Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Our Local Menu

So far, we've been quite pleased with the extent to which we've been able to eat locally during the Eat Local Challenge.

We decided we'd try to eat as much from Wisconsin as possible, but we did make some concessions for Mid-western products (attempting, as much as possible, to stick to states surrounding Wisconsin -- Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa). So far, most of our produce has come from the farmer's market -- which means that it's generally coming from farms in a 100-mile radius. Likewise, we're consuming meats from Wisconsin farms. And trying to buy dairy and prepackaged items from as close to home as possible.

Looking back, we've done the most cheating during breakfast, when we have generally consumed fruit and kefir smoothies. We've done well in keeping the kefir as local as we can (Lifeway Foods in Morton Grove, IL produces Helios Kefir), and we've been able to use locally produced soy milk (Organic Valley is located in Wisconsin). But, the fruit front has been a bit challenging. Our blueberries are coming from Michigan, as are our peaches. Cantaloupe and watermelon has been acquired locally. But, we like the flavor (and potassium punch) of bananas in our smoothies too... so we've cheated a little and included them, despite the distance they traveled to join us.

Lunches are generally composed of leftovers from dinner (along with a local apple and/or some locally grown carrots or cherry tomatoes). So, they've been quite successful.

As for dinners, this is where we've done our best work. Menus have included:
Eggplant Lasagnette -- made with local eggplant, goat cheese, and parmesan, along with marinara sauce made from local tomatoes, peppers, and herbs from the garden.

Veggie Burritos -- made with local tortillas, Michigan-produced black beans, poblano rice made with local peppers and cilantro, and roasted local squash, corn, and kale.

Delicious Two-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese with local roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes -- made with local milk, cheese, and pasta produced in Chicago.

Eggplant Pie made with local eggplant, locally made Italian sausage, garden tomatoes and bell peppers, local garlic grown by a friend, and basil from the herb garden. The pie DID feature a very UNlocal pie crust from our friends at Pillsbury, but we think that was relatively minor, all things considered.
Roasted Curried Cauliflower & Tofu featuring farmer's market cauliflower, onions, garlic, and locally manufactured tofu... along with locally made curry powder from Penzey's.
Will try to get some of these recipes posted at some point... but I'm afraid we've hit a busy patch, so your patience will be MUCH appreciated :)
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  1. Mmm mac and cheese. All of the food sounds very comforting!

  2. You're doing exactly what I advocate...eating regionally instead of strict 100 mile. The 100 mile diet is great, but too limiting to be practical for many. Eating regionally serves the same purpose (to think about and know your food.).



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