Monday, May 9, 2016
Spring is here and there is a plethora of local fresh produce to be had.
It makes me very, very happy.
There's nothing better than throwing open the refrigerator and being overwhelmed with options for a flavor-filled, veggie-filled meal. I made the salad above with local organic arugula, pea shoot micro-greens, sautéed wild ramps, rainbow carrots and perfectly juicy strawberries. Topped with some rosemary-fried marcona almonds and some raspberry vinaigrette--delicious!!
Before I dive into more great recipes I've had the pleasure of eating this spring--and if you're wondering where I got all of the delicious looking veggies for this salad--I want to tell you a bit about my new favorite source for delicious local produce.
They're called Farmigo, and they're kind of like a cross between a CSA and a Farmer's Market. Basically, they have an online market where you can browse and purchase fresh, local produce, and a variety of other prepared foods, online. Their goal is to provide what they call "farm-to-neighborhood" access to food, to benefit farmers and consumers, without the supermarket middleman. They source their food from farmers and food makers that they believe have the best quality products and are located within 500 miles of their respective communities, though more often than not they source from much closer--as they say "the more local, the better!" They also do their best to source from small farmers, either generational family farms or newer, younger farmers, and they let you know every week what percentage of your purchase price is going back to the farmers (hint: it's a lot--which is a great thing!).
As frequently as once a week, you can order your food to be picked up at a location of your choosing. They have a variety of locations in every city they are based in. In Brooklyn there are tons of pickup locations near our apartment. I, for instance, pick up on Monday evenings at a local ice cream shop near me. Some pickups are at schools, or other institutions, basically anywhere someone has volunteered to host. You can order your food whenever you feel like it, or skip as many weeks as you want, there are no fees or anything like that.
Right now they're based in New York, New Jersey, Northern California and Seattle, and they're in the process of expanding. And no, they did not ask me to write this review. I've just been so thrilled with the quality of the food they offer that I want to spread the word!
The thing I like the most of all is that you can read up about each of their vendors and their practices. This means you can select vendors who treat animals ethically, for instance, or who only use organic farming practices. I love how transparent they are. It allows you to make informed decisions when deciding where your food comes from, which is fantastic.
What types of food options do they have for vegans, you ask? A whole bunch! They have a whole vegan category you can browse, which includes not just great produce, but cashew creams, breads, hummus, sauces, mousses, puddings, chips, chocolate, and some of my favorite veggie burgers in the world, as well as some other great fresh-frozen items. In the winter they had a delicious black bean and squash chili that was hearty and deeply flavorful. They've also got granolas and baked goods, and a true plethora of gluten-free options.
Some of the vegan products are a bit pricey, but I like to treat myself to a vegan splurge every now and again.
They have delicious coconut yogurt made by Anita's. It's creamy and rich, and a 16 oz tub will go a long way. Its made from nothing but coconut milk, coconut water and live cultures, but its hands-down the best vegan yogurt I've ever had.
The mango yogurt (below) is the best yogurt I've ever had. Period.
We've also recently discovered Brooklyn Whatever Shpickles--the carrots are delicious! (hence the fact that this jar was nearly empty when I took this picture) They also have pickled brussels sprouts and broccoli! This jar will set you back just about $8, but one jar goes a long way!
They also have the most amazing sprouted organic almond milk. This is probably the priciest for what it is, and I'm not one to normally even just "drink" almond milk all on its own (unless it's with a cupcake or a cookie!)--but let me tell you, I savor every sip of this stuff!
Anywho...that's all for now...coming up I'll share some of my favorite recent spring recipes, featuring some delicious local produce.