Farmers Market Time!

By Diane Ruyack

It’s farmers market time again!  Locally-grown food and baked products herald in summer and the promise of delicious wholesome meals.  Check out the closest farmers markets and visit each of them.  Not all markets have the same items so one market might fit your needs over another one.

The following are some tips that will help you make the most of your shopping trip:
• Plan ahead. Bring small bills and correct change for easier transactions.  Find out who takes checks or credit.

• Take a leisurely trip around to survey the offerings before you start buying.

• Make a meal plan and think how much time you have to cook fresh foods.

• Be flexible. Instead of making a shopping list, wait and buy what looks the best and freshest.

• Talk to the farmers about produce to learn how to store it, which parts are edible and how long it will stay fresh.

• Don’t overbuy. Only buy what you think you’ll be able to use in a week.

• Arrive early for the best selection and freshest products.

• Avoid waste (and sometimes fees) by bringing your own bags; don’t forget insulated bags for meat and dairy. Tote your reusable plastic take-out or yogurt containers to protect berries and other delicate produce in your bag.

• Attend demos that many markets host or ask friendly chefs on site for produce cooking tips.

• If you are buying meat or dairy, ask the vendor to hold it for you until you are ready to go so it can stay cool for as long as possible.

Grilled Garden Wrap

Serves 4


4 flour tortillas (whatever size you want)

4oz 1/3 less fat Garden Vegetable cream cheese, softened

1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2″ slices

1 yellow squash, cut into 1/2″ strips on the diagonal

2 ears sweet corn

olive oil

grill seasoning

2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced

1 small cucumber, thinly sliced


1. Place eggplant slices on a cooling rack, then generously salt both sides and let sit for 10 minutes. Blot away salt and moisture that rises to the top of the slices with a paper towel. Brush eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil, then season both sides with grill seasoning.

2. Preheat grill to high. Grill seasoned eggplant and zucchini slices for 2-3 minutes a side, or until just barely tender. Add corn to the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes, rotating every couple of minutes to char evenly on all sides. Remove vegetables to a platter to cool slightly, then cut the eggplant slices in half, and cut the kernels off the corn cobs.

3. Spread 2 Tablespoons cream cheese on each flour tortilla. Layer on grilled eggplant, zucchini, and corn, then cucumber and tomato slices. Wrap sides up and overlap at the top, securing with toothpick

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