Apr 6, 2010

{the challenge of a locavore}

In an effort to eat healthier, fresher foods my boyfriend and I have decided to become locavores. Our goal is to eat locally grown foods within a 100 mile radius of where we live during the months of April to November (prime farmer's market months!). We wanted to do this for several reasons: 1) to eat fresh foods only 2) reduce the distance our food has traveled 3) support the local economy and 4) reduce/eliminate the amount of pesticides and hormonally treated food that we consume. We are allowing ourselves to clean out the pantry and use whatever foods we already have on hand. That's down to mostly condiments at this point because we weren't able to make it to the market this past Saturday. We do plan to support our local wineries, breweries and any local restaurant that also uses local ingredients. We will also have a few ingredients that will be allowed. At this point we are going allow olive oil, salt + pepper, orange juice and rum :D. If and when we do buy those items, they will be organic (except for the rum - that just needs to be alcoholic). We are still figuring out how eating when traveling will work, but so far we are planning to try and eat within 100 miles of wherever we are. If there are no locavore restaurants then we will at least support the local restaurants.

Recipe and more after the jump

The farmers market where we live is open Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7am - 1pm so we have limited times to shop. We missed this past Saturday so its been interesting figuring out how to throw some meals together with what we had left in the kitchen. Since today was Tuesday, I was able to go to the market. In Virginia the season has just barely begun so there were not too many vendors. I was able to get a decent assortment of veggies, some eggs, bread, pasta and greens. Sadly, there were no meat or cheese vendors! Thankfully, I discovered some frozen beef that we already had when I got home. I'm not sure John would have made it until Saturday with no meat. It was a lot of fun to talk with the farmers who were there about how their food was grown and how their chickens were raised. I'm looking forward to seeing more vendors and foods this Saturday.

On Sunday I had done some meal planning so that when I went shopping I would have some sort of idea what to get. There really were not many of the ingredients my recipes called for so I'm improvising this week. I had intended to make a beet and goat cheese galette for dinner tonight but neither items were available so, tonights dinner became a potato, steak and parmesan galette. It turned out pretty tasty! Goat cheese would have been better, but parmesan was what I had. See the recipe below.

We are really excited about eating locally and can see how its already affecting how we plan our meals. I'm on the hunt for seasonal recipes or cookbooks so if you've got any resources, please leave them in the comments below.

{potato, steak and parmesan galette}

for the crust

2 cups buckwheat flour (or whatever flour you have on hand)
1/2 stick of butter, cut into small chunks
1 tsp salt
small handfull of thyme (fresh preferably, I only had dried so I made do)
1 cup of water (might need more/less depending on the flour you use so add slowly)

for the filling

3 - 4 small potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
thyme to taste
thinly sliced steak (cooked is what I had but would probably work raw and cook in the oven)
your choice of cheese, grated
olive oil

to make the crust

Put the flour, butter, salt and thyme into a bowl and combine. Slowly add the water until the dough is combined. Be careful here not to add too much. For the buckwheat flour I had to add a good bit of water to make it work so just go slowly. Roll into a ball, place in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Roll out the dough on a floured surface until its about 1/4" thick and cut into circles. It might help to roll the dough onto wax paper so its easy to transfer over to the baking sheet.

Add grated cheese to the middle of the dough about an inch away from the edge. Layer sliced potatoes in a circle like you would your apples for an apple pie. Add more grated cheese on top along with some thyme. Next, place the thinly sliced strips of steak across the top and top with more grated cheese.
Carefully fold up the edges of the crust (see finished picture to see how it should look).

Brush/drizzle/spray some olive oil on top and place into the oven. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until the potatoes are done. Serve with a salad and enjoy!

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