We made our "food rules" last week and plan on using the time until spring as an experimental time to see how viable they are. We know that starting this kind of thing at harvest time right before winter probably isn't the most ideal situation, but it'll have to do! Here are our rules:
1. Only buy local produce
2. Grains and other dried things should be local if at all possible but, if not, in bulk
3. Nothing that comes in a can or bottle or other packaging unless it's fermented (vinegar, gochujong, miso, etc)
4. Farmer's market when we can!
5. Exceptions granted for seasonally-available bad things like candy hearts and soynog
I think that's it? Luckily, Oregon produces a lot of grains and beans - wheat, corn, barley, lentils, dried beans of all sorts - but it's been a little harder than I expected to find outlets for all of these things. I know they're grown here, but I can't find where to buy them - that kind of thing. Today at the farmer's market, one stall had dried pinto beans, so that was exciting! We also started going to New Seasons Market instead of Whole Foods and they have all kinds of stuff in bulk, including soy sauce, four kinds of honey, agave nectar, olive oil...not to mention tons of beans and grains and fruit. And spices! I like it better than Whole Foods because it's a locally-owned company and they make a big point of buying locally-made things. Since we started going to the farmer's market for fresh things and New Seasons for dry, we've actually spent less on groceries.
Anyway, on to a few meals from the past week -
This was a recipe from Moosewood, one of my favorite cookbook series, and it's a hash made with cubed potatoes, zucchini, and because we had an old one we needed to use - sweet potatoes. Toss in some herbs and an egg at the end - yum!
I got an Indian slow-cooker cookbook from the library and this is the first thing we've made from it - aloo gobi, one of my favorite Indian dishes! This is how it started out - tons and tons of spices, lots of fresh veggies. And this is how it turned out -
...In the background. The foreground was leftovers of chana masala, from another Indian cookbook from the library - 660 Curries. Both of these were amazingly flavorful and tasted very similar to what I've had in restaurants! We have a massive amount of spices so we didn't need to get anything extra and they were really simple to make.
Just one more! This one is a wild rice blend with sauteed chanterelles and goat cheese with beet greens on the side. Chanterelles grow wild all over the place here and these are from the farmer's market at something like $8/lb...at the grocery store, they were $19! We're going to call up the local forest rangers, though, so we can hopefully get some for free from now on by hunting for our own! Same with all kinds of berries.
Well, that's it. I'll try to update more regularly so I don't have ridiculously long posts like this!
xjenniePS. As far as the local-ness of the above foods, everything was from Washington or Oregon except the rice and the sweet potato (which was from before we started doing this thing).