Cooking at the Market Nov 2017 – April 2018

Cooking at the Market, a project of Portola Valley Farmers Market, inspires shoppers to try new ways of preparing and enjoying, seasonal local foods. With the help of market sponsors; businesses interested in supporting this tasty, educational effort, we make great meals, and a great difference! See the posts for September 2016 – March 2017 here.


April 2018

Gas Problem Solved! A class on dried beans

Sponsor: Ron Ramies Automotive

What’s the secret to cooking beans and why don’t we eat more? Gas is the short answer! Beans contain a triple sugar, stachyose; a quadruple sugar, raffinose; and a five sugar, verbascose that don’t digest because we are missing an enzyme required to break down the sugars. When the beans get to the colon, the bacteria ferment the sugars and gas is produced as a byproduct. So how can we reduce? Two quick tips:

1) Soak your beans overnight, covered in water. Next morning, drain, rinse the beans, and cover with fresh water before cooking.

2) Add a 2″ piece of seaweed called kombu to the pot while cooking, which helps to breakdown the indigestible sugars. Pictured below, kombu is the sea green (seaweed) placed over the three beans featured in class. The yellow beans are toor dal or split peas, the black are Urad dal or black lentils, and the red are Japanese Adzuki beans. Buy kombu, yellow and adzuki beans in natural foods stores. Urid dal is found in Indian markets.

Adzuki beans are the “red bean paste” found in many Asian sweets. Here, we pressure-cooked them with brown rice for 45 minutes, for a unique beans and grains combo.

Yellow lentils cook quickly in 15 minutes, and here we added pistachio and spices to make a delicious hummus-like dip for raw veggies or a sandwich spread.

Recipe: Yellow Lentil.Pistachio Dip & Adzuki Beans.Rice

Lastly, we soaked the small urad dal overnight, then cooked with freshly shaved turmeric and spices into a wonderful bean dish, and a taste treat you should cook up tonight!

Gallardo’s Farm had the best cilantro that day; a nice mix of stem and leaves. Remember the stems have all the flavor, so just dice small and use the whole plant.

Thanks Ron Ramies Automotive for solving all our gas problems!

March 2018

Happy St. Patty’s Day

Sponsor: Pacific TherX

Twas a rainy day at the market, but we still made it out!

Bianchini’s Market featured their homemade corned beef. “Everything in moderation, including moderation and even Bianchini’s ever-so-good Corned Beef on St. Pat’s.”  We garnished with cucumber shamrocks, easily created by making small notches in your Persian cucumbers.

Then slow- roasted up tomatoes (a great technique when not the season).

And made it into St. Patty’s Vegan Cabbage Soup with spring English pea.

Thanks to Pacific THERx Fitness Center & Bianchini’s Market

February 2018

Pomegranate Party!

Sponsor: Bianchini’s Market

We started with a product new to me – Shields Date Garden date crystals from So Cal.

And added in into a Smit Farms Pomegranate Beet @Nutn’Bean Honey Pumpkin Seed Date Crystal Smoothie. Can you say YUM!

Then took to the sizzle…

And made Maggie Foard‘s Black and Sticky BBQ Sauce

Followed up with some curry spices

Into One Ocean Seafood Cod and Pomegranate Curry over Hato Mugi and Brown Rice



December 2017

EZ Holiday Appetizers

Sponsor: Bianchini’s Market

Gathered all the yummy foods at the market today

and turned then into some delicious, quick appetizers for the holidays.


Roasted Red Pepper Old Dog Ranch Walnut Habanero Pomegranate Dip


Gallardo’s Organic Farm red carrots and broccoli

– recipe from Cool Cuisine – Taking the Bite Out of Global Warming.


 One Ocean Seafood Salmon with Square Cucumber Cups


Recipe: Smoked Salmon in Square Cucumber Cups


Blue Cheese Walnut Ce Palti Quesadilla | Cranberry & Smit Farm Dried Cherry Salsa

Recipe: Blue Cheese Walnut Quesadilla with Cranberry Fig Salsa


Even Santa stopped by for a taste!


Thanks Bianchini’s for sponsoring 🙂



November 2017

Winter Squash – Three Ways

Sponsor: Pacific TherX.

November notes the start of season #2 for Cooking at the Market!

First we got a hold of some great Little Sky Bakery Bread from Menlo Park.

Then pressure cooked some Green Oaks Creek Farm sweet dumpling squash (for only 10 minutes) to make a perfect morning comfort treat, Winter Squash Toasts. Top with additional toasted walnuts for a rich crunch.


Next, grilled up some fuyu persimmon, that is the crispy persimmon that looks like an apple. (And yes, slice and grill with butter or olive oil).

We added it to a shaved fall salad made with raw butternut and carrot from Gallardo’s Organic Farm



Lastly we pan-sauted red kabocha squash with Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning


Join us next month! Thanks again to our sponsor, Pacific TherX

Here’s the shaved fall salad recipe.

Email me for any of the other recipes.


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