MASON CITY, Iowa – Farmers markets pop up all across our area during the summer, and many people make it a weekly task to visit their local market to buy fresh, and buy local.
However, once you bring the fresh produce home, it might be an intimidating task to take those fruits and vegetables and create a well-balanced meal. To help conquer these kitchen fears, dietitians with HyVee in Mason City have been stopping out at area farmers markets demonstrating quick and easy ways to cook a nutritious meal.
On Tuesday, HyVee West dietitian, Megan Conlon whipped up a Quinoa Pilaf using fresh vegetables found at the North Iowa Farmers Market.
Quinoa Pilaf (serves 6)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely-diced carrots
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 cups quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
4 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in large skillet, medium-high heat. Add onion, cook until soft, 3 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté.
2. Add carrots, pepper and any other vegetables you choose to add and cook about 3-5 minutes.
3. Add quinoa and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low.
4. Simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. You will want to stir occasionally.
5. Salt and pepper to taste.
Conlon tells us that the vegetables in the dish can be substituted with other seasonal summertime favorites.
To learn more about what is in season, and how to buy your produce locally, visit the Healthy Harvest of North Iowa’s website, and for finding your local market, be sure to check out http://www.localharvest.org/