Salad Ideas

Lately, I have been scavenging the internet for some delicious, fun, but most importantly healthful salads! We have vendors that sell a variety of the ingredients listed within these fabulous recipes. Below the ingredients I have listed the various vendors in which you may find each from. The first salad I discovered from an online nutrition blog, Nutritionist Eats. It includes the ever so popular “Queen of Greens”, kale. From my last post you may remember that kale is a “superfood”, health beneficial in countless ways. For example, kale is high in healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which assists in lowering the risk of heart disease!


Simple Kale Salad

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (2 main salads):

  • 8 cups thinly sliced kale (any variety or mix)
    • Trogg’s Hollow, Stojan’s Vegetables
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • sprinkle of salt
    • Let’s Spice it Up!
  • 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
    • Stojan’s Vegetables
  • 3 carrots, shredded
    • Windy Acre Farms, Stojan’s Vegetables
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. In a large bowl, drizzle olive oil, vinegar and salt over kale.
  2. Lightly massage. Set aside for 20 minutes to a day or two.
  3. Toss with cabbage and carrots.
  4. Top with remaining ingredients and serve.

© a nutritionist eats, all rights reserved.

The next recipe sparked my interest due to its inclusion of cantaloupe. Cantaloupe is a great source of vitamin A, which is beneficial for skin, teeth, bone, and vision maintenance. It also includes arugula, which is high in nutrients that are cancer-fighting. This recipe was found on a nutrition blog called, Choosing Raw.

Red Quinoa, Almond and Arugula Salad with Cantaloupe

by Gena Hamshaw, CCN (Clinical Certified Nutritionist)


  • 1 1/2 cups fresh cantaloupe, cut into 1 inch chunks
    • Stojan’s Vegetables
  • 1 1/2 cups red quinoa (regular quinoa is also totally fine)
  • 4 cups arugula
    • Trogg’s Hollow
  • 1/4 cup slivered, crumbled, or sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons flax, hemp, or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste
    • Let’s Spice It Up!


  1. Whisk together the oil, vinegar, syrup, and seasoning.
  2. Divide the arugula, quinoa, and melon onto two serving plates. Sprinkle them with almonds and then drizzle the dressing over them. Serve 2.



The following salad does not include any leafy greens. However, due to corn being in season and extremely abundant at our market, I found it obligatory to include some sort of corn salad. The recipe comes from one of my all-time favorite nutrition blogs, Eat Chic Chicago. Some of the ingredients you will have to find at your local grocery store, but the short cook time and ease of its preparation is just so terrific that I had to share. Not to mention, it tastes delightful!

Spicy Corn Salad with Feta and Walnuts

by Amari Cheffer MS, RD, LDN
Serves 6
Preparation Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 4 cups corn – use 4 ears of corn on the cob, remove husk, boil in water for about 10 minutes until cooked, cut from cob and set aside to cool)
    • Windy Acre Farms, Stojan’s Vegetables, Twin Garden Farms
  • 2 Melrose peppers or jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
    • Let’s Spice It Up!
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 Tbsp MO Rub (optional)
    • You can find this special ingredient at Whole Foods


  1. In a large bowl, combine corn, peppers, lime juice, oil, walnuts, salt, pepper, and rub.
  2. Sprinkle with feta and refrigerate until ready to serve.

© 2013


Last but not least, my ultimate favorite salad to prepare this summer, by far, is from the online nutrition blog, eatingRD. This salad is called the “Strawberry Asparagus Salad with Lemon Mint Vinaigrette.” It includes fruits, vegetables, nuts, as well as an aromatic dressing that is so simple yet extremely flavorful! Definitely give this salad a try, if not for the essential health benefits of one of its main ingredients, asparagus. This vegetable is high in nutrients such as vitamin K, B vitamins, vitamin A, as well as protein and fiber to aid in good digestion!

Strawberry Asparagus Salad with Lemon Mint Vinaigrette

by Kristen, RD

Ingredients (4 – 6 servings):

For the salad:

  • One medium head of romaine lettuce, chopped (feel free to use any fresh lettuce variety you have on hand, spinach, butterhead, etc)
    • Stojan’s Vegetables, Trogg’s Hollow, Windy Acre Farms
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped (remove tough ends)
    • Windy Acre Farms, Stojan’s Vegetables
  • ½ pound strawberries, cored and chopped
    • Windy Acre Farms, Stojan’s Vegetables
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • ¾ cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Pinch of sea salt
    • Let’s Spice It Up!

For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons)
    • Windy Acre Farms
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh mint leaves, minced
  • Salt and pepper
    • Let’s Spice It Up!


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Combine the walnuts, maple syrup and sea salt in a small bowl until well mixed. Place on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 – 12 minutes until roasted. While the walnuts are roasting, blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2 – 3 minutes until bright green. Drain the asparagus and rinse or submerge with very cold water to stop the cooking. Set aside.
  2. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar until well mixed.
  3. Place the romaine, asparagus, strawberries and roasted walnuts in a large salad bowl. Drizzle with the lemon mint vinaigrette dressing and toss gently.
  4. Top the salad with sliced avocado and a sprinkling of fresh mint.

© 2009-2013 All Rights Reserved.

I hope you found at least one salad that you cannot wait to try out in the kitchen! Hope to see you all at the market this week!


Sarah De Ocampo

Food & Nutrition Associate 


Transitions & Birthdays

graphic11I had the pleasure of taking my good friends daughter out early this week for her birthday AND her first back to school ice cream to celebrate her going into kindergarten.  We had a fun time around Elgin ending up in the Downtown at Elgin Books for her to pick up some back to school books and play in the fountains in Festival Park.  It had me realize that this week at the Harvest market will be one of those fun yet transitional weeks as we adjust to lots of our youth who had been at the market now traveling and locating to various schools in the area, their parents adjusting their work and day schedules, yet all crops and products are in full gear, and also slowly realizing that a couple leaves have fallen onto the lawn and apple picking in many orchards starts this weekend.
So transition slowly with us this Thursday and the next couple weeks from dog days of summer to crisp autumn days and while you are at it celebrate your birthday if it was between August 18 – 24 – see details below!
  • “Family Yoga on the River” with Daisy Bliss 9:30am9524872079_daa02a0b5c
  • Live Entertainment from Slidissimo – trombonist Bob Plagemann – tip well!
  • Live Entertainment: Violinist Jennifer Silk 11:30am – 1pm – Is it your birthday this week?  Have her serenade you Happy Birthday and show your ID at the information booth to pick up a T-Shirt and bag:)
  • Babywearing International of North Central Illinois Meet Up @ 10:30am
  • 9524767135_e1789cdfabNEW!  Grandma & Pa’s will feature their “Walking Taco” this Thursday for you to buy and eat, try lamb or goat at Naturally Naked’s booth, Martha’s Gourmet Popcorn will also be on hand, and Reader Apiaries will be at the market – so get your honey to combat those allergies:) Lastly The Cheese People will be at the market but in a new location next to Naturally Naked and the picnic benches as we shift a little for our fall layout.
  • NOTE: CC Angus Beef and Auntie Vee’s Cupcakes will not be at the market this week but will be back next week.
  • In the various community booths this week will be presenting sponsor Alexian Brothers Health Systems, Chiro One Wellness Center, Community Crisis Center, Davey Tree Expert Company, Shared Harvest Elgin Food Cooperative, and Simple Balance Health Center. Plus the Elgin Fire Department will come out for an hour or two for kids and adults to be up close to the firetrucks and ask questions.
  • Also the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s monthly Out to Lunch460_345_resize event takes its program al fresco with a special “Taste of the Market” edition at the market next week.  So come to the market on Thursday, August 29 at noon. This unique Out to Lunch event gives you a chance to explore the market, because you’ll visit our participating vendors to pick up your lunch! The cost is only $12 per person to receive tickets for the vendors providing your lunch. RSVP online with your name and e-mail address or call 847-488-1456 no later than 5 pm, Friday, August 23. All are welcome!!

The Wonders of Dirt and Worms! The Basics of Composting

Let’s say you make a delicious meal one night with all of the goodies you bought that week at the Elgin Harvest Market. Chances are, you have a lot of excess food waste. Where would be the first place you put this food? In the garbage where it goes to waste? In most situations this is where 20-30 % of leftover food we have goes! We already put enough stuff in our landfills as it is, so why not use our leftovers for something truly magical.compost1

Yes, I did just use the word magical to describe composting, which is described as “a mixture that consists largely of decayed organic matter and is used for fertilizing and conditioning land.” Composting reduces the need for heavy duty spray fertilizers which can be dispensed into our water stream. Not only that, but food in the landfill releases of methane into our atmosphere, which then attributes to the Greenhouse Gas Effect.

Composting is a lot simpler than you might think. It provides the richest organic material that can make the plants in your garden grow healthy and huge! The perfect potion for some beautiful food.

So how exactly does composting work? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, composting is a natural process that has been happening since the dawn of time. Say for an instance an apple falls from a tree. The natural (and slow) decaying cycle of this apple will enrich the soil surrounding it as it expels minerals into the ground! Composting is a way of speeding up this cycle using high temperatures to produce the lovely nutrients (the dark colored humus) that can be used on our gardens.

To begin, bins are gcomposting bin 1oing to be your best bet when it comes to composting food waste. This way critters will not be able to get into magic you are about to create. Bins can be purchased at stores like Home Depot, or you can even make your own! Here is a great resource to build your own composting bin:

Next, A partially shady spot in your backyard preferably near water will be the best area to contain your bin. The minimum space you want to contain your bin should be 3 feet by 3 feet however the requirements are quite flexible.

The things you can put into your compost can be separated into two categories, Greens and Browns.

Greens include: fruits and veggies, breads and grains, grass clippings, coffee grounds, and hair/fur.
Browns include: woodchips, newspaper, hay/straw, houseplants, used soil, eggshells, nutshells, leaves, and dead branches
Things NOT to include: aluminum, glass, fats/greasy foods, dairy products, painted wood, and meat/seafood scraps.

Now that you know what’s good to put in your concoction, let’s get mixing!

1. Think of your compost bin as lasagna. First, you will put a layer of your “browns” and “greens” together as your first layer. The typical ratio is 3 parts brown to 1 part green.
2. Now you can add whatever food waste and grass clippings you may have
3. Repeat step one, and continue to add food waste. This will create alternating “lasagna” layers
4. Every time you add more food waste, mix your compost bin. The aeration will allow the particles to break down that much quicker.
5. Check the bottom of your compost bin. After a matter of weeks, the material should be dark in color. You can sift out any larger “woody” materials that can be reused in the bin. Voila! Your organic matter can now be spread on your garden for big healthy plants!

Now let’s get wormy!

Vermicomposting is a very similar process however in this instance worms help break up and aerate the soil! The red wiggler is typically uwormssed for this type of composting and a bedding of dirt, leaves, or newspaper is ideal. Fruit or vegetable waste is eaten by the worms and over time droppings are formed at the bottom. As with normal composting, this material can be spread over your beautiful garden. There are special bins for Vermicomposting and you can check out a number of them here:

I hope this gave you some insight on a simple way to use those scraps and to make your garden grow! If you have any other questions about composting, be sure to check out when the Master Gardeners from the U of I Extension are at the market!

Keepin’ it green,

Sustainability & Marketing Associate Zoe Clemmons

Just a note: This will be my last blog post for the Elgin Harvest Market because I will be starting my sophomore year at UW-Eau Claire very soon! I have loved writing these blogs and hope they you all have gotten some insightful information about being sustainable. You all should be giving yourself credit for coming out to the market every week because you are helping out our Earth more than you think. I have loved talking to customers, farmers, and volunteers and hope the rest of the season is as lovely as it has been. 🙂