My goals for this year include eating more seasonal foods and locally grown produce when possible. We belong to a CSA and get locally grown, organic produce most of the year. With the recent freezes in North Texas, the farmers lost most of their crops. We won’t get any more CSA produce until the end of this month.
I am grateful for the quality produce we’re able to get through our local grocery stores. Learning what’s in season took a little research on my part as I’m used to buying whatever I’m in the mood to eat. Trying to eat seasonally has helped me branch out into new foods.
There are many reasons to eat local and seasonal, some of the most important being:
- Produce tastes better in it’s peak season.
- Eating locally grown produce helps support your local economy.
- According to NRDC, shipping food in from foreign countries contributes to global warming and pollution. I’m not sure I want to eat a tomato that was grown in the Netherlands, shipped to the U.S., then trucked to my local grocery store. Waiting until they’re in season would make them taste that much sweeter.
I found three great resources online that will tell you what’s in season in your part of the US:
Here’s a winter salad that I love using a favorite winter green, kale. It’s light enough to be a salad and hearty enough to warm your chilly bones during the winter months.
Serves: 4 servings as a side dish
- 1 cup organic quinoa, rinsed well
- 2 cups organic chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 pound kale, tough stems trimmed and cut into ¼ to ½ inch slices
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- ½ ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved with a carrot peeler
- Place well rinsed quinoa and chicken stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from heat.
- Heat one teaspoon olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add kale and cook for 12 – 15 minutes until tender, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Move to a serving platter and cover. Add remaining two teaspoons of olive oil to skillet and heat. Add mushroom and cook for several minutes, then add garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to release their juices. Add quinoa, then stir in fresh thyme and heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place quinoa and mushroom mixture on top of kale. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.