I am very excited to say that I was one of the 24 people chosen to participate in Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24 . Foodbuzz selected 24 bloggers from around the world and had them write about their unique meals – all within a 24 hour period.

My proposal revolved around something I truly believe in: buying local produce at farmer’s markets and making healthy meals for your kids. The Kid has been asking for cooking lessons, but since losing my job, expensive classes just aren’t in the cards right now. So I thought, why can’t I do it myself?

The Kid has always taken great interest in watching me put together meals. At just 5 years old he already knows his way around the kitchen. We started off by planning a menu and came up with recipes that incorporated a lot of fruits and vegetables, then headed off to the Farmer’s Market.

My favorite Farmer’s Markets are the Santa Monica and the Hollywood. They are two of the biggest markets in the city. At the Hollywood you might run into celebrities, at the SaMo you might run into famous chefs – everyone in this town loves fresh produce, folks. Both markets are large and carry a diverse number of produce vendors. We started off with our ‘menu’ and went up and down the stalls looking for what we needed.The Kid has been my littlest sous chef on many of my meals, so I got him started washing and separating what was needed. I also tried to choose things that were easy prep and incorporated different cooking techniques for him to learn. Something in the oven, something on the stove, something on the grill. Perhaps a bit ambitious, but he was very excited to give it a go. Here’s a rundown of our menu, and what we bought for those recipes specifically from the Farmer’s Market:
Creme Fruit
strawberries, apples, grapes

Broccoli Salad
broccoli, red onion

Avocado + Grapefruit Salad
avocado, oro blanco grapefruit, ruby red grapefruit

Potato/Sweet Potato Fries
potatoes, sweet potatoes, lemon, garlic

Lettuce Wraps
garlic, ginger, carrots, green onions, mushrooms, lemon

Grilled Shrimp with homemade Tzatziki sauce
cucumber, dill, lemon, garlic

Cherry Buttermilk Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cherries, lemon, ginger

O.G. who was front and center for this meal, and in her O.G. ways – complained that “Food today is so fresh. We always used to cook it until it was completely limp and colorless. I like it like that.” Ok…well that ain’t happening at this meal, sorry. For the recipes I put together for this particular meal, most of the fruits and veggies are ever so slightly cooked, or not cooked at all. All the nutrients and it makes for a much fresher tasting meal. Unless you like lifeless broccoli – then head over to O.G.’s house.

I know we are lucky to live a place where food is colorful and available year round, but cooking seasonally can be a lot of fun wherever you live. The kids play a major part in my meal planning, because I like to make sure they are always trying different foods, testing flavors and seeing what they truly like to eat.Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore if you pick simple, fresh recipes. Fresh produce was a major part of this meal but what the Kid enjoyed most (so he said), was spending time working in the kitchen with me.

You can find all the recipes here:
Creme Fruit
Broccoli Salad
Avocado + Grapefruit Salad
Potato/Sweet Potato Fries
Lettuce Wraps
Grilled Shrimp with homemade Tzatziki Sauce
Cherry Buttermilk Ice Cream Sandwiches

And see all the photos, here.