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Archive for June, 2012

Had to direct your attention to another excellent post from Jenny at Nourished Kitchen.

The Cheater’s Guide to Real Food has a handful of great and easy tips for the super-busy and non-cooks to eat better.

I’ll list them here with some West Georgia notes, where applicable But be sure to hit her site for more info.

1. “Buy a rotisserie chicken once a week (and make broth)”. Sam’s has delicious rotisserie chickens for about $6. Kroger (at least in Carrollton) slashes the price on theirs at 7 am Thursday morning.

2. “Ditch the multigrain and go for true sourdough.”  Farmers’ Fresh has Georgia Sourdough available through the online store. Kroger sometimes has La Brea Bakery’s sourdough loaves in their deli bread sections. Avoid sourdough-ish breads. These will have vinegar in their ingredients as a shortcut to get the sourdough taste without the nutritional benefits.

3. “Skip salad dressing and use oil and vinegar (or oil and lemon juice).” If you’re eating fresh local lettuce, try it with nothing. You’ll be amazed how quickly you lose your taste for salad dressing when the lettuce and any tossed in vegetables are so delicious.

4. “Skip the margarine and use butter (or ghee).” You can get butter made from pastured cows’ milk from Farmers’ Fresh most of the year. You can freeze butter for months, too, so stock up. I’ve just started using ghee and really like it. It’s a good substitute for oil for higher heat cooking. Very easy to work with! I’ve been ordering this ghee off of Amazon.

5. “Pick up some yogurt or raw milk cheese.” Farmers’ Fresh has these, too. The cheeses are expensive but delicious. Most often, we get Stoneyfield Farm yogurt at Kroger, but we’re looking forward to making our own again. We go through it so fast that we end up with a stack of yogurt containers. (Anyone want a bunch of 32 oz plastic yogurt containers?)

6. “Sardines, anchovies and mackerel are awesome.” Okay, so I haven’t come over to this side yet. I keep trying. So far we rely with omega-3 supplements (from Sam’s)  instead of these foods. Probably won’t be able to find a local source for these, either.

7. “Boil a few eggs.” In my house, we scramble instead of boil. Either way, it’s a quick meal, and local eggs are a million times better. Try Farmers’ Fresh, hit a local farmers market, or keep an eye out for farm signs.

8. “Add fermented foods to your grocery list.” Farmers’ Fresh has pickles! And chow-chow (spicy relish)! I wonder if bottle-conditioned beer counts…

9. “Skip the multivitamin and use whole food supplements.”

10. “Read labels and learn to navigate ingredient lists.”

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Need some extra local veggies? Like hanging out at farmers’ markets? Here’s the situation on farmers markets ’round here.

Know of any others? Leave a comment. Thanks!

If you’re looking for farmers markets in other areas, Local Harvest and Pick Your Own are two good places to start.

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This week’s box brought watermelon, peaches, blueberries, corn, tomatoes, beets, and green beans. It is definitely summer (in case you haven’t stepped outside recently).

We have sliced the tomatoes and eaten them every meal so far. My next plan is to dice the littlest one and make broiled eggplant rounds with eggplant from last week and some goat cheese and basil I picked up from the Farmers Fresh store.

The corn is gone already. We cook ears like this in the microwave (2 ears for 2 x 2 minutes). Let them cool and then shuck. Save the corn silk for tea! (more…)

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This Sunday July 1 starts the first ever West Georgia Locavore Challenge!

There’s a lot of great information about this month-long event at www.westgalocavore.com.

To participate in the challenge, you register for one of four levels of locavore-ness starting at 1 local item a day all the way up to a whopping 90% of your diet being locally sourced!

There’s a kick-off event this Sunday 7/1 from 4-6 pm at the Downtown Carrollton Ampitheatre. Find out more at www.westgalocavore.com and on Facebook.

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It has become my habit to start with fruit, so here we go with some watermelon, blueberries, and nectarines.

These cherry tomatoes are officially fruit, too, I suppose.

Here are some Romano green beans. (more…)

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Here are this week’s goodies:

plums, nectarines, peento peach, and blackberries

The peento peach is a tasty sweet variety. Nectarines are non-fuzzy peaches. I also got a pint of blueberries, but I passed them on to a buddy before this photo was taken.

I’ve peeled the plums and peach and am preparing to make plum-peach-blackberry mini-cobblers. The blackberries are nice and sweet.

Tuscan kale (still the best!) and broccoli

baby yellow squash and green beans

All this photo needs is a red slicer tomato in the corner to be the epitome of summer eats. The beans are a mix of two great varieties – Romano and rattlesnake. I cooked these yesterday. Green beans are so good reheated that I tend to cook mine right away and stash them in the fridge for later. (more…)

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Massive fruitage!

blueberries, peaches, plums, and strawberries

I’m planning on making muffin-sized mini-cobblers with the peaches and plums this week. The strawberries are washed, chopped, and flash frozen. Chris is working his way through these blueberries fresh.

Cute summer veggies!

grape tomatoes, tomato, baby summer squash

If you are a tomato and come into my house, you are going to get cooked. Even if you’re a cute little grape tomato. I chopped these tomatoes and then called Chris to come steal some fresh tomato bites. Then I added the tomatoes to some chopped zucchini and herbs (from the other CSA program I belong to – Le Tre Lune!). Plus the requisite olive oil, red wine, and garlic. (more…)

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Nourished Kitchen is a wonderful blog about lots of good information about recipes and cooking techniques for preparing super-healthy food.

On the home page today is an article with ten excellent tips for success at farmers’ markets. My favorite is “bring a cooler.” You never know what kind of cheese or meat or other stuff might be available at a farmers’ market. It is the worst to have to walk away from something simply because it won’t withstand a summer afternoon in the car.

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Last week, Chris, James, and I watched the Future of Food, a documentary about genetically-engineered crops, monoculture, and big agriculture companies. You can watch it on Hulu here.

Even if the idea of genetically modified food doesn’t bug you, the mafioso tactics of Monsanto surely will. What started out as a green revolution in the seventies to help more people grow more food has turned into an aggressive and dangerous power play for one company to have control over what no one company (or institution) should have control over.

And Monsanto has the money, the government connections, and the will to make it happen.

What can you do? One thing is to join Just Label It in pressuring the FDA to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
From the Just Label It homepage you can easily send a pre-composed email to the commissioner of the FDA.

In other ag news, the 2012 Farm Bill will likely be voted on in the Senate this week. Like previous farm bills, this bill includes billions in subsidies for large commodity growers of corn and soy but does little to support real food crops. Read more about it at FoodFight2012.

And here you can find contact forms for Georgia senators if you’d like to let them know your thoughts about this bill as they consider it this week.

FWIW, here is the brief message I sent Senators Chambliss and Isakson. (If you agree, feel free to copy/steal any part of this in your messages.)

Dear Senator Chambliss,
As you consider the Farm Bill this week, please know that I am among the citizens of the US (and residents of Georgia) who believe that the subsidies to large corn and soy growers have gone on too long and are dangerous to the health of our nation. If we need to subsidize agriculture, the recipients should be farms growing food that people actually eat (like vegetables and fruits) and smaller local farms feeding their communities. De-centralized, small agriculture has the same benefits as de-centralized, small government. The inverse is also true.
Sincerely,
Susan Loper

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I had a long meeting in Atlanta and did not make it back in time to pick up my veggies Wednesday evening. I wish them well wherever they wound up.

So instead of photos of my regular haul, here are some notes about things we ate this week.

Kohlrabi greens

Kohlrabi greens are tasty sautéed with raisins and chopped walnuts. This recipe is our greens default, and Chris and I love it. (Pine nuts are expensive! Walnuts are almost as good and very healthy.)

kohlrabi greens and root

What I’ve finally learned is that with greens like kohlrabi, I want to spread them around and cook them to the point where I first get a whiff of, “Oh, no! I’ve burnt the greens!” Then the greens come out dry and tasty rather than green balls of soggy cud.

Kale, Komatsuna, and dandelion greens cook up fast and dry. Beet greens, chard, and kohlrabi are greens that need more time in contact with the heat.

Beets, goat cheese, and sorrel

This is my favorite food in the world.

Because no one else in my house likes sorrel, I hoard all the beets and goat cheese and then have a glorious feast for me!

The beets are prepared ahead of time. I wrap them in tin foil and put them in a pan so they won’t leak in the oven. Then they go in the oven for half an hour to two hours depending on the size of the beets. After being roasted, the beets chill them in the fridge. After a few hours or overnight, they are super easy to peel and chop. (more…)

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