A Plant-Based Diet
We agree with food writer Michael Pollan when he said, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” While most folks think of summer as the time for grilling meat, we’re pretty jazzed on the abundance of warm-weather veggies currently coming out of our farmers’ fields. To highlight these seasonal offerings, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite recipes from Austin-based food blogger, Jeanine Donofrio of Love and Lemons.
- 1 small head romaine lettuce, chopped
- ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
- 1 medium zucchini, spiralized or peeled into ribbons
- 1 ear of corn, grilled, kernels sliced off cobb
- 1 avocado, pitted and diced
- 12 to 14 ounces extra-firm tofu, patted dry and cubed
- ½ cup coconut “bacon” (recipe below)
- 1½ cups unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1½ tablespoons tamari
- scant 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 3 to 4 hours, preferably overnight, drained and rinsed
- ½ to ¾ cups fresh water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon sea salt
- In a blender, combine the cashews, ½ cup water, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Blend until creamy, adding more water if necessary. Taste and season with additional salt as needed. Chill until ready to use.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the coconut flakes along with the tamari, maple syrup and smoked paprika on the pan and toss gently to coat. Spread in a thin layer on the pan and bake until dark golden brown and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Increase the oven temperature to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tofu cubes on the pan and toss with a drizzle of olive oil and generous pinches of salt. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
- In a serving bowl, assemble the salad with the romaine, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, corn, avocado and tofu. Top with the coconut “bacon” and serve with the dressing on the side. Store any extra dressing in a sealed container in the fridge.
- 1 small Japanese eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup chopped summer squash (yellow, pattypan, or zucchini)
- 1 red bell pepper, deseeded and sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
- drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 corn or flour tortillas
- 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
- ½ avocado, diced
- handful of cilantro
- 1 serrano pepper, sliced (optional)
- crumbled cotija cheese (optional)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup store-bought or homemade tomatillo salsa
- ¼ cup pepitas
- ½ avocado
- handful of spinach
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- squeezes of lime, to taste
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400° F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the chopped eggplant, squash, red pepper and tomatoes onto the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper and roast until golden brown around the edges 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, make your sauce. In a food processor, blend together the tomatillo salsa, pepitas, avocado, spinach, olive oil, lime juice and pinches of salt and pepper, to taste. Chill until ready to use.
- Assemble the tacos with the black beans, roasted vegetables, diced avocado, cilantro, serrano, cotija (if using), and a generous scoop of the avocado tomatillo sauce. Serve with extra sauce on the side.
- Store extra sauce in the fridge for 2 to 3 days.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- salt & pepper
- 2 large portobello mushrooms, sliced into 4 long slices each
- ½ cup red onion
- ½ cup chopped tomatoes
- squeeze of lime
- 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- salt & pepper
- yellow mustard
- 4-5 hot dog buns
- optional: ketchup on the side
- optional: 1 serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- In a small bowl, mix together the chopped red onion and sliced tomatoes. Add a squeeze of lime, salt and pepper. Stir and set aside.
- Preheat your grill or grill pan. In another small bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together (olive oil, balsamic, mustard, salt & pepper), and brush onto the portobello slices until they’re coated.
- (Note: If you’re making the macaroni salad, make it now and grill your mushrooms last).
- Grill mushroom strips on each side until grill marks form and mushrooms are tender and juicy (about 3-4 minutes per side). Place 2 mushroom slices into each hot dog bun. Top liberally with onion & tomatoes, some serrano slices, and a swirl of mustard.
- ½ cup walnuts
- 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- tiny pinch of salt
- 2 tablespoons cold butter (I use vegan earth balance)
- a few teaspoons flour*, if necessary for the crumble
- 4-6 peaches
- ice cream (I used coconut, use what you like)
- Make the crumble by crushing the walnuts together with the brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. I did this in a plastic bag using a wooden kitchen mallet, a rolling pin would also work. Add the butter and, using your hands, crumble it into the mix until just combined. If it’s too moist and not crumbly, add a bit of flour.
- Slice your peaches and grill for a few minutes on each side.
- Serve the peaches with some of the crumble and a scoop if ice cream.
Stephanie Ciancio lives in San Fransisco but insists on taking a trip to in.gredients every time she visits her best friend in Austin. Stephanie’s commitment to living a zero waste lifestyle and changing how she shops has led her to start Nesting So Hard, a service that helps people reorganize their kitchens and commit to zero waste habits.
in: How did you hear about in.gredients?
SC: I think maybe Pinterest or Facebook, it was something that friends of mine shared. My best friend Suzanne lives in Austin, when I came here I asked her, “Please take me to this place!” That was a couple years ago, and when I’m back in town I’m like, “Let’s go to in.gredients again!”
in: So you always come to in.gredients when you’re in Austin?
in: What do you like about in.gredients?
SC: I love that it’s a cute little shop that helps people buy exactly what they need and not what they don’t – which is the food that you eat and not necessarily a bunch of extra packaging.
in: Do you try to live a zero-waste lifestyle?
SC: I’m a little obsessive about it. My husband is very understanding. I won’t actually throw away clear plastic. I collect it and take it to the one place it can be recycled; so I try not to get it in the first place. We live in San Francisco, and we compost. And I miss composting when I travel. I had to go on a restricted diet for my digestive health, and I started cooking a lot. And that’s when I got into shopping for bulk foods like quinoa and millet. I get a farm subscription for the produce. It’s a fun thing to play at, to get to the zero waste lifestyle. I like to approach it like a game, like how do we get more of what we want and less of what we don’t want rather than demonizing anything. I grew up shopping at Publix, but it’s so much more fun to shop at a pretty place that approaches food from a different angle and has farm relationships and local sourcing.
in: What is your advice for people looking to live a zero waste lifestyle?
SC: That’s a great question because that’s what I’ve just started doing as a service. I help people makeover their kitchens. And the starting point is, what do you like to cook? What do you like to eat – can you cook that? What ingredients do you use a lot of? And how can you streamline getting ahold of those ingredients, whether it’s a CSA delivery or having a system of containers that you always have. It’s so great to know that we can eat most of our meals at home and that most of what we need can be purchased in bulk. I had a commitment to my health that had me cook and eat in a different way. I no longer went to the grocery store when I remembered, it was part of my lifestyle to procure the food that I prepare and eat. You can create a system where you have containers in your car trunk. Or you can create a system where you have a bag of containers ready to go and you create a shopping list, and when you realize there are a lot of things on your list you grab the bag and you go. For me it was a progression. I still buy things I wasn’t planning on buying. But if you look back 5 or 10 years ago, no one every brought their bags, and now it’s like “Oh I forgot my bags this time.” So there’s been a shift already.
in: What’s the name of your business?
SC: Nesting So Hard. I do one-day kitchen makeovers, and I focus on using Mason jars and getting people really acquainted and familiarized and falling in love with their local bulk grocer.
Read more about Nesting So Hard on Stephanie’s blog.
Photo by Suzanne Pressman, Pressman Studio
Unsure of what to get dad for Father’s Day THIS Sunday, 6/19? Get him the official title of Austin’s Greatest Dad! Tag a photo or drawing of your dad with the hashtags #AustinsGreatestDad and #ingredientsATX and a caption about why you love your pa by Friday, 6/17. Win your dad the title of Austin’s Greatest Dad and prizes for you to share (like matching t-shirts, an in.gredients growler or money to spend in.store), and make your pa proud for once.
Interested in getting your hands dirty and learning how to garden? Join us for our Garden Volunteer day this Saturday, 6/18 from 9-11:30AM! Email Josh at email@example.com to sign up.
Farmer Sue White Shares History of in.gredients Garden and Tales of Farming in Austin
Almost every day, among a buzz of butterflies and bees, Farmer Sue White can be found planting, weeding and harvesting the in.gredients garden. Out in front of the store and in our produce case, you can see (and taste) what Sue has worked to build over the last four years.
Sue began gardening 40 years ago when she was living in Clarksville next to a vacant lot.
“I squatted on it – I just started to garden there,” she said. “Nobody noticed; nobody threw me out. I had a giant garden.”
When Sue moved to Cherrywood, she continued to garden – growing a wide range of produce without the use of chemical enhancers or toxic pesticides. Four years ago, Sue expanded the size and productivity of her garden with the help of Urban Patchwork, an organization working to create small farms on underutilized or abandoned spaces throughout neighborhoods in Austin with the goal of increasing local food production.
“I got involved with Urban Patchwork – we were a group in our neighborhood of people who wanted to create a patchwork farm of several backyards together. We produced kind of like a CSA,” Sue said. “We had members, and some of the members contributed their land, their backyards, and some contributed work, and some contributed money. We harvested and shared the harvest among all of us; there were about 12 members.”
Urban Patchwork initially helped build the garden in front of in.gredients to act as a community space that exemplified sustainable growing techniques and water conservation. The Urban Patchwork team chose to create a hugelkultur garden because of its ability to retain water, even during times of drought.
“You have to dig a deep trench,” Sue said. “You have to dig down quite deep and dig out the soil, and then put in logs. The logs absorb and hold onto moisture, and the roots get down into the rotting log and get the moisture that’s being held in the logs. On top of that you have to put some nitrogen source to counteract the carbon breaking down, and then you pile your soil along with your soil amendments on top of that. It should be between 18 inches and two feet deep; it won’t work if your trench is too shallow. The soil here does seems to stay moist for quite a long time, and that’s also due to heavy clay content. I have the drip irrigation set up on a timer, and during a rainy period I come and turn it off.”
Urban Patchwork helped in.gredients complete the garden in April 2012. Initially, a team of Urban Patchwork volunteers maintained the garden, but after about a year Sue took over the responsibility of caring for the space.
“Most of the members were on the other side of the neighborhood, so they didn’t have enough people willing to come by and keep it up – but I live right down the street, and in.gredients wanted it to become more of a provider for the store,” Sue said. “Since I had been part of that group, they asked me if I would take it over. That’s how I ended up doing this. I sell to them from the garden the same way I sell from my own backyard garden.”
Sue supplies in.gredients with hyper-local produce grown in our front yard and in her garden just down the street.
“I can harvest food every single day, and that’s how fresh it’s going to be,” Sue said. “There’s no transportation of the food. You can come in here and buy produce that was harvested ten minutes ago, at the most 24 hours ago, and it’s really good. It’s so fresh. Food, the fresher it is, the more nutrients it has in it. It’s not possible yet for everybody to eat locally, but the advantages are that you really cut down on the transportation of the goods, your carbon footprint. There’s always the possibility and probability that we’re going to have transportation interruptions in the future. It could happen any time, so the more we depend on things locally, the better.”
Sue helps set the price of the produce she sells to in.gredients, which has allowed in.gredients to have its own in.house supplier of affordable, chemical-free, hyper-local produce. Produce loses its nutrient content over time after being harvested, so freshly-harvested, local produce has a much higher nutrient density than produce that was picked in other states, or in other countries, weeks in advance and then shipped in, as is the case with most grocery store produce. Sue believes fresh food also just tastes better.
“If you compare my broccoli that I grow in my backyard to the broccoli you buy at most grocery stores, it’s so much greener,” Sue said. “It has long narrow stems like broccolini, and it’s so green and tender; you hardly have to cook it. And the spinach is just incredible. It’s the most delicious spinach you’ll ever eat. It’s just so fresh, and it makes a big difference. Also I know how organic it is. I can’t label my stuff as organic — it would cost way too much to get organic certification — but I know that I am way beyond organic certification.”
Sue starts most of the food she plants in the in.gredients garden from seed at her house. When planting, Sue utilizes companion planting strategies to create natural pest deterrents, and she always keeps the health of pollinators in mind.
“I rarely buy seedlings; I can’t afford that. Sometimes I’ve had some seedlings donated,” she said. “You have to plant some veggies directly from seeds. The carrots that are growing there now are from the seeds that were on the carrot flowers on the carrots growing last year. I let them go to seed because they’re really pretty flowers, and bees like them. They make giant flowers, and the seeds just fall all over the place, and they just grew.”
Volunteers have had a huge impact on the in.gredients garden since its start, helping with everything from initially building the garden boxes and beds to repairs to the never-ending contest with the weeds. When the “wicking bladder,” a structure buried deep within the garden boxes designed to retain water, collapsed, a group of volunteers helped Sue re-design and rebuild a sturdier structure.
“We decided how we were going to rebuild the box and decided we wanted rocks in the bottom. We went to my house and got old pieces of concrete I saved when my neighbor’s concrete driveway was replaced and dragged those over here, filled up the bottom, and rebuilt the box,” Sue said. “The really cool thing was that in that group of people we had one person in their twenties, one person in their thirties, one person in their forties, one person in their fifties, one person in their sixties and one person in their seventies. There was one person from every decade.”
Beyond helping supply in.gredients with affordable, delicious, local produce, Sue believes that there is a lot that volunteers can gain while working in our garden.
“I think it’s just plain interesting, and it’s fun. You can enjoy your food more when you see it growing,” she said. “Just seeing it growing, you appreciate the earth, and you may come to learn how important it is to take care of the earth. It’s hard work, which is good. Hard work is good. I mean people go to the gym for hard work, why don’t they just start a garden instead? It makes you appreciate how much creative work and gentle care go into growing vibrantly good food, and then you’re willing to pay the price that it really costs to produce good food.”
SXSW Eco Panel Picker for this Fall’s conference is live, and we’re in the running! We’ve invited two European package-free grocers – Unpackaged and GRANEL from the UK and Spain, respectively – to join us for a discussion about the future of the growing trend. This is an important conversation to have as more and more “package free” and zero waste grocers are opening up across the globe. Now we need your help! Please VOTE FOR US. Registering is quick and free. Learn more about our proposed international panel and help us win here.
There are only two days left to vote for our next Community Partner! We’re collecting votes in two ways – in-store and online – until Wednesday, April 27th. Note that in-store votes – eligible with every purchase – will be weighted more heavily than online votes, so don’t forget to come vote in person, too. Below are the mission statements of each of our four finalists. Good luck to all the participating non-profits!
Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a membership-based organization that empowers low-income workers to achieve fair employment through education, direct services, organizing and strategic partnerships.HealthStart Foundation empowers young children to build a healthier future through early health education. We teach children how their bodies work, the food and fitness habits needed for good health, and how to care for the world around them so they can create a world with healthy families and environment.PEAS (Partners for Education, Agriculture, and Sustainability) is dedicated to connecting communities to the natural world with a focus on sustainable school gardening to inspire the preservation and conservation of our precious planet. We provide edible education, service learning, and teacher support to build well rounded school garden programs.Bike Austin improves quality of life for all of Austin and Central Texas by growing bicycling as a form of transportation, exercise, and recreation.
Help us decide who will be our next Community Partner – vote here before April 27th!