LadyfingersHealthy eating in the deep South is possible! Traditional Southern ingredients can be used to make meals that are both tasty and more heart-healthy.

At Rudy’s Happy Patch Market, we stock only locally grown, fresh produce. This week we have lady finger peas in stock. (They’re also known as lady peas and lady cream peas.) People love them for their delicate taste, but they’re often hard to find. This week we have them at the market, both shelled and unshelled, by the bushel or pint.

We scoured around for some recipes that are a bit healthier than the traditional ham-hock seasoned version. One variation is to cut back on the fat by substituting leaner bacon and seasoning with onions, bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic.

But what really caught our eye was a recipe for Heirloom Tomato Salad with Fresh Lady Peas. It combines freshly cooked lady finger peas with a kickin’ vinaigrette that contains everything from lemon to jalapeno. Served over fresh summer tomatoes (which you can also find at the Happy Patch!), the vinaigrette-drizzled peas are topped with feta cheese. Yum!

Check out the recipe at the above link, then come stock up on peas and tomatoes. In the dog days of summer, it’s time to indulge in some guilt-free Southern cooking!

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