Happy New Year. I wish each and every one of you a kind and satisfying 2020, filled with peace and the strength to tackle whatever comes your way.
For so many of us, the new year is an opportunity to begin anew. Let’s look at how doing that can tie into many of our common resolutions.
• Exercise more: This one is easy to accomplish at the market. The Port Moody Winter Market is held every Sunday at the Port Moody recreation complex. Even if you don’t want to sign up for a class, skate or curl there, it is a great place to grab a cup of coffee and go for a stroll. And that, in turn, makes eating something yummy from one of the bakers almost virtuous — you need to fuel your exercise, after all.
• Lose weight/eat better: Another easy one thanks to the addition of two new fresh greens growers. Shoots and fresh greens make a wonderful addition to a kale and roasted beet salad. Or perhaps you are going to go low-carb this year. Sugar Free Kitchen, Occasionally Honey and Artisan Nutrition all have options for that. Are you wanting to try a cleanse? Squish Juicery has joined the market and can guide you through that process and supply the juices you need to do it. If you simply want to make better, cleaner food choices, then the market is definitely the place for that.
• Get organized: This might be a little harder but it is still doable, market-style. Sign up for the market newsletter so you can see who will be at market each week and what is in season. Then you can plan your shopping list around that.
• Learn a new skill or adopt a new hobby: This one is easy, too. The market regularly offers workshops on a variety of topics from seed saving to planting. The Power of Produce Club for the kids is a super opportunity for the younger set to learn all about local food and how it is produced.
• Live life to the fullest: Maybe that means connecting with your people or community on a regular basis. A meeting at the market can help.
• Save more/spend less money: Aside from getting a bigger nutritional bang for your buck, quality food is much more satisfying, allowing you to eat and purchase less.
• Spend more time with family and friends: Aside from meeting at the market, how about setting up a Big Cook? Cheaper than a meal service and a lot more fun, you can get quality ingredients and cooking ideas from the vendors. Many have recipes to share.
• Reduce your carbon footprint: If you are wanting to channel your inner Greta, shopping at the market makes it easy. Locally sourced food travels less. If reducing your meat intake is a step you want to take, the market now has three plant-based vendors that offer great meal alternatives.
Karen Curtis is the Lemonade Lady (kicslemonade.ca) at local farmers’ markets. Her column runs monthly.
Port Moody Winter Market is hosting a workshop with Vivio Flowers Feb. 9 on making a centrepiece just in time for Valentines Day.
And on March 8, you can make bee houses again with help from the Institute for Urban Ecology out of Douglas College. For details, go to makebakegrow.com.
Roasted Vegetable Barley Bowls
2 beets, peeled and each cut into 12 wedges
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
1 lb. small carrots, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup pearl barley
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dates, pitted and diced
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 small green apple, julienned
1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
Basil leaves, as desired
Lemon wedges, as desired
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. On the prepared sheet, toss the vegetables with the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and golden brown.
Meanwhile, in a pot of salted boiling water, cook the barley for 35 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse under cold running water.
In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the cooked barley in the oil for 2 minutes. Add the dates and garam masala. Continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve the barley in bowls with the roasted vegetables. Top with the yogurt, apple, pecans and basil. Serve with lemon wedges.