Thursday, October 2, 2008

Market to Table - October 2, 2008

There were times when being on my local diet experiment was REALLY difficult. I'd be staring at the veggies from the farmers market, knowing they were far more delicious than anything I could purchase at the grocery store, and yet there was that craving for carrots or broccoli. You know, anything that wasn't currently in season. 

Now that I'm not as strict with my diet (although it's still mostly local), there are a few food wiggling their way back into the house. Carrots haven't hit the farmers market since late spring, although I have it on good authority that it won't be much longer (two of the vendors have planted them for fall harvest). I've also been buying organic celery and a sweet potato here and there from the grocery. Non-local bananas and apples have been supplementing my stores of frozen local fruits through the last few weeks and I'm enjoying them immensely. 

I'm not completely local anymore, but I'm still enjoying 99% whole foods and feeling very balanced (that 1% consists of things like mayo, pickles, and - confession time - I like to put potato chips ON my sandwiches. Yum!). 

Just about every meal I eat has local and non-local components about it. To be honest, I wasn't going to post one of the photos because it was only half local foods, but I decided I needed to get over it. If I only post the things I'm most proud of, 1) the posts will get boring really quickly and 2) you never really see the real Heather.

So, here it is. The local, the not-so-local, and the wonderfully delicious...

There were lots of eggs and potatoes on the menu again this week. When something is inexpensive and tasty, how can you go wrong? 
  • Photo #1 (scrambled eggs, fried sweet potatoes, and strawberries with cream) The eggs and milk in the scrambled eggs were all local (Brazos Valley Farmers Market and Sand Creek Farm and Dairy, respectively). But obviously there are some non-locals lurking too. Unfortunately, I've never seen a sweet potato at our farmers market. I'm not sure why, but I've decided that I'll be growing them myself next year. In the meantime, I picked this one up from the grocery. I'm pretty picky about eating sweet potatoes. I hate them mashed, but absolutely love them fried in just a little olive oil. Yum!  The other non-local is the obviously canned whipping cream leftover from the fridge. It's topping those gorgeous local strawberries I pulled from the freezer. Talk about a wonderful way to end a meal!
  • Photo #2 (scrambled eggs, stir fry veggies, and steamed green beans) - On to more eggs (did I mention cheap and good?). Anyway, again the eggs and milk in the scrambled eggs are both local. The stir fried veggies I always have fun with. Stir fries can be anything. This one was local potatoes, onions, and spinach, with non-local carrots thrown in for no other reason than it sounded really good. Towards the back are those wonderful local green beens from the farmers market. I can't quite seem to get enough of those, but not to worry. Lois Vaughn (from our local farmers market) promised she planted plenty more last week. Bring it on!
  • Photo #3 (canned tomatoes and rice) - I managed to make it almost 2-1/2 months without breaking into one of my jars of canned tomatoes. Let me just say it won't be another 2-1/2 months before I hit the next jar. In fact, at the risk of running out long before the winter is through, I think I may open another one for lunch today. All I did was put 1/2 c. of local brown rice in a saucepan and pour the entire pint jar of homemade canned tomatoes over top. It simmered on the stove for, I don't know, maybe 45 minutes. This is the result. DELICIOUS! Although I think next time, I'll throw in some fresh basil from the back porch. Mmmm.
I also munched on local almonds this week, some homemade yogurt I made from local milk, lots more stir fries (featuring the zucchini I bought at last Saturday's farmers market), and lots of cheese and veggie sandwiches on my homemade (though not local) 100% whole wheat buns.

I wish I could say I'm quite the cook; that I make all new amazing meals each and every day with all local ingredients that would  knock your socks off. But the truth is I like simple foods that are quick and easy to make, so I end up eating many of the same things day after day. At one point during my "single" days, I was known to eat sandwiches for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and I never really got bored with it - go figure). But as we learn, we grow. And although it takes a little more effort to secure and prepare these local foods, IT REALLY IS WORTH IT. And so the adventure continues. As always...

Happy (and mindful) eating!


Jennifer (of Veg*n Cooking) said...

I'm glad you decided to post the pictures that don't include mostly local food as well - it does let us know more about you.

No sweet potatoes at the farmer's market? That has to be awful - sweet potatoes are one of my favorite things, I was so happy when they started popping up at the market - they should be around until the market closes in November :-(. After that I'll have to start getting my local yummies from a local grocer called the Root Cellar (cute name since they are in a basement too).

I love that tomato rice dish - I bet the addition of the basil would flippin' rock, and eggs and potatoes are good in my book any time.

We eat a lot of the same things too. Even our "new" meals are comprised of pretty much the same ingredients. After a summer of zucchini and summer squash, we get to look forward to a winter of, well, winter squash. We better be careful or we are going to turn in to squash!

Thanks, as always for the Market to Table post - I look forward to it each week.

Heather @ SGF said...

jennifer - I ate the canned tomatoes and rice today with the added basil. It was perfect! Mmmm! Definitely worth a try.

I enjoy squash and zucchini too but am looking forward to fall and winter foods. We had some spaghetti squash during the summer months, but from what I've read on-line they are supposed to be fall and winter crops. Right? If so, I'm really looking forward to that. What do you do with all your winter squash? Soups?

Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes I worry that I'm boring people with my unadventurous meals :)

Anonymous said...

the rice with tomatoes looks great..ill have to try that.

Heather @ SGF said...

burbanmom - it's WAY too easy and VERY yummy. :)