Saturday, November 20, 2010

Good Morning! It's a gorgeous day here in NC...a perfect day to hit the local market. I know it's November, and pretty close to Thanksgiving, but don't be fooled: there is usually still a LOT of fresh fruit and vegetables at your local produce stand or farmers market.
I would guess everyone thinks about the typical fall crops like winter squashes and root crops, but there's a lot more available, depending on where you live. Here in Eastern NC, apples are at their peak. Also available right now: broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, pumpkins, late tomatoes, pecans, peanuts and sweet potatoes(mmm...fresh sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving!).
If you're in the Northeast states, there's still time to grab beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, onions, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, tomatoes and turnips.
In the South, apples, broccoli, cucumbers, cabbage, mushrooms, pumpkins, tomatoes, turnips, pecans, peas, peanuts,spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, watermelon and zucchini.
In the Midwest, your local farmers are still producing apples, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkins, squash and sweet potatoes.
In the Rockies, you can still get your hands on apples, carrots, onions and potatoes.
If you're the Pacific Northwest, sharpen your appetite for apples, asian pears, beets, blackberries, blueberries, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, grapes, mushrooms, onions, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, raspberries, rutabagas, spinach and turnips.
Californians, from what I've heard and seen-ya'll can get pretty much anything, pretty much any time. Same for you Floridians.
So see? Even though the weather outside may be getting frightful, the bounty from your local farms and markets is still delightful. There's still so many opportunities to bring fresh fruits and veggies into your daily diet!

Lemony Almond Spinach Pesto Pasta with Tuna


  • 1/2 lb whole-wheat pasta, any shape
  • 3 cups tightly-packed baby spinach (3 oz)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh mint1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • Zest and juice 1 large lemon (2 tsp zest, 1⁄3 cup juice), divided
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted toasted almond slivers
  • 1 6-oz can solid white tuna packed in water, no salt added
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced small
  • 1 small zucchini, diced small
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (or 1 15-oz can low-sodium white beans, drained and rinsed)
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking further. Set aside.
  2. Put spinach, mint, garlic, cheese and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse to form a chunky paste. Combine lemon juice and oil in a liquid measuring cup. With food processor running (on but not pulsing), add juice-oil mixture through the food chute in a slow drizzle until a thick, smooth pesto forms. Combine pesto with cooked pasta in a large bowl.
  3.  Put almonds in processor and pulse about 10 times, until finely chopped. Stir almonds into pasta. 
  4. Drain tuna and flake it with a fork. Add it to pasta, along with yellow pepper, zucchini and beans. Toss to combine and season with salt and black pepper.  
Nutrients per 2-cup serving: Calories: 450, Total Fat: 11 g, Sat. Fat: 1.5 g, Carbs: 66 g, Fiber: 14 g, Sugars: 6 g, Protein: 28 g, Sodium: 190 mg, Cholesterol: 15 mg


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