Posts Tagged ‘local’
We feel like celebrating. It’s almost Mother’s Day (make sure you call your mom!) and we have fantastic events planned this weekend. It looks like this rainy weather might stick around for awhile, so it’s the perfect evening to make a cake. Carrots are still going strong in central Texas, and not only are they perfect for snacking they also make a mean baked good.
This recipe goes one step beyond simple carrot cake with the addition of orange frosting. While a good carrot cake should be able to stand on its own, it’s always nice when you pair it with the perfect frosting. We still have some local citrus, which will be out of season soon, so grab it while you can.
We enjoyed that the author made it slightly healthier by adding goat cheese to the frosting, which is easier to digest than cow’s milk and adds a bit more tang. She also added less sugar and used olive oil instead of butter, which makes for a cake that you feel a little less guilty about eating, right?
Who are we kidding, guilt and delicious (real) food shouldn’t go together.
Carrot Cake with Tangy Orange Frosting
From: The Kitchn
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2/3 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tsp orange zest
- 2 tsp pure vanilla
- 3 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
For the frosting:
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 6 ounces goat cheese
- 2 tsp freshly grated orange zest
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups confectioners sugar
- Whole walnuts, to garnish
Preheat the oven to 375°F and place a rack in the center of the oven.
Grease two 8-inch cake pans and line both with a round of parchment paper.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the olive oil, buttermilk, sugars, eggs, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With a spoon, fold in the grated carrots and walnuts.
Divide the batter equally between the two pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove the cakes from the oven and allow them to cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then carefully invert them out of the pans, peel off the parchment, and set them right side up to cool completely on the rack.
While the cakes are cooling, prepare the frosting. With an electric mixer on medium-low, combine the cream cheese, goat cheese, orange zest and vanilla. Slowly add the confectioners’ sugar until the frosting reaches desired consistency.
To frost the cake, first spread a small dab of icing on the cake plate. Cut narrow strips of parchment or paper and place them in a grid on the cake plate, leaving the center open. They should be close enough together that the cake layer sits on top of the paper with no part of the diameter exposed directly to the plate.
Using a serrated bread knife, carefully carve off the domed top of one of the layers as evenly as possible. Center this first layer on the plate. Using an offset spatula, apply a “crumb coat”: a thin layer of frosting meant to keep the crumbs down. (Refrigerate the layer at this point if the crumbs are coming up.)
Stir the frosting and place about 1/3 of it over the bottom cake layer. Spread the frosting with the spatula until even and smooth. Make sure that the frosting is thicker around the edges.
Place the second layer on top and apply a crumb coat. Refrigerate. Place about half of the remaining frosting around the sides of the cake, working the frosting around the edges. Spread the remaining frosting across the top of the cake, dipping the spatula in warm water and wiping it off between strokes to keep it warm and clean for a smoother finish.
Remove the strips one at a time, pulling it out in a straight line, parallel to the floor. Garnish the cake with walnuts, herbs, flowers and/or birthday candles.
Fridays are for simple salads and a glass of sangria on the front porch. The combination of strawberries and spinach is delicious, and why would we mess with perfection? We have local strawberries in from Poteet and spinach from Johnson’s Backyard Garden. Combine those two in.gredients with apple pie pecans from the Pecan Shop and you’ve got yourself a light dinner.
Not only do these strawberries come from a local source, they come from a place in Texas where there is an annual strawberry festival. Held every year in April, the festival has over 100 food and craft vendors, dances on Friday and Saturday nights and a strawberry judging and auction.
We love that our state has a festival dedicated to strawberries. We are looking forward to more local berries and all the potential they provide for great recipes, like this salad. Happy eating!
Spinach Salad with Strawberries, Apple Pie Pecans and Goat Cheese
From: For the Love of Cooking
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp dark brown sugar, optional
- 1 Tbsp chopped garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apple pie pecans
- 5 cups spinach, washed and chopped
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 2-3 Tbsp goat cheese
Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients and setting aside. This will make about a cup of dressing, you can put the extra in the fridge and use whenever you have a hankering for a salad.
Combine the spinach with the strawberries, nuts and goat cheese. Toss with the dressing and serve immediately. Simple, fast, delicious.
It’s officially Spring in Texas!
With the new season comes some serious spring bounty. To celebrate, we’re hosting another Homegrown Revival dinner on Tuesday, May 21.
For those of you who haven’t heard about The Homegrown Revival, get ready to be inspired. This incredible local non-profit brings education and local food to the table. By hosting dinners, making videos and sharing recipes they’re educating consumers on how to prepare and consume fresh and nutritious food within their communities.
We can’t think of a better partner to share in our love of food. Come join us for our spring dinner where Chef Sonya Cote will be sourcing produce from our Urban Patchwork garden and other nearby farms. Watch as she turns food into art and dishes up a fresh, healthy and local dinner for every lucky guest. To make the dinner even more exciting, the one and only Tink Pinkard will join us with some “big fish” stories contributing whatever protein he happened to procure that week.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, it does. We’re teaming up with the Homegrown Revival to offer up the opportunity to win two tickets to this meal. During the month of April, stop by in.gredients to pick up your in.gredients loyalty card. Every time you spend $15 or more at in.gredients, you get a stamp. At the end of the month, turn in your loyalty card and whoever has collected the most stamps will win two tickets to the spring Homegrown Revival dinner at in.gredients (that’s a $130 value!)
Let’s celebrate the return of spring and gather around local food. Tickets for the dinner are $65, and can be purchased here. Please know that this dinner will be filmed as part of a cooking show, so feel free to come dressed… well, exactly how you are because that’s why we love you.
It’s time to get back to some sort of normalcy. As people leave our city after a week of SX, we can find our way back into some sort of routine. Here’s a simple Meatless Monday side dish that would go nicely with a veggie burger or large green salad. Just imagine a healthier version of french fries. We also like this recipe because it’s another dish you can prepare in no time at all.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Meatless Monday, it’s a campaign that was used during World War I and II to reduce the consumption of food staples. A recent initiative was reintroduced by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for a Livable Future and has been endorsed by 30 schools of public health.
By cutting out meat just once a week, you can reduce your risk of chronic, preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. You’ll also reduce the size of your carbon footprint. The meat industry generates nearly 1/5 of the man-made greenhouse gas emissions that are accelerating climate change, the meat industry pollutes more than transportation!
Go ahead and consider going meatless, your health and the planet will thank you for it. Happy eating!
Crispy Roasted Potato Wedges with Parsley, Rosemary and Lemon
From: Sur La Table
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 pounds (7 or 8 small) unpeeled Yukon gold or white potatoes
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- grated zest from 1 lemon (1 Tbsp lightly packed), plus the juice
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Finely chop the garlic and put it in a large bowl. Add the oil, parsley, and rosemary. Cut the potatoes into 3/4 to 1-inch-wide wedges. Add the potatoes to the bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Toss with your hands to evenly coat the potatoes with the oil mixture.
Spread the potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet, scraping the bowl of any extra oil and herbs, and arrange the potatoes with a flat side down. Roast until the bottom is golden, about 25 minutes, and then turn them with a spatula. Continue roasting until golden and crisp outside and tender inside, about 15 more minutes. Gently sprinkle with the lemon zest. Transfer the potatoes to a serving bowl, making sure to scrape up all the herbs and zest. Add several squeezes of the juice over the top. Toss gently to distribute. Serve hot.
We’re sticking with a recipe that only has six ingredients, keeping our word on providing simple recipes during this SX craziness. We just got in some bok choy, which is a vegetable that can sometimes be forgotten or skipped over.
We chose this recipe because we liked that it’s a stir fry where bok choy is the main (and only) star. Now let’s get into why we love this vegetable so much. One cup of bok choy provides 70 percent of your daily value of vitamin C and 140% of vitamin A. Surprisingly, bok choy is a good source of calcium, which we all know is good for our bones, teeth, heart and muscles.
Bok choy has been cultivated for thousands of years in China and is most commonly used in soups, stews, salads and stir-frys. This vegetable is a member of the cabbage family, and when picking produce choose the fresh bok choy with dark green leaves, a white bottom and no signs or wilting or mold. After buying it, keep it in your veggie drawer of your fridge, and wash it only when you’re ready to cook with it.
Stir Fried Bok Choy with Ginger and Garlic
From: Food Network
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 8 cups chopped fresh bok choy
- 2 Tbsp tamari
- Salt and ground black pepper
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add bok choy and tamari and cook for 3-5 minutes, until greens are wilted and stalks are crisp-tender. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
Let’s be real, this week can be overwhelming. With the new addition of thousands of people for SXSW, it can be tough to stick to your normal routines.
To combat that, we want to offer up simple recipes that require little thought, few ingredients and will keep you satisfied. We were also inspired by these delicious local radishes from Johnson’s Backyard Garden, and wanted to find a dish where they were the main feature.
This recipe comes from Bon Appetit, and they suggest that brief high-heat roasting mellows the radish’s peppery flavor. We also fell in love with this recipe because it uses the whole radish, greens and all. The tops add color and amps up the radish flavor. You’ll want to make sure to rinse the tops well, removing extra dirt that can clump in the leaves. This dish makes a great side for any dinner you may have planned.
Make sure to take care of yourself this week, smile at all the art-loving out-of-towners, and stick to eating real, local food.
Roasted Radishes with Brown Butter, Lemon and Radish Tops
From: Bon Appetit
- 2 bunches medium radishes (about 20)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- Coarse kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Brush large heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Cut off all but 1/2 inch of green radish tops; reserve trimmed tops and rinse them well, checking for grit. Coarsely chop radish tops and set aside. Cut radishes lengthwise in half and place in medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and toss thoroughly to coat. Place radishes, cut side down, on prepared baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with coarse salt. Roast until radishes are crisp-tender, stirring occasionally, about 18 minutes. Season to taste with more coarse kosher salt, if desired.
Melt butter in heavy, small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pinch of coarse kosher salt to skillet and cook until butter browns, swirling skillet frequently to keep butter solids from burning, about 3 minutes. Remove from skillet from heat and stir in fresh lemon juice.
Transfer roasted radishes to warmed shallow serving bowl and drizzle the brown butter over. Sprinkle with chopped radish tops and serve.
Happy Real Food Friday! We’ve decided to celebrate with grapefruit.
We’ve got a plethora of grapefruit in Texas, and we’re not complaining. Brightly colored with a heavenly scent, we consider grapefruit a work of art. We love that we can get our citrus from G&S Groves, a farm in South Texas that grows certified organic citrus.
Not only beautiful, grapefruits are also packed full of nutritious vitamins and minerals. These fruits are rich in vitamin C and low in cholesterol. Studies have shown that they contain a high number of fat-burning enzymes which can aid in weight loss. On top of all of that, they’re high in vitamin A, which means that they have antioxidants that combat skin damage. Grapefruit helps maintain moisture levels in the skin, protecting it from dryness, psoriasis, acne and wrinkles.
Way to go, grapefruit.
We think these beauties are perfect on their own, and it’s Friday, which means we want to give you an easy, stress free recipe. We loved the idea of this simple dessert, as it only requires five ingredients and takes about 10 minutes to make.
Who doesn’t love a simple, beautiful and healthy dessert to kick off the weekend?
From: Huffington Post
- 3 large grapefruits
- 6 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp butter, cut into tiny pieces
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Position oven rack about 5 inches from broiler, preheat broiler.
Slice the stem end and opposite end off of each grapefruit. Stand the grapefruit, one cut-end down, on a work surface. Cut the find and pith off with a sharp knife, making sure to remove all the white pith. Cut each fruit into 4 rounds, about ½ inch thick.
Place the slices in a large baking pan in a single layer. Top each with 1 ½ tsp brown sugar, dot with butter and sprinkle with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Broil the grapefruit until bubbling and starting to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Drizzle pan juice over each serving.
It’s pretty obvious that we love vegetables. Romanesco cauliflower makes us swoon, and fresh local produce arriving at the store is like christmas and a birthday party, rolled into one. Spring is just around the corner, which in Austin means a plethora of new produce. Until those spring crops start rolling in, we have kale, carrots, beets, cauliflower and broccoli to rely on.
This recipe combines the deliciousness of broccoli with the brightness of fresh squeezed orange juice. This dish calls for crushed tomatoes, which may have you reaching for the canned variety. Did you know that homemade crushed tomatoes are easy to make? That way you can stick with your locally grown tomatoes, and reduce your waste by not having that extra can to recycle.
All you have to do is cut the tomato in half, take a grater, and using the bigger, rougher side, place the tomato face down and grate. All you will have left is the skin, and you’ll have a nice big bowl of crushed tomatoes. You have now successfully crushed your own tomatoes, job well done. This recipe calls for 14 ounces of crushed tomatoes, which means you’ll need slightly less than 2 cups of fresh tomatoes.
This salad is a great light lunch option and would also make a nice side to any dinner you’ve got planned. Happy eating!
Braised Broccoli with Orange and Parmesan
From: 101 Cookbooks
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 14 oz crushed tomatoes (2 cups fresh tomatoes)
- 1 head of broccoli, florets and stalks trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/4 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese shavings
- 2 Tbsp toasted sliced almonds
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat combine the orange juice and tomatoes. Bring to a boil and stir in the broccoli. Stir in the oregano and red pepper flakes, then cook until the broccoli is just tender and bright green, a couple of minutes. Do your best to avoid overcooking the broccoli. Season with salt and pepper, and transfer to a serving dish. Drizzle with the olive oil, and sprinkle with cheese and almonds before serving.
On Saturday we watched the speakers of TEDx Manhattan challenge us to change the way we eat. With topics ranging from adopting a vegan diet to purposefully growing weeds for food, these leaders in the food community all agreed that something needs to change.
With obesity, hunger and food waste running rampant in the United States, it’s apparent that something is broken in our food system. While there are serious issues to address there is a subsequent rise of activists and policy makers working to create change. All you have to do is take a look around Austin. In our beloved city we have numerous organizations, individuals and businesses addressing the hurdles facing health and food security in our town.
While this topic could be discussed and analyzed for days, we’ll leave you with the ten “rules” that TEDxManhattan provided on how we can change the way we eat. Here’s to growing, learning and loving our food.
1. Educate yourself – Unfortunately, there is no all-encompassing guide that answers all sustainable food questions, so you need to learn what you can about the food industry and decide for yourself who deserves your support. The following books are a great place to start: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, Hope’s Edge by Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé, Stuffed and Starved by Raj Patel. For more recommendations, check out Grist’s Favorite Food Books of 2010:www.grist.org/article/2010-12-20-favorite-food-books-of-2010.
2. Shop sustainable – Where do you get your food? If you answered farmer’s market, CSA or food co-op, you are already concerned with sustainability. Wherever you shop, choose local, organic and/or sustainable items over their industrial, non-local counterparts. When buying meat and dairy, look for free-range, pasture-raised, and antibiotic free. Seek out items with less packaging or skip the packaging altogether by buying bulk items with your own bags. To find sustainable farms, restaurants and markets near you, visit Eat Well Guide or Local Harvest.
3. Ask questions – One of the greatest benefits of buying your food straight from the farmer is talking directly with the person who grew the food. We ask our farmers all sorts of questions, from ‘what’s the most delicious way to cook this lamb chop’ to ‘what’s integrated pest management’ and ‘do you use any synthetic fertilizers’? If your local grocery doesn’t carry local or organic foods, ask the manager about it! You’d be surprised at the buying power you plus a few friends possess. Check out Huffington Post’s Seven Great Questions to Ask Your Farmer or visit Sustainable Table’s Question Guide.
4. Eat Less Meat – Eating lots of meat is not only bad for you, it’s bad for the environment. Eating less meat can reduce your chances of developing chronic conditions like some types of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Meat, especially from industrial feedlots, is hugely energy intensive, requiring thousands of gallons of water and approximately 40 fossil-fuel calories for every edible calorie. When you do want to eat meat, make sure you support farms that raise and slaughter their animals in a humane and sustainable way. For recipes and resources for going meatless, visit Meatless Monday.
5. Eat seasonal – No matter the season, our supermarkets are filled with a vast array of produce from all around the world. But just because you can find a stalk of asparagus in January doesn’t mean you should eat it! Eating seasonally means buying produce that’s grown locally and eating it right away. Local food has a lesser environmental impact, is fresher, and is produced by your community. That means eating seasonally is healthier for you, your community and the environment! To find a Farmer’s Market near you, visitLocal Harvest. To find a CSA in NYC, visit Just Food’s CSA finder. You can also find Farmer’s Markets and CSAs at the Eat Well Guide.
6. Grow your own – There’s no better way to know your farmer than to be your farmer! Growing your own food guarantees the most healthful, freshest, and satisfying produce you can get your hands on. From a few herbs or sprouts in your kitchen window, to a full veggie patch at your local community garden, growing your own food is the coolest way to go green. For NYC dwellers, find a garden through Green Thumb. If you have high hopes and a tiny apartment, check out Windowfarms!
7. Cook – Eating out poses many challenges to the sustainable eater. How and where does the restaurant get its ingredients? How much food do they throw away? What’s their water consumption? The only guaranteed way to know your food is prepared sustainable is to see the meal start to finish; from buying (or growing?!) the ingredients, through the peeling, chopping, roasting, sautéing, and plating, clear to the last delicious bite. For culinary inspiration, visit Chef Michel Nischan’s recipe page.
8. Drink Local – Approximately 33% of the 2.4 million tons of PET plastic discarded every year is from water bottles—that means 800,000 tons of plastic water bottles will sit in a landfill for thousands of years before decomposing. Bottled water is no safer than tap water; in fact most bottled water is tap water! Trash the bottle and drink your local tap instead. To uncover more facts, watch the story of bottled water at Food & Water Watch. If you need a water refill, visit TapItwater.com to locate a spout, or download their app!
9. Get Involved – Change happens because dedicated people like you support it. Decide on the issues that matter most to you and start or join the campaigns that protect them. Visit non-profits that are fighting for good, clean food like the Environmental Working Group and Slow Food USA to get started.
10. Enjoy! Eating can and should be the simplest joy we all have. Sharing a meal brings people together in a way that little else does. Knowing that the food you eat is grown with care for the environment, farmers, animals, and your own health will only add to your joyful food experience. For tips on creating a loving food environment, check out Laurie David’s new book “The Family Dinner.”