Right now we’re working on taking advantage of our amazing local farmer’s market at the City Market, going every weekend. We’re not turning into total locavores (hello bananas, restaurants, and Oreos!), but we’re making an effort to eat fresh, seasonal food that supports our farmers, tastes better, and is better for us. I’m also working to buy more local food at the grocery store, which is a point of debate in our house right now (our local milk is twice as expensive).
The above photos represent the main bulk of food we were working with from the market: a whole chicken (ah!), sweet onions, carrots, elephant garlic, ground bison, honey, bread, spinach angel hair pasta. (I spent most of my budget on herbs, tomato plants, kale plants, and a strawberry plant these two weeks.)
I knew that I wanted to start doing this in late March, when a lot green stuff starts showing up at the farmer’s market again, so I bought two books to pep myself up and learn more. I’ll write more about them in May when I do the April Reads post, but these are making an impact on what we’re eating right now, so I thought it was important to mention them:
- Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver, Camille Kingsolver, and Steven L. Hopp is the story of a family who ate only food they could grow themselves or purchase locally for one year. The book switches back and forth from memoir to a more journalistic approach to the current state of the food economy in the United States.
- Fresh from the Farmers’ Market (Reissue): Year-Round Recipes for the Pick of the Crop by Janet Fletcher is a cookbook that I just finished reading, so I haven’t tried the recipes yet. Even if none of the recipes, which are seasonal, are delicious, the book was worth it just for the information on how to choose and store different kinds of produce. Take the green tops off of the carrots! Use the asparagus within a day or two! Who knew? I referenced it tons while I was putting away this week’s market haul. Warning: the book has a slight California slant.
If listening is more your thing, I recommend these podcasts:
- The Ethics of Eating with Barbara Kingsolver
- Where Does Your Food Come From by Michael Pollan (author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma)
You can find tons of other great food and nutrition podcasts free on iTunes U.
Our big feast this week was roast chicken, rosemary roasted potatoes, stuffing and honey glazed carrots. This was a big deal, because it’s the first time I’ve cooked a whole chicken! My mom was here to hold my hand, which I appreciated very much. Next up, I’m tackling the turkey in my freezer. The stuffing was boxed from Trader Joe’s (it’s been in the pantry since last November), but here’s how to make the rest of it:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Dice one sweet onion and mince two cloves of garlic.
In a large, oven safe skillet, melt two tablespoons of butter over medium heat, then cook the onion and garlic until soft, about 10 minutes. (While the onions are cooking, begin to prepare the roasted potatoes.)
Add one and a quarter cup chicken broth and season with salt.
Place a small three and a half pound chicken in the onion mixture. Rub the chicken with salt and pepper and drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil.
Bake the chicken for 20 minutes, then reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F and cook for another 20 to 25 minutes, until cooked through.
Roasted Rosemary Potatoes with Spring Onions
Cube 1 pound of red potatoes. Toss in 1 tablespoon olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper to taste and add a teaspoon of chopped, fresh rosemary. Spread in a single layer on a non-stick baking sheet.
Bake with the chicken until soft.
At the last minute after the potatoes are done, toss with several tablespoons of chopped spring onions.
Honey Glazed Carrots
Steam whole carrots to desired doneness. Put in a pan with equal parts of softened butter and honey. Mix to melt. Finish off by roasting in the oven if desired.
It was delicious! And I was fiercely proud of the whole thing.
We used the leftover carcass and bits for chicken stock:
Leftover chicken carcass / chicken bits
6 cups water
Leftover veggie bits (onion skins, carrot tops, etc.)
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, sliced (I used elephant garlic, which is more mild, so I used more)
Pinch of dried Italian spices
1 bay leaf
Add ingredients to crock pot and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours.
Strain veggies and chicken from broth.
Eliza has been making dinner and reading a recipe once a week (awesome)! I mentioned this already, but Eliza’s dinner this week was Bison Bolognese from Children’s Step-By-Step Cook Book. This was a seriously delicious recipe for meat sauce, but we’ll be altering the recipe using fresh tomatoes next time! Also, the recipe called for beef, but bison is an awesome substitute. If you can find it, get it! The taste is very similar to beef, but it’s lower in fat and cholesterol but higher in iron and protein. Win!
We also had salad and pizza from our favorite neighborhood place, d’Bronx.
We didn’t photograph them, but one simple dinner was ham and cheese paninis. We used focaccia bread from a local bakery, and turned the bread inside out so we could cook the smooth side. We used our Pampered Chef Grill Press the outside in butter with garlic and rosemary, which make it SO MUCH YUMMIER. We also had leftover soup with it: black been soup from Trader Joe’s + canned black beans, drained + shredded colby jack cheese. Eliza loves it.
We also ate with people we love a lot last week. Tuesday we had tacos with my extended family for my aunt’s birthday, Wednedsday our friends Harvey and Lisa (and baby Ava!) brought over beef stew, and Thursday my mom helped me with that roast chicken.
Here’s what we’re working with for next week: Lettuce, duck eggs, pork breakfast sausage, brats, radishes, rainbow card, carrots, sweet onions, hothouse tomatoes, red potatoes, asparagus, orzo, and all the herbs, of course.
What have you been eating lately? Do you have any yummy recipes to share?
Check out all of the Savory Sunday posts here.