This is the Weekly E-Newsletter of Contra Costa Certified Farmers' Markets for Friday, January 12, 2007
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From Chef Lesley Stiles:

Farmers' Market Vegetable Stew w/ Quinoa

Serves 6

2 medium sized spring onions, chopped
4 cloves of green garlic, crushed
2 cups of peeled, cubed butternut squash
1 carrot, sliced
1 bunch broccolini, chopped
2 baby turnips, cubed
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
1 bunch of kale or chard, sliced thin
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 ½ cups of quinoa
6 cups of vegetable stock
Kosher salt and pepper

Heat oil in a large, heavy soup pot and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for about 3 minutes and add the squash, carrots, and turnip. Add the quinoa and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes until quinoa has released its spiral and is done. Add broccolini and simmer 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cilantro and greens. Season to taste.

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Spice Mixture
½ teaspoon cardamom pods
2 teaspoons fenugreek
½ teaspoon coriander seeds
4 cinnamon sticks, crushed
2 star anise
3 tablespoons of cumin seed

Place all spices in a dry, non stick sauté pan.
Turn temperature to medium high heat and toast the spices until the seeds begin to pop and the pan is lightly smoking. This should be extremely fragrant at this point. Do not burn the spices. Remove from heat and let cool. Grind all together in a coffee grinder. Store in a tightly covered jar in a dark place.

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More recipes
In this Issue:
Walnut Creek:
Music: Bittersweets
Manager: Keith Farley. E-mail:
Market Hours: Winter hours 9 am to 1 pm thru April.
The Frequent Shopper Card (from Nov. thru April);
Year-Round Parking Validation;
The Veggie Valet booth.

From Keith Farley, Manager:
The weather becomes iffier (yes it's a real word) this time of year so plan ahead.  Throw your umbrella and rain slicker in the car along with your reusable shopping totes and frequent shopper card so you are ready in any eventuality.  We are open rain or shine so we will be there for you.

Remember that you can use our Veggie Valet service, located at the market table, leave your purchases with us and go get your car and we will bring them out to you. Simple and painless.

We will still be a few growers and vendors short this week so check with me for updates on their return.

See you Sunday!

More info.

Martinez, Orinda & Pleasant Hill:
Markets closed for the season
FROM OUR MARKETS by Chef Leslie Stiles
I always love this time of the year when I get into clear out mode because it somehow makes everything feel new and vibrant and really clean especially if you do the tree and decoration thing. I don't know about you but I am really happy to get it all down and tucked away for another year.

Time is right for soups and stews but no one ever said that these need to be long cooked and mushy. Quick sautées and stir fries are an amazing thing with winter produce. The Farmers' Market Vegetable Stew is ready in 30 minutes and is really good heated up for a couple of days to boot. If you wanted to add some chicken sausage or stew meat it would work equally as well as the vegetarian version.

Sauté different winter vegetables with olive oil and the special Spice Mixture for a few minutes and add a can of garbanzo beans, a little tomato sauce and some vegetable stock. Let this simmer for about 20 minutes and serve over cous cous. You can garnish this with a little crumbled feta and chopped Kalamata olives.

This is a great time to cut up your pumpkins and squashes that have been decorating your front porch and get them roasting with garlic and olive oil. You may want to make a pot of polenta and toss some of this roasted squash into it along with some grated reggiano. Served on a bed of sautéed greens, this can be meal with or without a salad. This also makes a great side if you grill some fish or chicken up to eat with it. These squashes can be made ready for baking by cutting up into cubes and dousing with a neutral oil such as canola and roasting at 400° for about a half an hour. Place into your favorite type of freezer receptacle and just give them a little thaw to add the next time you bake some kind of bread or muffins.

However you do it now is the time to get in the habit of eating "9 a Day" of fruits and vegetables, this is what is recommended for optimum health, and the only place to get them is at your local farmers' market.

If you are having a hard time getting out exercising in inclement weather, put on a rain hat or an umbrella and get with it!
Use it or lose it in 2007!

Slow Food is presenting a screening of the film "Ripe for Change" on January 13 at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. For more info go to This is going to be a good one, made by local filmmakers.

Lesley Stiles can be reached at or on the market hotline 925 431-8361
DID YOU KNOW? by Manager Keith Farley
Big grocery stores are having a hard time surviving these days. A bay area biggie Andronicos has closed the Walnut Creek store and there are rumors that more stores are on the block. Diablo Foods has cut back on their choices at least in the meat department and has closed one of their stores. The move has gone to the smaller *urban* sized store and Farmers' Markets. Hooray! We are making headway. People are starting to understand that bigger is not better. Buying local and supporting the little guy is the wave of the future.

Here is a link to an article that goes into depth concerning this, enjoy. This article concerns big city issues but is applicable to the "urban-suburban" areas like Walnut Creek and addresses some of our local chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joes' Big stores suffer and why.
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