At this time of year, we are adjusting to new schedules, people and situations, which can be overwhelming and exciting for all involved. It is these crazy times of change that bring us back to the comfort and familiarity of home and food, though that can be hard to accomplish after a busy day.
For me, I need a backup plan. Quick-and-easy is not only a necessity, but a way for us to keep things simple and healthy. Keeping the menu seasonal can be a challenge, as there are so many ingredients to choose from at the market – overstimulation comes to mind. Supporting our local markets has never been more important than now.
The loss of our iconic farmers’ market leaves many vendors with no source of income or place to sell their wares: Not an easy place to be during the height of the season. Having spent many hours at the market, getting to know the people and working with different teams, I know there is an understanding and support within a culture. There is no doubt for me that the rebuilding of this special place will happen quickly, and it will be stronger than ever.
In the meantime, visit the outdoor vendors and create this recipe that has all my favourite produce. Prepare the vegetables and chicken the night before to make dinner preparation easier. Make a plan and cook what speaks to you. Happy cooking!
Roasted Fruit and Spinach Salad
1 sweet potato, cut into matchsticks
Half a thumb of ginger, chopped
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 ginger crisp apples, cut into 8 wedges
1/4 red onion, sliced
1/4 cup pecans
5 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and cracked pepper
Place all ingredients on pan, and drizzle with olive oil, balsamic, then season with salt and pepper;
Roast in oven for 20 minutes at 400 F. Allow the roasted fruit to cool slightly and toss with washed spinach.
Goat cheese and Basil Stuffed Chicken Breast Marinade
4 chicken breasts
Goat cheese, broken into large pieces
8 leaves fresh basil
Salt and pepper
Stuff breasts under the skin of chicken breast with 2 pieces of goat cheese and 2 leaves of basil, then place on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper;
Finish in the oven at 400 F for approximately 18 minutes.