Happy early autumn in Arkansas! It’s that time of year when we still have a bit of summer produce at the markets — summer squash, cucumbers, and bell peppers — but the fall products (hello pumpkins!) are showing up as well. We’ve also left the lazy summer feeling behind and all the social, work, and school calendars are filling up — so I’m trying to share more recipes that are either quick or take very little focus.
For your breakfast consideration, I encourage you to try Locally Topped Greek Yogurt. This filling breakfast is easy to throw together in a bowl or jar and can be eaten at a table, on the road, or at a desk. My preferred Greek yogurt (FAGE 0%) is unsweetened and fat free — it’s also incredibly thick and creamy and has 18-23 grams of protein per serving. I’ve been topping it with granola, bananas if I have them, a handful of frozen blackberries, and local honey. Local honey helps with my seasonal allergies — pretty handy this time of year — but I wouldn’t add it if the granola was already really sweet. I picked up a bag of Ozark Natural Breads hemp granola at the extras table at Conway Locally Grown. It has all sorts of great "super food" seeds, but the honey and vanilla baked into it is a bit too subtle for me when topping unsweetened yogurt and paired with tart blackberries.
My lunch and dinner offering this week is a Potato & Andouille Sausage Soup with Peas. The recipe I was basing it off of added a cup of cream to the pot before serving, but I only realized that I had left it out after I was miserably full — so clearly the cream is not needed. The andouille pork sausage I used is from Grass Roots Farmers’ Cooperative and is so flavorful (without being "hot" spicy) that I didn’t even add any salt or pepper to the soup.
To go with the soup, I decided to break out my great grandmother’s cast iron cornbread stick pan and use up some of kitchen goodies a friend gave me before she moved over-seas.
So, this is a quicker-than-usual cornbread recipe because it’s building off of a box mix — but it turned out so well that I’m going to try to recreate it from scratch. The mix is sweetened with local honey and spiced up with candied jalapenos from Cedar Rock Ridge that I chopped up and sizzled in melted butter. For the liquid, I used some goat milk kefir that the same friend made and I’m going to have to get the recipe from her. For those wanting to use kefir, I have seen it in the organic milk section of Kroger Market Place on Salem, but buttermilk would work great as well.
You know I’m a fan of getting as many nutrients out of my food as possible, so, of course, I always try to get as many of the ingredients possible through our local farmers markets: Conway, Arkansas Farmers’ Market; Downtown Conway Farmers’ and Crafts Market; Conway Locally Grown; and the Vilonia Handmade & Homegrown Market. Many of the vendors accept credit cards and some even accept WIC vouchers. As always, I hope you’ll eat as much local goodness as you can — and let me know if you try my recipes!