Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Great Local Food

I visited the downtown farmers market Saturday morning, which is considerably smaller than Sunset Valley, but I did manage to pick up some wonderful produce. Aside from three baskets of peaches, I got sunburst squash, golden zucchini, purple onions, and beautiful tomatoes.

Because I love our peaches so much and can’t bear to do anything but eat them right out of the fridge, I was smart this time around and bought a big bargain basket of overripe and/or damaged peaches to cook. I was also happy to buy the peaches from Urban Roots. I noticed the vendors appeared to be two teenage boys, working very hard to keep baskets of peaches ready for the long line of buyers. Here’s some information I pulled off the Urban Roots website.

Urban Roots is a youth development program that uses sustainable agriculture as means to effect lasting change for youth participants, and to nourish East Austin residents who currently have limited access to healthy foods. Young people will cultivate a local 2 - 5 acre, diversified organic farm, selling a portion of their harvest in the Austin area and donating a portion to local hunger relief programs. Through this process young people can connect to the land and learn the benefits of growing, eating, selling and donating organic food, as well as leadership, entrepreneurial and life skills, and the importance of giving back to their community.

I felt really good buying my peaches from Urban Roots, and you get a yummy peach dessert recipe at the end of this post!

Chase would be working 12 hours on Sunday, without much to eat during the day, so I knew he would be extra hungry for dinner. I took a chance making a meal with squash (he’s not a big fan of summer squash) and no tofu.

For our entrée I made Blackeyed Peas and Collards from Vegan Fire & Spice. I used fresh local field peas I found at my market. This was a very flavorful dish, and I was so pleased that I was able to hold it for nearly an hour before serving.

I served it over Baked Brown Rice Pilaf.

I also served the Sunburst Squash, which I simply sautéed in broth with red pepper and onions.

And of course, the obligatory broccoli. Here’s my simple plate.

Here’s Chase’s plate. As hungry as he was, he took the time to make a lovely presentation and then take the picture himself. Please note that the rice is in a square pattern and the peas are in the shape of a pyramid.

I also set out chopped fresh tomato and some leftover 4th of July potato salad. I must tell you that Chase LOVED the sunburst squash and ate almost all of it. He also ate the fresh tomato, which he normally gags at. Tomatoes are so sweet right now it’s almost like eating fruit, which we all know it really is, but I’m just sayin’…

Okay, now desserts! That’s right, two desserts. I have tons of peaches and tons of bananas. As much as I love peaches, I still need my chocolate, so a banana and chocolate dessert was in order. I pulled out my copy of Sinfully Vegan and selected the gluten free Bold Banana Cake. The header reads “This is a heavy, rich-tasting cake…” and it is certainly true! I baked as directed until the sides pulled away and a toothpick came out clean.

But oh boy, when I sliced it, it was pure goo.

I would liken it to a big bowl of oatmeal with mashed bananas and chocolate chips in it. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just not what I had anticipated.

The second dessert, however, was stupendous! I made a gluten free Peach Buckle from a recipe inspired by Food Allergy Survival Guide, Living Well Without. A buckle is a great dessert to make gluten free, because it’s like cake, only it “buckles” or sinks when it cools. I couldn’t get a good picture of the bumpy top, but it was definitely a buckle! And I had no problem using the bargain peaches for this recipe. Here’s Chase’s corner piece with NadaMoo.

And here is my beautiful slice.

If you like peach cake, please give this recipe a try. And remember you can sub AP or WW flour for the gluten free.

Peach Buckle

¼ cup canola oil
½ cup Sucanat (or other granular sugar)
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup applesauce (I used peach butter)
1-1/4 cups gluten free flour (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
¾ cup oats*
2 t. baking powder
1 t. xantham gum (or guar gum)
1 t. cinnamon
½ t. salt
½ cup nondairy milk
1 t. vanilla
2 cups diced peaches (I like to leave the skin on)

½ cup oats*
¼ cup brown sugar
1 t. cinnamon
2 T. canola oil

* If oats are not a part of your gluten free diet, substitute them with more gluten free flour.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9-inch square glass pan with cooking spray (or lightly oil).

Prepare cake: Combine oil, Sucanat, maple syrup, and applesauce in a mixing bowl and combine. In a separate bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, xantham gum, cinnamon, and salt. Add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture and mix well. Add milk and vanilla and mix well. Mix in remainder of flour mixture and stir just until incorporated. Fold in peaches, then pour into pan.

Combine all topping ingredients and mix until crumbs form. Sprinkle on top of cake batter. Bake for 60 minutes, until lightly browned and tester comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

This was so delicious, a fantastic finish to our fresh local dinner.


LizNoVeggieGirl said...

What a nice haul of produce form the farmer's market!!

Mmm, the Blackeyed Peas & Collards dish and the Peach Buckle are definitely my top 2 favorites in this post :0)

Chase's plate is a work of art!! Love it!!

Anonymous said...

Dinner looks grand. You have inspired me to do a pilaf and some kind of lima beans and turnip greens thingee tomorrow night. With broccoli of course.

Anonymous said...

Oh those veggies! Such a beautiful, simple picture- love it! And snaps to Chase for such a lovely presentation (of such yummy looking food!).
Until today, I'd never heard of a "buckle", but after reading the recipe and seeing your picture, I think I want to try!

Erin said...

Hahaha, Chase can come visit Florida for a week and vacuum up my food, as long as he bring the bunny too :)

Your peach buckle looks marvelous! I've never had a real buckle. This is a perfect dessert for this time of year.

I think what you call sunburst squash is called patty pan squash here. That and golden zucchini are two of my favorite summertime produce buys.

Katy said...

That peach bucle looks great! And even though it's gooey, I love anything with peanut butter and bananas!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Chase made that presentation? Haha you taught him well!

Actually, oatmeal goo sounds incredibly delicious to me; much better even than plain old boring cake ;o).

The peach buckle looks pretty darn amazing too.

Jamie the Foodie said...

oh wow! that banana chocolate cake looks incredible! i wish i had more energy, i would go cook it now!

jessy said...

what great farmer's market loot! the sunburst squash is so bright and beautiful! i love it!

i love the pilaf, and the black eyed peas & collards! and that peach buckle looks divine! thanks for the recipe! once i get my hands on a bunch of peaches i'm totally making this! hooooooooooooray!

Simple and Divine said...

Hi there! I'm Julz, I run the blog "Simple and Divine" and I don't know how it is possible, but I have never looked at your blog before!!!!!! WHY HAS THE WORLD LEFT ME OUT OF THIS?! It's AWESOME! I adore the plethora of colors in your pictures, and the divine looking tummy treasures :) Mmmmm! I can't wait to try your recipes too! I'm just so excited to have found such a gem of a blog! Hooray!!! :)

Meghan said...

everything here looks so light, colorful and tasty! we really live in a great town.

aTxVegn said...

Julz, thanks so much! I'll be sure to visit you too.

And thanks to all of you for your kind comments. I do appreciate them so much.

Erin, I thought pattypan was small and sunburst was the bigger variety, but maybe they're interchangeable.

The Voracious Vegan said...

I am always amazed by how stunningly gorgeous your meals are. Healthy and tasty at the same time, you are such an inspiration!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

That produce is gorgeous! Urban Haul sounds great.

Everything looks yummy!

Little Miss Sunshine said...

Oh my that peach buckle cake sounds to good to be true! Can I use canned peach - I have no choice, it's winter here, so no fresh peaches for me! :0(

Judy said...

Lovely food! Urban Roots sounds like a really great organization, I love to see people taking that kind of initiative to change and grow. Hopefully this kind of program catches on on a larger scale.

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

I really liked the sound of that peach buckle :) You always manage to come up with something new and delicious Diann! Tell Chase I liked the presentation!

Vegan_Noodle said...

I totally share your love for Texas peaches :-) I did a little bit of gluten free baking at the bootcamp this past week and it has definitely increased my level of appreciation for all the gf baking you do!!

Jenn said...

Great job, Chase!

My sweetie also likes to do up the presentation of food -- it's nice to have those folks around. :)

The peach buckle looks great - I might give that a go since I still have 20# of peaches in the fridge and even more languishing on tree and lawn at neighbor's house across the street.