Winter Meal Prep: Sustainable Comfort Foods
In the summer and fall, it’s seems simple to whip up a sustainable meal. Seasonal vegetables and fruits abound, so there’s always a fresh supply of local ingredients. Sustainable winter meals can be a bit more challenging, but that doesn’t mean you need to eat canned (organic) corn all winter!
Here’s a short list of some guilt-free, winter, sustainable staples for your kitchen/refrigerator: local, organic milk and cheeses, organic, cage-free eggs, canned or pickled organic vegetables and fresh, local fruits and vegetables, preserves, honey and maple syrup. Fresh winter veggies and fruits include onions, beets, rutabagas, apples, oranges, avocados, squash, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, cabbage and kale. Consult Seafood Watch, which lists the sustainable fish in your area, and Local Harvest, which shows nearby farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants and supermarkets that sell locally sourced foods.
Now that you know what and where to purchase, here are a few delicious, winter-weather, comfort food recipes you can enjoy this season. Note that all ingredients used should be sustainable and organic, when possible.
Hearty Fish Chowder: This recipe allows you to use any of the sustainable fish that’s available in your area. In a large soup kettle, fry 4 oz. of organic bacon until crisp then remove from kettle and set aside. Add to the kettle chopped organic onion and celery, cooking until soft. Sprinkle flour over the mixture and cook another 4 minutes. Add 2 medium organic, diced potatoes, 2 cups of organic chicken stock, bay leaf, salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes. Add two cups of organic milk, 3 cups of frozen organic corn, and 2 cups of sustainable fish. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Lastly, stir in the bacon bits and any dried herbs. Get comfy and enjoy!
Chicken and Root Vegetable Soup: Combine chopped, organic garlic clove and onion in hot oil. Let soften. Add two cups of organic chicken stock, dried herbs, and locally raised, free-range chicken. Cook for 20 minutes then add sliced organic carrots and potatoes – as many as you like. Let them get tender. Add an organic pasta or rice, if you wish, and season with salt and pepper. Curl up under a blanket and Netflix it is!
Root Veggie and Ricotta Tart: Source bread from a local baker. Add lemon zest, olive oil and salt to a local ricotta. Separately, whisk lemon juice, coriander, caraway, salt and olive oil and then add organic, thinly sliced or shaved carrots, onions and beets. Remove vegetables from the mixture and squeeze dry. Spread ricotta and veggies on bread and toast in the oven. Before serving, drizzle with local honey and…delicious!
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