Archive for the ‘one local summer ’08’ Category

One Local Summer: week 9

This week’s meal was a repeat of one before: grilled portobello mushroom sandwiches. I can get 4 medium sized mushrooms for $5 at the farmer’s market. These four went two to Husband, one to me, and one leftover ended up sliced on a home-made pizza the next day. Definitely got our money’s worth, I’d say!

I didn’t make the buns this time, they are from a local bakery called Uprising Breads. The corn and yellow and gold zucchini came from the farmer’s market. Once again I could have used a slice of cheese melted on top but I didn’t have any (other than the generic marble cheddar the kids eat by the pound; not what I had in mind). Simple. Local. Yummy. 

One Local Summer: weeks 7 and 8

I’m combining these two because the meal for week 7 was pretty lame. I was out of ideas, and out of food, so I threw together this lunch:

Homemade bread (with locally milled, organic unbleached flour), home-grown carrots (rainbow variety, two colours of which are shown here), and a bowl of salad greens from the garden. 

The week 8 meal was much better. It was an exciting meal because it contained several kinds of vegetable, all harvested from my garden:

Local new potatoes (bought from the supermarket but grown in Delta, BC). Broccoli, carrots, and sugar snap peas from the garden (I accidentally burnt the onions so they were left out!). Tossed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Very tasty. And I discovered that stir-fried sugar snap peas taste AMAZING!

One Local Summer: week #6

This is way late, but we went on holiday and life has just been really hectic lately! 

The meal came together in a most delightful way after a visit to the farmer’s market. My favorite tomato grower was out of yummy cherry and grape varieties, but had a couple of scrumptious-looking beefsteak varieties. We grabbed two of those and decided to have stuffed mushrooms. The local mushroom grower picked out some smaller criminis for me and voila, a meal was born.

Here are the ingredients:

Beefsteak tomatoes from Gipaanda Greenhouses, Surrey, BC.

Mushrooms from Richmond Specialty Mushrooms, Aldergrove, BC

Herbs from our garden.

Buns from the local bakery.

Salad from the garden. 

 

I confess there was a bit of shredded parmigiano reggiano, which is definitely not local, in the tomato stuffing. It was a pretty yummy dinner except I forgot to place a wedge of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks brie on the top to melt before serving!

One Local Summer: week #5

After reading about Melinda’s amazing pancakes over on Green Bean’s blog I’m thinking that I need to make a move away from salads! Wow, that looked delicious. Anyways, my meal this week is a local take on Salad Nicoise…

Here we have lettuce from the garden, local organic eggs (Rabbit River Farms; Richmond, BC) and tomatoes (Delta, BC). Canned tuna is from Iron Maiden Seafoods (Sooke, BC). The fingerling potatoes are the one “iffy” ingredient in this meal – the guy at the supermarket was “pretty sure” that they were from Washington State (which I consider local in terms of geography if not nationality), but the label simply said “Product of the USA”. The dressing was made with herbs from our garden. And the wine is from a local u-brew place, Beyond the Grape, (we make a big batch every year) although I’m not sure if the grapes in this particular blend are all local.

One comment I want to make is about the tuna. Opening this can, it looked quite different from your usual canned tuna. This tuna was more like a thick chunk of cooked fish with lots of yummy broth-like liquid around it. It wasn’t evenly distributed throughout the can, nor molded to precisely fit the can. It actually looked like real food, and it was the tastiest canned tuna I have ever eaten. At $5/can it is definitely more expensive than the store-bought variety, but as I often say if you simply eat it half as often as you regularly consume canned tuna then it doesn’t cost you anything more AND you get the benefit of local, ethically-caught, sustainably-fished, delicious canned tuna! That one can was enough to feed Husband and I (sadly, my kids won’t eat fish) along with the eggs and other yummies in the salad, so it ends up being a pretty inexpensive meal.

One Local Summer: week #4

 

As part of our desire for a more sustainable diet we don’t eat much meat. We’ll have it about once a week. I have switched to buying only ethical meat and while we have a lot of ethical beef in the freezer (we buy a half-cow from a local farm each year and share it with my mother) it is not easy to find ethically raised chicken and pork. I’ve been getting the occasional Cornish Hen from Goldwing but they haven’t had any chicken yet. I have found pork sausage from Pasture-to-Plate but so far no pork chops.

I actually love that these items are hard to find because it adds even more to the sense of value. It’s a treat when I get my hands on some sausages and you can best believe I’m going to make them last. Meat should be considered a treat, a Sunday-dinner type of meal, and not an everyday staple. I’ve noticed that the atmosphere of the Supermarket – anything you want any time of year, in abundance – is beginning to appear excessive to me in the context of the farmer’s market atmosphere where you need to come early to snap up the fresh local organic eggs, or the first batches of crisp rhubarb. There’s something about the latter that makes me truly cherish the products I buy.

Fish has become another way of including animal protein into our diet and we are lucky to have a wonderful local business that fishes sustainably and ethically. I purchase one salmon fillet whenever I go to the farmer’s market. It’s well under $10 and provides two large portions for me and Husband (the kids won’t eat fish unless it is battered and deep-friend and passed off as chicken nuggets; oh the Shame!!). This week’s meal is one way of preparing the fish; we have also used it roasted and shredded as a hearty addition to a bowl of salad.

The salmon dish pictured above is easy to prepare and very tasty. The salmon came from Iron Maiden Seafoods, hook-and-line caught and frozen-at-sea in local waters. It was cooked by spreading Dijon Mustard (not local) on the fillet and then topped with a mixture of bread crumbs and fresh herbs from our garden. It was served with tossed salad greens from our garden and a glass of homemade wine (we use a local on-premise winemaking company). The lemons were roasted with the fish and are not local, but as a garnish I’m hoping that’s okay. 

sincerely, the Happy Omnivore

One Local Summer: week #3

I have to start off by saying that I did not take this photo. My local meal this week was so yummy that I forgot to take a picture before I gobbled it all up. We had roasted portobello mushroom sandwiches with roasted red peppers and melted Raclette cheese on toasted homemade wheat bread. The mushrooms looked just like those in the above picture though!

Funny thing about this week’s meal: I actually just realized yesterday that another week had gone by and I hadn’t planned out my local meal. Then thinking back on the past few dinners I realized that we’d actually had an all-local meal without me  having done so deliberately! I think this is definitely a sign of progress, don’t you?

Ingredients: 

portobello mushrooms from Richmond Specialty Mushroom Growers

red peppers from BC Hothouse

Raclette cheese from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

bread homemade using locally milled organic whole wheat and unbleached white flour

And, in a definite improvement from the first week of this challenge, I have already made and consumed (and photographed) my submission for next week. Stay tuned!

One Local Summer: meal #1

I am sitting here with a very full belly and feeling very proud of myself right now, having just consumed my first meal for the One Local Summer challenge. I had missed the first week and was certain that the second week would go by before I could get my hands on enough local food to prepare a meal. Either that or I was going to submit “lettuce and tomatoes, no dressing”.

And then I discovered the Big Bag ‘O Lentils shoved in the back of my pantry, all but forgotten. These were bought from Anita’s Organic Mill, a local establishment. I’m not actually sure whether they were grown here, but they were definitely “processed” here and I figure how much processing is required to put lentils in an eco-friendly, brown paper bag? With that amazing feat of reasoning I decided they must be local (and if they aren’t, I don’t want to know this today).

And then I remembered a recipe for Lentil Burgers in one of my Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazines (thank you, Martha!) with a yogurt dressing. And just GUESS what I successfully made at home a couple of days ago?…yup, yogurt! Ladies and gentlemen, we had a plan.

An unexpected benefit of eating seasonally and locally is having to find new recipes, which is contributing immensely to my growing confidence as a cook. With a basic idea in mind I then considered side dishes. The final meal was as shown above: Lentil burgers with yogurt-mint sauce and butter lettuce with red potato salad and grape tomatoes.

The burgers are made with French lentils (Anita’s Organic Mill, Chilliwack, BC), scallions and mint (from my garden), and one egg (note: at the farmer’s market today they were out of eggs by the time I got there so I’m afraid I had to settle for an organic egg whose origin is unknown).

I made the buns myself, and I’d like to say that this is the first time I have ever made buns. Ever! I used my breadmaker for the dough part and baked them in the oven as per the manual that came with the machine. Here are some of them fresh out of the oven.

They were made from mostly unbleached white flour (with a bit of whole wheat flour thrown in) from Anita’s Organic Mill. (Rhonda, are you proud?)

The yogurt-mint sauce was made with homemade yogurt (local milk, though the culture came from the New England Cheesemaking Co.) and homegrown mint.

The butter lettuce was also straight from my garden.

The tomatoes were bought today at the farmer’s market from Celyddon Farm in Surrey, BC (I also used up a few store-bought, but local, tomatoes from a farm in Delta, BC). I topped them with the yogurt-mint sauce.

Finally, we had potato salad. I have to confess that I bought the potatoes a while ago at the supermarket but I’m pretty sure they are from Washington…? The sauce was a dijon-vinaigrette and definitely not local(!). I know I didn’t have to include that in my submission but hey, it was part of the meal.

My very first local dish. Predictably, my kids ate only the buns and had hot dogs. As I sat staring at the wonderful spread and enjoying my fresh food I could only hope that when they get older and their taste buds mature this will be their idea of Normal food.