Ginger Maple Miso Fairytale Eggplant

Once upon a time…

We were shooting the “on location” segment for Episode 4, and I was delighted to find these gorgeous and quirky eggplants at the market from Apple Ridge Farm. These are “fairytale eggplants”, a perfect name for their whimsical color and tiny size.

If Jackson Pollock got a hold of some eggplants then put them in the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids machine, they would turn into these guys.

Fairytale Eggplant, Apple Ridge Farms, PA.

I left them on the table in a bowl for a few days because they are just so pretty! Finally, I made a simple ginger miso marinade and roasted them in the oven. This is a very easy dish with no added oil (expect to spray the pan), and the eggplants become so creamy. Their skin is very tender and doesn’t need to be removed.

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  • about 15-20 fairytale eggplants (or 2-3 purple large eggplant cut like pickle spears)
  • 1 Tbsp white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2-inch chunk ginger, grated
  • 1 large clove garlic, grated

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Remove the stems from the tops of the eggplant, then slice in half vertically.  Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray, and place the eggplant on the sheet, cut side up.

In a small bowl, add the miso and the hot water. (Make sure water is hot, it helps dissolve the miso paste.) Whisk until miso is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and whisk together.

Miso marinated roasted eggplant.

Brush marinade on eggplant until all is used up. Put eggplant in the oven for 25 minutes, or until it becomes very soft and creamy.

You can garnish with a little cilantro and sesame meeds, or crushed peanuts!

Miso Maple Ginger Fairytale Eggplant, roasted.

Maple Miso Ginger Fairytale Eggplant, roasted.

This makes a great, low-fat side dish or serve it as a main course along with a big green salad. The flavors lend themselves well to accompany Asian influenced dishes.

These would also be excellent on the grill!

“The World Laughs in Flowers”

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Summer bouquet, Apple Ridge Farms. Bethlehem, PA farmers market.

At night, I try to sleep but can’t. My mind is racing with possibilities, playing out scenarios, sometimes I wake myself up talking as though someone would give a reply. There is so much to do and fully realizing how much we can do makes sleep, though necessary and desired, fade away into groggy 4am stumbles through the kitchen, scribbling notes on scrap paper and telling myself “remember this idea tomorrow, remember this idea tomorrow”.

And all the while, the world really does laugh in flowers.

Let’s Cooperate

I’m off to a wedding today (woohoo! I watched wedding shows all morning so I’m extra-lovey and super excited!), so check back next week while I hope to get caught up on posts that have been stewing in my brain for weeks.

But let me remind you about this little initiative… well, scratch that. It’s a big deal.

The Bethlehem Food Co-op is rolling along, full steam ahead.

WE NOW HAVE T-SHIRTS, BUTTONS, BUSINESS CARDS AND BROCHURES! Go to the website to learn more about how you get any of these wonderful things to spread the good word.

A committee is currently working on putting together a cookbook for a fundraiser and you’re going to want to get one, because no one can ever have too many cookbooks. Ask me, I know. If you’d like to know more or be a part of it, send an email to info@bethlehemfood.coop

The next Bethlehem Food Co-op meeting is open to ANYONE, and will be this Thursday, April 19th at 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Center Street in Bethlehem. Bring a friend, bring your kids, bring cookies.

On Saturday, April 28th, we will be part of Bethlehem’s Earth Day celebration with information and be part of activities for the kids!

Poster in progress, Christian Weber Creatives. I'll replace this with a real one when he sends it to me.

Speaking of Bethlehem, starting this May the NEW Historic District Farmer’s Market will begin at the Sun Inn Courtyard, right there downtown (walking distance, hey now!) on Thursdays from 11am-3pm. The Co-op will be around with an information table and helping the vendors if they need it.

If you would like to be involved in ANY of these wonderful projects, leave a comment and I’ll help you get in touch with the right people.

Bethlehem Food Co-op Update: January 2012

Now that the rush of the Holidays has settled, we are back to planning meetings and organizing next steps to take toward opening the Food Co-op.

There will be a general meeting on Thursday, January 19th from 7pm-9pm at the Icehouse in Bethlehem (more info below). It will be broken into two parts: 7p-8pm we will hold Committee Meetings. If you attended the first meetings and signed up for a committee, you will meet with your group (or one of your groups if you signed up for several). If you haven’t signed up, feel welcome to come and join a committee. The general meeting will be held from 8pm-9pm, so we can update each other on the actions the committees will take next, among other things.

One exciting element of this meeting will be the naming of the Co-op. It’s currently referred to several different ways among people, websites, and social media. We are looking for one name so information will be consistent.

YOU CAN VOTE ON THE NAME HERE, and do so before the January 19th meeting. Voting is open until January 15th.

*All name suggestions are listed here – some are serious, others are funny. Enjoy.

You can find updated information on the Bethlehem Food Co-op blog, which goes into more detail about the meeting and anything we are working on.

JANUARY CO-OP MEETING INFO

  • Thursday, January 19th 2012
  • 7pm-9pm
  • at The Icehouse in Bethlehem (located on the river on Northside, near Sand Island, right behind The Wooden Match restaurant. The Icehouse is a brick building closest to the river with a public park behind it.)
  • Here are directions to The Icehouse
  • Keep up with the Co-op Facebook Page for more information/discussion
Thanks to Breath_less'56 on flickr for this photo of The Icehouse, Bethlehem

Thanks to Breath_less'56 on flickr for this photo of The Icehouse, Bethlehem

YEAR-ROUND WEEKLY FARMERS MARKET IN BETHLEHEM: New! Indoors in Winter Months! In the Most Unlikely of Places!

I support endeavors that make healthy food affordable and accessible, especially when they are organic and extra-especially (?) when they are local.*

So when you take the wonderous oasis that is a Farmer’s Market and find a way to make it a year-round event, noteably even  during freezing Pennsylvania winters, everyone benefits.

But here’s the punchline to… well, not to a joke, exactly, but it doesn’t seem to fit at all: This is happening in the Westgate Mall on Schoenersville Road.

Stay with me now.

The Westgate Mall, in short, can be summed by up watching the viral video of David at the Dentist – Is this real life? That said, I think everyone, even wacky abandoned strip malls, deserves a chance to explore a fresh start and a newly improved identity. 

So! The Westgate Mall Farmer’s Market was born, and I heartily applaud whoever got it running. Aside from the benefits of having a Farmer’s Market, I hope this can serve to propel the Westgate Mall into better status, bring in new merchants that last longer than 2 months and offer needed businesses.

Here’s the basic info:

WESTGATE MALL FARMERS MARKET:

  • Every Wednesday, Noon-7pm
  • Year Round
  • Located in the Middle of the Mall inside the Main Entrance
  • Currently 17 Vendors

Large flags wave near the road on Market days.

You CAN'T MISS the market because one of the vendors sells flags. Lots and lots of flags. It's weird and kitschy and alright by me. Why not?

Collard greens and squash, yum.

Ed from The Verba Farm

Apple Ridge Farm bakery items

It was wonderful to meet first hand even more of the farmers and vendors that have expressed interest in our Co-op project (see two pervious posts). While yesterday was the first day and the number of vendors was low, more will be coming in as the weeks progress and it’ll be wonderful to be able to shop for local goods past November. This is a really great time to kick this off as other local outdoor markets just wrapped up for the season.

Read more about it via Lehigh Valley Live

(*As a vegan I advocate products free of animal ingredients)

GET FRESH WITH ME: Food Documentary Screening + Discussion

Today is the FIRST day of the new Farmers Market at SteelStacks on Southside Bethlehem! If you’re not feeling sure about going, let me just say this:

Among the vendors listed is Balasia. Bam. See you there, yes?

 Also: an organic and fair trade coffee and tea vendor, Easton Salsa Company (how can a condiment be so good!?), several other vendors offering vegan goods, produce and vegetable plants, and a winery (hey now!) to name a few.

It’s from 3pm-7pm. 

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! 

Inside Steelstacks cinema is the screening of Fresh, a food documentary about the contamination of food and agriculture, of how it became “profit over people”, how spraying chemicals on everything and  violently abusing animals became standard. Beyond the grim veil of all the things we’ve done to make such a mess, the film shows real life examples of people that have followed a new way (perhaps, more accurately, an old way) of doing things that doesn’t devastate the earth, animals, crops or people.

The film begins at 7:30pm, cost is $9.50 and there is a student discount. Discussion panelists include:  Dr. Megan Grega, the Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of the Kellyn Foundation, Brian Moyer, Scott Meyer.

 Scott Meyer is the author of a really neat book that, incidentally, I was just looking at two weeks ago without realizing we’d get to talk to him. The City Homesteader covers all essentials of urban farming and gardening, including DIY money saving (and earth saving) tips, and the book has a beautiful design. *It does contain non-vegan info like how to raise chickens and such, but you’re all adults and can decide what info is pertinent or not.

 SEE YOU THERE!