The produce stand run by J. E. Perry Farms (Fremont, CA – 880 & Decoto Rd.) is my new favorite place to buy fresh fruits and vegetables! They grow most of the organic produce on-site so it’s about as “fresh & local” as you can get! Plus, they have a wide variety of organic and conventional produce so customers can still get all the produce they need in one place. One thing I especially appreciate is the labeling. They clearly mark all organic produce and those items grown on the farm. The boxes holding the fruit are from the farms that grew them so it’s easy to know how far the food traveled. Another perk is that the produce stand is open normal store hours: 9am – 7pm everyday from June 1st – Nov. 29th (those dates may vary year-to-year, I’m not sure). This means I can pop in on my way home from work or whenever I can fit in my weekend grocery shopping. The prices are reasonable and the variety is outstanding! On my most recent trip to the produce stand, I purchased all of the following:
Lemon cucumber – Tastes like a regular cucumber but juicier.
Zucchini, yellow, and grey squash - The grey was a first for me!
Cheddar cauliflower – It’s orange and, when added to a sauce or casserole, makes everything taste sort of cheesy. Yum!
Red bell pepper
With all these awesome veggies, I decided to whip-up an impromptu pasta dinner. Here’s what I made using all organic vegetables from the produce stand:
This easy pasta dish uses long-lasting vegetables so it can be made up to a week after a trip to the grocery store. Makes 4-6 servings.
Timing: 30 min. or less
Type: (Mostly) pantry meal
3 small squash
1 small onion
1 head cheddar cauliflower
1-2 T olive oil
1 pkg. Whole Wheat Fettuccine (from Trader Joe’s)
1 jar Roasted Garlic Spaghetti Sauce (also TJs)
I also added a ½ lb of baked organic chicken from Marin Sun Farms that I had leftover from the night before. This dish is hearty enough without meat, but the chicken was fine and sausage would probably go well too. If you use fully cooked meat, add it at the end of step 2. Otherwise, cook it first (step 0), then go through the following steps and either add it to the sauce while the pasta is cooking or just top the off the bowl with meat. Additional veggies that would blend well are bell peppers or mushrooms added at step 1.
1. Wash all vegetables. Remove the leafy bits on the bottom of the cauliflower and discard. Chop the squash, onion, and cauliflower. Begin heating oil over medium heat in a skillet.
2. Add veggies to skillet. Let cook ~5 minutes or until the onions become translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the pasta sauce, mix well, and reduce heat to low.
3. Boil the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Continue to occasionally stir the veggies.
4. When the pasta is done, drain and rinse. Put some in a bowl, top with veggie sauce, and enjoy!