How Seasonal Bargains Came Together Quick for a Super-Satisfying, Healthy Meal

Feb 27, 2009 by


Grocery shoppingI went to Central Market yesterday with my list. I was planning to make Curly Endive Salad with Poached Pear, Pecans and Blue Cheese (see previous post for the recipe) that night.

Walking in, I was pleased to see some really nice, fresh looking jumbo asparagus for only $1.99 a pound. With some hollandaise sauce,it would make a scrumptious partner to the salad.

Then I saw they had fresh blueberries and lovely strawberries on sale. Like the asparagus, strawberries must be newly in season, and therefore, not only looking better than usual but also cheaper than usual. I rarely buy either one because they’re expensive, and strawberries are notorious for testing high on levels of residue from pesticides. But I figure it’s probably not as bad when they aren’t forced to grow out of season. And, as I often say, “The body can process a certain amount of toxins.”

So for less than $5 I could get a lot of berries, for a nice dessert for the four of us, really a third course of super nutritious fruit to round out the meal.

For the salad, I decided on some fragrant red pears instead of the really expensive Asian pears, which would have been a closer match for the quinces the original recipe called for. I figured they’d be just as good.

Voila! A really quick, wide-spectrum, healthy meal of an abundance of vegetables and fruits, many raw, for a night I knew I wouldn’t have much time.

Added bonus: this vegetarian fare includes good protein sources: egg, nuts, cheese. Some of us also added a little plain organic yogurt (also a bargain buy) to the fruit. I always keep in mind my mostly-vegetarian 18-year-old.

I figured it was a good omen when my cashier’s name was Delicia (see receipt below).

We got home late and I was able to whip up this three-dish meal in about a half an hour. It was fun to make and quite a hit with everybody.

This meal was delicious as well as really elegant looking. I felt exceptionally satisfied after the meal. I didn’t get pecky (as the British say) as I often do before bed time.

I estimate the meal cost me around $20, but the salad is enough for all of us to have again for lunch today. Not especially cheap, but very nutrient dense, so worth it once in awhile. It’s still a bargain compared to eating a lesser quality meal in a restaurant. Receipt2 

© Sacred Appetite  / Anna Migeon / 27 February 2009 / All rights reserved

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

Jeff, yes, pecky or peckish means hungry. I think I first saw the term in a kids' book, Making Friends with Frankenstein ("when I am feeling lonely, for Igor I will send, and we will go to the laboratory and we will make a friend"). There was a little rhyme about an ogre: "Pecky pecky, feeling pecky, I eats hooman beans for brecky."

Anna Migeon
Anna Migeon

I have in my garden/landscaping right now: rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon grass, lemon verbena, parsley, organo, marjoram, dill, and a bay tree (small bush for now). I have tried cilantro but don't find it easy, either. I grow a lot of basil in the summer and make batches of pesto. I love having fresh herbs growing all the time. I can't imagine not having them. I think growing fresh herbs is great for kids. They get to see them growing, smell them, taste them. It gives them interest in food and gives them a more vital connection to their food.


Anna: Do you ever grow your own herbs? I've grown lots but never have any luck with cilantro. Always bolts, gets leggy, and dies.

Jeff Duncan Brecht
Jeff Duncan Brecht

Sounds really Delicia-ous!! I'm never acquired a taste for bleu cheese, but I still try it ever so often. What's "pecky" mean? I remember hearing the term "peckish" on Monty Python, and I think (from the context) it means hungry.