1. Never run out of onions or garlic. Too many recipes require them, and the local harvests of them are available in many places year-round. But if you don’t have any and it’s freezing outside, you might opt for the non-local version at the corner store. So stock up. Oh, and foragers take note: there’s field garlic out there right now even when there’s snow on the ground.
2. Prep a bunch of veggies right after you shop or pick up your CSA winter share:
Wash and spin dry the leafy greens. The best way I’ve found so far to store these is in green produce bags in the crisper drawers of the fridge. Peel and slice carrots and radishes to eat as snacks, with or without the dips I mention below. Store the prepped root veggie snacks in water in covered containers in the fridge.
3. Always Have Cooked Beans Available:
Every week or two, cook a pot of locally grown beans. Do this in the slow cooker overnight or while you’re out working. Make twice as many as you need and freeze the extras for when you really don’t have any time to cook. Make bean dip. Add them to soups. Make Mexican-style recipes. Basically everything you would do with beans out of a can except the local beans have much nicer textures. Plus protein, fiber and other good stuff even on the days you’re skipping the (expensive) pastured meat.
4. Have lots of different dried herbs and spices on hand. If you’re not a cook but more of an assembler, have a few seasoning blends such as herbes de Provence (for anything remotely Mediterranean-style) or curry powder.
5. Treat root veggies as your staple, and learn different ways to cook them. A potato is a potato is…but a mashed potato is different from one roasted, or fried, or steamed, or…often the cooking method changes the ingredient more than the seasoning.
6. If you are into food preservation, even just throwing some berries into the freezer, now is the time to use up what you put up last year.
If you’re in the NYC area and want to learn more ways to make a locavore diet in the Northeast yummy, doable, and affordable, come to this local food event the night of Monday, Feb. 11th. All the proceeds benefit Just Food.
P.S. - There’s a storm going on here in the Northeast in case you haven’t heard. Ella briefly considered going outside: