This past weekend the Southington Farmer’s Market relocated from its usual spot on the Town Green to the quaint parking lot of the local YMCA’s Spirit Mind Body center to make room for the annual Apple Harvest Festival. Upon entering the market, I was greeted by a 10-week-old Corgi puppy the size of a small pumpkin. I learned his name was Rover, and he was the youngest member of the Gresczyk Farms family.
The local produce did not disappoint. With an assortment of vegetables from Gresczyk Farms of New Hartford and the local Lewis Agriculture Education Center of Southington, tables displayed all the fixings for the quintessential autumn smorgasbord with pumpkins, gourds, squash and apples galore. There were quite a few fruits and vegetables I wasn’t expecting to see. Bunches of Portuguese kale with leaves that appeared to be a foot wide lined a table closest to the road, next to what looked like thumb-sized watermelons but were actually sweet-tasting miniature cucumbers I’m told are a popular garnish for watermelon margaritas.
Honey crisp apples were stacked on the table nearest to the register at the Lewis Agricultural Center farm stand; where they accept both cash and credit. Being downwind from the kickoff weekend of the Apple Harvest Festival made the smell of cinnamon in the air palpable. The deep reddish browns, bright greens and unexpected purples in the vegetables made me excited to start compiling ingredients for a concoction.
In addition to small pumpkins and gourds, I decided to get eggplant, cayenne peppers, kale, corn, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. As a personal trainer, I am always encouraging my clients to track their macronutrients. This kind of healthy eating is known as IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros). It is a flexible way of dieting that allows people to eat whatever they like as long as the percentage of carbohydrates, proteins and fats are in alignment with their nutritional program. On any given day you would have a set amount of grams to fill for carbs, protein and fat but would not abide by a set food list. Many people find this method of healthy living less restrictive than calorie-counting or standard dieting which often cuts out certain food groups entirely.
For this meal, I acted as the sous chef to my talented boyfriend Giovanni, who is always creative in the kitchen. We added vegetarian sausage and onions to my farm fresh ingredients to make a sweet potato and kale salad with a spicy salsa vinaigrette dressing, and corn on the cob as a side. The ingredients listed below are scaled to a serving size for two.
This warm salad and delicious vinaigrette made for a delightful meal. I will definitely be making a trip back to the Southington Farmer’s Market in the near future. It runs every Friday from 3-6 p.m. on the Southington Green. The farm freshness doesn’t stop there either, I picked up some bright yellow and purple mums at Ives Farms that caught my eye as I made the scenic drive from Southington back home to Wallingford via Cheshire Street. They were the perfect finishing touch of decorum for my picnic style dinner.
Kristen Dearborn is a Wallingford resident, NASM certified personal trainer and author of the blog dearfitkris – https://dearfitkris.wordpress.com/Kale Salad Ingredients:
10 oz raw kale
6 oz sweet potato
8 oz egg plant
90 grams corn
2 links Field Roast vegetarian sausage
C:128g P:74 F:20Salsa Vinaigrette Dressing Ingredients:
8 oz red tomato
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
C:1g P:0g F:27g