Despite the dreary weather, I eagerly headed to the farmers market last Saturday. After the holiday rush, then days off just lazing around, I was excited to get back to my routine.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Honey Orange Chicken, Blue Cheese Brussels Sprouts

The variety of foods laid out on the rows of tables and the friendly faces were a wonderful sight to see.

To give us a break from the red meat fest of the holidays, I bought some free-range chicken quarters and prepared them in my favorite way — browned then baked to perfection in a heavy Dutch oven.

I Eat La.: The more flavors, the merrier the dish

This time, to brighten up the recipe, I added a sweet Louisiana orange. The aromatics of the orange infuse the chicken with a subtle sweet flavor.

The farmers market also delivered on fresh Brussels sprouts. While I love them, I realize they are a hard sell to some folks. After years of experimenting, I find blanching or soaking them in a brine ahead of time helps diminish any bitter, cabbage-like taste and makes them perfectly tender. This creamy version gets a little bite from blue cheese.

I Eat La.: Finding peace among the produce

If you haven't been to a farmers market in a while, it’s a great time to go and stock up for a healthy start to the new year. The colorful, flavorful range of vegetables and fruits is both healthful and delicious.

So let's start 2020 with new adventures in cooking local and regionally sourced foods. Here's to another year of “eating Louisiana” with you! Happy New Year!

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at