Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Locavore Dinner

Last night, Laura asked if we could eat the butternut squash that came in our Greenling's local box last week. Because we had been gone for the retreat this weekend, we still had quite a bit left that hadn't been eaten. So we brought out the recipe books to find a dish that would be worthy enough of our locally grown squash. Well, the first book we looked at had a pretty good looking recipe that Elizabeth could eat (because of her many food allergies). As we read the list of ingredients, we noticed that the majority of these ingredients were actually items that came in the local box we got from Greenling's.

This one recipe snowballed into an entire dinner made with mostly everything coming from either local farmers' produce from Greenling's, our local farmers market, or our own garden.

Laura made the squash dish which included butternut, yellow and zucchini squashes, onion, red pepper, and eggplant--all from the Greenling's box. We added fresh parsley and thyme from our own garden. The only ingredients not local was the lemon juice, garlic and olive oil dressing and a can of organic chick peas.

The side dishes were a salad of mixed lettuces and also a side of slightly sauteed collards all from our garden.

We couldn't leave my husband out, so I just made up a dish which he named Poblano Beef Bake. I just sauteed the red potatoes from the Greenling box and added them to some browned ground sirloin that I get for my husband at our farmers market. (I've been buying this gentleman's grass fed beef, free range chicken and eggs for years. Much healthier and tastier for David.) To that mixture I added roasted hatch chilis from our garden and a touch of onion, garlic, cumin, and chili powders. Then I stuffed this concoction into freshly picked poblanos from our garden and baked in the oven for a bit. He absolutely loved this dish and wants the leftovers for dinner tonight.

For dessert, Laura made David an apple dessert made with apples from, where else, but from our Greenling's local box. She served it with David's favorite ice cream - Blue Bell. Not organic, but sort of local. He was one happy camper.

Elizabeth set the table with ideas she learned from the retreat last weekend, and she asked David to bring home some flowers for the table. We had such a wonderful meal. The windows were open letting in the fresh cool air from outside (it was a little too chilly to actually eat outside), and we enjoyed an almost all local dinner.

Through our discussion at mealtime, we realized how economical, healthy and fresh this dinner was (although my future local dishes will be raw--I wanted to join my daughters on their veggie delights). We're now excited and feel challenged to try to eat as "locally" as possible. It sure beats the taste of veggies and fruits that have traveled such long distances and have sat for so long.

Can't wait to see what Greenling's brings this week! And we also can't wait til our cabbage and broccoli is ready in the garden. For now, our garden will just continue bringing in the greens.

With our current economic times being a little on edge, we are trying to find creative ways to be better stewards of what we have been given. I think these locavore meals are a keeper.

God is so good and faithful!

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