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Posts Tagged ‘Ontario’

A simple dinner

A typical grocery shop includes Fiesta Farms and sometimes Karma, both of which carry a ton of local produce. This weekend, we found these fresh local shelled peas:

And these yummy bean sprouts:

For last night’s (poorly focused) dinner, the peas joined new potatoes tossed in butter and salt and mixed greens in a maple balsamic vinaigrette, both from Plan B, plus some pasta tossed with olive oil and parmesan:

Simple summer meals – just the way I like it.

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Bananas are certainly not local in Toronto. But I had to interrupt your regular programming to share this amazing recipe that’s been circulating lately, from choosingraw.com (but I discovered it via Plentiful Plants).

Take a couple of bananas, frozen and in chunks. Put them in your food processor. Process for a few minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Devour.

This stuff is creamy and sugary like ice cream, but with none of the guilt. And it’s made my food processor suddenly the most popular appliance in the kitchen. I’ve tried it plain and drizzled with melted chocolate (which hardens again – so good!).

So… how to make it local? Well, I read one blog where the author added peanut butter to the bananas. And… check out what I found at Karma the other day! Local peanut butter! (I believe you can order it online as well, but that’s not as much fun.) Guess what I’m having for dessert tomorrow night?

IMG_0927

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I’ve gotten back into pasta again after discovering the yummy local stuff sold at the Green Barn Market – I buy the rotini, divide it into three zip-locs and throw it in the freezer for when I want a quick meal. But instead of doing anything fancy, I’ve been throwing together one-pot what’s-in-the-fridge meals. It’s quick and easy and all you really want in the summer.

Boiling isn’t my favourite way to cook vegetables because you lose nutrients in the water, but it’s worth the sacrifice for how easy this is.

Basically, decide on your ingredients and figure out how long each will take to cook, boil a pot of water and add ingredients from longest cooking time to shortest. Tonight, my dish consisted of (in cooking order):

• asparagus stems (Plan B)
• asparagus tips (they cook faster)
• pasta (Green Barn)
• frozen edamame (not local)
• beet greens (stems first, then leaves)*
• green onions (Plan B)

Once everything’s cooked, drain it and then mix in some sauce-like ingredients: pesto if you have it, or tomato sauce, or tonight I did a combo of cream, chevre (local, from Nancy’s Cheese), lemon juice and pepper. I topped the dish with pine nuts (also not local) and dinner was done in 10 minutes! Take that, Kraft Dinner.

* I have a ton of beets growing in the community garden – I went a little crazy planting them. I ate a couple of harvests of baby beet greens when I first thinned them, and while I was watering tonight I pulled out another beet to see how big they were getting. It was about the size of a ping-pong ball and I washed it and sliced it and ate it raw, then used the stems and leaves for dinner.

asparagus

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As you know if you read this blog, I get a CSA box from Plan B, and I love it. But I also recently found out about another CSA box program, from Kawartha Ecological Growers. They offer large and small shares for pickup in Toronto, Oshawa, Lindsay and Woodville. This year, they’re also including non-produce items such as meat, eggs, flour, maple syrup, honey and preserves.

Find out more at kawarthaecologicalgrowers.com, or visit their stand at the Greenbarns Market at Christie and St. Clair or Daily Apple at Yonge and Eglinton.

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Last weekend, on a trip to the farmers’ market, I found out from some friends about a cheese CSA that’s in the works. Basically, there’s a local dairy, Monforte (and they’re on Twitter), that needs funds to build a new facility and is raising the cash by selling cheese shares.

It’s a very cool idea and you get more cheese back than you paid for – except that it’s spread over five years. They have three subscription options and I chose the cheapest one, at $200. I give them that now, and starting next year I get $50 in cheese vouchers every year for five years, to be spent at Monforte stands at local markets.

Join up – it’s a great way to support the food producers in our region!

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