Saturday, September 8, 2012

2012 NY Locavore Challenge: Day 7

I officially made it through the first week of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York's (NOFA-NY) 2012 Locavore Challenge. Yesterday, day 7, I really brought my A-game...I made three meals from scratch using primarily local ingredients, and they were amazing.

Yesterday's Challenge: Create a Locavore Blog or Journal
Obviously, this wasn't much of a challenge for me! But I have thought a bit lately about how I want to use this blog to not only inspire other people to eat more locally, but to also chronicle my own journey to become even more of a locavore.

Yesterday's Food: Acorn Squash
I love acorn squash, and I can't wait to get the first of it from our CSA. When I do, I'll be sure to post my fantastic squash soup recipe that I make with a whole variety of winter squash, not just acorn!

Yesterday I:
  • Ate/drank local eggs, milk, cheddar, onions, sweet red peppers, potatoes, peaches, grape tomatoes, salad greens, arugula and fresh mozzarella (11 different foods).
  • Found olive oil grown/made in California...there's no way for me to get local olive oil, but if I can't get local, the next best thing is to get sustainably produced oil from olives grown in the USA!
Yesterday was great, and today was even better...I can't wait to tell you all about it in my next post!

Friday, September 7, 2012

2012 NY Locavore Challenge: Day 6

Yesterday was the sixth day of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York's (NOFA-NY) 2012 Locavore Challenge. It started off great...I made an awesome breakfast and lunch almost entirely with my purchases from the farmers market and my CSA share, and I had a fantastic dinner planned. And then I got a migraine, and all my plans went down the drain.

I'm not gonna beat myself up about it. I'm a locavore and a migraineur, and I need to figure out a way to ensure that I have good local food to eat even when I'm too ill to cook. I need to plan ahead for migraine days, making meals out of local ingredients and freezing them, so that my wonderful husband Ed can take over dinner duty with I'm not feeling well (instead of me sending him out for pizza like I did last night.)

Yesterday's Challenge: Ask your Local Politician and/or Celebrity to Take the Challenge
Migraine brain prevented me from trying to figure out how to get started with this...I hope to get around to it this weekend...will keep you posted!

Yesterday's Food: Greens
I didn't cook any greens yesterday (I HAD planned on making some lovely Swiss chard for dinner...oh well). If you need a good recipe for greens, I'd suggest my Quiche with Golden Beet Greens and Feta recipe (you can substitute whatever greens you'd like for the beet greens!)

Yesterday I:
  • Ate/drank local milk, eggs, cheddar, potatoes, sweet red pepper, onions, tomatoes, garlic, bell pepper, fresh mozzarella, purple basil, parsley, arugula, salad greens, peaches and beer (14 different foods).

Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 NY Locavore Challenge: Day 5

Yesterday was the fifth day of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York's (NOFA-NY) 2012 Locavore Challenge, and I really started to feel like I was really getting into the swing of meals from scratch, finding new and interesting ways to use up veggies from our CSA share, researching and planning ways to eat even more locally.

Yesterday's Challenge: Download a Local Food App to Make Finding Local Foods Easier
Apps are super helpful for folks just starting out trying to eat more local foods....they can help you find local farmers markets, tell you what's in season so you can plan your shopping lists, and some even provide you with recipes using local in-season foods.

One app I've used on my iPhone is Locavore - it's available for both iOS and Android devices and is pretty helpful if you're a local foods newbie. I don't use it much because I'm already pretty familiar with the local farmers markets and seasonally available foods, but I'd definitely recommend checking it out!

Yesterday's Food: Cheese
One of my favorite foods to get locally is cheese. I love being able to talk to the farmers about their cows and learn about their living conditions (no cheese from unhappy cows please!) And the taste is incomparable. Local cheese may cost a whole lot more than cheese at the grocery store, but the taste is so intense that a little bit of it goes a long way, so you don't need to buy or eat nearly as much.

I used local feta in grits for breakfast, local fresh mozzarella on pizza for lunch, and Dylan ate local cheddar with his lunch (which he loves).

Yesterday I:
  • Ate/drank local milk, eggs, feta, bell pepper, parsley, garlic, tomatoes, purple basil, fresh mozzarella, salad greens, arugula, sweet pepper, carrots, plums, and beer (15 different foods!)

  • Picked up our CSA share from Roxbury Farm for the week - we got a huge winter squash, bok choy, rainbow chard, bell peppers, sweet Italian peppers, salad greens, arugula, beefsteak tomatoes, plum tomatoes, grape tomatoes, green beans and peaches.

  • Drank my first Pumpkin Ale of the season...and it was locally brewed by Brooklyn Brewery!
Yesterday was a day filled with fantastic local food and drink, and I think today's going to be even better!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

2012 NY Locavore Challenge: Day 4

Today was the fourth day in the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York's (NOFA-NY) 2012 Locavore Challenge, and it was a MUCH better day than yesterday. Cooking food from scratch in my own kitchen makes me feel so much more in control.

Today's Challenge: Share Your Challenge Via Social Media
This one was totally easy...I've already been talking about the challenge on facebook, twitter, instagram, you name it.

Today's Food: Fennel
I didn't purchase any fennel at the farmers market on Sunday (even though I love it) because our kitchen is currently overflowing with CSA veggies. Next time I have a veggie vacancy though, I'll be sure to get some, and will probably make this Apple Fennel Slaw recipe.

Today I:
  • Cooked three wonderful meals at home and enjoyed them with my family.
  • Ate local milk, peaches, raspberries, cheddar, tomatoes, garlic, broccoli, feta, and grapes.
  • Signed up for home milk delivery from Hudson Milk Company.
I hope y'all have had a great day, and that you're making steps in your own lives to eat more local foods!

Monday, September 3, 2012

2012 NY Locavore Challenge: Day 3

So, eating local today was in fact a challenge...and I totally failed at it. These things will happen. I'm striving to improve my connection to local agriculture over the course of the month, not become some immediately perfect poster-child for locavorism (I think that's a word, right?)

Things started off well with breakfast made with CSA peaches and local milk, but I didn't eat at home for lunch or dinner, and there wasn't really any locally grown food options at the two places I dined. It's totally not a big deal, but I do want to re-think the way I can eat local foods when not at home.

Lunch we had at a neighborhood restaurant where we had a gift certificate that needed to be used. I definitely need to find some good restaurants in the area (around Katonah, NY) where they serve local foods...any suggestions you might have would be GREATLY appreciated!

Dinner was take-out food at my mom's house...not much I could do about that. And I'll always say yes when our family members offer to make or buy dinner for us, whether the food is local or not.

The good news, is that having the day off from cooking has given me a nice break from the kitchen, which will hopefully make me feel incredibly motivated to cook a whole bunch of local goodies tomorrow!

Today's Challenge: Grill Local Meats and Veggies
There was no grilling for us today...but I definitely enjoyed some locally-grown grilled veggies over the weekend! My favorite veggies to cook on the grill in the summer are summer squash, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, corn and potatoes...seriously, I think grilling makes pretty much any veggie taste at least 20 times more awesome.

Today's Food: Watermelon
I wasn't able to find any watermelon at the farmers market on Sunday...locally grown watermelon is amazingly sweet. Some people don't like it as much because it has seeds in it, but eating watermelon with seeds brings back childhood memories of seed-spitting contests with friends, so I like it.

Today I:
  • Made an awesome breakfast with local peaches and milk
  • Realized exactly why they call this a challenge!
Tomorrow I'll be more in control of what we eat, cooking all three meals at home with ingredients from our CSA and the farmers market, and I'm really looking forward to it! I hope you all enjoyed your Labor Day weekend, and if you're making any steps in your life to eat more locally, I'd love to hear about them!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

2012 NY Locavore Challenge: Day 2

Today was the second day of the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York's 2012 Locavore Challenge...and it was a great day for this locavore.

Today's Challenge: Make a Locavore Game-plan/Shopping List
I already eat a ton of nifty local foods, so I could just keep going as I have been, but that wouldn't really be a challenge, would it? So, here's my game-plan for trying to boost my locavore street-cred.
  • Veggies - I'll keep getting them from my amazeballs CSA share from Roxbury Farm...we get about 20 lbs of veggies a week which is plenty!
  • Fruit - we get some from our CSA, the rest I'll be buying from Gossett's Farmers Market and Muscoot Farmers Market (plus a few apple-picking trips to Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard).
  • Dairy - this is a major change we'll be making...I've been buying some cheese already at farmers markets, but milk, yogurt and at least half of our cheese has been coming from the super market (we buy organic, but I know we can do better than that!) I plan on signing up tomorrow for home delivery of local milk and dairy products from The Hudson Milk Company. Milk is such a major source of calories for our son Dylan, I really want to make sure he gets the best stuff out there!
  • Eggs - I always get these at the farmers market, usually from Gaia's Breath Farm...I love seeing all the varying sizes and colors of the different eggs, and the amazingly golden yolk when I crack them open.
  • Sweeteners - I'm really going to make a push to start using local maple syrup and honey more in my cooking/baking (I use raw organic sugar now)...the real question is how does honey taste in coffee? We're gonna find out!
  • Grains, Flour and Legumes - this one is probably the biggest change of all. I'm really excited that once we start running out of our currently dwindling supply of these items, I'll be buying the replacements from Cayuga Pure Organics. This also means I won't be buying any pre-made baked-goods, bread, tortillas, crackers, pretzels, pasta, etc. I'll be making them myself from scratch. It'll be a ton of work, but I think it'll really help us cut back on the amount of empty carbs we consume.
  • Nuts and Seeds - there's no way to get these grown locally, but you can find organic nuts and seeds that are grown in the USA and locally roasted...I'll be checking out Tierra Farms (which also sells organic, grown in the USA, dried fruit), and Once Again Nut Butter.
  • Beer - this one's super easy because we have so many amazing micro-breweries nearby. I'll be getting lots of stuff from Captain Lawrence Brewing Company, Brooklyn Brewery, and Blue Point Brewing Company to name a few (and will be trying to discover some new even smaller breweries along the way).
  • Coffee and Tea - we also can't get locally-grown coffee or tea, but we can get fair-trade locally roasted coffee and organic locally blended tea at the farmers market...looks like it's time to finally buy that coffee grinder I've been eyeing!
That's my basic's definitely going to be more expensive and more work than what I have been doing, but hopefully it will be something enjoyable enough and sustainable so I can keep it up long after this month-long challenge is over.
Today's Food: Eggplant
I didn't have a reason to make eggplant today (had a big BBQ to go to so no need to cook), but I DO have two lovely eggplants from my CSA sitting in my kitchen, waiting to be made into yummy stuff this week. I'll be making baba ghanoush out of one of them, and eggplant cutlets to freeze out of the other (they're super handy to have around).
Today I:
  • Made my locavore game-plan which I'm super excited about.
  • Made a wonderful breakfast for the family using peaches from our CSA.
  • Went to the Muscoot Farmers Market to get milk and cheese and fruit and other goodies.
  • Sampled beers from a handful of local breweries at our friends' BBQ (P.S. our friends are totally awesome).
  • Watched Dylan drink cup after cup of local milk...he just couldn't get enough!
I'd love to hear from any of you if you have locavore tips for me!

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