Building Community thru Local Food – Fast Affordable Farmers Market Meals

We sometimes hear complaints from people that don’t shop at farmer’s markets that they are too expensive, or that they don’t have time to prepare dinner. For the same price as a couple of fast food meals, you can put together a nutritious and delicious meal for a family of four. If you were at our opening day market you may have seen Chef Fred Soofi create a meal from a variety of vendor supplied foods.

You can do the same thing, and at the same time engage the rest of your family or some friends in the preparation of a great meal. You can use the recipe below from the Dieticians of Canada. Just substitute any vegetables that are not in season with something else you find from our vast array of vendors. We have vendors that sell regular home-made pastas or gluten-free varieties. You can add protein including beef, fish, or chicken. And there are cheeses, baked goods, and a variety of condiments and spices to add some flavour. If you are short on time, consider frying or woking your vegetables.

Roasted vegetables pasta

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Roasting vegetables brings out deep, rich color and flavor. Add the nutty taste of whole wheat pasta, the sweetness of fresh basil and a hint of salt from the Parmesan, and this recipe will please your whole palate.

  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C)
  • Rimmed baking sheet, lightly greased
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled 6
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided 60 mL
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar 45 mL
1⁄2 tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 mL
Pinch salt Pinch
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) pieces 1
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) pieces 1
1 onion, cut into 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) pieces 1
3 cups cubed butternut squash (1⁄2-inch/1 cm cubes) 750 mL
2 cups eggplant (unpeeled), cut into 1⁄2-inch (1 cm) pieces 500 mL
2 cups chopped asparagus (1⁄2-inch/1 cm pieces) 500 mL
12 oz whole wheat penne pasta 375 g
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced 4
3⁄4 cup lightly packed coarsely chopped fresh basil 175 mL
1⁄3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 75 mL
  1. Cut the tip off the top of the garlic cloves. Place on a small piece of foil and drizzle with 1⁄2 tsp (2 mL) oil. Scrunch to enclose garlic in foil. Roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until soft. Remove from oven, leaving oven on, and let cool slightly. Squeeze garlic from skins, discarding skins; coarsely chop garlic and place in a small bowl. Whisk in vinegar, 21⁄2 tbsp (37 mL) oil, pepper and salt; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, toss red pepper, yellow pepper, onion, squash and eggplant with 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil. Spread vegetables on prepared baking sheet. Roast on upper rack of oven, stirring occasionally, for 15 to 20 minutes or until almost tender.
  3. In a small bowl, toss asparagus with the remaining oil. Add asparagus to baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, reserving 1⁄4 cup (60 mL) of the cooking liquid.
  5. Transfer drained pasta to a large serving bowl and toss with the reserved cooking liquid. Add roasted vegetables, tomatoes, basil and roasted garlic mixture; toss well to combine. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Serve hot or cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours (let stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving).


Cutting all the vegetables to the same size ensures that they will cook evenly.
Serve with grilled vegetarian sausage to add protein to this meal.

Nutrients per serving

Calories 313
Fat 9.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Sodium 249 mg (10% DV)
Carbohydrate 52 g
Fiber 7 g (28% DV)
Protein 11 g
Calcum 126 mg (11% DV)
Iron 2.6 mg (19% DV)

Diabetes Food Choice Values Per Serving:
2 1/2 Carbohydrate
2 Fats