I meant to post this on Saturday but I got behind so happy belated blog! On Saturday The Boyfriend and I checked out the renowned Troy Waterfront Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday, the farmers’ market takes over downtown Troy; Troy closes off a few streets and close to 80 local vendors set up shop for four hours. I was super excited to see (and shop!) locally: I have never had the opportunity to buy meat, dairy, and accoutrements from local farms. In south Florida, there was a gigantic flea market that I used to frequent to buy cheap produce and the best Mexican food around, so I was doubly excited to find a replacement for my previous favorite Saturday excursion.
The Boyfriend and I decided to try to get as much of our weekly shopping done at the market as possible so we withdrew $60 for shopping (leaving about $30 for things we could only get at the grocery store). We got some great stuff for $55 (we had $5 left over!); I listed it all out because you’ll be seeing it on recipes throughout the week:
-1 lb ground beef and 1.6 lb beef spare ribs (Bornt Family Farms)
-1.3 lb chicken wings (Homestead Farms; antibiotic and hormone free)
-1 (huge) bunch kale
-1 zucchini, 1 squash
-1 lb Yukon gold potatoes
-1 bunch garlic scape
-1 tub sundried tomato and chive schmear Argyle Cheese Farmer
-1 tub Gar-la-la (vegan, raw garlic spread) from Zorba’s Natural Food
-1 22oz Hefferveisen from Brown’s Brewing Company (local brewery)
-6 oz locally made pasta from Flour City Pasta (sweet potato shells, red pepper crested rigate, lime tubes, carrot thyme radiatori)
-1 quart chocolate milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery
-1 bagel (Our Daily Bread)
-12 jumbo eggs (Cornell Farm)
*Creamy Chicken Pasta and Raw Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
*Korean-Style Short Ribs with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and a salad
*Buffalo Wings with Cheese-Stuffed Zucchini/Squash and a salad
*Asian Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps with Sautéed Kale and salad
Now! The recipe. I had a cooked chicken breast left over from the week, as well as some mushrooms and orange pepper so I decided to combine leftovers with fresh goods to make an easy, healthy(ish), and fast dinner; for this recipe, I also used the schmear, garlic spread, and my local pasta.
Creamy Chicken Pasta
- 6 oz tri-color spiral pasta
- 8 oz chicken breast; seasoned, cooked and chopped
- 4 oz fresh sliced mushrooms
- Half an orange pepper, diced
- Half a white onion, diced
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp schmear or cream cheese
- 3 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp dill
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: 2 tbsp Gar-la-la
1) Put a pot of water on the stove to boil; add dash of olive oil and salt to water.
2) While waiting for your water to boil, heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, onion, and garlic to pan; cook 3-4 minutes.
3) Add mushroom and red pepper to pan; cook another 3-4 minutes.
4) Turn heat down to medium; add schmear, milk, and Gar-la-la (if using). Stir until schmear melts and milk and schmear is incorporated.
5) Add chopped chicken, salt and pepper, and dill.
6) Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all ingredients are incorporated. Turn off the burner and take the skillet off the heat; add lemon juice just before serving.
If I wasn’t going for healthy, bacon would be a great addition to this recipe; spinach would also be a tasty compliment to the pasta. Or sundried tomatoes! Or rosemary instead of dill, mmm. Or… I should probably stop before I get carried away. The point is, this recipe is pretty versatile and you really can add or omit ingredients at your discretion. I can’t recommend the garlic spread enough though—shit is baller. Tastes great on everything—bread, crackers, chips, pasta; you get the idea.
For the side dish, I decided to serve some of the giant bunch of kale that I bought. I didn’t want to serve it the way I normally do (sautéed with garlic and olive oil) since the pasta was already garlicky. Instead I decided to go out on a limb and make a raw kale salad. Kale can be a bit bitter (and, as The Boyfriend says, tastes “too plant-y”) but I read a few online recipes that recommended removing all of the stem to tackle the bitterness problem; the recipes also recommended soaking the kale in salad dressing to soften it up and give it some flavor.
Kale Salad with Roasted Chickpeas
- ¼ bunch kale
- ¼ cup cup shredded carrots
- 6 slices of cucumber, quartered
- 1 roma tomato, chopped
- ¼ cup roasted chickpeas
- ½ cup salad dressing
1) Wash kale; completely remove all stem pieces and chop kale into bite-sized pieces.
2) Add kale and salad dressing to Ziploc bag; squish bag to make sure kale is completely covered in dressing. Place kale bag in fridge and let chill for 15-20 minutes.
3) When kale is ready, put kale in bowl with other salad ingredients; toss.
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Seasoning of your choice (I used paprika, salt, pepper, red pepper, and garlic powder)
1) Preheat oven to 400o; line a baking sheet with tinfoil.
2) Add chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, and seasonings to bowl. Mix well.
3) Spread chickpeas onto baking sheet and put baking sheet into oven; bake for 20-25 minutes stirring chickpeas occasionally.
Once roasted, the chickpeas can be eaten as a snack as well as a salad-topper; The Boyfriend really enjoyed them and compared their texture and taste to peanuts.
The salad was pretty good; The Boyfriend thought it was still too plant-y but I thought it tasted fine. I’m also a big fan of tomato, cucumber, and shredded carrots so it was an easy sell for me.