Monday, May 17, 2010

Turning Over A New Leaf - Salads

May is a good month to get back in the swing of eating healthier meals if you want to slip into that bathing suit, or shorts. The heat often leaves you less hungry, so why not lose an extra few pounds?

This is exactly what is going on in my house since we returned from our fishing trip. This is also a great segway into becoming that summer locavore. Local Farms are beginning to produce seasonal vegetables and fruits, and the full blown area Farmers Markets will explode with vendors towards the end of the month in my area. So get ready to buy only locally, organic, and all in just one trip, once a week.

Mid summer last year a decision to eat this way after reading about a  family changing their whole lifestyle and living like it was 1900's again; it was and is still successful. Sustainable eating creates a more stable economy for your area and helps our diets by eating farm fresh greens, and grass feed meats. Took some meal planning, but it is worth it. Do not give into those 'Oh I've got to have this at the market cravings', and turn a blind eye to fast food urges!

Have you ever considered how much money you can save by soaking your own legumes and lentils? I do. Not to mention the salt canned brands contain. Frozen can work, but not all stores carry them. Chickpeas are so in expensive to buy. Many markets including ethnic (Indian, Spanish) stores carry them. Soak overnight, and then pressure cook them for twenty minutes. Season them ahead, and then refrigerate, or bag them up for the freezer, and you have instant salad or meal protein. Add rice to lunch or the evening meal, and you have a complete protein. Proteins come in such a variety of shapes and forms- complete and in-complete.

This salad- Chickpea Cobb, local mixed greens, avocado, local cheddar, local dried fruit trail mix, local asparagus, apples, red onion, parsley, cilantro, olive oil, lemon juice, and local apple vinaigrette (no bacon).

Cook the chickpeas and asparagus (pat dry, and chop); add oil, parsley, garlic, cilantro, lemon juice and some mashed apples and toss; let cool. Traditionally a Cobb Salad is a protein packed plate of goodness- with chicken, cheese, bacon, avocado, eggs and tomato over greens. Our tomatoes were the cherry variety to the side, and we just popped them in our mouths when the mood struck!

 Happy locavore eating!

Wine- After visiting Up State New York's Finger Lake Region (Seneca) we brought home some wine, and opened a Herman Winery, Riesling. Semi-Dry and light, I added a splash to the dressing to balance out the meal.