October 10, 2018

By Jana Jones
Farmers Market Manager

One of the things I love about living in Northeast Tennessee is the seasons. Growing up in Florida we didn’t have the distinct variety that we enjoy here. Although winter, spring and summer each have their own beauty, I have to say that autumn has become my absolute favorite season. I look forward to the changing of the leaves with all of their beautiful shades of orange, rust, reds and yellows, the crisp air that invites those hearth fires to start up, and, of course, the array of colorful autumn produce in the garden. Pumpkins, gourds, sweet peppers, winter squash, sweet potatoes and other root crops are making their appearance at the market and many of these crops have the ability to be stored in a cool, dark area through most of the winter months. I have had butternut squash last 7 months in my cellar while retaining its flavor and firmness. So be sure to stock up while the autumn produce is available!

Hearty butternut squash and lentil stew is the perfect one dish meal to warm you up on these cool autumn evenings. This low carb meal is chock full of vitamins with less than 350 calories per serving.

              Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew

2 medium shallots, thinly sliced

1 tbsp. finely chopped peeled fresh ginger

1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground cardamom

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 1/2” chunks

1 lb. green lentils, picked over

6 c. chicken or vegetable broth

5 c. packed baby spinach

1 tbsp. cider vinegar

Directions:
In a medium pot, cook shallots and ginger in oil 5 minutes or until shallots are golden, stirring.

Add coriander and cardamom; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add squash, lentils, broth and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Cook 45 minutes or until lentils and squash are tender.

Stir in spinach, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.

The Johnson County Farmers Market is located at Ralph Stout Park in the parking area near the children’s playground. Come enjoy the live music, farm fresh produce, eggs, meat, dairy, and local handmade baked goods and craft items each Saturday morning from 9 until noon. Swing by the manager’s table to find your “Fresh is Best” t-shirt and other items and information. We offer the Fre$h Savings Program which doubles the dollars for EBT customers. Bring the kids by our GoJoCo Kids tent to make healthy snacks, participate in fun activities and earn tokens to spend at the market. We invite you to like us on Facebook to see all of the current news or visit our webpage at JohnsonCountyFM.org to learn more.