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Guest Post: Robust Root Vegetables, by The Food Evolution

Nyack Chamber of Commerce member The Food Evolution is a nutrition and cooking center
designed to teach people how to prepare delicious and nutritious “whole foods” for themselves and their families. They’re located in Nanuet. In this guest post, Chef and Nutritionist Diane Hoch shares the flu-fighting benefits of root vegetables, including sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets — all available every Thursday at the Nyack Winter Farmers’ Market! Visit for a list of upcoming classes.

Originally posted on The Food Evolution blog on 2/27/13.


Robust Root Vegetables

Among our list of health supportive flu-fighters are those foods that grow underground absorbing all the nutrients and minerals necessary to fight off illness.

 These health warriors contain essential disease prevention compounds such as beta-carotene which promotes a strong immune system – vital for fighting off the cold weather bugs. The high amounts of antioxidants in these flu-fighting power foods help remove harmful free radicals and toxins which the cold and flu can carry.

Include deliciously nutritious root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots or rutabaga to your weekly dinner menu and reap the health benefits of a strong immune system without hurting your pockets on medical expenses.


Market Alum Performs in Play About Food

Market regulars may remember Nicole Greenberg from the Pie Lady & Son booth last summer. Nicole is now in graduate school in Kansas City, where she’s performing in Eat This!, a play about…food! Read all about it here. And if you’ll be in Kansas City between March 2 and March 10 you could catch a performance. Maybe take her a pie, which I’m sure she’s missing.

Break a leg, Nicole!


What do anatomical hearts, polka dots, vintage valentines, pussy willows  and a 14th century Persian mystic poet have in common?

Stop by FESTOON on HUDSON and find out!

Festoon (a.k.a. Jody Richards and Kris Burns) can often be found wandering in the woods admiring tendrils in the snow or collecting silvered milkweed pods.

And then, just when winter starts losing its charm, along comes  St. Valentine’s Day!  Pay Festoon a visit and celebrate this red-letter day with budding branches, hand-made books and love tokens for you and your dear ones.  Like our Facebook page to get clues and updates…

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee Press Event at Nyack Farmers’ Market 2/7/13

***Media Advisory***

Thursday, February 7th, 11am

Nyack Winter Farmers’ Market

58 Depew Avenue, Nyack


 Jaffee to Chair Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm, Nutrition Policy

Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee

(Albany, NY )– A press conference to announce Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee’s (D-Rockland) appointment as Chair of the New York State Assembly Task Force on Food, Farm and Nutrition Policy will take place at The Nyack Winter Farmers’ Market, on Thursday, February 7th, at 11am.

Rockland food, farm, and nutrition advocates will be joining Assemblywoman Jaffee in support of her commitment to nourish children, families, and communities, especially those that are underserved, with healthy, safe, sustainable food grown on local farms in New York State.


WHAT: Press Conference to Announce Jaffee Appointment

WHEN: Thursday, February 7th, 11 am

WHERE: Nyack Center Winter Farmer’s Market, 58 Depew Avenue, Nyack


  • Marion Oswald-Breland, Director, Haverstraw Center
  • Michelle Kleinman, Public Health Nutritionist, Rockland County Department of Health, Division of Health Promotion and Education
  • Jen Laird-White, Nyack Mayor
  • John McDowell, President, Rockland Farm Alliance,
  • Nathan Mungin, Executive Director, Martin Luther King, Multi-Purpose Center
  • Diane Rivera, Executive Director , West Street Childcare Learning Center
  • Ouida Toutebon, Executive Director, Headstart of Rockland
  • Paul Trader, Executive Director, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland
  • Jane Brown, Executive Director, Childcare Resources of Rockland
  • Julia Della Croce, Writer, Journalist, Cookbook Author, Culinary Educator
  • Joan Gussow, Professor, Author, Food Policy Expert

A Winter Market Comes to Nyack

Originally published in Rivertown Magazine February 2013.

By Kim Cross, Nyack Center Executive Director

A flag heralding “The Winter Farmers Market, Thursdays 8-2” flaps in the wind outside Nyack Center. Inside, sunlight streams through the gold paned windows and illuminates apples, boxes of rainbow chard, picture perfect pies, cheese, wine, hummus, coolers of meat, eggs and ice cream. The smells are of stacks of fresh bread, barrels of pickles, and fresh vegetables. Farmers at their stands greet their regular customers and the first time visitor with a smile and stories about their wares. A local artist serves as “artist in residence” with sketches of the village memorialized in note cards. A nutritionist is on hand to advise and serve healthy treats. Throughout the market, neighbors and friends chat and greet one another with hugs and handshakes. People have a coffee and settle in for a longer talk at the market tables as the bustle of the community swirls around the room.

Yes, Nyack now has a Winter Farmer’s Market! A pipe dream of Farmer’s Market Project Manager, Carlo Pelligrini and mine for many years is finally a reality! The Nyack Winter Farmers Market is now indoors at Nyack Center. Yes, we have fresh produce (grown in greenhouses on Long Island). Every Thursday, 8am – 2pm. Street parking is free until 11:00am, and the municipal lot at Artopee and Cedar is free during Market hours.  Nyack Center is located at 58 Depew Avenue (at South Broadway).

The new indoor market will pick up where the outdoor Farmers’ Market left off and will continue every Thursday from 8:00 am – 2:00 pm during the winter months through May 2, 2013.  The outdoor market reopens on May 9, 2013.

The vendors who will sell their wares this winter are: The Orchards of Concklin; fruit, produce, eggs, pies, honey, cookies, Taiim Falafel Shack; hummus, cucumber salad, babaghanouj, baklava, Middle Eastern specialties, Doc Pickle; fresh pickles, sauerkraut, olives, marinated mushrooms/peppers, Panzarella Foods; breads, fresh mozzarella, crab cakes, sauces, Dines Farms; free-range poultry, eggs, bacon, chicken sausage, Dish Catering; breakfast burritos, house-made ice cream, prepared foods, Mostly Myrtle’s; gluten-free biscotti, muffins, brownies, coffee, Bill Batson Arts; artist-in-residence, greeting cards, Pie Lady & Son; pies, cookies, Meredith Country Bakery; fresh baked goods, Hummingbird Ranch; honey & related products, maple syrup, beeswax skin cream & lip balm, beeswax candles, Kiernan Farm; grass-fed beef and pork, Ronnybrook Dairy  & Cascade Mountain Winery; cheese, milk, and award winning wines and Gajeski Produce; a large variety of  produce. Rebecca Meyerson of Simply Healthy Living is on hand for nutrition advice and healthy food samples. Sponsorship is generously provided by Green Mountain Energy and Green Meadow Waldorf School; both also sponsor the outdoor market.

Similarly to the summer months, live music will be featured with plans in the works for short mid-day talks on topics of local interest. Some of our smallest community members from Headstart and Riverview Nursery School have come by for a visit.

Nyack Center is excited to partner with Nyack Chamber of Commerce and offer this new resource to the Nyack community. The Winter Market will be a focal point for families who value healthy lifestyles and hopefully will be a bright spot for our community during the cold winter months.

“We’re starting a new tradition in Nyack with the Winter Market and we expect it will enjoy a similarly long and fruitful life in the heart of our special Village,” says Scott Baird, president of the Chamber. “We also expect to see the same kind of crowd – lots of Nyack natives, but also friends and neighbors from far and wide who love good food, fresh local products and the special homemade delicacies you can’t find in a supermarket.”

Whether you are doing your marketing for the week, picking up special items or coming by for lunch with a friend we look forward to seeing you next Thursday at Nyack Center!

For more information go to or


Vendor Profile: Panzarella Foods

Meet Tony, of Panzarella Foods. Tony is one of our dedicated vendors, staffing the Panzarella Foods booth every week. Panzarella’s is located to your right when you enter Nyack Center through the main entrance.

You love Panzarell’s crab cakes, but did you know they also have chicken pot pies in that freezer case? Plus…homemade veggie burgers, eggplant rollatini, gourmet seafood, and whole wheat pizza.

The pizzas are also available fresh (as in not frozen) back on the bread table, where you’ll find olive pockets (yum!), baguettes and focaccia, rolls. And don’t forget their fresh mozzarella and homemade tomato sauce.

Why not pick up some extra food for the freezer for the next night you don’t want to cook?


Merry Christmas from the Nyack Farmers’ Market!

Simply Healthy Living Guest Post: Top Ten Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

Rebecca Meyerson is the founder of Simply Healthy Living and is a Certified Nutrition Counselor with a Masters in Nutrition and Food and Exercise Science. Rebecca is a regular guest on our website and at the Market. Check out her blog here. Rebecca’s next trip to the Nyack Farmers’ Market will be January 3, 2013.

Top Ten Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

Food is an important part of the holidays, however because of all these social gatherings the average American gains 8 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  Here are some helpful tips to survive the holiday season so you can maintain and not gain.

    1. Drink warm water with lemon before meal arrives so you do not mistake thirst for hunger.
    2. Choose protein based appetizers such as shrimp cocktail, nuts, piece of cheese.  This will help satisfy you so you do not crave carbs.
    3. Choose alcoholic drinks wisely.  Vodka seltzer or red wine are your best options!  Make sure to drink with food so that it does not spike your blood sugar levels as high.
    4. Everyone loves desserts.  Choose to make yours with natural sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup or coconut sugar.
    5. Manage holiday stress naturally with adequate sleep and lavendar essential oils.
    6. Load up on your green vegetables, they alkalize the body.
    7. Limit your serving sizes to smaller portions.  It is not necessary to over flow your plate because it is the holiday season.
    8. Supplemention is important during this time including probiotics, cod liver oil and B complex.
    9. When you over eat, ginger tea is great aid in digestion.
    10. Cook with whole grains including quinoa, brown rice,  or millet.

Try our warming, health-supportive soup.  It is packed with protein from the beans and vitamin C from the sweet potatoes.  (I picked up my sweet potatoes, onion and garlic at the Nyack Farmers market that is now indoors at the Nyack Center!)

Sweet Potato Soup with Beans

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 medium red onion, peeled and diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, diced fine

1 14-oz. can black-eyed peas, rinsed, drained

1 14-oz. can white beans, rinsed, drained

1 14-oz. can black beans, rinsed, drained

1 quart light vegetable broth

1/2 cup organic peanut butter melted in a half cup of boiled hot water (for one cup total)

1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red pepper flakes, or more, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Juice from 1 lime

2 teaspoons maple syrup

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

For garnish: Chopped fresh cilantro


Heat the light olive oil in large soup pot. Add the curry powder and cinnamon; stir for a minute to infuse the oil with spice. Add the onion, garlic, sweet potato, and jalapeño. Stir and cook the veggies for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add the black-eyed peas, white and black beans, broth, melted peanut butter, red pepper flakes and cilantro. Bring the soup to a high simmer, cover, and lower the heat; keep the soup on simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the lime juice and maple syrup. Season with sea salt and ground pepper, to taste. Warm through and taste for seasoning adjustments.

Gajeski Produce

Gajeski Produce on opening day of the Winter Market (11/29/12); photo courtesy of Dr. Arnold Roufa.

Gajeski Produce is one of the new Winter Market vendors. If you were at the first indoor Market last week you know their produce is beautiful. And you probably asked yourself, with just a tiny bit of skepticism, “where did these vegetables come from in November?”

The short answer…Long Island.

Gajeski Produce grows year-round on their farm in Riverhead, Long Island, using high tunnels and heated greenhouses. Those leeks and celery and broccoli were all grown inside high tunnels, and those high tunnels will yield produce until around Christmas, then they’ll be back again in March. Lettuces and herbs are grown in greenhouses. Gajeski will have delicious, fresh, locally-grown produce for sale throughout the winter months.

Gajeski is not certified organic. They practice low-use and low-risk pesticide spraying. They have not sprayed since the end of September. Go ahead and ask them about it, they are ready and willing to answer your questions!

Eats of Eden: Breakfast, Lunch and Ice Cream

Eats of Eden is a regular column at Nyack News and Views. Posted here with permission. Click the link to read the original at

November 29, 2012 by Bill Batson

Alex Lopukhin was a successful insurance agent, when she woke one morning to a voice that urged her to consider a career change. “Gardening, sculpture or cooking,” said the voice from the ether. “I explored all three options, but when I walked into the Institute of Culinary Education, I felt like I was home.” Lopukhin recalls.

That was just seven years ago.  Now, Lopukhin is the owner of Dish Café, a restaurant and catering business located at 366 North Highland Avenue (Route 9W) in Upper Nyack. And judging from her menu offerings that are part play, part gourmet, the lighthearted muse that led her to the kitchen is still guiding her hand.

For breakfast, there are burritos, for lunch; half-pound chuck-steak hamburgers infused with bacon.  And for your pleasure year round, there is always ice cream, like a chestnut flavored holiday fare that Lopukhin just created.

“I started making ice cream for my catering clients and a good friend encouraged me to offer it to the general public.” Lopukhin’s ice cream is now sold under the brand name Funky Flavors. If you would like to taste some of Lopukhin’s gourmet ice cream, samples (and pints) are available every Thursday at her booth at the Nyack Farmers’ Market indoor venue at the Nyack Center. But funky and flavorful creations like The Cake Shake (Red velvet ice cream blended with Dr. Pepper, topped with whipped cream & finished with chocolate sauce & brownie crumbs) are only available at the Dish Café.

She describes her Dish Café menu as Classic American with a French influence.  Her love for cooking comes from her mother, who was born in Russia and raised in France. An example of an item that reflects this heritage is a specialty sandwich called Honey and Brie, which consists of house roasted turkey, with brie cheese, mesculin greens, tomatoes and honey mustard on sour dough toast.

If you can’t make it to the Dish Café for breakfast, lunch or ice cream, Lopukhin’s catering business can customize a personal meal to match your palate or pleasure. “Whether you want us to compose a romantic dinner for two or a wedding for 150, we specialize in creating customized menus for every event and every client,” says Lopukhin.

Raising two kids and having an entrepreneurial spirit has prepared Lopukhin’s for the running a café and a catering business. “ I am a project oriented person, who loves the drama of putting together unique meals.”

Whether served at her Café, which is open seven days a week, or at her booth at the Nyack Farmers’ Market or at your catered affair; Alex Lopuhkin has a gourmet dish for you.

Read about food and healthy eating in Eats of Eden, sponsored by the Nyack Farmer’s Market and the Chamber Of Commerce Of The Nyacks. The Nyack Farmers’ Market will continue through the winter on Thursdays from 8a-2p in their new indoor location at Nyack Center at the corner of Depew Avenue and South Broadway.