Strolling through our local farmer’s market is one of the highlights of my weekend. The local bee keeper selling his honey, the vibrant fresh flowers are on display in gorgeous bouquets, the scent of fresh-popped kettle corn is intoxicating, and the colorful vegetables…oh, the fresh garden vegetables remind me of a rainbow in food form!
My favorite stand is the organic Cedar Rose Farms run by a sweet and very knowledgable couple. I always buy several items that they have featured for the week. Carrots, spring onions and zucchini were featured the week I made this recipe (yum!)…which was ideal for this month’s Secret Recipe Club reveal! I was thrilled to come across this Farmer’s Market Skillet from Heather’s blog Join Us, Pull Up a Chair and use up my farmer’s market goodies! It may not be the prettiest dish to photograph, but it was DELISH!
I swapped out carrots for the corn since I didn’t find any at the market. I also incorporated goat feta cheese instead of cow’s for easier digestion my end (though you can swap out dairy-free cheese if needed OR use fresh avocado chunks and season with additional salt and lemon for a flavor boost) and used up the vegetable stock I had on hand to keep this a veggie-friendly main dish! I squeezed some additional lemon juice on top to amp up the acidity…which I’m about if you’ve been following me for a while 🙂 This was a big hit! It can stand alone as a dinner, quick lunch (hot or cold) or a zesty side dish alongside your favorite protein. Swap in your favorite fresh veggies to your liking – fresh corn kernels, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, beets, bell peppers, etc. I think this dish would also be delicious with chickpeas and a few olives for fun too!
While I happily chose to make her Farmer’s Market Skillet, Heather’s Peanut Butter and Jelly Pretzel Bars had me singing “It’s Peanut Butter-Jelly Time” along with a impromtpu shameless celebration dance in my kitchen while ideas swirled in my head to make a healthier and allergen-friendly version at a later date. I loved her idea for Buffalo Chicken Rolls as a hand-held appetizer and a perfect game-day recipe for upcoming football gatherings and Heather’s Gazpacho with Basil Cornbread Croutons made me want to hold on to warm summer days and sunshine.
Farmer’s Market Skillet (lightly adapted from Join Us Pull Up a Chair)
Gluten-free, Soy-free, Vegetarian, Nut-free, Vegan and Dairy-free Options, Refined Sugar-free, Corn-free, Egg-free
1 3/4 cup broth (vegetable for veggie-friendly OR chicken stock or broth if desired)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil
2-3 carrots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
2-3 green onions, chopped
1-2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup feta cheese (I used goat’s feta – for dairy-free/vegan, use a shredded dairy-free cheese or choice, cashew cheese or substitute chunks of avocado)*
2-3 Tbsp chopped basil
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp lemon zest
2-3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (I used 3 Tbsp bc I love acidity)
1 1/2 Tbsp honey, maple syrup or agave (do not use honey if strict vegan)
1 garlic clove, microplaned
1/2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste, if desired)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1. Using the broth or stock, cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Once cooked, fluff the quiona with a fork and let cool slightly.
2. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette, whisk and set aside.
3. Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute until golden brown.
3. Add the zucchini and green onions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until just tender and then add the quinoa and half of the vinaigrette. Stir well and cook for an additional minute.
4. Add the remaining vinaigrette, tomatoes, cheese/avocado and basil to the skillet. Stir well to combine. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or lemon juice if desired and enjoy!
If you want to make this a cold salad, do not combine the quinoa into the skillet. Let all ingredients cool separately and then combine the cooked quinoa, cooked vegetables, tomatoes, feta, basil and vingairette into a large bowl. Chill until you’re ready to serve.
*If you opt to substitute the cheese for avocado for an easy dairy-free swap, I suggest you add a bit more salt and lemon juice since the cheese adds a nice salty element to the dish and add the avocado right before serving. Enjoy!