The Rules of (Green) Thumb For Shopping at your Farmer’s Market

We get a lot of questions about what to eat during different times of the year and how to keep produce fresher for longer.

The answer to both of those things: Eat Seasonally.  

The easiest way to do that is to make a point of getting to your locals Farmer’s Market as often as possible so you can pick up the freshest produce and eat exactly as nature intended.

We know Farmer’s Markets can be overwhelming so we wanted to break it down and make the experience a little simpler.  Even if you aren’t getting to the farmers market these tips can apply to shopping at your local grocery store too.

Firstly, it’s important to go with some reusable shopping bags.  They make it easier to shlep your bounty and are good for the environment.

Next, put your brave face on because it’s really, really important to talk to your farmers.  Engage them, ask them questions, find out where your food came from!  

Quinn wrote and incredibly comprehensive guide HERE.  She gives you all the questions you can/should ask and tells you exactly how to engage your farmer in an easy, breezy convo.

Finally, here is what you should pick up…

  • 1 Leafy green: Because you should always, always have leafy greens in your diet.  The more the merrier/healthier.
  • 1 Veggie that seems to be abundant: You know, that thing that seems to be at every stand.  Get some!  Veggies that are in season always taste best and when something is abundant it is also very affordable.
  • 1 In-season fruit: Satisfy your sweet tooth with some seasonal fruits.  This time of year it’s all about apples pears or if you can find ‘em, persimmons and pawpaws.
  • 1 Frivolous item that you’ve never cooked with before: This is how you learn!  Be brave, be bold.  And then get to googling…
  • Raw Honey: This is nectar of the gods!  Raw honey has tons of medicinal properties.  Its like a low grade antobiotic so it’s amazing for immunity and will help you build up a tolerence to seasonal allergies in your area.
  • Pasture Raised Eggs: You haven’t eaten eggs until you’ve eaten pasture raised eggs.  They just taste better, richer and have way more flavor.  Crack these babies open and prepare to be amazed at the vibrance of the orange yolk.

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If you’re in the North East, here’s what’s in season right now

  • Apples
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Greens (Kale, Spinach, Collard Greens)
  • Onion
  • Parsnips
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Winter Squash (Butternut, Kabocha, Pumpkins…)

What are your favorite seasonal foods and recipes?  We want to know!  Tell us in the comments below!

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Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

We don’t like to pick favorites when it comes to food but we’re sorry: Fall food is where it’s at!

We finally feel compelled to turn on the oven again and start roasting our veggies which always bring out their natural sweetness (we love some sweetness)!

This is also the season that brings us squash (pumpkins are included in that family).

There are a million and one ways to prepare a squash, steam it, braise it, roast it, toast it, but one of our favorites it STUFFED.

Below is the perfect Fall Recipe, Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash.  This recipe is beautiful for dinner parties or your own special night with your honey (or friends!).  Enjoy!

What are your favorite fall recipes?  What are your favorite squash recipes?  Let us know in the comments below!
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Vegetable and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash
Servings: 4
Time: 45 minutes

  • 2 small acorn squashes, halved and seeds removed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well in a fine mesh colander
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped into a small dice
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 zucchini, chopped into a small dice
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • Red pepper flakes

Optional:

  • ½ cup chickpeas, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped pistachios (pine nuts would work well too)
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • Cheese – I recommend shredded raw goat cheese or crumbled feta

Directions

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush squash with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast cut side down on a baking sheet until fork soft. Depending on your oven this can range from 25-40 minutes.

Once squash is in the oven prep all vegetables as mentioned above.

Meanwhile, bring quinoa and 1 ½ cups water, 1 teaspoon sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil to a boil in a pot. Reduce heat and simmer covered until water is absorbed and quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes. Fluff with fork and set aside.

To make the vegetable sauté heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over moderate heat. Add garlic and onions and sauté until onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.

Add zucchini, chickpeas, sage and thyme and any additional vegetables nd continue to cook until everything is softened and brown.

To assemble stuffing fold together vegetable sauté, cooked quinoa, pistachios, red pepper flakes and parsley.

Taste and add salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil if needed.

Fill squash with stuffing and top with cheese if using. Serve with an additional sprinkle of parsley.

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Pumpkin Turkey Chili from Danielle Prestejohn

Fall is in full effect y’all!  If you haven’t gotten a chance to take a leisurely drive in the country and see all the fall foliage, make it happen STAT!  

We love fall because it’s a very grounded time.  We naturally begin to settle into new routines, set goals into action, and crave warmer, heartier, and more flavorful foods.  

Our friend Danielle posted the most quintessential fall recipe and we wanted to share it with you.  Check out her Pumpkin Turkey Chili below.  

To learn more about Danielle, visit her website and get her free 5 step guide to Ditch Your Diet for Good!

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For a very long time my struggles with emotional eating seemed to take over my life.

I developed so much anxiety over each and every thing I ate, meals lost any sort of excitement or comfort. Anything labeled hearty, or filling, evoked a certain amount of fear.

I was so petrified of gaining weight, that I kept my meals light as can be.  The problem was I never fully enjoyed them, and because of this I would find myself with my hand in the cookie jar, later that night, or polishing off a carton of ice cream, feeling full of guilt and disappointment.

When I started to tackle my emotional eating head on by doing things such as adding more fun in my life, dealing with my actual emotions, and rebuilding my body image; food became fun again.

Suddenly I looked forward to cooking with vibrant flavors, experimenting with new ingredients, and even putting together the hearty, filling meals I had once placed off limits.

This chili is perfect for a colder night, when you’re craving some comfort. It is full of flavor and loaded with vegetables, so on top of being delicious, it is also packed with vitamins and nutrients. Plus it will leave you full enough that you won’t feel the need to polish off that carton of ice cream after dinner.

It’s spicy with a hint of sweet from the pumpkin, but feel free to play around with the spices and pumpkin to adjust it to your liking. Enjoy!

danielle_pumpkin turkey chili

Pumpkin Turkey Chili
Servings:12
Time: 30 minutes

▪       1 lb lean ground turkey
▪       1 red bell pepper, diced
▪       3 celery stalks, diced
▪       1/2 cup carrots, diced
▪       1 small zucchini, diced
▪       3/4 cup pumpkin
▪       28 oz diced tomatoes
▪       28 oz crushed tomatoes
▪       1 cup vegetable broth
▪       1 can white beans
▪       2 tbs. coconut oil
▪       1 tbs. paprika
▪       1 tbs. chili powder
▪       2 tsp. red pepper flakes
▪       Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Directions

Heat a saucepan with coconut oil. When it starts to sizzle add in the turkey and cook until it starts to brown.Add in 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth along with the carrots, celery, and bell pepper and continue to sauté until translucent.Add in the diced zucchini and sauté 1-2 minutes longer.Pour in the diced and crushed tomatoes, as well as the pumpkin and let simmer 1-2 minutes.Sprinkle in the spices and add the remaining vegetable broth if needed.

Lastly pour in the rinsed and drained beans.  Simmer on low 10 minutes.

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Travel. Eat. Thrive.

Our friend Nathan Agin has been living out of a backpack for the last three years, has never been healthier, and is now launching the show Travel. Eat. Thrive.  We’re pretty impressed too and knew we had to share his story with the HCC community.

What’s it all about? Here’s the 40-second version…

HCC: You’ve been a nomad for 1000 days and counting… What sparked your decision to go on the road?

NA: It was May 2010. I had just come back to Los Angeles after a three-month acting gig in Seattle at the Intiman Theatre. Despite being in the best year of my career (stand-up, Super Bowl commercial, regional theatre), I discovered that, after 10 years, I wasn’t passionate about acting any more.

So it became a question: “what DO I want to do?” And then: “if I’m not tied to LA (because of acting), where would I like to go?” At first I just thought of moving to San Francisco (love that city!), but then I wondered if I could recreate my Seattle experience in other places, stopping in for three months at a time and getting comfortable.

As anyone who travels can attest, the bug bit hard and once I actually hit the road, I found myself wanting to visit more and more places. Nearly three years later, I still have a deep love for traveling, meeting new people, and encountering new ideas.

HCC: We love to ask people “what do you eat?!?” so tell us, what does a typical food day look like for you?

NA: As soon as I wake up, I go for a 1-2 large glasses of water with lemon (and honey/cayenne pepper if available) to rehydrate my body and to jumpstart my digestive organs.

After an hour of creative work, 20-30 minutes of exercise, and 30 minutes of meditation, I’ll fix myself a green smoothie: typically water, banana, spinach, celery or cucumber, ginger, and perhaps some frozen berries. Watch my “Green Smoothie in 3 Easy Steps” video here.

Lunch is a GIANT salad, with many or all of the following: spinach, kale, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, onion, bell peppers, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and avocado. For dressing: lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.

Dinner is typically lots of vegetables and herbs (such as zucchini, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, garlic, cauliflower, cilantro—either steamed or sautéed), and perhaps wild-caught salmon or free-range chicken. I also love sweet potatoes every now and then.

Snacks might be fresh fruit (apples, grapefruit), nuts (walnuts, almonds, pecans), and nut butters (almond, cashew, or sunflower).

Learn more about the *exact* recipes I’ve used on the road in my cookbook, Nonstop Awesomeness in the Kitchen.

HCC: What does healthy mean to you?

NA: Being healthy and eating healthy is a very personal decision. Of course we all know that eating real food and exercising *is* healthy, but in terms of what specifically to eat (and proportions) and what exercise to do, NOBODY can tell me or you the “best” or “right” way—it’s absolutely about experimenting and listening to your body! Do what you enjoy, what feels right, and what delivers the results you want.

To me, being healthy means having an abundance of energy, being able to do physically what I want, having a positive mindset, and feeling focused, clear, and engaged with life!

HCC: What is the show Travel. Eat. Thrive. about? And how does it help people with cooking at home?

NA: The show is designed to share restaurants around the world serving nutritious and delicious food, and then—how you can make those same meals at home! We connect with someone locally—someone who wants to eat healthier—taking that person out to different restaurants, and then to have him or her decide what meal to recreate in the kitchen at home.

I’ve found that many people I’ve stayed with have often been fascinated with how to make a green smoothie or why a plate of vegetables tastes so good. As someone who was horrible in the kitchen, it’s been fun for me to discover how EASY making tasty and good-for-you food can be—and then sharing these recipes with others.

The vision is to bring this out to a wider audience all while still creating a personal connection. There are lots of ideas of how to engage and include the audience (something I think many current food and travel shows are missing)—from viewers directly contributing content to creating worldwide communities around food.

HCC: What is your best advice to people for how to stay healthy when they are traveling? 

NA: Usually when you’re on the road, it’s not about dramatically improving your health or training for a triathlon; you just want to focus on what will help you maintain, sustain, energize, and inspire.

I like to say that you need to remember to pack two things: Commitment and Flexibility. Commitment is your pledge to yourself in terms of what you do everyday to hit the four words above; these are more general terms, like exercise, meditation, nutrition, gratitude, etc. Flexibility refers to *how* you can practice your commitment—you might only be able to squeeze in 10 minutes of yoga (instead of your usual 90) or maybe you can find a couple pieces of fruit for breakfast instead of a green smoothie.

The fact is you are doing something—which is WAY better than nothing, and you’re keeping up your routine, rather than letting it all slide, feeling guilty, and depressed (which can add to the stress you might already be experiencing from being in a different place).

Do whatever you can to keep yourself grounded and connected to your regular way of life—these habits will absolutely help you feel more present and energized during your travels.

Quick Fire Time…

Favorite meal to eat? Salad – so many variations, and I feel great afterward.

Favorite meal to prepare? Broccoli, Avocado, Mango salad. Creamy, sweet, and delicious, and I love sharing this one!

Favorite restaurant? I have favorites in many cities—I always love hitting up Café Gratitude (in LA and the Bay Area)

Favorite city? Again, lots of faves. Hawaii ruined me on cities (why so much concrete?!), but I quite enjoy the PacNW trio: Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver (BC)

Favorite daily practice? Meditation. Hands down. Game-changer and life-saver. Haven’t missed a day in over 3 years, and don’t plan on missing one—ever.

Favorite farmer’s market? Sounding like a broken record: again, SO many to choose from; Santa Fe has a really great market surrounded by lots of arts and culture—can’t wait to re-visit that one!

***

If this kind of info is up your alley, we invite you to check out Nathan’s new show Travel. Eat. Thrive.—where he takes you to restaurants around the world serving nutritious and delicious food, and then shows you how you can make those same meals at home!

Visit www.traveleatthrive.com to learn more, get the free handout “24 Tips for Healthier Eating Out!”, and…

Enter to WIN a free meal for two at restaurants around the US (and Canada!)—check out the contest here: traveleatthrive.com/win-a-meal-for-two/

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When you need a little sugar…

Sometimes we crave desserts when what we really want is a little sugar from a special sweetie.

If you crave something more substantial than cookies and ice cream, oh, ya know, like a soul-deep love connection, we need to tell you about our friends, the amazing Love Coach, Kavita J. Patel.

She’s recently unleashed an informative, to the point video training series that answers your most burning questions around dating and dudes.

For instance: 

Video #1: When should I have sex with the guy I’m dating?

Video #2: How can I get my ex back–or finally let him go for good?

Video #3: How can I stop obsessing over a man?

KJP_love coach

Not sure about you, but we feel like these videos are VITAL for every single woman out there!

Click HERE to get access to these amazing videos and you’ll automatically be on the list for Kavita’s FREE call this Thursday, October 17th @ 7pm EST.

The topic is: Get His Attention and Keep It: The 3 Crucial Secrets to get him to ask you out and keep coming back for more.

KJP_call invite

We both know Kavita personally and her mix of honesty and intuition never ceases to amaze us.

In fact, there was one time Quinn simply said the name of a guy she went out with and Kavita was like “oh, he likes you”.  The next day Quinn got a message from the guy gushing about how it was “the best first date ever”!

This girl’s got skillz and you need to listen.  So if you’re Done with Being Single, hop over and watch her videos HERE.

Have questions?  Let us know in the comments below!

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