Friday, August 31, 2012

Seasonal eating = yummy and easier than I thought

Lately, when I've been making my Change Your Life salad for lunch, I've had a hard time averting my eyes from the address on the label for the strawberries I use. They're from California. And, since as I read about sustainable living and eating I become more aware of the impact transporting food across the country has on our environment, I've been feeling a little sheepish. Somewhat rude. Kind of like a spoiled brat to be honest.  Is it possible I am becoming an environmentalist? I never expect that.

Anyway, I've made the switch to local and organic eggs and meat so I figure the switch to local produce isn't that far behind. I like the idea of supporting agricultural pursuits that are undertaken by people who live in and support my community. But I also wanted to take a stab at eating not just locally but seasonally as well.

Plus, I'm cheap so buying seasonal fruit is a more economical way to eat anyway.

In the past, "seasonal" eating has been dictated more by the picture on my calendar than by actual weather. When its cold (or when the calendar depicts a cold-weather scene), I eat soup and chili for lunch. When it is hot, I eat salad. That's as seasonal as I got. But I figured there was a little more to it than that so I Googled seasonal produce and found this site that let me sort by region so I could make myself a little chart of what was in season when: Guide to Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables.

And I found out, as I expected, that strawberries were not on my list for August and September. Darn it. 

But apples were! I like apples! So I decided to replace the strawberries in my salad with apples, which also prompted a switch from feta cheese to gorgonzola since I like that flavor combination, and see what I thought. Thanks to a Facebook fan Stephanie planting the idea of baking apples in my head, I decided to sprinkle them with cinnamon and bake them in the oven for about 30 minutes so they were nice and soft. Thanks Stephanie!

My apples ready for the oven!
Luckily, my favorite veggie spinach is always in season for my area so the rest of my salad was safe.

I call it the Fall Harvest Salad.
The result was pretty darn yummy. I usually have apple slices with peanut butter alongside my salad, but since I had apples in the salad I put my peanut butter on some celery instead. Peanut butter is a deal breaker. I will have peanut butter.

So I took one yummy step towards being a more responsible consumer of resources this week. Luckily my favorite dinnertime veggie - green beans - are safe for now, but my broccoli may have to be on hold until spring. Until then, looks like a lot of squash in my future. Um, awesome. But the list inspired me to do a little research into the health benefits of my favorite fall fruit: the nutritional power of apples can be found here.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure how seasonal my plate will be throughout the winter, but I'm going to give it a good shot! Get out there and get healthy today, even if you have to consult a list first. :)


1 comment:

susie said...

I threw a cut up apple in my salad the other day. So good, and everyone who walked by me at lunch was intrigued. Funny how people will eat a salad with fruit at a restaurant, but won't think to do it at home.