Those living in State College have the opportunity to have access to the best fresh produce which is sold twice a week at the Downtown State College Farmers Market. While most people flock to the apples and the beautiful flowers, they miss out on the wide variety of other fruits and vegetables that are locally grown and can be turned into delicious meals with just a few simple ingredients.
Spaghetti squash seems to be the new fad in terms of vegetables and is a great substitute for pasta, rice, or other carbs in a meal. This yellow vegetable is super easy to cook and is perfect for a cold night in without the guilt. The best part is that it’s in season and sold locally so you can meet the hardworking men and women who supply you with it. This week head to the Downtown State College Farmers Market and try this recipe for Caprese Spaghetti Squash with chicken:
- 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
- 1 Roma tomato diced
- A pinch of basil
- ½ cup of cubed fresh Mozzarella
- 2 skinless chicken breasts
- 6 Tbs of olive oil
- ½ cup of breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Using a fork poke holes into the spaghetti squash lengthwise on front and back
- Place spaghetti squash in the microwave for 5 minutes
- Remove from microwave and cut the squash lengthwise in half
- Remove seeds using a metal spoon until the inside of squash looks clean
- Place Squash on a baking sheet face up and drizzle both halves with olive oil
- Sprinkle with Salt and pepper then use hands to make sure it is evenly distributed
- Place face down and cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes
- While Squash is roasting bread chicken and place in a large frying pan with 4 Tbs of olive oil
- Cook chicken 5 to 6 minutes per side or until golden brown
- When squash is finished remove from oven and flip so it is face side up
- Run a fork over the roasted squash to detach it from the skin
- In a large serving bowl combine tomato sauce, mozzarella, squash, basil, tomato, and chicken
- Serve hot
For more Spaghetti Squash recipes check out Delish, a site full of fun recipes for every mood.
Buying local may seem difficult and expensive, but usually it’s neither. Prices for fresh produce can reach prices that no one, especially college students, wants to pay to stay healthy. But at local farmers markets you can get quite the bang for your buck, often walking away with pounds of veggies for under $20.
Supporting local farmers markets is also better for your health and supports your local economy. Small farm owners tend to stay away from harsh pesticides that can be found on the things you are buying from grocery stores, making the food you buy safer to eat raw. While staying local you get to further your community and support small business which is arguably the backbone of the nation’s economy and when the economy is doing well, we are all better off.
Finding out which vegetables and fruits are in season is as easy as a simple Google search and can help you uncover your new favorite foods. Check out this Seasonal Food Guide to see what is in season in your area so you can plan your meals accordingly.
The Downtown State College Farmer’s Market is held every Tuesday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Locust Lane. Check out all the fun things our local farmers have to offer and get cooking!