winter produce + tonight’s dinner

16 Feb

6316956581_b11250a6c6With beautiful displays of summer produce throughout winter in our grocery stores, it’s easy enough to forget what it means to eat locally in the winter. Local food, even this time of year, is fresher and has the added bonus of supporting the farmers that work so hard just beyond the limits of our everyday to provide for so many while caring for the plots of land that support where we stand today. If you are craving some freshly harvested local winter vegetables, but don’t know where to get them, check out Local Harvest, they will help you find local farmers markets, winter CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), and small family farms to visit on a chilly winter weekend.

Another great organization if you live in and around NYC, is GrowNYC.  They manage all of the city’s farmers markets, and many of them stay open in winter! Check out their market listings here.

The Farmer’s Market Coalition is another great resource that supports farmers markets across North America. Did you know that in 1994, there were approximately 1,755 farmers markets in the United States, and in 2010 their numbers have more than tripled — to approximately 6,200! This is great news for the livelihood of our neighborhoods, for our local economy and for our health. Even though the abundance of spring, summer and fall produce is hibernating, there are still great ways to connect with local produce and local farmers.

Here is a simple meal using winter veggies – inspiration for tonight’s dinner!

Rice + veggie medley (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 + 1/4 cup of water
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 1-2 beets
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • salt + pepper

Directions:

Place 2 + 1/4 cups of water into a pot with a pinch of salt. Add one cup of brown rice into the water, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, decrease heat to a simmer, cover until the rice absorbs the water and is soft (35-45 minutes, for brown rice, depending on the rice you use).

Preheat the oven to 400F. Chop carrots, beets, sweet potatoes, yellow onions into quarter-inch pieces.  Place on a baking sheet, and drizzle olive oil over the veggies.  Mix up all the veggies so they are evenly coated with oil.  Once coated, sprinkle salt + a bit of pepper, mix one more time, and place in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes.  Every 15 minutes, use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix the veggies around.  Remove from the oven once all veggies are tender and have a golden glow.  Mix roasted veggies with the brown rice, and serve.

What creations have you made with your winter vegetables lately? 

Photo courtesy of goodlifevancouver

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