I'm taking a slightly less obsessive approach to the Eat Local Challenge this year. Or at least I'm trying. Last year a few Co-op staff members gave it 110% and ate predominately local from June 1-Sept. 15.
Staring at the avocado, mango, and almond milk in my pantry right now, I'm astonished that I was able to do the challenge for so long. I think there are some normal stages a person goes through in the process of doing the Eat Local Challenge- And I'm starting right back at the beginning. There's the the excited, motivated stage. Then there's the grieving stage (Otherwise known as the "WTF! I though my favorite ___was local" stage). Then complacency. Then self-righteousness. Then a little boredom and the realization that it's not so hard to eat local. Or maybe it's just me that gets emotions all tangled up with my food choices...
Anyways, even though I knew that today was the first day of the challenge, I didn't really prepare. I ate leftover mashed potatoes for breakfast- the potatoes weren't local. And I finished off the last of my PB Chocolate Zigzag ice cream so I would have to make my own local ice cream later.
Luckily, my eating habits improved later in the day!
A Green Bean Meal
The toasted sunflower seeds give this dish extra protein and a nutty flavor that complements the bright vinegar. The seeds, beans, garlic, and herbs are all local. I used a lemongrass infused olive oil that I made last year, but regular olive oil would work well.
4 Tbsp. raw sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 pound fresh green beans (I used a wax, purple, and green mixture)
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 handful fresh dill, chopped
1 handful fresh basil, thinly sliced
Splash of white wine vinegar
salt and fresh black pepper to taste
In a dry cast iron skillet, toast the raw sunflower seeds until golden and fragrant. Set seeds aside. Heat oil in the same skillet over med/high heat. Add the green beans and stir frequently while cooking. It's nice if some of the beans get seared, but you just want to keep most of them crunchy. Add the garlic and cook just 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat and add fresh herbs, sunflower seeds, and a splash of vinegar (maybe 1-2 Tbsp.). Finish with a generous dose of fresh cracked black pepper and a fine sea salt.