Posts Tagged ‘in.gredients’
Eggplant is a vegetable that gets skipped over in the grocery store. It’s not a veggie you can pluck off the shelf and eat raw (well, you can… but it’s not that tasty), and if you don’t have a dish in mind, it’s hard to know what to do with it. We think it deserves a little more love. Not only are they stunning (just look at that vibrant purple!), they are full of nutritional goodness.
Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, and have a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture. Back in the day, eggplant was though to cause insanity, leprosy and cancer as people thought its bitter taste meant it had a “bitter disposition”. We now know that they’re great for us, packed full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, many of which have antioxidant activity.
When you’re buying your eggplants, choose ones that are firm and heavy for their size. Their skin should be smooth and shiny with vivid coloring. The stem and cap should be bright green in color. To test for the ripeness, gently press the skin with the pad of your thumb. If it springs back, the eggplant is ripe. If an indentation remains, it’s not ripe.
Go ahead, give eggplant a chance, you won’t be disappointed.
Eggplant & Basil Pizza with Cornmeal Crust
From: The Ginger Kitchen
- 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 Tbsp pesto
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced
- 2 eggplants, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cup mozzarella
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped
Place the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt onto your work surface or in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the water and olive oil. Combine and knead for about 8-10 minutes until the dough is elastic and shiny. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 390 degrees F. Grease a pizza tray or baking sheet. Roll the cornmeal dough to less than 1/4 inch thick. Don’t worry about getting it perfectly round, it’ll still taste just as delicious. Transfer the dough to a baking sheet. Spread with pesto, top with tomatoes, then eggplant, basil and oregano. Sprinkle with garlic and cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until pizza crust is crisp and golden. Enjoy!
Plastic is pervasive.
It’s hard to live in the modern world and not encounter the stuff every single day. It’s in our clothes, our cars and our food. When walking through a conventional grocery store, almost every aisle is packed to the seams with food items wrapped in layers of plastic.
Matthew Spiegl, a writer for the Huffington Post, sums it up nicely in a recent article:
“While plastic has given us many breakthrough products and uses that have enriched our lives, it has also led to a single-use throw away mentality that finds us buried under an unsustainable and unbearable burden of plastic pollution today.
We have become a society of convenience and exploited plastic without regard for the impact on our environment. We take for granted the fragile balance of earth, air and ocean that serves as our life support system. But what do we do to support it in return?
We need to remember that every piece of plastic ever produced on this tiny blue planet of ours remains in our environment forever; it won’t go away, it will outlive us and the Earth, or what will be left of our little planet, if we don’t change our ways.“
On June 14th 2013, Christian Lane, co-founder of in.gredients, accepted one of the awards for Most Promising Emerging Businesses at the Think Beyond Plastic awards ceremony. With this award, in.gredients staff was recognized for our work in changing the way people relate, use and depend on plastic.
As Lane put it,
“It’s been a collection of information, events and people that have inspired us to find a different way of buying and selling food. We’ve paid attention to the facts and figures and to people like our grandmother who lived through the Great Depression — she re-used everything. We’ve also paid attention to folks like Alice Waters, Michael Pollan and Rachel Botsman who have inspired us to craft a new approach.
Our mission is to minimize waste and promote healthy, sustainable lifestyles by selling local food with pure ingredients, package-free. There’s no waste in nature. Waste is a human invention.
As good stewards of our environment, our top priority is to reduce the amount of waste we produce and reuse what we have. Being package-free radically limits our waste generation. Our business will be waste free; your home can be waste free too.”
We’re a micro grocer in Austin, Texas, but we dream big.
Check out the Huffington Post article featuring Think Beyond Plastic and in.gredients.
For those of you who’ve been to the store, you probably recognize Erica.
It’s hard not to notice her big smile and warm personality. Here since the store opened, Erica is excited and involved in the work she does at in.gredients. Brimming with ideas for the store, Erica is always looking for opportunities to build a community around food. Raised in Texas, she is a hometown girl. As a local east-sider, she walks to and from work every day. She embodies our ethos of keeping things local, growing food in her community garden plot and experimenting with seasonal cooking.
I caught her in the in.gredients kitchen and we chatted about all things food and sustainability.
How did you find out about in.gredients?
I found out about the store through Facebook, and was excited to see that it was going to be down the street from where I live. I volunteered when they were digging the garden beds out front and met everyone involved. From there I got hired on as a team member, and started working right before the store opened. It was neat to see the store empty and be a part of filling it up.
Why is sustainability important to you?
As a single mom with limited funds I am always looking for ways to make my life more sustainable. I want to teach my son Torin about self-sustainability and how it’s possible to live simply and be healthy and happy. We look for ways to be sustainable and build community by growing our own food, going to food swaps and bartering. If there ever was an apocalypse, I want to know I could survive! My ultimate goal is to be able to go to the store and only need five ingredients, growing and making the rest. Right now I am able to get all my food from in.gredients and my garden plot, which means that all my food is within walking distance.
What do you love about working here?
I love how much I’m learning about seasonal eating, and how that improves our diet. I love how shopping here creates a relationship with food, instilling a love of food and a deeper connection with your own body. It’s great to have a tactile experience with the food you eat, especially when you know it came fresh from a nearby farm. I also love that this store creates a space where the east side can take pride and power over their community. Before in.gredients you couldn’t get organic food in this neighborhood without traveling past the highway. I think this is a great venue for people to get back to healthy, local organic food. I also love my co-workers. We all come from different backgrounds but we have the same vision and want to be a part of something big.
What is your favorite recipe of all time?
I would have to say kale chips. Kale is a great go-to green, and making kale chips is fast and easy. Mainly it’s my favorite because it is the way I got my son to eat kale. Now he will even eat it raw!
If you were reincarnated as a vegetable, what would you be?
I would say okra. It’s beautiful and durable. It thrives in harsh conditions, it’s a survivor. It was the vegetable that made the local food system click in my head, southern food (okra, watermelon, collards) are all things that grow well down here. Also, the flowers on it are beautiful. Basically, I am mesmerized by okra.
Whether she’s helping out customers, whipping up salad or re-stocking bins, Erica is a joy to be around. She’s a great person to chat about food with, and don’t be surprised if 30 minutes go by and you’re still talking about amazing recipes you’ve tried.
Come in and meet her for yourself, you’ll be charmed, I’m sure.
A big part of in.gredients is getting to know our community. Austin is filled with people who care about food, sustainability and building community with their neighbors.
Meeting Maggie- the writer, photographer and recipe developer for From Maggie’s Farm– was like a breath of fresh air. With a big heart and an even bigger laugh, she filled in.gredients with her magnetic personality as she wandered around getting inspired for her feature on our website.
Maggie is a farmer in the hill country of Texas. Known for her canned goods, she produces artisan foods using sustainable, organic food from her garden. Her blog is full of stories about life on the farm. The challenges and humor that comes with raising goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits. Beautiful photographs accompany every post, and best of all are the recipes. Oh, the recipes.
After her trip to in.gredients, Maggie developed a Pumpkin Pork Belly Mixed Bean Cassoulet recipe that is drool-worthy. This recipe was made from items that she found in the store, and she wrote a two part series about her trip to in.gredients.
Maggie took the time to get to know the store and our ethos. By writing up such a thoughtful review of her experience she emphasizes the importance of shopping mindfully and supporting local farmers and businesses.
Her budget for most meals is $5 per person, and she was able to prepare this dinner-party-worthy dish AND meet her budgeted allowance. A win for Maggie and a win for the store.
We’re blessed to have such a vibrant food community. The people of Austin love to grow, gather, produce and eat together. And when you’re filling your stomachs with Maggie’s pumpkin pork belly, you remember why you love living in Austin.
Her delicious recipe can be found here. Happy Eating!
…scroll to the bottom of this page!
What is it?
A monthly variety of sustainably-raised meats from local farmers, including Bastrop Cattle Company, Windy Hill Farm, Dewberry Hill Farm, and Richardson Farms!
How it works
The inaugural BCC Meat Club begins in September 2012 and runs through February 2013. The cost of each membership is $1000 for six monthly orders of all your local meat needs.
Initial payment: $400 due on Friday 31 August 2012 to reserve your membership and ensure BCC is able to process the appropriate amount of meat.
Monthly selection: Each member will receive a monthly “Meat List” by the 5th of each month, highlighting which products the BCC Meat Club will be offering members that month.
Submitting your order: Each member will have until the 10th of each month to submit their monthly order.
Monthly meat pickup: BCC Meat Club will send you an email notification when your order’s ready for pickup. This will occur during the third or fourth week of each month, and specify when you can pick your order up.
Order payment: Payment is due when you receive your monthly order at BCC’s pickup location.
Pickup location: in.gredients, 2610 Manor Road, Austin TX 78722 (map here).
Why you should join
- All animals are raised in local pastures by family farmers and ranchers.
- All animals are hormone-free and antibiotic-free.
- All animals are humanely treated.
- Texavore: $1200 for 6 months
- Localvore: $500 for 4 months