Thursday, September 23, 2010

Eating Local .....week 1

Hey everyone,

In my last post I told you all how I was going to commit to learning more about local food producers and buying more sustainable produce for my culinary adventures.  I did make it to the Harvest Coop on Sunday and also have been doing some online research.  What I quickly found out was that Boston and the Greater Boston area has many local producers of beef, fish, cheese and produce.  There is my weekly favorite lunch spot Green Meadows Farm in Hamilton Ma which specializes in heritage livestock and organic farming for the local community.  It is well worth the visit to their Farm Stand to learn more about them, their CSA, pork/beef shares and Grocery Coop programs. (note they are closed on Mondays).

Another find this week was the website Eating Well.org.  This site allows you to enter in your zip code and it produces a list of restuarants, bakeries, caters, farms, CSAs, and grocers that focus on local and sustainable goods.  When I entered my zip for Boston, it created a packet that was aprox. 96 pages!  Almost a hundred local sources for me to check out over the coming months!  This is one excited Foodie (especially with it being harvest season!!!).  I am hoping to try one to two new places each week and share my adventures with you all.  My first visit is going to be to Milk & Honey in Salem, MA.  This market that recently opened in Salem has a similar objective as Green Meadows Farm but instead of being a single source farm, the store goes out to producers in MA, ME, VT and NH for high quality, local and sustainable goods.  I am over the moon excited to head there and see what yummy treats I can discover!

As for this week, I made a dinner that was part local/part supermarket (remember..we said baby steps!). I picked up some local delicious zucchini, leeks, spinach and mushrooms and decide to once again break out a one pot wonder meal (technically 2, I had to boil the pasta... details shmetails.....) Not sure what to call this dish, but I guess it is weeknight vegetable sauce w/ beef tips.

*Note, 99% of all my recipes are taken from online ideas that I then adapt to suit my cravings and what is in my fridge/pantry.  Feel free to take your own culinary liberties and adjust the recipes to suit your tastebuds.

I started out by searing aprox 1 pound of stew beef tips in 1Tbsp of Coconut Oil and then set them aside.
Into the pan with the oil I added in 1/2 of a Sweet Onion and one minced leek. I also added a spinkling' of S&P and Garlic Powder.  Once those began to soften (onion becomes translucent) I added in one diced Portobello Mushroom (shh.. don't tell the roommate she ate a mushroom, haha)
To help get all the good bits off the bottom of the pan I hit the veggies w/ aprox 2 Tbs of White Wine.  From there I added in a small container of homemade sauce I had defrosted and 1 can of tomato puree. One of my favorite brands are:
Such a full tomato flavor!

I added the beef back to the pot and let this simmer away for aprox 20 minutes to heat through and finish cooking the beef.  When everything was nice and hot I roughly chopped about 3 cups of spinach and boiled some pasta.  While the pasta was boiling I added the spinach to the sauce and just let it wilt into the sauce until it was fully incorporated.
Some much spinach... don't worry it will fit, I promise!
bubble bubble...
And that is it my foodie friends!  Within 35 minutes I had a massive pot of chunky delicious and yummy late summer sauce to go on top of my pasta.  There was just one thing missing.... remember in my last post when I said there are some things worth shipping across the world for?!  This is one of those perfect creations that is worth the carbon footprint!  Behold the salty wonder that is......
PARMIGANO REGGIANO!!!
A quick update... since it is clear that my one pot dinners are enough for 6 people and not 2 roommates. I clearly had leftovers for the week!  Instead of making more pasta for this tasty "stew like sauce" for round two last night, this girl gently wilted 2 cups of spinach w/ olive oil and salt and smothered it with the beef sauce.  I was a little nervous about this but honestly I did not miss the pasta at all!  It was just what I was craving!

One is something that you love to whip up to curb a craving come dinner time?

Tomorrow this Sailing Foodie is off to Golf with her alumni buddies + a wedding this weekend!  Looking forward to sharing these adventures.

Have a great day blog world!