What’s Happening at the Market: Plant-based, whole food meals arrive in Sequim

An onslaught of enthusiasm followed the announcement that Jamie’s Green Cuisine would be making its debut at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market this fall.

“This is great! I’ve been waiting for plant-based, whole food to come to Sequim,” one eager market appreciator said, while another added, “I could not be more excited to see vegan cuisine here.”

Jamie Walkush offers nourishing plant-based, ready-to-eat culinary creations that have earned the admiration of vegans and vegetarians, those who are “veggie curious” and devoted carnivores alike.

Throughout the week, Walkush works as a veterinarian with a general practice specializing in small animals and integrative techniques. She says that she is a caretaker by nature. This quality transitions seamlessly as Saturday rolls around and she sets up her appetizing menu sign at the market.

“I love to care for others,” Walkush said. “I’ve done that through science and now I’m like, ‘Well, I kind of just want to feed people and get back to some of those values of supporting wellness in people.’”

By utilizing local, organic and clean ingredients, Walkush aims to create another healthy and sustainable food option for the community to enjoy.

“I think there are limited dining options in the area for plant-based and whole foods,” she said. “I think there is a lot of focus now on living better, healthier lives. In this area, we’re really able to do that.”

Having just moved to Sequim this spring, Walkush said she was drawn to her new home for its ability to support a high quality of life.

“We are surrounded by beautiful settings and wonderful farms,” she said. “Our growing season and fertile lands make it that it’s only natural that we use those resources in our food.

“Nutrition really complements the lifestyles of people out here.”

On her first day at the market, farm vendors made it a point to stop by Jamie’s Green Cuisine and introduce themselves to Walkush, who has been incredibly vocal about her priority of spotlighting local producers in her dishes.

Walkush said she’s particularly excited about the abundance of small-scale farms at the market and throughout the county.

“I find that to be a really mutually beneficial relationship,” she said. “I really like knowing where my food comes from, I feel that the quality is great and I really want to support from one business to the next. It’s been really well received in this community.”

She added, “It’s also just really fun; you’re giving me these raw ingredients — look what I can do, look what we can make! It’s getting excited about food again, approaching it with creativity.”

Plant-based foods, Walkush said, don’t just have to be salads.

“You can get really fun with it,” she said. “It really boils down to those quality ingredients. If you can get those locally or source them sustainably, that makes cooking so much more rewarding.”

Walkush said she’s aware that some may perceive plant-based foods as restrictive, but Jamie’s Green Cuisine exists to debunk that myth in a spectrum of delicious ways. From bold flavors to tried and true comfort foods, Walkush makes something for nearly every type of eater.

“People really appreciate the flavors,” she said. “A lot of my dishes are very flavor-forward and have a lot of taste combinations.

“It’s something that people seem to really value. I do too! I really want things that are nourishing and exciting. I want people to feel like it meets a craving that they have. Something fresh, something you can feel good about.”

Her seasonal, rotating menu features grain bowls, wraps, Asian fusion dishes, salads, slaws and desserts. Walkush said she’s currently most excited about her pesto grain bowl featuring fresh local basil, walnuts, olive oil and lemon juice.

“It’s so fresh and satisfying,” she said.

Walkush says she is open to whatever’s next in the evolution of Jamie’s Green Cuisine, a business established in 2021.

“I’m out in the world and I feel really good about it,” she said. “I’m proud of what I’m doing and want to share that with people.”

In addition to her presence at the market on Saturday, Walkush said she looks forward to catering special events and offering meal services.

“It’s fun to think about where this dream can go. I’m excited to build community, connect with the farms, and collaborate,” she said. “I’m just at the beginning. I’m excited to make more connections.”

Market guests can connect with Walkush and enjoy Jamie’s Green Cuisine through Oct. 15 at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market.

The market runs every Saturday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. through Oct. 29. Visit your community market at Sequim Civic Center Plaza at North Sequim Avenue and West Cedar Street.

Be sure to tune in on Thursday at 4 p.m. to KSQM 91.5 FM for the live radio “Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market Update.”

Emma Jane Garcia is the director of the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market.

Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market

Open: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 29

Location: Sequim Civic Center Plaza and Centennial Place, downtown Sequim

More info: manager@sequimmarket.com

On the web: sequimmarket.com

Photo by Jamie Walkush/Jamie’s Green Cuisine

Photo by Jamie Walkush/Jamie’s Green Cuisine

Photo by Jamie Walkush/Jamie’s Green Cuisine

Photo by Jamie Walkush/Jamie’s Green Cuisine

Photo by Jamie Walkush/Jamie’s Green Cuisine

Photo by Jamie Walkush/Jamie’s Green Cuisine