Last night we had a special dinner to celebrate my husband’s birthday. We ate at a restaurant in Quebec City that focuses on local and in season food (Legende). I spoke with the manager about the importance of local (they don’t even use pepper because its not local) and eating from our environment he also explained how the restaurant tries to keep local ingredients longer by freezing, canning and fermenting. It was awesome to get to eat food that not only tasted delicious but also cares so deeply about supporting local.
There are so many reasons to eat within the seasons; for example taste, food tastes best when it’s grown locally and in season. Have you eaten a tomato from a backyard or picked strawberries or apples right from the source? They really do just taste better! They also have better nutritional value when they are grown in season because the vegetables and fruit are picked when they are ripe with all of the nutritional benefits of the soil as opposed to something grown across the world that is picked early and has to ripen on a truck or plane. Finally, when we eat in season we are choosing to support local farmers and by shrinking our carbon footprint it is much better for the environment!
So what is in season for fall?
Beets, brussel sprouts, cabbage, apples, pears, squash, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, figs, carrots, leeks, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, potatoes and greenhouse lettuce, cucumber, and peppers.
How do you use any of these in your weekly dinner meal planning?
One of our go to recipes is beet pasta I found years ago.
Here is the recipe:
4-6 beets (depending on size)
1 box of penne
2 cloves of garlic crushed
2 tbs of olive oil
½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
½ cup heavy cream
2 tbs of parsley
Zest and juice of a lemon
1. Preheat oven to 425. Place the beets in a foil bag and roast for 45 minutes once the beets are cooked peel them and quarter them (this can be done at anytime).
2. Cook the pasta according to the box.
3. When there is 5 minutes left in the cooking time heat olive oil in a skillet, than add garlic, lemon zest and cook for 1 minute
4. Add the beets to the skillet let the flavours come together (about 1 minute)
5. Turn heat down to a simmer and add cream and stir. Add lemon jucie, mix and than add the pasta and cheese.
6. Serve with parsley sprinkled on top.
Here are some more amazing recipes that inspired us!
Butternut squash and Pork stir fry by Mark Bittman
Tex Mex Sweet Potato Shepherds Pie by kiwiandbean.com