Posts Tagged ‘seasonal’
It’s almost Thanksgiving! By now, the meal planning is probably in full-force and you’re prepping yourself for a few days of serious family time. While out shopping for your holiday dishes, challenge yourself to go local. And if you’re feeling up especially adventurous, consider shooting for a 100-mile Thanksgiving.
A 100-mile Thanksgiving means you’re aiming for all your ingredients to be sourced from within 100 miles of your dinner table. Thanksgiving is a holiday based around seasonal feasting, so it seems like a good idea to shoot for fresh, local food.
If a completely local meal seems daunting, try to source one dish locally, or get your turkey from a local farm. If you’re at a loss of where and what’s available to you, check out Local Harvest, a website where you enter in your zip code and get a map of farms and local food sources nearby.
Live in Austin? The produce available to you will range from kale to poblano peppers. You can stick with traditional dishes, such as honey roasted sweet potatoes, or think outside the box and whip up some jalapeno cranberry corn bread. Being in the height of cold-weather crop season, we’re lucky to have an abundance of produce at our fingertips. Filling your menu with local veggies will not only highlight the local food, it will also up the nutritional value of your dinner.
If you’re shooting for local and can’t find the traditional Thanksgiving foods in your region, consider shaking it up. We all live in a unique landscape with a food history all its own. Perhaps take this Thanksgiving as an opportunity to showcase the foods that symbolize where you live. Check out these unique menu ideas from five regions of the United States.
We also found this fantastic infographic that maps out localizing your Thanksgiving. There are plenty of resources out there to help you plan a local Thanksgiving. Have a fantastic holiday, and happy eating!
This year we’re offering some amazing locally made, artisanal pies from our friends: Cake & Spoon and the Pie Society. Ranging from traditional to haute, we’ve got confections that will wow your family and friends – or the co-workers (every office party needs pie!)
The deadline for orders is November 16th, and pies will be ready for pick-up the 20th & 21st. If you know you’ll need your pie before then, we can accommodate early pick-up.
- Key Lime in Graham Cracker Crust – Cake & Spoon- a tart and refreshing classic. $30
- Texas Pecan – Cake & Spoon – a 100% local southern tradition. $32
- Apple – Cake & Spoon – made extra delicious with Texas apples. $30
- Cherry – Cake & Spoon – these ain’t no canned cherries, totally fresh. $30
- Pumpkin – The Pie Society – can you have Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie? $26
- Buttermilk – The Pie Society – sweet, creamy, and dreamy – a southern classic. $26
- Pumpkin Pecan – The Pie Society – pumpkin pie + pecan pie = the perfect storm of holiday deliciousness. $26
- Orange You Glad We Said Cranberry – The Pie Society – tart cranberries, a secret blend of spices and just-squeezed orange juice simmered to perfection for a sweet and tangy pie. $32
- Austin Creme Pie – The Pie Society – sweet potato pudding, chocolate ganache, cinnamon whipped cream and a pistachio crust. Keeping it weird and delicious. $32
Orders can be placed in-store or online via PayPal by clicking the pies below.
If you have any questions please call 512-275-6357 or email and we’d be glad to help!
Jessica’s an Austin native with a passion for environmental issues and an unshakable commitment to improving sustainability. When she’s not busy blogging for in.gredients, she loves studying ecology, thrift store shopping, bees, and riding bicycles!
Hello! I’m Jessica Malsky, the newest member of the in.gredients team. One of the things I’ve become most excited about in anticipation of the in.gredients store opening: it’ll be so much easier to eat seasonal, local, organic/natural, produce. Let me clarify – it’ll be easier to eat it because it’ll be easier to find it! As I’m an eco-friendly kind of gal, it’s been a personal goal of mine for some time to go local and organic, but it’s been tough going.
I think we’re all too familiar with the fact that the vast majority of produce available at most grocery stores isn’t locally sourced (in part due to the constant consumer demand for non-seasonal produce) – something that kind of gets me down. What’s more, I’ve found that even my favorite small, local grocery stores don’t have a great selection of local and organic produce. Farmers’ markets seem to be the best bet in the hunt for seasonal/local/organic. And while I adore farmers’ markets, more often than not my schedule isn’t compatible with market days and times (unfortunately). Can anyone relate?
So naturally, I’m really excited about the fact that when in.gredients debuts, it’ll be like having a supplementary farmers’ market on call 7 days a week. No joke! In fact, some of the farms with booths at Central Texas farmers’ markets are the ones whose produce we’ll be carrying. But the window of opportunity to get at these farm-fresh goodies will be significantly wider, so no fret if you can’t make it to market day. Phew!
You could think of it this way: every day will be market day at in.gredients!
The new year’s almost here! Come up with a resolution for 2012 yet? As with any resolution, the key is to choose something feasible. A change you can make without major stress or strife is most likely to become permanent. If you don’t have one in mind yet, here are some great “green” resolution ideas to make your new year a little (or even a lot!) more eco-friendly than the last:
1. Convert to cloth tissues: single-use, disposable facial tissues create a lot of unnecessary waste. Reusable tissues are easy to make out of old shirts or other soft fabrics. Wash them with your regular laundry and you’ve created no waste, and used no extra water (because your laundry has to be washed anyway!). Check out our post on cloth tissues for some extra insight.
2. Ban paper towels: Make your house a paper towel-free zone by converting to reusable rags for cleaning and cloth napkins for dining. It’s an easy habit to pick up, and you’ll cut down enormously on non-recyclable paper waste!
3. “Meatless Mondays”: By choosing not to eat meat one day per week, you’ll reduce your average meat consumption by about 14 percent. Doing so will lower your carbon footprint and may even improve your health! Learn more about Meatless Mondays here.
4. Start a compost pile: Another incredible way to cut down on household waste that your garden (if you have one) will thank you for! See our posts on urban composting and composting in Austin for some helpful tips to get you started.
5. Bike to work or school one day a week: Or take public transportation, or walk, or build a boat from old limbs and float down your local creek. Whatever you choose, it’s always good to set a specific goal that’s manageable for you. Weekly goals are good because they are easy to keep track of, and not overwhelming.
6. Start a garden: Spend less money at the store *and* eat healthy, fresh food. Yee haw! If you live in Central Texas, you may find this seasonal planting guide from Austin Organic Gardeners helpful in figuring out what to plant.
7. Share something: The simple act of sharing can save money and resources while fostering kindness in communities. You could share something you own, for example: a set of power tools or perhaps a skill you have like, for example, bicycle repair. Sharing’s contagious too, so you’re likely to start a trend with your friends and neighbors that’ll be beneficial to you as well!
(image, starring our very own Chris Pepe: Patrick Lane Photography)
Here’s an interesting (and timely) seasonal twist on a classic favorite: a chicken salad recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen that calls for persimmons and pecans. The beauty of this recipe: if you live in Central Texas, you can get all the “fixins” for this salad locally, because as y’all know, ’tis the season for persimmons and pecans! What’s more, it’s a great way to use leftover roast chicken or turkey!
(image: Wikimedia Commons: “Persimmons”)
Eating seasonally is a great idea any time of the year. It’s a win-win. Seasonal produce is naturally the highest quality (and tastiest) produce, with less negative impact on the environment. At first glance, the seasonal selection during the winter might seem less impressive than the summer smorgasbord, but winter has lots to offer: squashes, root vegetables, cabbages, kale…and these veggies have a little something extra you may not know about. They’re high in nature’s natural immunity boosters: vitamin C, beta carotene, and vitamin K. Couldn’t be better timing to help fight colds and flu!
(image: New Gourmet Recipes)
We had great fun participating in Slow Food USA’s $5 Meal Challenge on Saturday, which challenged participants to cook slow food for the price of fast food (under $5/person). The only stressful part was choosing what meal to make! Turns out we all regularly make – in general – healthy, natural meals under $5/person, so choosing which meal to make didn’t come down to which was cheapest, but rather what we really wanted to eat.
However, the meal we chose actually cost not just under $5/person, but under $1/person – due in part to using some garden-grown produce and only using a little bit of meat (1/4 lb for 5 people). If we’d chosen to serve each person 1/4 lb of meat, the cost of meat would have grown from $1.77 to around $8.50. But as it stands, we fed 5 folks a full serving of jambalaya for under $1/head.
The winning meal: buffalo jambalaya, a simple recipe from in.gredients team members Cat and Brian Nunnery that’s very forgiving when it comes to creativity. Tasty and filling, it makes use of seasonal okra and tomatoes from the Nunnerys’ community garden, and fills five large dinner bowls – and can be easily converted to a vegetarian recipe by subbing red beans for the buffalo. Here’s a shot of the buffalo version halfway through the cooking process:
PRICING BREAKDOWN: COOKING FOR 5 PEOPLE
+ Organic chicken bouillon (4 tsp): $0.44 (total cost of bouillon container divides to $0.11/tsp)
+ Water (4 cups): Less than $0.01
+ Organic white rice (4 cups): $1.18
+ 16 okras from community garden: $0.20 (ballpark based on cost to raise – this year had a bountiful harvest)
+ 1/4 lbs ground buffalo: $1.77 or 1 lb red beans: $1.19
+ 3 organic tomatoes from community garden: $0.45 (ballpark based on cost to raise)
+ 1 organic white onion: $0.92
+ Cayenne (to taste): Less than $0.10
+ Black pepper (to taste): Less than $0.10
+ Salt (to taste): Less than $0.10
+ Olive oil for drizzling on pans
Grand total (buffalo): $4.94, not including minimal costs of seasonings, water, and olive oil.
Grand total (beans): $4.36, not including minimal costs of seasonings, water, and olive oil.
1-1. Start a pot of boiling water for the rice. It’ll take the longest to cook. Pour rice in once water boils. Boil for three minutes, then simmer – or cook it however you normally cook rice!
1-2. If you’re cooking the bean version of the recipe, start a pot of boiling water for the beans at this point, and proceed to add the beans when you get a boil. If you’re not using beans, disregard this step.
2. Cut tomato into chunks; dice onion; slice okra into thin pieces
3. Start a skillet and saucepan on the stove; drizzle with olive oil.
4. In the skillet, begin cooking buffalo, breaking up / stirring regularly. Feel free to season for extra flavor. If you’re using beans instead of buffalo, disregard this step.
5-1. In the saucepan, throw in veggies and sauté for 3 minutes.
5-2. Boil water for chicken broth. Once boiled, mix in chicken bouillon – then add to saucepan and mix with veggies.
6-1. Once buffalo is fully cooked, add to saucepan. The same goes for beans, if you’re using beans.
6-2. Once rice mostly cooked, add to saucepan.
7. Season what’s in the saucepan (to taste).
8. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
9. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Like Slow Food says, eating healthy meals isn’t hard, if you’re willing to spend a little more time in the kitchen. We had fun participating, and can’t wait to offer good in.gredients in our store for folks to use to make more affordable, healthy meals.
(images via: Slow Food USA, Brian Nunnery)
Check out this video about eating in-season produce (video via: Nourish)
At in.gredients we want to offer you fresh, seasonal produce. We don’t want fruits or vegetables shipped from across the world, traveling thousands of miles, burning excess energy just to get to our store. We’re all about supporting our local farmers who, like us, are trying to feed you fruits and vegetables that are real, fresh, and untouched by chemicals. Yum…seconds, anyone?