I am sitting here with a very full belly and feeling very proud of myself right now, having just consumed my first meal for the One Local Summer challenge. I had missed the first week and was certain that the second week would go by before I could get my hands on enough local food to prepare a meal. Either that or I was going to submit “lettuce and tomatoes, no dressing”.
And then I discovered the Big Bag ‘O Lentils shoved in the back of my pantry, all but forgotten. These were bought from Anita’s Organic Mill, a local establishment. I’m not actually sure whether they were grown here, but they were definitely “processed” here and I figure how much processing is required to put lentils in an eco-friendly, brown paper bag? With that amazing feat of reasoning I decided they must be local (and if they aren’t, I don’t want to know this today).
And then I remembered a recipe for Lentil Burgers in one of my Martha Stewart Everyday Food magazines (thank you, Martha!) with a yogurt dressing. And just GUESS what I successfully made at home a couple of days ago?…yup, yogurt! Ladies and gentlemen, we had a plan.
An unexpected benefit of eating seasonally and locally is having to find new recipes, which is contributing immensely to my growing confidence as a cook. With a basic idea in mind I then considered side dishes. The final meal was as shown above: Lentil burgers with yogurt-mint sauce and butter lettuce with red potato salad and grape tomatoes.
The burgers are made with French lentils (Anita’s Organic Mill, Chilliwack, BC), scallions and mint (from my garden), and one egg (note: at the farmer’s market today they were out of eggs by the time I got there so I’m afraid I had to settle for an organic egg whose origin is unknown).
I made the buns myself, and I’d like to say that this is the first time I have ever made buns. Ever! I used my breadmaker for the dough part and baked them in the oven as per the manual that came with the machine. Here are some of them fresh out of the oven.
They were made from mostly unbleached white flour (with a bit of whole wheat flour thrown in) from Anita’s Organic Mill. (Rhonda, are you proud?)
The yogurt-mint sauce was made with homemade yogurt (local milk, though the culture came from the New England Cheesemaking Co.) and homegrown mint.
The butter lettuce was also straight from my garden.
The tomatoes were bought today at the farmer’s market from Celyddon Farm in Surrey, BC (I also used up a few store-bought, but local, tomatoes from a farm in Delta, BC). I topped them with the yogurt-mint sauce.
Finally, we had potato salad. I have to confess that I bought the potatoes a while ago at the supermarket but I’m pretty sure they are from Washington…? The sauce was a dijon-vinaigrette and definitely not local(!). I know I didn’t have to include that in my submission but hey, it was part of the meal.
My very first local dish. Predictably, my kids ate only the buns and had hot dogs. As I sat staring at the wonderful spread and enjoying my fresh food I could only hope that when they get older and their taste buds mature this will be their idea of Normal food.