Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sprouts at the Green City Market 2007

"Our favorite volunteer"

"Artist hard at work"

"Enjoying the fruits of our labor. "

Another season of Sprouts at Chicago’s Green City Market has come to an end. It’s been a great eight weeks and we’ve had a ton of fun and all of us at Purple Asparagus want to thank you for a great season! We’ll be back for the Halloween Party, October 27. But, until then, I thought I would share some photos taken at our booth as well the recipes that we used for our cooking projects. Next week, I’ll include the instructions for our craft projects. Special thanks to board member Elena Marre of http://www.kids-table.com/ for co-developing our cooking projects.

Homemade Strawberry Yogurt
Serves 2 as a snack
8 ounces plain yogurt
3 strawberries, sliced
1 teaspoon honey (optional)

Mash the strawberries and mix with the yogurt. If it is too tart for your taste, add honey. You can also mix in granola or flaxseeds if desired.

Herbed Yogurt Dip with Carrot and Celery Sticks
Serves 4 as a snack
8 ounces plain yogurt
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of mixed herbs, any mixture of basil, parsley or chives, torn or cut into small pieces with a kid-scissor
fine sea salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste
carrots and celery sticks

Combine the first three ingredients in a small bowl and stir with a carrot or celery stick. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Homemade Berry Soda
Serves 1
2 ounces strawberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen
2 ounces white grape juice (you may need to increase the amount of grape juice depending upon the sweetness of the berries)
1 teaspoon lime juice, optional
4 ounces of soda water

Mash the berries. Mix with white grape juice and pour into a tall glass filled with ice. Add lime juice and soda water.

Peach Salsa
Serves 2 as a snack, multiply the recipe accordingly.
1 firm ripe peach
½ scallion or green onion
1 small sprig of cilantro
1 teaspoon of lime
kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Chop the peach into ½ inch pieces. Wash scallion. Trim the end and finely chop the scallion. Chop or tear the cilantro leaves into small pieces. Mix peach, scallion, cilantro and lime juice in a small bowl. Add salt & pepper to taste.

Individual Corn Cups or Whole Wheat Tortilla Spikes
Makes 20 corn cups or approximately 36 tortilla spikes
10 5 ½-inch corn tortillas or 6 whole wheat-flour tortillas
Cooking spray

Corn Cups: Preheat oven to 400º. Heat a 8 or 9-inch skillet. Spray a tortilla with cooking spray. Heat in pan until pliable. Cut the corn tortillas into smaller rounds using a 4- inch biscuit cutter or trim around a 4 inch-cup. Fit the tortillas into a muffin tin. Repeat. If the tortillas will not remain in cups, you can top them with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. If using the pie weights, remove them after 15 minutes and return the cups to the oven and bake until done. Cool on a baking rack.

Tortilla spikes: Slice the whole wheat tortillas into ½-inch slices. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the tortilla spikes on top. Spray the spikes lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly browned and crispy.

Gourmet Ants on a Log
Makes 1
1 celery stick
1 tablespoon goat cheese
dried cherries or blueberries

Spread the goat cheese on the celery stick. Place the “ants” (cherries and blueberries) on the goat cheese.

Very Cherry Berry Salad (Provided by Elena Marre of The Kids’ Table as adapted from a recipe of the Washington State Fruit Commission)
Serves 4 as a snack or a dessert
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons lime juice
1 ½ teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint
¼ teaspoon finely grated lime peel
Salt to taste
2 cups pitted and halved sweet cherries
½ cup blueberries, rinsed and stemmed
½ diced apple (cored, but unpeeled)

In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, lime juice, honey, mint, lime peel and salt. Whisk well. Add the cherries, blueberries and diced apple. Gently toss to coat the fruit with the dressing.

Tomato Sandwiches
Serves 1
1 tomato slice, halved
1 teaspoon goat cheese
1 teaspoon cilantro pesto, recipe to follow

Spread the goat cheese and pesto on to one half of the tomato slice and top with the other half.

Cilantro Pesto
Makes approximately ¾ cup
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
1 large garlic clove, roughly chopped
1 cup packed cilantro leaves
¼ extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and coarsely ground pepper to taste

By Food Processor: Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small sauté pan over medium high heat until lightly colored. Let cool. Add garlic, cilantro and pumpkin seeds to food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Pour the oil through the feed tube while the motor is running and puree until almost completely smooth.

By mortar & pestle: Toast the pumpkin seeds in a small sauté pan over medium high heat until lightly colored. Let cool. In a mortar, add all ingredients and mash until almost completely smooth.

Fruit Art:
Melons, carved with a melon baller
Peaches, plums and nectarines, sliced

Take any variety of the fruits listed above and use your creative juices to make art on your canvas (a.k.a. your plate).

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