Archive for February, 2011


The Freecycle Network is “a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.”


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My first pre-season delivery came with surprise: a greenhouse-grown zucchini.

It really kind of threw me. I’ve gotten used to patterns of seasonal produce, so I picked up this January zucchini and blinked at it for a while. Then I remembered stir-fried squash.


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Ah, nuts.


Walnuts have become a staple in my house after we bought an enormous bag at Sam’s so that I could make biscotti Christmas gifts. Even after all the baking, we still had a couple of pounds of shelled walnuts. Thinking, “We’ll never get through that many walnuts,” I’ve used them in everything I could think of this winter: with greens and pasta, in salads, oatmeal, and desserts. And last week, I scurried off to Sam’s to buy another enormous bag of walnuts.

Health nuts

Nuts are good for you. They’re high in unsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, and arginine. The Harvard School of Public Health touts the cardiovascular benefits of eating nuts, and The Mayo Clinic describes their part in healthy Mediterranean diets.

Nutty ideas

Here are some nutty dishes we love:


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This week, we’ve been eating peanut-butter sandwiches and apples for breakfast and the occasional afternoon snack.

Perspective alert: this is a salad plate. It’s not the world’s biggest apple and peanut-butter sandwich.

How long has it been since you’ve had a peanut-butter sandwich? It’s worth a trip down memory lane – especially if you have yummy honey-flax bread and local honey.

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This past week, I’ve had a lot of fun using the herbs that came in the most recent pre-season delivery.

Herby meal #1: Mediterranean supper snack

Leftover restaurant pita is the best – don’t ever leave any in the basket! Brush it with excessive amounts of olive oil, top with herbs and cheese, and toast for a light, simple treat.

Toasted pita, dried figs and honey, apple, Pinot Grigio

I slow-cooked some sliced garlic in olive oil to give the oil more flavor. Not sure if it worked, but it made me feel special. The cheese was Asiago, and the herbs were mostly thyme along with some winter savory and rosemary (from my very own bush).

I really love this kind of light supper late in the evening! (more…)

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On the long journey to becoming a true locavore, one quickly learns that the biggest lifestyle change after daily cooking is in the food-buying paradigm. A normal food shopper goes to the most convenient store when it is most convenient for him or her. A locavore lives by the schedule of the farmers. Eggs aren’t available every day, all day. Farmers have schedules and run out of product. Farmers don’t have a vast distribution network.

This forces the budding locavore to plan his week around food shopping. I’m not a purist, but Saturday mornings mean that I have to be at the Morningside Farmers Market by 9:30am to pick up beef, pork and veggies, at the Decatur Farmer’s Market to meet my chicken & egg dealer by 11:00am and supplement as necessary from Your Dekalb Farmer’s Market. Excessive? Certainly for some. But once you’ve made pasta with a farm-fresh egg or had Berkshire pork that was raised with care, it’s hard to go back. (more…)

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I’m thrilled to announce a new feature here at thoughtfulconsumption.com – a guest column, The Saturday Meal, written by Pedro of Foodie Atlanta. Pedro and I were lucky enough to meet and eat at Park 75’s blogger luncheon last May. His enthusiasm and passion for cooking make me cast about for some other verb to describe what I do in the kitchen, and I hope to learn a lot from these Saturday adventures. In light of Pedro’s gifts in writing and photography, I know we will enjoy reading about them!

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