First are the primary producers: the farmers, ranchers, fishers and foragers who come to the market. We are so fortunate to have them all.

Crisp Organics has been pushing the boundaries of what will grow here during the winter, boasting cabbage, kale, parsnips, carrots, squash, parsley, kohlrabi, sunchokes and the most amazing coloured radicchio — it’s pink.

Wondering what kohlrabi is? It’s in the cabbage family — low-carb, high in vitamins C and B6, it can be eaten raw or cooked.

You can make slaw or mash out of it, it’s that versatile.

Forstbauer Farms always has its amazing carrots and beets, proving that you can still “eat the rainbow” even in winter. I like to roast both these vegetables with a good olive oil then lightly season them with a bit of Koji salt so you get all the flavour from the vegetables. Delish!

Matt, our forager from Your Wildest Foods, finds the most amazing things to eat. From mushrooms to greens, he looks long and hard to bring fresh, healthy food to us. He has also created a great new product for cooking. Forager’s Spice is a blend of dried samphire (sea asparagus) and matsutake mushrooms. Just a little bit in your soups and sauces will give your food umami.

Maybe you are thinking of eating less meat this year. If so, make sure the meat you eat is ethically raised and humanely slaughtered. All our protein vendors make sure you get nothing but the very best for your table. Redl’s Beef is 100% grass-fed and -finished. The quality of the meat is so high and the flavour so good that I can use just 1 lb. of ground beef to feed five people. If chicken is more to your liking, both Rockweld and Central Park have plenty of happy chicken. No force-fed, soy-plumped chicken here (and Central Park has pork, too). The pork Kendall grows is so tasty — make sure you try the farmer’s sausage.

Seafood is another protein that is important to be sourced appropriately. Wild Westcoast Seafood is back at the Port Moody market and we are happy about that. New for Ron this year is his Ocean Wise certification. You can be assured that all your seafood purchases support the health of our oceans.

Healthy eating is super easy with all the prepared food vendors we have, too. Three new ones about which I’m really excited are the Culture Kefir Co., Occasionally Honey and Sugar Free Kitchen. These vendors are on trend as far as that sort of thing goes, but more importantly, the food they make tastes amazing.

Lindsay, the creator of Culture Kefir, has created a super healthy beverage. Kefir water is a naturally fermented drink that is low in calories and caffeine- and dairy-free. Lindsay has added additional ingredients that make the kefir even better for you. My favourites are the activated charcoal and the spirulina flavours. Activated charcoal helps your body rid itself of toxins and spirulina is blue-green algae that packs a wallop of calcium, niacin, potassium, magnesium, B vitamins and iron. It also has essential amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein.

Lindsay makes sure that each serving has enough of these things to be beneficial.

Occasionally Honey is a plant-based, gluten-free bakery. Nicole has spent hours researching the science behind baking and has created outstanding recipes. An added bonus is some of her baking is keto-friendly — her keto almond chocolate bars make me very happy.

Sugar Free Kitchen is another new vendor. Her cheesy buns are yummy and she carries a mix so you can make your own, adding green onions or ham or bacon — perfect for breakfast.

The Raw Guy has expanded his line. Along with his dehydrated delicious kale chips (which have all the active enzymes in them because they are dehydrated, not baked), he has seedy crackers that pair perfectly with his cashew cream cheese. You can have a vegan snack just because it tastes good.

And don’t forget about Aji either. Aji Chunky Chili sauce makes everything taste better, making it a great addition to a healthier menu. Pair it with Koji Salt and you can boost the flavour and cut the salt in one fell swoop.

Honestly, at the end of the day, shopping at the market is an easy way to satisfy a lot of different resolutions. Stop by every Sunday because the vendors and musicians are always changing.

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WORKSHOPS & MORE

• If you need yet another reason or two to visit the Port Moody winter market, membership and workshops offer that. Our next workshop is Sunday, Feb. 17 and it’s all about mason bees. Veronica Wahl from Douglas College’s Institute of Urban Ecology will teach participants about caring for mason bees as well as their importance in your backyard ecosystem. Walk away from the workshop with your own mason bee house to put in your backyard. Workshops are to be held at 10:30 a.m. and noon; cost: $10 per person. Tickets at www.makebakegrow.com or www.eventbrite.ca.

• While the last Sunday of each month is always Members’ Day, February will feature Members Day every Sunday. Membership gets you special pricing at many of the vendor stalls. Memberships purchased now are valid until April 2020 and can also be used at the Coquitlam Farmers Market, which runs May through October. Memberships are $10 and you receive a reusable Port Moody Farmers Market bag or a Port Moody Farmers Market enamel camping mug (you also get voting right at our AGM and access to special pricing at our large events).

Karen Curtis is the Lemonade Lady (www.kicslemonade.ca and kicslemonade.blogspot.ca) at the Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam farmers markets. Her column runs monthly.

•••••••••

RECIPE

I love sheet pan dinners, and this simple one-pan dinner is ready in only 40 minutes and fits the bill for clean eating, 2019 style.

Sheet Pan Salmon with Moroccan Spices with Broccoli, Carrots and Chickpeas
 

(source: healthyseasonalrecipes.com)

Ingredients
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Koji salt
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ to ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 small cabbage, cut into bite size chunks
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 ½ pound salmon, skinned and cut into 4 servings
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lemon cut in half
¼ cup coarsely chopped flat leaf parsley

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Stir oil, cumin, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cayenne in a small bowl.

Arrange cabbage and carrots on baking sheet. Drizzle with about half of the oil and spice mixture, toss to coat and spread out on the baking sheet. Roast 12 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Make room for the salmon and chickpeas by moving the vegetables to one side. Lay salmon on the foil, skinned side down. Add the chickpeas to the sheet pan. Drizzle the spice mixture over chickpeas and salmon and toss the chickpeas to coat.

Return the sheet pan to the oven and bake salmon to desired doneness, about 14 minutes for medium-well. Squeeze half of the lemon over the vegetables, chickpeas and salmon. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Serve the salmon, vegetables and chickpeas with the lemon wedges and topped with parsley.

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