Napa Farmers Market: Here’s to a healthy 2021 | Freshly Picked

A much smarter strategy, for health and weight loss, is to work toward developing healthier meal patterns that will stay with you for life — a way of eating that’s all about pleasure, not denial. Focus on all the wholesome, tasty foods you can freely enjoy, and you won’t feel deprived. You can eat more, not less.

A weekly trip to the Napa Farmers Market can help you appreciate the cornucopia available to you. Rather than thinking about what you can’t or shouldn’t eat, focus on expanding the universe of what you can. At this time of year, the Napa Farmers Market is overflowing with nutritious options for winter meals. Chard, kale, broccoli, beets, turnips, carrots, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, citrus fruits, grapes, seafood…the abundance is tantalizing.

You’ll see lots of sturdy greens for cooking at the market these days. Mix ’em up! Mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, chard, kale, broccoli rabe…the more types you combine, the better it tastes. Strip out the tough central stems (keep chard ribs—they’re tender and tasty), blanch the greens in boiling salted water until tender, then drain, cool and squeeze dry. Chop them coarsely and reheat in olive oil with chopped garlic.

You can make a big batch of cooked greens and enjoy them all week long. Stir some into a pot of beans. Toss with whole-wheat pasta. Spoon over whole-grain toast topped with ricotta. Serve with polenta and Italian sausage.

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