Saturday, September 25, 2010

To market, to market

      Tomorrow I am leaving to participate in Appalachia Rising ( to continue to work on ending the horrific practice of mountaintop removal (for more info:, so today my partner wanted to spend time with me before I headed off to D.C. Since he had never been to the Asheville farmer's market (I, being from Asheville, spent very many fond moments there), we decided we should go on an adventure. So we loaded ourselves up and headed through the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains to the quirky little city of Asheville.
      The wonderful thing about the farmer's market in Asheville is that it is open all year round, usually seven days a week. It's a pretty amazing place where you can find locally made cheeses, locally grown produce of all sorts, original Appalachian jams, jellies, and butters (for instance "frog jam" which is made out of figs,
raspberries, oranges and ginger, or moonshine jelly, jalapeno jelly, pumpkin butter, sweet potato butter, etc etc.), fudge, homemade ice cream, crafts and more. I hadn't been there for some time, so revisiting it was, for me, something like a six year old going to Disney. We looked at the amazing assortment of pumpkins, perused the endless aisles of canned jellies and honey, tasted amazing cheese, and in general had a wonderful time.
Perfect apples!                                                       Giant pumpkin!
      While we were there we picked out some pretty exciting local produce, which I plan on using this week once I make it home from D.C. Tonight, though, I am using some beautiful sweet potatoes we picked up to make some baked sweet potato souffle with pecans (recipe below), along with some southern style pinto beans (you can find this recipe in the post "I'm from the South"). I was also going to make some Southern fried tofu, but after eating a delicious meal of tempelo wings and southern style greens with cornbread and vegan gravy from Rosetta's Kitchen (an AMAZING vegetarian/vegan restaurant that uses local food in downtown Asheville), we decided we would have a light dinner.

Our amazing meal from Rosetta's Kitchen

Below, enjoy my simple sweet potato souffle with pecans:

3 large sweet potatoes, washed, peeled, and cut into cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon each of garlic powder, onion powder, sage, black pepper, salt
3-4 tablespoons agave nectar
3 tablespoons butter or vegan butter
1 cup of pecans, ground up or finely chopped
3 tablespoons of brown sugar

Boil your sweet potatoes in a large pot of water with the olive oil (I actually put mine on low heat for about 30 minutes)
Strain potatoes, place in a baking dish (I used an 8X8 dish), add butter and using a hand-held masher, mash potatoes. Add agave nectar, mash again. Add spices, and mash again, making sure everything is mixed up well.
Mix your pecans and brown sugar together and layer them out evenly on top of the potatoes.
Place in oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 15-20 minutes


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