October Challenge–Union Square Greenmarket

This Saturday, James and I decided to try a different NYC greenmarket.  We have been to the Union Square greenmarket before, but never for any sizeable shopping trip, and usually just to pick up a snack or waste some time.  This market is huge, and it is an understatement to say that I was overwhelmed.

Obviously it was very busy on a Saturday morning, but it also did not help that Mayor Bloomberg decided to venture through the market with his posse.  Mr. Bloomberg is surprisingly short in person.  He was wearing a festive orange sweater (which James thought was silly), and he seemed just as aloof as I felt surrounded by hundreds of people.

Green leafy bunches, red and yellow potatoes, sunflower wheat bread, fresh oregano, chives for the potatoes, a couple heirloom tomatoes, and more were selected from the carefully tended produce stands.  But of course, as new comers to all things dairy, we could not resist browsing milk, cheese, and yogurt.  Okay, mostly yogurt.

We bought chocolate milk and plain yogurt from Milk Thistle Farms.  The cows roam free and their products are organic. Remember, “you are what you eat eats too”.

The yogurt is supposed to last for a month, but I am sure it will be gone much sooner:

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We also found small bottles of yogurt from Tonjes Farm.  Raspberry and Maple.

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Tonjes cheese made with raw cow’s milk.  Crumbly and delicious.

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Raw cow’s milk is actually illegal in about 22 states, mostly due to misinformation.  The stigma of raw milk is that it contains harmful bacteria that will make most people who drink it sick.  In reality, the pasteurization process which heats milk at high temperatures to kill any harmful bacteria actually ends up disposing of the bacteria, proteins, and enzymes that are beneficial to our health.  The food and drug administration is mostly worried about food-borne illnesses, but anytime that you take a bite of anything you are at risk.  Remember e. coli in spinach?

As Pollan points out in his book, there was a time when we were told margarine was better for us than real butter.  Now there isn’t a person that I know who doesn’t avoid trans-fats like their life depends on it (and it probably does).  Want to know more about raw milk? Start with this articleWhat do you think about raw milk?

Back to the market–we were lucky to find a deal on our favorite yogurt.  Hawthorne Valley Farm.  Buy five yogurts ($7.50) and get two free.  It was just a little more than a dollar each, which in NYC is not bad.

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Saturday night I used broccoli rabe from the greenmarket to make spicy tempeh and broccoli rabe pasta.  I also baked the other half of the kabocha squash that I had been saving in the freezer.

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Nothing is better than fresh home cooked food.

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