Tag Archives: farmer’s market

Slow Cooked Smokey Barbecue Chili


I tell you this every time I post a recipe, but I’ll tell you again. I love to cook because it’s creative. There are generally so few activities that get us away from the computer, and allow us to use our hands. That is precisely why the kitchen is a welcome breath of fresh air.

Yesterday was a quiet day at home. I spent the morning with the ladies from Team In Training going for a Saturday morning jog, brunch and then drifted through my favorite local Farmer’s market at Lakeshore in Oakland.

On a Fall day with three hours to do as I choose there is no greater joy than pulling out the slow cooker and losing myself in some heavy duty chopping.

Dish purchased at Cost Plus World Market

Slow cooked food always tastes better. The dish soaks up all kinds of flavors given that it has more time to marinate. That being said, slow cooked chili is one of my favorite things to make. It opens up your pores just as much as a salsa dancing class would. And if you like spice and flavor, there’s no shortage of variations you can do. I like to kick the heat and spice into high gear. You can control how spicy the dish is with the optional ingredients listed below.

You don’t have to make this in a slow cooker but it adds a lot of flavor.

Smokey Chili Recipe Ingredients:

1 lb heirloom tomatoes (the fresher the better)
1/3 cup of smokey barbecue sauce
1 lb extra lean beef (organic if possible)
1 green bell pepper chopped
3 garlic cloves minced
1 yellow onion chopped
1 can of Cuban black beans
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/3 cup low-fat cheddar cheese
2 cups low sodium chicken broth

Optional Chili ingredients:

1 cup Israeli cous cous or another grain to serve with
chili powder or chipotle seasoning [check out the Rancho Gordo Chili Powder found at the SF Ferry Building or Farmer’s Market]
2 Habanero Peppers


1. Spray pan with olive oil spray or pam. On medium heat saute the chopped onions in garlic. Chop green pepper and add. Once soft, add ground beef and break up the meat in the pan. You might add some of your chicken broth to avoid having to use olive oil and keeping the meat moist.
2. Heat slow cooker and add in all chopped ingredients stirring every 45 minutes or so. Add water if soup is too thick. Heat on high for about 4 hours on high, or 8 hour on low.
3. Serve with Israeli cous-cous and a spritzel of cheese on top garnished with cilantro or fennel.

I always just use what I have in the fridge or pantry. There’s no sense in starting your car up and driving to the market for one small ingredient.

I garnished my soup with fennel rather than cilantro. Fennel, while probably an uncharacteristic garnish, still tastes wonderful. Frozen cilantro went into the soup but wouldn’t have looked very becoming on top of the meal.

I took one bite of this soup and melted on the kitchen floor. The fresh heirloom tomatoes from the farmer’s market and all the spices made this dish an absolute pleasure to eat.


To dress the table for your meal, depicted below are a feast of Dahlias.

Heirloom tomatoes, golden beets, carrots and cucumbers from Lakeshore Farmer’s Market.  Fresh veggies make all the difference. Once you get your veggies directly from the farmers you won’t ever want to get your veggies from a plastic case at Trader Joe’s again. I promise you this.


Mouth Watering Frittata with Turkey Bacon, Corn Bread and Cherry Strawberry Preserves


I don’t generally toot my own horn, but this late night dinner was absolutely flavor-packed, delectable and fiery.

I made Egg Frittata with apple smoked turkey bacon and corn bread. This meal was very easy to make, absolutely delicious, and a perfect ‘breakfast inspired’ dinner. The hardest part of this meal is heading to your local farmer’s market to pick up these ingredients.

I went to the Farmer’s market this morning and purchased a ton of veggies, produce and some interesting curiosities. I know it’s a schlep to get to your local market, and generally you should bring cash, but I cannot express how much BETTER the food tastes when you get it fresh and local. It’s no joke.

watch in 1080 HD if you can (right corner of your window)

Tonight’s meal was simple, but you will need a few tools.


1. 5 eggs
2. 1/2 cup egg beaters
3. white cheddar cheese
4. skim milk
5. pepper/salt
6. Sweet roasted pepper flakes
7. Apple smoked salt

8.Italian Parsley
9. Chard
10. Mustard Greens
11. Turkey bacon
12. Tomatoes
13. Shiitake mushrooms
14. Half a yam
15. Preserves
16. Trader Joe’s cornbread mix

Two Jars pictured above purchased from All Star Organics.

White Cheddar Cheese purchased at the Embarcadero Farmer’s Market. You will only need about 1/7 of the package for the entire Frittata. On the right you see shiitake mushrooms, chard, italian parsley and yams.


1. Chop the garlic and the rest of your veggies and transfer to a cast iron pan (round and good size)—>(don’t forget to skin the yams and chop into very bite-size pieces).
2. Carmelize it in a pan with a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
3. Add your chopped onions to the garlic & olive oil and simmer.
4. Add the rest of the chopped veggies, stir around and multi-task by pre-heating the oven to 360 degrees.
5. Add all herbs including Italian Parsley, Sweet Pepper Flakes, Salt and Pepper.
6. After sauteing veggies pour your mixture of 5 eggs, skim milk (with salt and pepper) into the pan on medium heat.
7. Add a generous amount of cheese to the top equally distributed (not too generous–but generous enough).
8. Let sit for over medium heat until transferring the frittata into the oven (smaller ovens are better because they heat up faster and cook faster).
9. Let bake for about 20 minutes or until top is somewhat hardened (not too hard) and browned. Let cool.

For Bacon and Cornbread please scroll down–>

Pictured Above is Frittata Before

Turkey Bacon is a delicious and flavorful source of protein. Trader Joe’s sells wonderful lean uncured Turkey Bacon (not the peppered one since you are flavoring it yourself).


1. Spray olive oil (we want this spray because there are far less calories as opposed to the olive oil in the first dish).
2. Five pieces of turkey bacon (low fat).
3. Smoked apple salt.


1. Brown bacon on both sides.
2. After somewhat browned (not burned but dark/crispy) put into the oven with the frittata to keep warm and crispy.
3. When removing from the oven pad down with paper towel to remove excess oil.

Pictured on the left are the cherry strawberry fruit preserves I bought at the Farmer’s Market today directly from the farmer (Strawberry Cherry). On the right is my cheat product. I made cornbread from a box (shhh).

Corn Bread. Corn bread is delicious–it’s a little sweet and grainy–and as far as I am concerned there is no reason you can’t eat it for dinner along with your other breakfast inspired ingredients. I made my corn bread the night before and you might want to do this too since there is a lot going on in this meal (in the oven). Plus this is very easy to make!


Box of Corn Bread from Trader Joe’s (we are cheating….but it’s ok!)

1. Two eggs
2. 3/4 cup apple sauce
3. 1/4 cup skim milk


1. Dump packet into a large bowl along with eggs, apple sauce (replacing requested vegetable oil) and milk.
2. Stir with immersion blender until consistency is smooth and thick and there are no traces of the powdery corn bread mix.
3. Spray a medium sized rectangular or square pan.
4. Put into the oven at 350 degrees until browned.
5. Remove after between 20 and 40 minutes and allow to cool.

Frittata (After)

You see I topped the corn bread with a dollop of the preserves. I also chopped fresh tomato and added some salt to the top. The Frittata when you take it out of the oven should look somewhat like a pie–with a crisper periphery.  You can use your spatula to serve the Frittata.