Farmer’s Market Finds

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A look at pecan-crusted chicken. (

A look at pecan-crusted chicken. (

Downtown. Live music. Fresh produce. Canvas bags. Eight in the morning until noon. Prime time hours at a farmer’s market near you.

Whether you’re sailing solo, on a continuation from Friday night’s date, or strolling with the family as you do every Saturday morning, the farmers market is the perfect way to kickoff your weekend. The atmosphere is light, and casual. The fruit is bright and fresh. The veggies are crisp, and the sun is soft and warm.

Whether you’re on the search for unique produce, or organic honey, the farmers market is a gold mine. Sure, the weekly deals like eight ears of white corn for one dollar are great, but the real pleasure comes from the ripe sweet lime that can’t be found in the grocery chain. It’s in a pound of raw pecans, grown by a local farmer who shows you how to pick the best in the bunch. Or by the most vibrant green spinach you’ve ever seen, completely pesticide free, and completely organic.

We’re talking fresh air, fresh produce, friendly faces, free samples, and best of all, no long supermarket lines. And these little nuggets of produce gold do not have to be enjoyed mutually exclusively. No, No. These finds are perfectly incorporated into to-go lunches and every day dinner recipes.

Stimulating company or tranquil solitude, a summer morning saunter along the produce lined street is all you need to get all you need to make delicious meals all week long.

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

1. 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2. ½ cup chopped pecans
3. ¼ cup Italian breadcrumbs
4. Zest of ½ of an orange
5. 2 tspn dried basil
6. ¼ cup Italian dressing

Preheat oven to 385 degrees. In a food processor (or blender if you don’t have one), pulse pecans until they are almost as fine as the breadcrumbs. In a shallow dish, combine pecans and breadcrumbs. In a separate shallow dish, combine orange zest and Italian dressing.

Dust each chicken breast with salt, pepper, and dried basil. Dredge chicken breast in the dressing mixture first, then the pecan-breadcrumb mixture. Make sure each breast is evenly coated. Place the breasts into a greased baking pan. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until the juices run clear and the meat is cooked through. Once cooked, remove from oven, and serve.

Spinach Bruschetta Salad

1. Fresh whole leaf spinach (rinsed, and stems chopped)
2. ½ cup grape tomatoes (quartered)
3. 1 small can sliced olives
4. 1 stem green onion (chopped)
5. 1 large garlic clove (minced/pressed)
6. 1 tbsp dried basil
7. ¼ cup sliced cucumber
8. ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
9. Croutons
10. Fresh parmesan cheese

In a small bowl, combine, tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, garlic, and dried basil. Cover and set aside for about 20 minutes so tomatoes can marinate.

In a large bowl, combine all other ingredients. Once tomatoes are marinated, add them and the extra juices to the salad, toss, top with fresh parm, and serve.

Nichole Jones is a Staff Reporter for Living Out Loud - LA, covering lifestyle, entertainment and sports. Follow her on Twitter: @Cinnam0nBun
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