April 26, 2009

Spontaneous Sunday: Tangy Spicy Broccoli & Turkish Yogurt

For as long as I've known, Sundays have been quiet. In my childhood, it would seem as if the entire city is taking a day long fiesta. I guess it's evolved into a tradition for me to relax on Sundays, much as possible. Keep active if needed, but also remain balanced even if busy. I woke up energetic enough and decided to go to our local farmer's market. As I was preparing to leave, the thought of living in a city with little green passed my mind. Just in time, in fact. Maybe seeing fresh produce would help.

Again, I took the route that goes through the park - which was in my previous post with a picture. In reality that park is not spacey, it's literally squeezed in between the water canal to the left and blocks of apartments to the right. I slowed down as I entered the park, and took in the beauty of lively green grass and trees in blossom as much as possible. Walking through the park I thought of farmer's markets during my childhood. Before, our neighborhood would have its own farmer's market every Sunday - on the streets. Farmers would arrive from nearby villages a day before and set up their stalls. Faces were familiar. They'd all enthusiastically promote their own produce being the best - and that was never noisy for us given so loud. More like, farmers energizing the city every week.

Couple minutes later, it's the farmer's market. Crowded as usual. Some farmers I recognize from before. From the way they stack their produce on stalls, I wonder if they ever left the place since last visit. Feels as if they're always there to provide us healthy food.

Prices being usually fixed for certain vegetables, I wonder what makes people buy from farmer A or B. A-ha. Some are engaging in conversations with lurking people. Some stand out from others with presentation such as using red lights facing the tomatos, for example. Oh, I still remember this one stall for olive oils. Imagine one liter olive oil bottles, backlighted. Looks alluring, like gold. I want to compliment him for subliminally affecting me like this. More methods... stacking the best shaped produce in the front. Stacking with order. Different color tones next to each other. Visually appealing. By this time I walked past a lot of stalls in a labrynth like market area. Enough observing, time to buy.

Since I'll carry in a backpack, the solids come first. Onions, potatos, carrots, oranges, lemons. Onto still solid yet handle with care ones; zucchini, dried apricot, green beans, broccoli. Lastly; tomatos, strawberry and arugula. All of this cost only 11 USD. Just taking a moment here and appreciating that nutrition fix is still available in organic form, that we don't entirely depend on say, tablets yet! Will we ever, in our lifetime? I keep wondering if the agriculture will ever be history and that people will live on synthetic lab produce... tablets for dinner anyone?

Is it a confirming sign that the organic produce was/is getting more expensive in the US? It's presumably more healthier at a lower cost in the other side of the world, for a little while longer. Might as well be grateful, but meanwhile raise awareness. Sure, it's open to debate if any of our concerns due to safeguard the "pale blue dot" we live on is worthwhile. Carl Sagan, the scientist I admire... he makes a point of our lives - roughly summarizing - not being as important as we seem to think in his book "Pale Blue Dot" - but that we 'd be able to protect what we have with technology and use of science in a "beneficial" way. (I am not in anyway opposed to improvement in science, in contrast it's crucial in some ways. But I don't think we necessarily use it for the good when we claim we do, generally speaking.) Interesting arguments regarding our future. At the end of the day I am uncomfortable in my body, having read what Aldoux Huxley mentions in "Brave New World" .

Where does it go? What comes next?

Times like this, I am not sure if the reason I have a food blog is because there is comfort in a "hedonistic outlet" as I see it.
On a positive note, I need the good nutrition fix so my mind can wander among those questions above. Or say, it's just a good enough way to keep focused on what tends to get overlooked in the way of life : the beautiful. Food, being just one of them.

... And Sunday is supposed to be spontaneous!
Might as well maintain a healthy body - I sure want to live long enough to see where we go.

So, I had some broccoli. Speaking of which, I wish we had broccoflower. Looks interesting. Especially romanesco broccoli!

I figured only a head of broccoli would be enough. Each piece having a bit of stalk and florets, they were ready to be washed. Then brought a liter of water + 1 tbs salt to a boil and placed the broccoli pieces in. Squeezed half a lemon just because I read somewhere that it'd protect the green color. Don't remember if it was good for anything else. After 3-5 mins I decided they were ready. Better to not keep them in for long as to keep the nutrition value higher. Placed them on a plate and garnished with spices like cayenne pepper, black pepper and dried mint. Squeezed the other half of lemon. Mixed half a cup of plain Turkish yogurt with a tablespoonful of olive oil and a pinch of salt and poured in the middle. Sprinkled some Indian turmeric spice just cause.
Made a healthy snack.

I love food if it can be described by these: zesty, tangy and spicy. This one was definitely a good example... easy to make, healthy. While eating I looked up the iron value of broccoli. So apparently broccoli and other plants are in the non-heme iron category and it'd be good idea to consume them with vitamin C as it provides better iron absorbtion. Happy I already did that without knowing. Some info on why iron is an important mineral for us by clicking this. I benefited from it. Have a spontaneous Sunday!


  1. Ozge,
    Broccolis looks soo yumm.. I'm there for anything that calls for Yogurt.. Yummo!

  2. I hope there won't be an end of produce. That would be a scary thought. I love broccoli. Don't think I've had it with yogurt before though. Must give that a try.

  3. I love zesty, tangy and spicy as well, you got me hungry for broccoli. The ingredients you described in addition to the broccoli speak of spring to me.

  4. There are so many things you can do with yogurt, and it's amazing the different ways it plays well in sweet and savory dishes. Yum.

  5. I'm glad that I learned to appreciate fresh vegetables such as broccoli - as a child, I only ever wanted to eat sweets! It's amazing how much wonderful food you bought for just USD $11! Part of the problem here is that we are so used to supermarkets where prices must take into account so many other factors (transport, middlemen, etc.) whereas with a farmer's market, it's just the producer and the consumer. I can't wait for our farmer's markets to finally open in a few weeks!

  6. Farmer’s markets are a great way to spend an otherwise quiet Sunday. They’re one of the only places where I don’t mind crowds. :) Sounds like you got a lot of goodies for just $11. And thanks for the lemon juice tip for keeping the broccoli looking green!

  7. What a great snack. I hadn't heard of the lemon tip before - looking forward to trying it the next time I make broccoli.


You could feedmeback! I still appreciate it even if it's too spicy. Spice is good.

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