This Week at the Farmers Market by Charlene LeJeune

Covington Farmers Market LogoHi, friends and Happy Tuesday! I just love these days of cool nights and pleasant days. The smiling sun and cool, laughing breezes bring a song to my heart. Don’t worry. I’m only singing on the inside; we don’t want the dogs in the neighborhood to join in. But the dogs won’t be singing tomorrow. We’ll have great music and great food and great weather – what a combination! Go crazy! Try something new! We have all kinds of delicious food from a smorgasbord of cultures.
I know that it feels like the week is just creeping along, but eventually Saturday will arrive and the gazebo will be filled with music of Cassie Krebs. So grab a steamy cup of java and relax, the day is just beginning. There will be some good eats to enjoy as well. Another great combination in the cooking tent will involve J&K Grilling, a huge BBQ rig, and flavorful BBQ pork!
Last Saturday I got to thinking about all the wonderful flavors at the market and how I could use them. My goal was to come up with meals that would require very little prep time but still be delicious.
My first experiment called for kale, green onions, Nur’s white bean salad, and pork chops (Justin Pitts). I washed and chopped the kale into bite sized pieces and into the crock pot they went, closely followed by chopped green onions. I quickly browned my pork chops just to give them color and they joined the rest in the crock pot. OK, so this wasn’t a quick meal. Crock pots are notorious for cooking slowly. After cooking for about 3 hours, I added a carton of Nur’s white bean salad and cooked for another 15 minutes. What flavor!
While that was cooking, I combined a carton of black bean salsa (Hot Tamale Mama, Spanish R Us), chunks of cooked chicken breast (I usually have leftovers after baking my chicken) and some of Mauthe’s cheddar cheese (grated, of course). I added a teaspoon of my Ole Southwest Seasoning and stuffed my bell peppers. The results were really great! Actually, I could have used this as filling for tortillas (Lena), added a little lettuce and that’s a wrap!
Next I browned a pound of ground lamb (Farmhouse Dairy) and divided that into three portions. One portion was mixed with Nur’s quinoa lentil salad, then spooned into bell peppers. It made a lot more than I expected and I was able to stuff about 4 medium sized peppers. To the second portion, I added about ¾ of Nur’s tabouli (I finished off the rest of it as, uh, lunch) and again stuffed bell peppers. I combined the remaining portion of lamb with about 1/3 of Hot Tamale Mama’s spinach dip and – you guessed it – stuffed peppers. (I did have a lot of them.) Two words – absolutely delicious! I think it would have been just as tasty using yellow squash. It took about 15 minutes to brown the lamb and about 20 minutes to steam the filled peppers so cook time was minimal. I used the remainder of the spinach dip to fill tomatoes which made a very tasty side dish. Another two words – yum eee!
The best part of these meals is that I really didn’t have to add seasoning. There’s a mountain of flavor packed into those little cartons. I steamed all the peppers at the same time so in the 3 hours it took for my crock pot meal to cook, I was able to create several meals for during the week without a lot of time invested. How deliciously delightful!
Whether you’re at the Wednesday Market or Saturday’s, a stroll around the market is sure to uncover something tempting and terrific, such as Suzie’s coconut supreme muffins or Cooper’s coffee bites (coffee glazed cinnamon rolls) or Frankie’s pecan brittle. I’d love to hear how you use the foods from the market, so don’t be shy about sharing.
Lots of love,
Charlene LeJeune
Abundant Life KitchenThe Covington Farmers’ Market is open each Wednesday, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Covington Trailhead, 419 N. New Hampshire and every Saturday from 8a.m. to 12p.m. on the side lawn of the Covington Police Station, 609 N. Columbia St. Call (985) 892-1873 for information or visit