Richmond Times-Dispatch

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Lisa Dearden

I certainly have been spending a lot of time in the kitchen lately…in my own kitchen, where I’ve been cooking up a storm using so many amazing local produce and products from our online marketplace. I don’t remember being this inspired for a long time! Also been spending quite a bit of time at the Chiknegg Productions Incubator Kitchen, where we aggregate all the purchases for the marketplace.

I made some slaw using kohlrabi from Deer Run Farm this past weekend. It had some fresh cilantro, a red onion and some cabbage from Little Green Farm. I flavored it with some curry powder as we had it with grilled lamb, and it was so tasty! I think I converted a few friends who had never tried kohlrabi before! It’s delicious grated in a slaw, or even cut in sticks coupled with a spicy or herb dip (like celery or carrots).

Another very popular hit has been the pinto beans and the lentils from Salsa Don Sebastian. The flavors!!! The also make great salsas, Chimichurri, potato salad and other unique pairings for summertime BBQ’s.

My secret…I’ve been making really flavorful lemon cupcakes and buttercream frosting from the super simple kits I’ve purchased from PastryBase. Yes…I can certainly make these from scratch, but this takes just a few minutes to put together from the kit, and I know I’m getting great quality and supporting a local producer! Their products are gluten free and can easily be made vegan, too! Even people who normally eat gluten will love their products. Try their Blondies!!!

Some of the other great products I’ve been enjoying have come from SoulSmith Kombucha (ahhhhh….the delightful fizzy drink is so yummy, and good for your gut); the shiitake mushrooms from Schofield Farm, huge lettuce heads from Woodside Naturals Farm; super flavorful sausages from both The Mayor Meats and Dockery Branch Farms - Real Country Sausage; chicken from Chicory Hill Farm; sauerkraut from Wild Earth Fermentation; and my fav gluten free bread, cookies and croutons from 7 Muffins a Day. Having food like this in my kitchen and on my plate is fun, gratiating, filling and inspiring and it really makes me happy.

What’s in YOUR kitchen?

Take care, friends.

Lisa Dearden
Executive Director/RVAg