Tuesday, September 05, 2006

What's for dinner?

It's 11.36 pm and DH is off guiding a trip and I have nobody to bug!!!

Ok, so I guess I should tell you what I'm eating as I journey through this 100 Mile Diet. The basic idea of this diet is that you eat whatever you want, then you run a 100 miles.

I'm kidding. Just checking to see if you're paying attention.

So I'm pledging to buy and eat more foods grown within 100 miles of where I live. I'm aiming to eat 90% within the 100 Mile diet criteria. It's not reasonable or safe to deny me chocolate or coffee. However, if I must, I will eat only locally produced chocolate and locally roasted coffee ;)

Luckily for me, we have some amazing coffee roasters and chocolatiers here on the Rusty Coast. So my coffee choices right now are Level Ground Trading's Café Pangoa, a fair-trade organic coffee from Peruvia. t's a nice mellow cup of wake-up juice. The company is based in Central Saanich on Vancouver Island and is run by a group of Canadians that were truly dedicated to providing a real solution to poverty in coffee growing areas. I also use their organic fair trade cane sugar which tastes a heck of a lot better than the so-called 'plantation sugar' of sugar corporations.

My chocolate choice is currently Denman Island's Cocoa Loco with 70% cocoa mass that I picked up on the ferry over the weekend. This organic chocolate has a nice initial bite of bitterness that smooths out to a deep chocolate taste with no bitter aftertaste. One little square is all the dessert I need. This is one bar for savouring. Unfortunately, they don't use fair trade cocoa so I'm going to have to keep investigating.

I'm also on the hunt for local vinegars. I have a few leads and will get back with any updates.

So, now onto my 100 Mile Diet meals for today:

Breakfast: Local Red Haven peach and a wedge of melon (honeydew?) from the Nanoose Edibles farm stand cut in half with a dollop of Little Qualicum Cheesework's fromage frais (natural) and a drizzle of some local fir honey. Fir honey is so yummy. It's a dark brown honey with green tones. It's taste is mild and has a darker taste than lighter honey. And a bodum of coffee, of course.

Lunch: I had a bowl of beets leftover from dinner yesterday. They were the one's I picked up from the Duncan farmer's market. I also had a bunch of local organic beans and some romaine lettuce from my Nanoose Edible's weekly produce box. Along with some sliced carrots, again from Duncan, I made up a quick salad. I doused it with my Black Sesame Asian dressing (completely not within the 100 mile criteria, oh well). I had a small wedge of Natural Pasture's Wasabi cheese and a Paula Rose apple from Gabriola Island for dessert.

Black Sesame Asian dressing:
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup veg. oil
1/4 cup crushed black sesame seeds (either whirl in your grinder or a smashing in the mortar and pestle)
1 tsp of freshly grated ginger
pinch of salt
1/8 tsp of white pepper

Dump all ingredients into a jar. Screw on lid. Shake and serve. It keeps in the fridge for a couple of days. This is super good with a slaw or as a flavour booster in soups and stir-fries.

After running errands earlier this afternoon, I popped over to Piper's Meats on Bowen Road to pick up some flesh. Piper's carries a whole shop full of locally raised, non-medicated, non-hormoned meats. There's everything from local lamb to local buffalo. I picked up a nice looking top sirloin steak to serve as my main protein source for the week.

Once I got home, I popped the steak into a glass dish and squirted a fig balsamic vinagrette and some chopped red chili pepper from the garden onto it. The vinegar I picked up a few weeks back at the Gabriola farmer's market from Jocelyne of Auld Alliance Farm. Along with a fig balsamic vinegar, I also picked up a chocolate balsamic vinegar and a fig chutney from her vast and growing line of vinegars and condiments. I know, not neccesarily within the 100 mile criteria but at least I was buying it from a local producer and the figs are from her property.

As the steak marinated in the fridge, I had to step out for a short errand...

After returning from what was supposed to be a short errand that got hijacked by miscommunication and a spontaneous wander down to Departure Bay beach and a wonderful return wander into the arms of an almost full, heavy moon, I was grateful that I had a fridge of waiting produce and a marinating chunk of flesh. Already too dark to bbq, I broiled the steak. I pulled off a few large romaine leafs, sliced off the thick stems and plopped some leftover Indonesian rice salad into the middle of the overlapping leaves.
The rice salad is the one from Moosewood's cookbook with a few local substitutions. For the veggie ingredients for the rice salad I tossed in some local green beans, carrots, cucumbers, zucchinis, red peppers, sprouts and red onion, all either from the Nanoose Edible's produce box or from the Duncan farmer's market.

Once the steak was cooked, I let it sit for 10 mins then sliced off a few thin slices and placed them ontop of the pile of rice salad. I then rolled the lettuce leaves over it all so it looked like a green burrito. To top it off, I squirted more fig balsamic vinagrette. A slice of Hilary's Cheese Company's Red Dawn and a sliced tomato from my garden served as my second course. Dessert was a square of my chocolate bar and a cup of mint tea with mint from my garden. Simply stuff a bunch of mint leaves into a sturdy mug. Crush the leaves a bit with the handle of a big wooden spoon and pour boiling hot water over it all. Viola!

Well, it's now tomorrow so good morning and good night all.

Jen Lam

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