Week 22: Eat Local

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My less than successful garden harvest from earlier this summer. But it’s better than nothing!

On Sunday night we are going to a Colorado local foods pot-luck hosted by my friend Andy. We’ve each been asked to bring a dish that contains all local ingredients allowing for one non-local ingredient exception. This is in celebration of Slow Food Denver’s 30-day Eat Local Challenge in which they asked Coloradans to get as much of their diet from Colorado as they could. Andy accepted the challenge and ate 100% local from Monday August 29-Friday September 15. Impressive and resourceful! This of course has made me take stock of our pantry, fridge and freezer thinking about what percent of our diet is local at any given time. In the summer we get our weekly supply of fruits and vegetables from our CSA but of course always supplement with bananas for Stella and a few other odds and ends. We are lucky enough to be part of several meat CSAs that Andy organizes where we get ½ a lamb, ¼ of a pig and an 1/8 of a bison, all raised, butchered and processed in Colorado. But grains, beans, and most of our staples do not come from anywhere even close to local. And come fall and winter most of our local produce will disappear. So coming up with a multi-ingredient dish for the pot-luck was a challenge! I went to the store and was inspired to make a green salad with beets and goat cheese though there were so many veggies to choose from. Thankfully Andy has Colorado sunflower seed oil and local apple cider vinegar for the dressing along with some Colorado peach juice for a little extra flavor. Other additions to the feast that I know of include a chilled cantaloupe soup, roasted potatoes, burgers, sausage, grilled peaches with goat cheese and honey, and a lemon verbena ice cream. Yum! Although it is a huge effort to eat 100% local 100% of the time, I enjoyed the exercise of evaluating my pantry and taking stock of the choices I make while trying to think of little things I can change. Baby steps. Meal Plan & Grocery List

Monday: Sautéed Cabbage with Bacon and Soba Noodles

  • As you can see we’ve been getting a good bit of cabbage from our CSA. We’ve gone through at least 5 heads in the last few weeks. And once you get sick of raw cabbage, it’s time to start cooking it.
  • This was a pretty simple way to use up a head of cabbage. Nothing earthshattering but still tasty. The Worcestershire sauce was key to give it a bit of salt.
  • If it is still too bland with the noodles I found adding feta was a good addition when I ate it leftover.

Tuesday: Indian Spiced Eggplant & Cauliflower with Brown Rice

  • Travis was gone a few dinners this week so there was a bit of a vegetarian theme going on. Cooking bacon is about as far as I got.
  • This dish is plenty flavorful with all of the spices but it didn’t knock my sox off. I think roasting the veggies tossed with the spices and some oil would have put this dish over the edge and added enough flavor to make it memorable.

Wednesday: Corn & Basil Cakes with Grilled Chicken and Broccoli

  • I’ve always been curious to try these corn and basil cakes and since I have more basil than I know what to do with I figured why not. They are super quick and a unique side dish. I topped them with sour cream to go with our chicken and broccoli.

Thursday: Beet & Goat Cheese Quesadillas with Lime Crema and Green Salad

  • Goat cheese and beets is one of my all time favorite combos which is why this recipe sung out to me.
  • This was another meal that was just Stella and I, hence the vegetarian theme. The ultimate irony of the summer is that every week we’ve had more greens than we knew what to do with and of course this week there were none to be found. So I made this dish without beet greens.

Friday: Hawaiian Fish Kebabs with Whole Wheat Couscous

  • We used Halibut instead of catfish but I think most white fish would work.
  • Travis grilled the fish as whole filets and I put the peppers, onion and pineapple on the kebabs.
  • I don’t love raw onions so I steamed them in the microwave for 1 minute before putting them on the skewers so they were cooked rather than just charred.
  • I also made a little extra marinade and set it aside to serve as a sauce for the fish, veggies and couscous.

Bonus: I made these Bacon Wrapped Peppers for a pot luck this weekend and they were delicious so I thought I’d share. What wrapped in bacon isn’t delicious.

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