Are you lost for what to do with the fresh Spring produce in your Local Organics box? Never fear, we've got it all sorted out for you with our weekly meal plan. We work on the theory that breakfast is personal and lunch is dependent on circumstances, so we stick to dinners. We want to make it easy for you to feed your family an evening meal 5 or 6 nights a week on a $35 box of veggies. You'll need some pantry basics and a few extra bits & pieces from the Local Organics Store or the market. We try to keep the extras to a minimum. This week all you'll need is a few lemons, an onion, a garlic clove and chapatis (or flour to make them). There's nothing fancy about the meals we suggest, although some are better suited to the weekend when you've got a bit more time.
Our philosophy is to encourage our customers to eat real food, grown thoughtfully and close to home. We focus on mostly veggies, with a small amount of sustainably sourced meat and seafood. We're not about any particular diet, though we do tend to minimise wheat and processed flours as a lot of people like to avoid them. We provide a lot of the pantry basics at our store, and hope you give them a try as we put a lot of thought into sourcing local alternatives to what you find in the supermarket. There are a few things you'll see most weeks in the meal plan, such as olive oil, vinegar (we like Apple Cider, but your choice), ghee or coconut oil for cooking, spices, dried beans or lentils, tinned or preserved tomatoes, stock, pasta, rice, grains like quinoa or couscous) nuts, seeds and dried fruit. Sometimes we include 'fancier' things like sauerkraut, pickles, red wine, honey or tamari but you can get by without them.
Most of all we want our customers to see that it doesn't take much to eat local, nutritious, ethically grown food - and you can do it on a budget. It does take a little more time, but you've probably saved that time by avoiding the supermarket, so think of it as a far more pleasant trade-off, and enjoy cooking up a storm instead! Happy Eating :-)
Peel kohlrabi and carrots and use a grater, mandoline or your extreme knife skills to create long skinny strips –known as julienne. Whisk olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard and salt into a dressing and toss everything together.
Sukuma Wiki (Spiced Kale)
I stumbled across this recipe trying to figure out how to incorporate kale into my lentil daal. It’s an East African dish that is apparently a staple in the Ugandan and Kenyan diet. Apart from the fact that it is ridiculously good for you, it’s also delicious AND cheap. Sukuma Wiki is my new favourite way to eat Kale. I based my version on this website but it’s a pretty simple dish and there are heaps of recipes online. Simply chop onion and kale (I didn’t use the kale stem but maybe would if the kale was younger and juicier). Sautee onion in ghee, then add in cumin, coriander and turmeric. Once onion is coated in spices tip in about ½ a cup of tinned tomatoes. I can’t wait until tomato season so I can try this with fresh tommies… yum! Pile in your chopped kale, season and drizzle about a cup of water to help it wilt down. Give it 15 minutes on a low heat, toss with lemon juice and eat! I served this with Daal and Chapatis, but it makes a yummy side dish for any occasion.
Red Lentil Daal with Chapatis & Salad
The Chapati bread really makes this dish. I tried to make it with Spelt flour and it was pretty heavy. Not that my dough making skills are up to much, but apparently the right flour helps a lot. Look in an Indian grocer for a finely ground whole-wheat flour called Chapati or Atta. I found this website really helpful and plan to seek out some Chapati flour to give it another shot soon. To make the daal, cook red lentils in water (1 – 3 ratio) and put aside when cooked. In a separate pan, heat a spoonful of mustard seeds and a few curry leaves in ghee. Add chopped garlic, some tinned tomatoes and a teaspoon or two of grated turmeric. Cook for a few minutes then tip the whole lot into the cooked lentils with some salt, sugar and ground cumin or garam masala. Give it another 5 minutes then serve with rice, chapatis and a mixed green salad of lettuce, mustard greens, spring onion and broad beans.
This would have to be the simplest recipe on the planet, and quite seriously delicious. Cook up a batch of your noodle of choice. I’ve been trying a few different types of wholemeal pasta, as well as these quite amazing shirataki noodles which are actually made from a yam. They are a translucent, Asian style noodle but can comfortably stand in for wheat pasta or noodles if you’re trying to remove processed wheat or gluten from your diet. Mash an avocado and drizzle with lemon juice and perhaps some salt & pepper. Tip cooked pasta and a drizzle of the cooking water into a bowl with the mashed avocado and toss to coat. Eat!
BBQ Pork Loin Cutlets with Spring Vegies
This week I’ll be trying the first cut of pork from my Jonai Farms delivery. I’ve selected the Loin Cutlets, and given the glourious spring weather we’re having, will be grilling them on the BBQ this weekend (I think Sunday will be the day for it). I’ll prepare a big bowl of brown rice in advance and defrost the cutlets a day in advance so I can brine them overnight. Bringing is a new trick for me (try this website for some tips) and involves soaking the meat in salt water so that it absorbs moisture and increases the tenderness of the cut. At this point I will instruct my BBQ chef to suit up. Sorry, it’s an Australian tradition – the man does the BBQ! Though I'm told the trick is to sear the cutlets on a high heat, before turning the heat down so they cook through more slowly. I'm also told it's important to cover the meat after cooking and let it sit for 10 minutes. While you wait, slice zucchini thinly lengthwise and pop on the grill with asparagus spears. Give the vegies a few minutes on each side and thinly slice the pork loin while you’re waiting. Pile everything on top of the rice and sprinkle over some freshly shelled broad beans, spring onion and mint leaves. Lemon juice or vinegar with olive oil will finish it off.
Roast vegies to go with everything
It’s cooling down early next week, so I’ll probably roast up the pumpkin, beetroot and parsnip on Monday or Tuesday night and serve it with leftovers or perhaps toss with a grain such as quinoa or couscous to make a salad at some point. Simply toss in a little bit of melted ghee or coconut oil and bake. Beetroot takes the longest (40mins) then parsnip (30), then pumpkin (20) assuming you’ve chopped them into smallish chunks. Longer if the veggies are whole of course.
Grilled Sardines & Potatoes with Mustard Greens & broad beans
Slices potatoes thinly and lay in a single layer in an oven dish. Drizzle with oil and herbs and roast for 30 – 40 minutes depending on how thin your potatoes are. Remove the potatoes, and place sardines on top (tinned ones are fine). And drizzle with lemon, herbs and spring onion. Return to the oven for 10 minutes. Shell your broad beans, and cook in a pot of water for 3 or 4 minutes. Dump them in iced water to stop them going soggy. You can remove the outer shell once they’ve cooled (though some like to leave the shell if the beans are super fresh). Make a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper, then toss together with mustard greens, fresh mint or coriander and some shaved parmesan.
If this is your first time with mustard greens, you can basically use them as a substitute for kale, keeping in mind that they have a bit more of a kick to them – some say it’s a bit like horse-radish.