I have a question… Which is the best way to buy: Local or Organic?
There are many ways to debate this question and tons of research to support each side, I’m sure. Buying local products reduces the amount of fossil fuel burned in transporting the products to us, thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gases (which have their own snowball effect of global disaster) into the atmosphere. Buying organic products reduces the amount of chemical pesticides and fertilizers (which can cause a variety of medical problems) we ingest.
If we had to choose one or the other, which would be the best option? Obviously, I would like to always be able to choose local and organic. I am, after all, a girl who wants to have her cake and eat it too (as long as it’s local and organic). Unfortunately, this is not always possible. One source of comfort for me is that buying a product that is either local or organic has to be better than buying a product that is neither.
So I ask you, Dear Reader, to offer your advice on this matter. Please leave me your comments and if you have friends who might be able to impart some wisdom on this subject, please send them over. I appreciate any and all opinions.
Good Morning All! I am really excited today as we received a very colorful box of vegetables this morning… a bunch of spinach (I love spinach!), a bunch of yellow and white Swiss chard, a few sprigs of Italian parsley, 4 cucumbers, 4 red tomatoes, a bag of grape tomatoes, 3 cubanelle peppers (1 red, 1 green and 1yellow) and 2 eggplants. Remember: Colorful = Nutritious
I was so excited about the grape tomatoes that I immediately washed some and packed them in my lunch along with the smallest cucumber. I can’t wait!
Here are some photos:
For some reason, I was much more efficient in getting our vegetables eaten this week. Usually, I am frantically trying to find new and exciting ways to use the vegetables and I just barely manage to get it done in time for this post. One trick I’ve learned is to cook the vegetables at night and bring them with me to work to eat for lunch. That way, it takes the pressure off trying to get them all eaten just in our dinners…
I used the 2 green bell peppers and the 2 yellow tomatoes to make chicken fajitas. I’m not sure that tomatoes are traditionally used in fajitas, but the touch of yellow added a really nice color contrast to the dish. The light yellow-green bell pepper, 2 red tomatoes and tomatillos were used to make pork stew Saturday night. I’ve wanted to make this recipe for a while now so I’m glad the tomatillos came and gave me a chance to make it; it was really tasty! Last night I made a saute of chicken sausage with onions and the purple bell pepper. The mixed baby greens and red beets were paired with goat cheese for a really lovely salad. The squash was stir-fried with garlic while the eggplant was sauteed with onions; both were happily packed in my lunch bag throughout the week. The radishes are currently fermenting to become radish kimchi using a recipe that I found on one of my favorite food blogs, Coconut & Lime, and should be ready Wednesday night. Here is a photo of my kimchi:
That’s all folks, for now. Check back tomorrow to see what we find…
My husband and I had a very light brunch today which left us craving something “bad” at 3:00PM. We thought about going to Gray’s Papaya for a couple of hot dogs until I thought, why don’t we give Burger Joint a try? We have tried to get in this place twice before but the line has always been out the door so we’ve never stuck around. I thought, given the odd time of day, we’d be able to get in and get a seat. I was right; we got in, placed our order and found a seat just before our order was ready for pick-up. We each ordered a cheeseburger with our choice of toppings, shared an order of fries and we each had a chocolate milkshake. Hey, I said we were craving something bad!
The burgers were good. They are grilled, which I very much appreciate. The cheese is a nice combination of melty cheddar and monterey jack. The buns are toasted (a nice touch), the red onions are thinly sliced and they put the perfect amount of mustard, ketchup and mayo. My only complaint about the burgers is that they were served well-done although we had ordered them medium. Also, they are somewhat on the small side. The fries were similar to McDonald’s except not as good. The milkshake was quite nearly perfect. The thickness was great and the chocolate flavor was great considering they use vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup.
The place only accepts cash so bring plenty of it. We managed to rack up a $32 tab with just 2 burgers, 2 shakes and an order of fries. My advice would be not to go when you are extremely hungry as you will most likely have a wait and the smell of grilled burgers might drive you crazy.
My rating (out of a possible 5):
Firstly, please accept my apologies for posting so late. I like to post by 11:00AM but I was very busy with work today and then once I got home, my blog server/host was down. Ugh.
Onto more pleasant thoughts…
Today, we received a really beautiful variety of vegetables: 4 bell peppers (2 green, 1 purple and 1light yellow-green); 4 tomatoes (2 yellow, 2 red); 5 tomatillos; 1 bag of mixed baby greens; 4 purple/white eggplants; 1 bunch of red beets; 1 bunch of red radishes; 3 summer squash (2 green, 1 yellow).
In hindsight, I wish I had waited to receive this box so that I could have made a larger bowl of salsa verde. I always say it’s just as easy to make a large batch as it is to make a small batch. Oh well, it’s also fun to find new and interesting ways to use the same vegetables.
Here are the photos:
This week has been a whirlwind and I must admit I am a bit behind in using all of my vegetables. I am going to finish them up tonight though. It was a challenge getting all of the vegetables eaten in 6 day’s time this week as I have been super busy with work and I was with clients both Thursday night and Saturday night. Okay, okay, enough with the excuses, let’s see what we did this week…
I did a lot of roasting this week. I know it sounds odd to even think about using the oven much in the middle of August, but honestly it is so much easier to roast something in the oven than to stand at the stove continuously and saute something.
I roasted the extra-large tomatoes and made some delicious roasted tomato soup. This soup, paired with a salad of the baby arugula and one of the Middle Eastern cucumbers, made for a very satisfying lunch. I made pickled beets by first roasting the beets, peeling them, cutting them into wedges then pouring a hot solution of apple cider vinegar and sugar over them. Then I let them sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours before enjoying them. I love making my own pickled beets. They taste great and are free of the high fructose corn syrup you may find in the jarred stuff at the grocery store. I roasted the eggplants and made a small batch of baba ghanouj, a Middle Eastern eggplant dip, that I enjoyed with some pita bread. Speaking of roasting for the sake of making a small batch of something, I roasted the tomatillos and made a small bowl of salsa verde with some cilantro, scallions, lime juice and a serrano chili pepper. We enjoyed this salsa with some tortilla chips while watching the Olympics – Go Team USA!!!
Not every vegetable was roasted this week. The ear of bi-color corn was boiled then happily nibbled by my husband. The squash was sliced then sauteed with some onion and garlic and I am going to enjoy it for my lunch today with the last of the roasted tomato soup. The rest of the cucumbers were sliced thinly then paired with sour cream and dill for a delicious salad. We enjoyed this salad along side some spicy Buffalo wings on Sunday night. Last but not least, the pole beans are going to be cooked for tonight’s dinner.
Phew… that was 9 vegetables in 7 day’s time. Check back tomorrow to see what we receive in our mystery box!
Holy Moly, I can not believe it has already been 8 weeks… the time has really flown by! My husband (the sweetest man in the world) told me last night that he is really impressed with my ability to creatively use all of the vegetables in the short span of 6-7 days. I am equally impressed with my ability to get him to eat these vegetables!
Today’s farm share had some new and exciting additions to our familiar repertoire. As my husband walked in the door with our box, he exclaimed “We’ve got dinosaur-sized vegetables this week!”. I immediately ran to the box to investigate. We received 2 of the largest tomatoes I have ever seen. They must weigh 1 pound each! We also received a large ear of corn (let’s hope it’s edible this time), 2 eggplants, 4 summer squash, 3 tomatillos, a bag of baby arugula, 7 Middle Eastern cucumbers, pole beans and a bunch of red beets.
Here are some photos:
This week, the flavors and aromas coming from my kitchen were all over the map. From the American Deep South to Latin America to India.
The pole beans I received this week were a bit tough so I braised them into submission with tomatoes, onions and garlic.
This dish reminds me of my Great-Grandma Hollingsworth, from Georgia. She knew how much I loved vegetables and she would make a nice, big pot of pole beans for me whenever she could.
I used 8 of the 9 cucumbers to make Agua de Pepino (Cucumber Limeade). This beverage is so incredibly refreshing and I do believe I could become addicted to it! The other cucumber joined the mixed baby greens in a salad.
The eggplants became one of my favorite Indian dishes – Baingan Bharta (eggplant curry). I order this dish every time I go out for Indian food so I decided to make some for myself at home. I just wish I could have made some nan to go with it.
The yellow wax beans were blanched then sauteed and served with roasted chicken and orzo for last night’s dinner. The 2 green bell peppers will be used tonight in a pasta dish. The ear of corn, unfortunately, was not edible. It was not fully mature and half of the kernels had not yet developed. I was so sad to have to throw it out.
I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s delivery. Stay tuned to see what we get!
As you may recall, this past weekend was Foreign Food Night and it was my turn to choose which cuisine we would enjoy – – I chose German. Based on a recommendation from a friend of mine, we went to Lederhosen in the Village. The restaurant is located in the middle of a quiet block on Grove Street. We could have easily missed the place except for a small chalk board on the sidewalk. We were led to our table by a very nice, very smiley woman. Our table was in the back of the restaurant in a windowless room that had been painted to look as though we were sitting in the middle of a sunny bier garten (beer garden) in Germany. As such, we started our evening with a round of biers (beers). I ordered one my favorite beers, a hefeweizen, an unfiltered wheat beer. My husband ordered a Hofbrau, a beer that reminds him of the time he went to Oktoberfest when he was studying abroad.
We shared a couple of appetizers, German potato salad and potato pancakes (our server’s recommendation). The potato salad had good flavor with lots of chopped pickle, mustard and dill. It was served cold although I am used to warm German salad. The potato pancakes, served with applesauce and sour cream, were also good if a bit greasy.
My husband’s entree was a wurst platter with 3 wursts of his choice (bratwurst, bauerwurst, and a weinerwurst) and included an assortment of vegetable salads, red and white sauerkrauts and German fried potatoes. He liked his meal although he said it was nothing particularly special. My entree was a wiener schnitzel, a breaded and pan-fried veal cutlet. It was served with the same side dishes as my husband’s entree. The schnitzel was okay. I can’t say for sure if it was me, as I am not much of a meat eater, or the schnitzel, but I was underwhelmed by this dish. It seemed to lack any seasoning and was therefore very bland.
The service was very friendly and efficient.
While we weren’t blown away by the food, I would return to this restaurant. It is a great place for groups as they have picnic tables that fit 8 adults comfortably. It seems like a fun place to drink and have a nice time with your friends.
My rating (out of a possible 5):
I am up super early this morning as my husband had an early flight to catch. Therefore, I will not be able to post any photos of this week’s farm share box as my husband (a.k.a. my awesome photographer) has the camera with him.
This week, we received a bag of mixed baby greens (I am going to be so spoiled with all of the salads I’ve been able to enjoy this summer!), 2 green bell peppers, pole beans (these remind me of my Great-Grandma Hollingsworth from Georgia), yellow wax beans, 3 eggplants, 1 4-inch ear of corn (it is SO cute!) and 9 Middle Eastern cucumbers. I can not wait to dig in!
The green bell peppers reminded me of a segment I saw on the Today Show that informed the audience of which fruits and vegetables to choose organically due to their likelihood of carrying pesticide residues. This list consisted of: peaches, sweet bell peppers, apples, celery and strawberries. I looked on the web to see if there is a printable pocket guide that can be taken to the market for easy reference and, of course, there is. Here is a link to Earthbound Farm’s Pocket Guide to Choosing Organically. You’ll notice that this list is more extensive than that of the Today Show. I hope that you will find this guide to be useful and helpful when trying to figure out where your organic dollars will be best spent.