Just Label It Hearings In Normal, Il Update-What You Can Do To Make GE Labeling The Law!

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Posted: June 30, 2013 at 8:17 pm

LetMeDecide_SQ-Main-300x250This is an update to the current debate and commitment to getting a GE Labeling bill passed in Illinois. State Senator Dave Koehler D-Peoria introduced Bill 1666 to the State Legislature and has sponsored a series of hearings this summer to bring the issue to the public. The first one just took place in Normal, Il, the next one is in Carbondale on August 7 and the final one is in Chicago on September 17th. This is a recap of the meeting in Normal and what is next.

For a perspective on this issue, 64 other countries in this world require GE Labeling.  In her remarks during the hearing in Normal, speaking in support of labeling, Hailey Golds, field director for Illinois Public Interest Research Group, said failure to label costs farmers and the U.S. economy hundreds of millions of dollars in lost exports to countries that require labeling.  Just recently, the discovery of unapproved GE wheat in a field in Oregon resulted in Japan’s cancellation of U.S. wheat orders.

Two local Peoria media outlets attended and reported on the details of the hearings, The Peoria Story and The Prairie Advocate. Both reports have the details on who attended, a recap of the hearings and links to what GE Labeling is all about.

To me the most poignant speaker and information that came from the hearings as reported by the Peoria Story are the comments of distinguished emeritus professor of molecular genetics at ISU, Herman Brockman, who was met with repeated applause during his testimony in favor of labeling. Brockman said labeling gives people freedom of choice, “a bedrock and precious freedom.” For further detail on his testimony go to both sources for more commentary.

Food and Water Watch has created a flyer with more information about the next hearing and what you as an individual can do.

GE Labeling Hearing #2 Flyer

Here is a link to my last post on the Beet. If you would like to get actively involved in the campaign to see that this bill gets passed, contact Jessica Fujan at Food and Water Watch,  jfujan@fwwatch.org

You have a chance to make a difference, companies like Chipotle are taking this issue seriously and have acted, make your voice heard and show that you care about the food that you eat!

 

 




Local Calendar 6/26/13 Greens in The City, Night Markets Oh My, Come Grow With The Plant

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Posted: June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm

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                                                                                                THE LOCAL CALENDAR

Growing PowerBlackberries2-224x300Cavalliercherries

It is fun to see the progress of the greens growing at the Chicago Lights Growing Power Urban Farm on Chicago Avenue where I have a market share. To think that the farm is less than a half mile away from the John Hancock Building and the Mag Mile is pretty amazing and it’s down the street from Farmhouse Restaurant.

The bounty of the summer markets continues to get better, carrots, cherries, beets, raspberries, and lots of different greens. However, all this great produce won’t stay around forever. A way to extend eating local into the winter months is to preserve and can what you see at the market now. Come to the Green City Market this Saturday to learn how! The GCM Junior Board will host three canning demonstrations this summer featuring some of your favorite chefs. Thanks to a generous sponsorship from Ball Jar, you may also walk away with many of the materials you need to get started! Who better to lead the first one this Saturday at 11am? Chef Paul Virant Canning demos are free of charge and open to the public. Subsequent demonstrations will be on July 27 and August 24.

The Green City Market BBQ is Thursday July 18. You will have a chance to see your favorite chef because there is such incredible support for the event from the Chicago restaurant community and you will not go home hungry. This video gives you a glimpse as to what it is about but sorry no smellavision available. The Chicago Gourmet Festival, the weekend in September (9/27/-9/29) where Chicago is Ground Zero for the culinary world in the US and abroad has already sold out its early bird tickets. You had really better buy your tickets now!

Our full list of area markets can be found here. There are some well written, highly informative market letters and farmers blogs you can access. A few include Terra Brockman’s commentary every week from Brockman Family Farms, Connie Spreen’s weekly market letter for the 61st Market, Farmer Vicky of Genesis Farms is now blogging and Prairie Fruit Farms has a monthly newsletter filled with all sorts of cheesy tidbitsFood Day Chicago (Oct. 24) has now moved on to asparagus for their Eat Real Chicago vegetable of the month.  Check out their Facebook page.

The Local Calendar never stops, check out the opening of Plum Market in Old Town today and the new night market in Logan Square today and Argyle St. tomorrow, stop by The Plant on Thursday for their Come Grow With Us event, learn how to can at Chef Paul Virant’s class at the Green City Market on Saturday, and get to the markets!

June 26

Andersonville- Andersonville Farmers Market opens 3-8pm (6/5-9/4) On Berwyn between Clark and Ashland

Chicago – Plum Market Grand Opening 1233 North Wells Old Town’s newest neighborhood grocery destination- 9am The grand opening ceremony includes a celebratory toast, free coffee at the new Intelligentsia until 11am, and free tote bags to the first 500 guests who sign up for a myRewards card.

Chicago - Uncommon Ground Death’s Door Tasting Dinner - 6:30pm 1401 West Devon You will start the night with a lovely reception cocktail then head upstairs to get a unique viewing and tour of America’s First Urban Rooftop Organic Farm. The evening will proceed downstairs with a 3 course meal designed by Executive Chef Evan Rondeau focusing on spring bounty from local and organic farms. Each course will be complimented by a craft cocktail created by their team of mixologists.

Chicago - Logan Square Night Market kicks off today – Palmer and Kedzie in Palmer Park 5pm – 9pm weekly through September 4th. When I think of Night Markets I think of Taipei and snakes, monkey brains and eels. Well, now Chicago has its own night markets, tonight in Logan Square and tomorrow on Argyle St. What will be there? There is only one answer, go yourself and check it out!

Chicago - Wednesdays at Wood Street - Growing Home Wood Street Farm Stand 11am – 4pm 5814 S. Wood St.

Chicago - Green City Market Lincoln Park Location 7am – 1pm Chef demonstration Bruce Sherman North Pond Restaurant 10:30am – 11:30am

Chicago – Wine Wednesdays at Province – Seasonal farm to table 5 course tasting menu. 159 North Jefferson A Gold level LEED certified restaurant with 3 stars from the Green Restaurant Association.

June 27

Chicago - Come Grow With Us At The Plant -  6:00pm-9:00pm The Plant 1400 West 46th Street Proceeds from the event will support its mission to promote closed-loop food production and sustainable economic development through education and research. The event will also include: a casual meal by Pleasant House Bakery, with ingredients grown on-site, guided tours of the facilities, discussions with their fantastic growers, shared remarks from founder and Executive Director John Edel. Advance tickets are available for $75 each or $90 at the door.

Chicago - Argyle Night Market kicks off today – Argyle and Broadway 5pm – 9pm weekly through September 5th

Chicago - Eli’s Cheesecake & Wright College’s Farmer Markets  7am!  Fresh fruits and vegetables from Nichol’s Farm and the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences, as well as hand crafts, flowers, and more will be available for purchase. FREE Continental Breakfast from 7am – 9am with $5 market purchase. Lunch on the Grill will be served from 11am – 1pm.  Free Sustainable Agriculture Lecture, given by Lee Greene, Founder of Scrumptious pantry. 1:00pm. All agriculture lectures open to the public, no reservations required

Chicago - Daley Center Farmers Market - Market will run May 16th through October 31. There are now microgreens and wheat grass sold by Alex Poltorak of The Urban Canopy and Seasons Soda is there as well!

Chicago – Uptown Market Uptown Farmers’ Market is year round. Every Thursday from 7-1 inside Weiss Memorial Hospital or in the parking lot during the warmer months. 4646 N Marine Drive This is an appropriate day to stock up on Spark of the Heart Soups

June 29

Champaign, Il – -  Prairie Fruit Farms Summer Vegetarian 4pm Thad Morrow, chef/owner of Bacaro, Champaign is back for another season. He will be making the trek from Bacaro, in downtown Champaign, across town and out into the country! His SUV will be packed with lots of early summer vegetables. $107

Chicago - Let’s Get Canned: A Honey History of Preserving.  Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance 10am  Kendall College Sherry Brooks Vinton author of Put ‘em Up! Fruit  will discuss the history of home canning and share a number of tips on today’s best practices for putting away seasonal foods.

Chicago - 2013 Hunger Walk  7am Care for Real at Soldier Field as we fight hunger by participating in the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s (GCFD) 28th Annual Hunger Walk. The walk steps off at 8:30 on the 29th and is a 5K (3.1 Mile) from Soldier Field to 31st street and back. The event is important to Care for Real as the funds are a vital part of our efforts to provide food to the thousands who turn to us in a time of need.

Chicago 61st Farmers Market -  9am – 2pm During the outdoor season, which lasts through the end of October, the Market is located on 61st Street between Dorchester and Blackstone Avenues. The 61st Street Farmers Market accepts LINK and Senior Farmers Market Coupons. They also match LINK purchases up to $25 per cardholder, per market day, as long as funding lasts.

Chicago Green City Market Lincoln Park 7am – 1pm Swing by for the canning demo at 10am with Chef Paul Virant. Chef demonstration Bryan Moscatello of Storefront Company.

Chicago - Iron Street Farm Stand - 9am – 3pm 3333 S. Iron St.

Evanston - Downtown Evanston Farmers Market - This market will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday through November 2.  Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (behind Hilton Garden Inn, east of East Railroad Ave.) In 2013, the market celebrate its 38th year.

Morton Grove - Morton Grove Farmers Market opens!! (6/8-10/19) 8am – 12pm  - 6210 Dempster St

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market - The market will run every Saturday through 10/26/13 7am – 1pm Pilgrim Church, right next door to where the market is held, offers fresh warm donuts, juice and coffee, with live bluegrass music nearby. The Oak Park Farmers’ Market is located at 460 Lake St., just one block west of Ridgeland Avenue.

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market Outdoors 9am -12pm

June 30

Chicago - Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market It is the 4th anniversary for the market and runs until October 27, 2013.  The Outdoor Market is located Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park. Hours are 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sundays

Chicago - Logan Square Outdoor Market 10am–3pm Logan Blvd between Whipple and Milwaukee Ave; May 19–Oct 27

Chicago - Pilsen Community Market -9am–3pm  1800 S Halsted St Chicago Community Bank parking lot

Rochester - Illinois Stewardship Alliance Summer Shindig Veenstra’s Vegetables - 2-5pm 6130 New City Road - The afternoon will be filled with great company, delicious food and drink from local producers and chefs and some awesome music from local Springfield band Square of the Root. We even have our own custom cocktail for the event, comprised of Absolute Hibiscus Vodka, strawberry syrup, lemon juice, cranberry juice and rose water.

SAVE THE DATE

July 5

Chicago - Susan Werner’s HAYSEED Debut at City Winery Chicago 8pm Doors open at 6pm Edible Chicago magazine is giving away TWO FREE TICKETS courtesy of City Winery! Become an Edible Chicago Facebook fan today,  June 28 through July 3 and you could WIN! Drawing will be held July 3 and winner will be announced on Edible Chicago’s Facebook page. If you’re already a Facebook fan, emails them your name for entry at: events@ediblechicago.com. Free copies of the latest Edible Chicago will be available at the concert

July 7

Chicago – Print to The Future – 2-5pm Revolution Brewing 2323 North Milwaukee Is print dead—or just transforming into something new? Join Graze magazine and a panel of media experts to explore the fate of print publishing. Moderator Alison Cuddy, Arts and Culture Reporter, WBEZ Panelists Joe Erbentraut, Editor, Huffington Post  Ed Marszewski, Publisher, Proximity, Lumpen, and Mash Tun, Mara Shalhoup, Editor-in-chief, Chicago Reader Charles Whitaker, Professor, Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University Your ticket includes the two-part discussion, your fill of five of Revolution Brewery’s locally crafted beers, and appetizers.

July 13

Champaign -  Prairie Fruit Farms - – Big Grove Tavern “Local Comfort Farm” SOLD OUT

Chicago – Goose and Fox Sustainable Sushi Dinner - They’ve decided to throw a series of monthly dinners, each one focusing on Locally sourced ingredients and a playful theme. As well as our some great stuff from chef’s garden, produce will be provided by: Nichols Farm, Marengo, Illinois, River Valley Ranch, Burlington Wisconsin, Growing Power, Chicago, Illinois, Jake’s Country Meats, Cassopolis, Illinois, Klug Farms, St. Joseph, Michigan, Prairie Fruits Farm, Champaign, Illinois, Urban Canopy, Chicago, Illinois

 July 18

Chicago – The Locavore’s Real Taste of Chicago - The Green City Market BBQ Tickets on sale now!

Chicago – Urban Chicken Healthcare Workshop - Sponsored by Angelic Organics 6:30pm – 8:30pm

July 21

Stelle - Mint Creek Brunch and Farm Tour with Guest Chef Victor Morenz of Home Bistro.

July 27

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms - “Greek Feast” SOLD OUT

August 3

Caledonia – Angelic Organics Peak Harvest Dinner – (with transportation from Balena Restaurant in Chicago) – 5-8pm Chef Paul Virant of Vie and Perennial Virant Chris Pandel of The Bristol and Balena Paul Fehribach of Big Jones Jason Hammel of Lula Cafe   Scott Manley of Table, Donkey and Stick Johnny Anderes of Reno and Telegraph Featuring beer & cocktails by New Holland Brewery and cocktails by Koval  -

August 7

Carbondale – Let Me Decide! Public Hearings to Label GE Foods in Illinois 12pm Southern Illinois University

August 10

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms - Jared Van Camp “Downstate Reunion” SOLD OUT

Stelle - Mint Creek Farm Tour and Dinner with the Ritz-Carlton’s Mark Payne

August 14

Chicago - Taste of the Nation - Returning for the third time to the historic Grand Ballroom and east lakeside plaza on Chicago’s Navy Pier! Join event chair R.J. Melman (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) and nearly 100 of Chicago’s most innovative and renowned chefs and mixologists as we gather together to end childhood hunger in Illinois and America.

August 24

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms – “Fiesta Mexicana” SOLD OUT

September 27-29

Chicago Gourmet - A celebration of food and wine. Chicago becomes Ground Zero for the culinary world during this weekend. This will sell out.

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

Dill Pickle Food Co-op – 3039 West Fullerton, Chicago

Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Watch this fantastic video about GMOs, sourcing local and see what you are missing if you don’t shop at the GG.

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago

Sharpening By Dave  - Green City Market and other locations throughout Chicagoland. If you want to eat local, you need to have sharp knives to prepare the produce!!  Let Dave know that you read about him in the Local Beet and you will get one dollar off each knife sharpened. 

 Area resources for local food initiatives, workshop, classes:

Advocates for Urban Agriculture

Angelic Organics

Edible Evanston

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

The Peterson Garden Project

WeFarmAmerica

 This Week’s Local Calendar sponsored by Vie Restaurnt

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Weekly Harvest Goes Back to New Orleans

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Posted: June 25, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Eat Local Challenge and Other Locavore Links

 

You know we’re a big fan of the Chicago food swaps organized by Beet contributor Emily Paster, and we’re big fans of Chicago food swap reports like this one.

This week’s eat local New Orleans report.

Need to eat local Dallas?

Eat your weeds.

The 30 mile diet?

Who’s afraid of Meatless Mondays?




East Peoria Farmers Market will open today for its second season.

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Posted: June 21, 2013 at 4:56 pm

Koehler

State Senator Dave Koehler (left) and East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus (right) are getting ready to cut the ribbon for the opening of the East Peoria Farmers Market.

Photo: Sen. Koehler

State Senator Dave Koehler (D) 46th will be on hand today, June 21st, when the  East Peoria Farmers Market will open for its second season. According to the City of East Peoria website:

“A variety of locally produced products will be featured at the East Peoria Farmer’s Market, which will be held weekly on Fridays from 3 until 6 p.m. June 21 until Sept. 27. Now in its second year, the 2013 farmer’s market will be located in The Levee District downtown area on the pedestrian promenade. Items available will include produce, fruit, wine, pita chips and other baked goods. Everything will be Midwest-grown and regionally produced.”

Senator Koehler has been passionate in supporting the agricultural community and the local food movement. He has greatly supported small farmers who are are looking to sell their crops to local markets and to be more sustainable.  He has helped get a law passed that helped connect schools with local farms to teach children about where their food is grown, and he was instrumental in the passing of the Illinois Cottage Food Bill.

http://www.cityofeastpeoria.com/current-events/east-peoria-farmers-market/

http://www.senatordavekoehler.com/

http://centralillinoisproud.com/fulltext?nxd_id=332722




Farm-to-Taco at Takito Kitchen

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Posted: June 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm

The latest taco spot in tortilla-happy Wicker Park, Takito Kitchen sets itself apart from the fray by grounding their Mexican-inspired menu in local ingredients. It’s Mexico by way of Chicago, with dexterous chef David Dworshak fusing the two seamlessly and deliciously. I’m more than a little bit taco obsessed, which is perhaps partly why some stranger recently took a photo of me and blasted around the interwebs calling me the “ultimate hipster.” I would gladly eat tacos everyday if that was more socially appropriate, and I can never have too many taco-centric restaurants. So when Takito Kitchen opened its doors recently, promising a more chef-driven approach to the art of tortilla-friendly cuisine, I was eager to check it out. And then they debuted farm-to-table prix fixe dinners, wherein monthly specials featuring particular farm-fresh ingredients are organized in a three-course degustation on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. It’s a tasty foray into the world of Takito Kitchen, sampling a variety of dishes and getting to the root of what the restaurant is all about. At the end of the prix fixe, it’s very clear that Takito is not like your average Wicker Park hipster haunt.

photo 3

(Pork in a banana leaf with snap peas, goat cheese, radish, olives, and cilantro)

Right away, the restaurant makes it very apparent they’ve got grander ambitions than no-frills tacos and guacamole. The tiny open kitchen is lined with jars of pickles, with a tiny herb garden by the expediting station for garnishes. Some of the most prevalent farms featured on the menu are Brunkow, used for cheese in tacos and on salads; Three Sisters Farm, used for polenta and incorporated into masa dough for tortillas; Mick Klug Farm for fruits and vegetables; Genesis Growers for dried chiles; and Urban Till, used exclusively for greens and herbs. The prix fixe is the ideal way to experience this breadth of farm sourcing, available for $35 per person through September.

My recent farm-to-table meal at Takito Kitchen was strawberry-themed. The luscious berries are at their seasonal apex, woven throughout the menu in multiple iterations, making my dinner brighter than Dorothy’s ruby slippers. I started things off with their seasonal margarita. Takito sports an impressive margarita menu, and like the prix fixe, their seasonal option changes often to showcase the freshest farm picks. The tipple of the night was a strawberry margarita, as lustrous as a Miami Vice and as luscious as a bowl of fruit punch. Dinner began with an ambrosial salad brimming with more green (mustard spinach and asparagus) and red (strawberries) than a Christmas tree, spiced with chile-ramp vinaigrette, and flecked with slivers of cheddar and crunchy niblets of sweet freeze-dried corn. For the main, Maple Creek Farm pork was cooked inside a banana leaf until so tender it fell apart just by looking at it. Steamed with chiles and onions, the piquant medley was prime for shoveling into warm tortillas and mouths. The perfect counterpoint to all that fatty, spicy meat is the dainty side salad of goat cheese, snap peas, sliced radishes, olives, and cilantro. Dessert was a real stunner; a rhubarb flan speckled with strawberries and mint. The texture on the flan was sublime, smooth as silk and denser than the typically eggy, soufflé-like flans too often found on Mexican menus.

photo 4

(Rhubarb flan with strawberries and mint)

It’s not every day you stumble upon a taqueria serving prix fixe menus. Granted, Takito Kitchen is a lot more ambitious than a taqueria, but it’s still an impressive feat to see a tortilla-centric restaurant take farm-to-taco cuisine so seriously.

Takito Kitchen 2013 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622 773-687-9620 and http://www.takitokitchen.com/




Check-In at the Daley Plaza

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Posted: June 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

It’s a funny thing. Thursday mornings would normally find me at work or tending to my way-out-west garden. But here I am at the Daley Plaza, waiting for jury duty. If you find yourself luckier than me and can buy gobs of berries, come on down. The weather is beautiful, and the strawberries and cherries smell fantastic.

 




The new brewery list continues to grow …

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Posted: June 20, 2013 at 12:21 am

Hunter'sBrewing

Hunter’s Brewing has just opened at 1535 S Calumet Rd., Chesterton, Indiana. So far, it’s drinks only in the small tap room. Justin Reisetter and Amy Gentry are the owner-brewers, working on a one-barrel system. They’re currently offering a nice variety of eight different beers.

Thanks to Dan Lehnerer, who’s getting New Oberfalz Brewing going in nearby Griffith, Indiana, for the tip.

Here’s the full article about new Chicago-area breweries.


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Chris and I Like Parsley

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Posted: June 19, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Eat Local Salsa Verde and More

 

 

parsely

One of several ways my wife made Father’s Day a very special day for me, was giving me full reign to prepare that day’s main meal. It meant not just time at the grill but time at Butcher and Larder to pick the meat.  Of course free reign did not mean absolute free reign.  That is there are always other forces at work.  In this case, the kosher-ness of my sister and brother-in-law.  I make a great pork roast on the grill.  I have the butcher cut into but not all the way off, the rib bones.  I then stuff the revealed inside with herbs and garlic (and sometimes a salty tiny fish or two) and tie it all back up for cooking.  Forbidden that idea, I wanted something else that needed herbs.  Given free reign for dinner, my dinner would center around parsley.  Centering around parsley means centering around salsa verde.

When the world gives me parsley, I give the world salsa verde.  Along with cole slaw it is my great virtuosity in the kitchen.  As with cole slaw, I never quite follow the same recipe for salsa verde, but I always, sorry for the immodesty, make salsa verde that tastes good.  Salsa verde, or green sauce, is simply a mix of herbs bound with some acid, lemon juice or vinegar both work, and a little more oil.   I like a mix of herbs especially some mint and cilantro in there, but the bulk has to be, is always, parsley.  It’s parsley because parsley takes up room.  It fills the bowl with that flavor that can best be considered herb without sending things too far in odd directions, like the way say, too much marjoram would take the sauce.  Salsa verde is like an orchestra.  The other herbs add their flourishes; additions I may use like capers, anchovies, dijon mustard, bread crumbs, lemon zest, garlic–not all at once–add their own notes, but at the end of the day, the parsley is the violins, carrying the sound. Want another salsa verde pointer. Use your knife. A lot of people, including my wife, make salsa verde with a food processor, creating a thick green emulsion. No. I think it’s way better with the texture of chopped herbs. Also, it’s better when not fully mixed, so you do get to more fully appreciate the individual herbal instruments making up your orchestra.

father's day beef

My original thought for Sunday was BBQ. I had thought of getting something like beef ribs at Butcher and Larder, beef ribs cut thick for low and slow cooking in my barrel grill. Then there was parsley. I’ve been looking for local parsley for ages. None of the vendors at Oak Park have had it since the market opened. In recent weeks, I’ve been able to stop by the Daley and Federal markets downtown. Both markets have Smits Farm, who specialize in herbs. I’ve taken home fun stuff from Smits including lemon balm, tarragon and thyme, but they’ve had no parsley. Finally, last Saturday, Vicki Westerhoff’s Genesis Growers, had it. I had my parsley and my motivation for Sunday’s meal. I explained my need to Jimmy at Butcher and Larder, and we traded meat ideas until he came up with the ideal fit of price and style, that would marry with salsa verde, something called “chuck eye” or “poor man’s prime rib.”  This was a hunk of shoulder meat cut closest to the ribs.” Since this meat came from Kristin Boe’s La Pryor farm, it featured more than enough marbling to work as a roast regardless of the spot of the cow it originated. Indeed it went well with salsa verde on Father’s Day.

Not too far after I got home from the market, I got my weekly “Sneak Peek” on the upcoming Tomato Mountain CSA box. And there it was in the list of the box’s contents. Seems, I had my parsley and I would have my parsley. Then a few days later I got the weekly newsletter.  There was Tomato Mountain Farmer Chris Covelli talking up the virtues of parsley. It’s not just an excuse for salsa verde. In fact as Chris rightly explains, it’s not just a garnish or herb, but a vegetable in its own right. To Chris (and me), parsley is a vital component to dishes, as in his pasta sauce, or as the component to the dish as in tabouli. Chris did not mention it, but I like to use parsley almost as one of the greens in a green salad. I’ll sprinkle it any where I can if given the chance.

Chris mentioned that parsley was vitamin packed. It’s more. The strong flavor of parsley is also a sign of it’s load of health promoting phytonutrients. A few weeks ago, the New York Times published a piece on how much of the nutrition has been bred out of fruits and vegetables for the sake of palatability. The article noted how much better wild plants can be for us. The article also noted an easy way to get the benefits of wild plants.

Herbs are wild plants incognito. We’ve long valued them for their intense flavors and aroma, which is why they’ve not been given a flavor makeover. Because we’ve left them well enough alone, their phytonutrient content has remained intact.

As a committed locavore, I’ve had to work hard for my beneficial parsley. It’s often not in the markets. When I do get it, the portion is often miserly, keeping me from fully indulging my parsley habits. I’m glad to report that since Chris loves parsley as much as I do, the portion that came in the CSA box was huge (see above). They’ll be a few more meals centered around salsa verde coming up for the Local Family.

*Chris owns the farm that employs my wife.




The Local Calendar 6/19/13 Meet the Market, Food Swap, Let Me Decide! Public Hearing

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Posted: June 19, 2013 at 1:14 pm

We are excited to announce that this month The Local Calendar is sponsored by Vie Restaurant in Western Springs. Vie is the place where Preservation Kitchen was born. Preserving, local, seasonal, artisanal, sustainable ingredients, everything that we love here at The Beet. Chief Beet Rob Gardner elaborates on Vie’s sponsorship here. Thank you Owner/Chef Paul Virant for supporting what we do here at The Beet and we love what comes out of the kitchen at Vie!!

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 THE LOCAL CALENDAR 

 Early JewelSnap peasKlug asparagus

In with the new and out with the old. Asparagus is dwindling on the tables but strawberries are beginning to show up in droves. Nichols Farms will have up to 25 varieties before the strawberry season is over. Some of the varietals out now are Early Glow (I wonder how it got that name), Seascape, Cabot and Cavendish. Snap and English peas, lots of greens, a few cherries, the summer harvest has started!

The first of three public hearings to engage the public in the Let Me Decide Labeling of GE Foods debate will take place in Normal, IL at ISU tomorrow. The other 2 hearings are scheduled for August 7th in Carbondale and September 17th in Chicago.

The Green City Market BBQ is Thursday July 18. It always sells out and never fails to have a bit of weather drama, be it rain or heat. One thing is definitely for sure, you will have a chance to see your favorite chef because there is such incredible support for the event from the Chicago restaurant community and you will not go home hungry. The Chicago Gourmet Festival, the weekend in September (9/27/-9/29) where Chicago is Ground Zero for the culinary world in the US and abroad has already sold out its early bird tickets. You had better buy your tickets now.

Chief Beet Rob Gardner gives you an updated rundown on what is season. Our full list of area markets can be found here. If you are interested in finding out even more about what is in season, there really are some well written, highly informative market letters and farmers blogs you can access. A few include Terra Brockman’s commentary every week from Brockman Family Farms, Connie Spreen’s weekly market letter for the 61st Market, Farmer Vicky of Genesis Farms is now blogging and Prairie Fruit Farms has a monthly newsletter filled with all sorts of cheesy tidbits! Food Day Chicago (Oct. 24) has now moved on to asparagus for their Eat Real Chicago vegetable of the month.  Check out their Facebook page and “like” it while you are there!

The Local Calendar never stops, a lot going on this week including Green City Markets “Meet The Market” event at Table, Donkey and Stick on Thursday, Growing Power’s Summer Solstice BBQ on Friday and the monthly Chicago Food Swap at Gallery 1028 on Sunday.

June 19

Andersonville- Andersonville Farmers Market opens 3-8pm (6/5-9/4) On Berwyn between Clark and Ashland

Chicago – BioCheers! 6pm  Millennium Park Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Music by Pink Martini as part of the Grant Park Music Festival.Meet at the southeast corner of the lawn. Look for our sign.

Chicago - Wednesdays at Wood Street - Growing Home Wood Street Farm Stand 11am – 4pm 5814 S. Wood St.

Chicago - Green City Market Lincoln Park Location 7am – 1pm Chef demonstration 10:30am – 11:30am

Chicago – Wine Wednesdays at Province – Seasonal farm to table 5 course tasting menu with pairings $49 159 North Jefferson A Gold level LEED certified restaurant with 3 stars from the Green Restaurant Association.

June 20

Chicago - Meet The Market at Table, Donkey and Stick 6-8pm 2728 West Armitage Free admission. Proceeds from cocktail sales will be donated to Green City Market’s youth education programs: Club Sprouts and The Edible Gardens.

Chicago - Taste of the Great Lakes - 6-9pm Columbia Yacht Club The annual fundraiser for the Alliance For the Great Lakes Tickets

Chicago - Eli’s Cheesecake & Wright College’s Farmer Markets  7am!  Fresh fruits and vegetables from Nichol’s Farm and the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences, as well as hand crafts, flowers, and more will be available for purchase. FREE Continental Breakfast from 7am – 9am with $5 market purchase. Lunch on the Grill will be served from 11am – 1pm. For more details, contact Kathy at kkirby@elicheesecake.com or call (773) 308- 7000.

Chicago - Daley Center Farmers Market - Market will run May 16th through October 31. There are now microgreens and wheat grass sold by Alex Poltorak of The Urban Canopy and Seasons Soda is there as well!

Chicago – Uptown Market Uptown Farmers’ Market is year round. Every Thursday from 7-1 inside Weiss Memorial Hospital or in the parking lot during the warmer months. 4646 N Marine Drive This is an appropriate day to stock up on Spark of the Heart Soups

Hyde Park - C & D Family Farm delivers 7-11am Harold Washington Park

Normal – Let Me Decide! Public Hearings 10am – 12pm Bone Student Center ISU The Illinois Senate is hosting 3 hearings where defenders of our right to know will take the stage against GMO labeling opponents. The outcome of these hearings will determine whether Genetically Engineered foods are labeled in Illinois.

June 21

Chicago - Growing Power Summer Solstice BBQ - 5-8pm  Growing Power Chicago 3333 S. Iron Street Come celebrate the beginning of Summer! Growing Power Chicago has a lot to celebrate this season — 11 years of growing delicious produce in Chicago, their two year anniversary at Iron Street, and the launch of the City wide Farmers for Chicago Program at their new South Chicago Farm. Join them to eat scrumptious BBQ, drink local brew and lemonade, and come hang out with the GP Chicago Crew. For our vegan and vegetarian friends, don’t fret! We believe in equal opportunity BBQ — they’ve  got you covered. $25 PLEASE RSVP by calling 773.376.8882

Chicago - CigarBQue -  6:30 – 9:30 pm Beyond Design 4515 North Ravenswood Avenue Join chefs, Rick Gresh, Cleetus Friedman and Giuseppe Tentori for an intimate evening of fine cigars, food prepared by some of the country’s best chefs, beer, wine and cocktails by master mixologists. This is an outdoor smoking event; there is no designated non-smoking area. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Cigar Family Charity Foundation$150 per person

June 22

Chicago 61st Farmers Market -  9am – 2pm During the outdoor season, which lasts through the end of October, the Market is located on 61st Street between Dorchester and Blackstone Avenues. The 61st Street Farmers Market accepts LINK and Senior Farmers Market Coupons. They also match LINK purchases up to $25 per cardholder, per market day, as long as funding lasts.

Chicago Green City Market Lincoln Park 7am – 1pm

Chicago - Iron Street Farm Stand - 9am – 3pm 3333 S. Iron St.

Evanston - Downtown Evanston Farmers Market - This market will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday through November 2. Location: Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (behind Hilton Garden Inn, east of East Railroad Ave.) In 2013, the market will celebrate its 38th year.

Morton Grove - Morton Grove Farmers Market opens!! (6/8-10/19) 8am – 12pm  - 6210 Dempster St

La Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market - The market will run every Saturday through 10/26/13 7am – 1pm Pilgrim Church, right next door to where the market is held, offers fresh warm donuts, juice and coffee, with live bluegrass music nearby. The Oak Park Farmers’ Market is located at 460 Lake St., just one block west of Ridgeland Avenue.

Stelle – Mint Creek Farm Tour and Dinner with guest chef Mark Lake

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market Outdoors 9am -12pm

June 23

Chicago - Chicago Food Swap  2:30 Gallery 1028 1028 North Hooker St. Check out their Facebook page for all the details.

Chicago - Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market It is the 4th anniversary for the market and runs until October 27, 2013.  The Outdoor Market is located Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park. Hours are 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sundays

Chicago - Logan Square Outdoor Market 10am–3pm Logan Blvd between Whipple and Milwaukee Ave; May 19–Oct 27

Chicago - Pilsen Community Market -9am–3pm  1800 S Halsted St Chicago Community Bank parking lot

June 25

Chicago - The Stew Supper Club presents “A Smoked Supper”  7pm $45 Unfortunately this is Sold Out!

SAVE THE DATE

June 26

Chicago – Uncommon Ground Death’s Door Tasting Dinner – 6:30pm 1401 West Devon You will start the night with a lovely reception cocktail that embodies the late spring aromas and flavors, heading upstairs to get a unique viewing and tour of America’s First Urban Rooftop Organic Farm. After you quench your mind with knowledge and view the splendor of the day’s harvest, you will head downstairs to their classic 1920′s style bar. The evening will proceed with a 3 course meal designed by Executive Chef Evan Rondeau focusing on spring bounty from local and organic farms. Each course will be complimented by a craft cocktail created by their team of mixologists.

Chicago - Logan Square Night Market kicks off today – Palmer and Kedzie in Palmer Park 5pm – 9pm weekly through September 4th.

June 27

Chicago - Come Grow With Us At The Plant -  6:00pm-9:00pm The Plant 1400 West 46th Street Proceeds from the event will support its mission to promote closed-loop food production and sustainable economic development through education and research. The event will also include: a casual meal by Pleasant House Bakery, with ingredients grown on-site, guided tours of the facilities, discussions with their fantastic growers, shared remarks from founder and Executive Director John Edel. Advance tickets are available for $75 each or $90 at the door.

Chicago - Argyle Night Market kicks off today – Argyle and Broadway 5pm – 9pm weekly through September 5th

June 29

Champaign, Il – -  Prairie Fruit Farms Summer Vegetarian 4pm Thad Morrow, chef/owner of Bacaro, Champaign is back for another season. He will be making the trek from Bacaro, in downtown Champaign, across town and out into the country! His SUV will be packed with lots of early summer vegetables. $107

Chicago - Let’s Get Canned: A Honey History of Preserving.  Sherry Brooks Vinton
author of Put ‘em Up! Fruit  will discuss the history of home canning and share a number of tips on today’s best practices for putting away seasonal foods.

Chicago - 2013 Hunger Walk  7am Care for Real at Soldier Field as we fight hunger by participating in the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s (GCFD) 28th Annual Hunger Walk. The walk steps off at 8:30 on the 29th and is a 5K (3.1 Mile) from Soldier Field to 31st street and back. The event is important to Care for Real as the funds are a vital part of our efforts to provide food to the thousands who turn to us in a time of need.

June 30

Rochester – Illinois Stewardship Alliance - Summer Shindig Veenstra’s Vegetables – 2-5pm 6130 New City Road - The afternoon will be filled with great company, delicious food and drink from local producers and chefs and some awesome music from local Springfield band Square of the Root. We even have our own custom cocktail for the event, comprised of Absolute Hibiscus Vodka, strawberry syrup, lemon juice, cranberry juice and rose water.

July 13

Champaign -  Prairie Fruit Farms - – Big Grove Tavern “Local Comfort Farm” SOLD OUT

July 18

Chicago – The Locavore’s Real Taste of Chicago - The Green City Market BBQ Tickets on sale now!

Some sites to check out for further detail on sustainable food/urban ag are the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (get their policy updates here) out of Springfield and the Advocates for Urban Agriculture who is having their spring gath  WeFarmAmerica has tons of weekly events and The Peterson Garden Project  has lots of information for the urban gardener.

July 21

Stelle – Mint Creek Brunch and Farm Tour with Guest Chef Victor Morenz of Home Bistro.

July 27

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms - “Greek Feast” SOLD OUT

August 10

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms - Jared Van Camp “Downstate Reunion” SOLD OUT

Stelle - Mint Creek Farm Tour and Dinner with the Ritz-Carlton’s Mark Payne

August 14

Chicago - Taste of the Nation - Returning for the third time to the historic Grand Ballroom and east lakeside plaza on Chicago’s Navy Pier! Join event chair R.J. Melman (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) and nearly 100 of Chicago’s most innovative and renowned chefs and mixologists as we gather together to end childhood hunger in Illinois and America.

August 24

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms – “Fiesta Mexicana” SOLD OUT

September 27-29

Chicago Gourmet - A celebration of food and wine. Chicago becomes Ground Zero for the culinary world during this weekend. This will sell out.

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

Dill Pickle Food Co-op – 3039 West Fullerton, Chicago

Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Watch this fantastic video about GMOs, sourcing local and see what you are missing if you don’t shop at the GG.

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago

Sharpening By Dave  - Green City Market and other locations throughout Chicagoland. If you want to eat local, you need to have sharp knives to prepare the produce!!  Let Dave know that you read about him in the Local Beet and you will get one dollar off each knife sharpened. 

 Area resources for local food initiatives, workshop, classes:

Advocates for Urban Agriculture

Edible Evanston

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

The Peterson Garden Project

WeFarmAmerica

 This Week’s Local Calendar sponsored by Vie Restaurnt

Vie Logo




A Very Happy Meal at Indie Burger

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Posted: June 19, 2013 at 10:50 am

Satisfying My Burger Tooth

burger

In a fast-food world, Indie Burger is a breath of farm-fresh air. I have a rather serious burger tooth, and my favorite type of burger is the thin, griddled variety that doesn’t require me to unhinge my jaw to take a bite, adjoined by an unruly mound of thin french fries. Indie Burger begs the inevitable comparison to other similar concepts such as Epic Burger and M Burger, both of which I haunt like a ghost, so I was eager to check another burger place off my list. Little did I know how serious Indie Burger is about local and organic sourcing, and how ridiculously tasty their food is.

Plenty of fast casual restaurants talk the talk about organic and local sourcing, but this is one place that walks the walk as well. Not only are the ingredients top-tier, but the food is as deliciously finger-licking as the most guilt-inducing fast-food restaurant, with the added bonus of not making you hate yourself once you’re done. Upon dining here, I got to chat a little bit with the owner, Cyrus Rab, and learned more about the concept and ideology. Turns out, the place was inspired by Rab’s young son Jonah.

Due to his egg and nut allergies, he is unable to dine at most fast casual restaurants, as they often use egg as filler, not to mention the use of low-quality ingredients, chemicals, and preservatives. Here’s an example that will keep you up at night: a McNugget has more than 30 ingredients and is more than half corn. So Indie Burger was born as a haven for allergy-restricted eaters as well as those just looking for healthier alternatives to the chemical-laden laboratory-esque restaurants. While maintaining affordable prices and a sleek fast-food business model, Indie Burger strictly adheres to the highest quality products, and it shows in every bite and sip.

The restaurant uses certified organic grass-fed beef from Black Wing Meats in Antioch, Illinois, for its burgers, along with organic farm-reared chicken, milk, ice cream, and juices. Most vegetables and sodas are certified organic as well, the latter sweetened with cane sugar or agave nectar. Baked items, such as buns, are specially baked for Indie Burger at local organic Biondillo Bakery. That’s a lot of organic. In some cases, when restaurants bandy the word “organic” around, it starts to lose its luster and the food falls short of the high expectations, but not here. The burgers are some of the best quick service versions I’ve had, and I’ve had an embarrassing amount.

Patties are loosely hand-formed, garnering crispy edges when cooked on the griddle, imbued with a rich, innately beefy flavor. The signature Indie Burger is a 1/3-pound patty topped with grilled onions, Swiss cheese, and Indie sauce, which is a vibrant “secret” sauce that won’t make you feel like you’re eating a science experiment. Fries and onion rings are cooked in rice bran oil, providing a healthier but no less ravenous alternative to the typical grease bombs, somewhat negated by the fact that you’re bound to eat an entire plate. The onion rings are particularly revelatory, heaped on a plate like a pile of hula hoops, encased in a thin shell as crisp as deep-fried stained glass. I didn’t partake in the children’s menu, but it’s worth noting that Indie Burger has a distinguished one, featuring an organic grass-fed burger, an organic hot dog, and a grilled cheese sandwich made with Wisconsin cheese. There’s even organic lollipops! I want a lollipop. Now that’s a happy meal worth smiling about.

Indie Burger

1034 West Belmont Avenue, Chicago, IL 60657

(773) 857-7777 and http://www.indieburger.com/index.php




Garlic Scape Season is Here, Get Them While They Last!

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Posted: June 18, 2013 at 8:32 am

If you have ever grown hardneck garlic you more than likely have had the long curly flower stalks known as “scapes” appear in the late spring or early summer. In botanical terminology a scape is a long flower stalk emerging from a root, rhizome, or a bulb. Although they do not produce flowers, the scapes of hardneck garlic are the reproductive structure of the garlic plant. Although most types of garlic will produce a stem, it is only the hardneck types that will produce a true scape. Garlic cultivars are not grown from seed, but from their bulbs, and have been selected to no longer produce true seeds. Thus, the garlic flowers of most cultivars are sterile but the scapes do produce “bulbils” or small garlic bulbs. These can be planted and with a few years of growing will produce full size garlic bulbs. But the best use of garlic scapes is to use them in dishes that call for a mild garlic flavor.

Garlic Scape

Garlic Scape
The Garlic Farm, West Granby, CT

I find that garlic scapes have a milder flavor than the bulbs, but just like the garlic bulb itself, the scape will vary in flavor from variety to variety. Generally if you like the bulb, you will like the scape. They can be used in stirfries, soups, pasta sauce or ground into a pesto sauce. I like to just sauté them in butter and a little olive oil. They keep in the refrigerator for a few days and can be frozen or dried. They are best picked when young and tender, within a couple of days after they first appear. After that they begin to form the bulbils and the stems become tougher.

Garlic Scapes from Smiling Frog Farm Dahinda, Illinois

Garlic Scapes from Smiling Frog Farm Dahinda, Illinois

In fact, if you do not pick the scape, some of the energy that the garlic plant would put into the production of the bulb will go to the production of the scape. This can result in smaller or less bulbs overall. If you do not grow garlic you can still find scapes at a lot of farmers markets. The season for scapes is short, and the demand is high, so you will have to be on the lookout for them.  The freshest scapes will come, of course, from garlic that you grow yourself. It is not hard to grow and with the hardneck varieties you will get more than one reward from the same plant!

Here are several garlic scape recipes:

Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients:

1 pound garlic scapes, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Blend the garlic scapes, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper together in a food processor until smooth. Store in the refrigerator to use within two or three days; freeze for longer storage. Scape pesto freezes well, and it holds its green color when frozen usually even better than the traditional basil pesto.

 

Pickled Garlic Scapes

Ingredients: (For one pint)

About 15 garlic scapes

1 dried chile (optional)

1 cup cider vinegar

4 tsp. kosher salt

4 tsp. sugar

 

Directions:

Trim garlic scapes, curl them up, and place them in a pint jar with a tight fitting lid.

Work the chile, if you’re using it, into the jar with the garlic scapes.

In a small saucepan heat the vinegar, salt, and sugar with 1 cup of water until simmering and salt and sugar are dissolved.

Pour warm vinegar mixture over the garlic scapes to cover them (you may not use all of the vinegar mixture). Seal the jar. Let sit until cool, then store in the refrigerator for at least 6 weeks and up to six months.

 

Grilled Venison and Garlic Scape Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds venison, slightly frozen and sliced into 1/16-inch slices

8 garlic scapes, minced

1/3 cup canola oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

4 hamburger buns, split

4 slices sharp Cheddar cheese (optional)

Directions:

Place venison strips in a bowl; sprinkle with garlic scapes. Pour in canola oil and soy sauce; mix well. Cover bowl and let venison marinate for at least one hour.

Preheat grill fitted with fine grate grill topper to medium heat.

Evenly spread venison on the grill topper. Stir occasionally to evenly cook meat until no longer pink, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Warm hamburger buns on warming rack of grill. Divide venison among the buns and top with Cheddar cheese.

(Recipes from allrecipes.com)




UPDATED! – This Week’s Harvest of Eat Local Links Goes Back to New Orleans

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Posted: June 17, 2013 at 10:54 am

UPDATE: A salacious little link from Eater National.

Fun Stuff Found in the Locavore-net

maine

As a former Tulane law student, I’ve been following this current eat local challenge in New Orleans closely. Here’s a good article looking at whether eating local is just for rich vegans and another piece by the same blogger on the costs of eating local.

Anthony Todd points out in Chicagoist that how many of us are less secure with food than we think.

Local Beet contributor Matt Kirouac does not rest. Here he thinks about becoming a butcher?

52 wild plants to spot and eat.

It is really a choice between organic or local?

Jeannie would say, when in doubt, see what the have at Nourishing the Planet or what Ben Hewitt has to say.

NEW!Strip club adopts locally sourced menu, doubles sales.

Let us know what else you’re reading.




Make veggie stock for free in 4 simple steps

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Posted: June 17, 2013 at 7:00 am

Instead of putting veggie waste into the compost or garbage, make veggie stock. Since you would have been throwing this stuff out anyways, if you make stock from it, I consider this free.

Typical organic veggie stock sells for at least $2 a carton. While doing this simple DIY stock will not let you retire early, you’re getting every last ounce of goodness out of every veggie, and the flavor is no match to the stuff in stores. Also, every batch will taste different!

Veggie scraps to save

  • carrot peels, tops and greens
  • onion ends
  • potato ends
  • celery
  • herbs that are about to go bad
  • tomatoes
  • leafy greens
  • garlic
  • unfinished salad? Throw it in.

BarefootEssence_veggies

veggie scraps to avoid

  • strong tasting vegetables that would significantly alter the color or flavor in a not so awesome way, think turnips, beets, cabbage

 bow to DIY veggie stock in 4 steps

  1. Keep a large ziplock bag in the freezer and add to it constantly. When the bag is full, make stock.
  1. Empty the bag into a large pot. Add spices like salt and pepper, thyme, bay leaves, Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic – this part is really up to you, throw in whatever herbs and spices you like.
  2. Cover the veggies with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 45 minutes. Drain the liquid and use right away in soups or sauces, or freeze it to use later.
  3. Compost the veggies.

 
BarefootEssence_veggiestock

Making your own veggie stock will save money, and every batch will be unique. You will never taste store-bought stock that is better than yours! Use it in homemade soup, mashed potatoes, sauces, rice, quinoa, lentils, or to sauté onions and peppers in place of oil.

For more urban-minimalist cooking tips and super-simple plant-based recipe inspiration check out Barefoot Essence. 


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The Local Calendar 6/13/13 Foodopoly, Cake Walk at Kendall, Eli’s Market Opens, Growing Home Open House

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Posted: June 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm

We are excited to announce that this month The Local Calendar is sponsored by Vie Restaurant in Western Springs. Vie is the place where Preservation Kitchen was born. Preserving, local, seasonal, artisanal, sustainable ingredients, everything that we love here at The Beet. Chief Beet Rob Gardner elaborates on Vie’s sponsorship here. Thank you Owner/Chef Paul Virant for supporting what we do here at The Beet and we love what comes out of the kitchen at Vie!!

Vie Logo

 THE LOCAL CALENDAR 

 

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It is amazing how the appreciation for local produce is spreading. I stumbled upon the Brave New Art World event that takes place the first Thursday of every month in the River North Arts district from 5-8pm. It represents a marriage of contemporary art, objects d’art and local food, including restaurants like The Local Root of Streeterville, underground dinner clubs like Thurk, Tuesday Night Dinner and Goose and Fox all of whom source from farmers markets, The beverage sponsors were Angels Envy and Lagunitas among others.

The Green City Market BBQ is Thursday July 18. It always sells out and never fails to have a bit of weather drama, be it rain or heat. One thing is definitely for sure, you will have a chance to see your favorite chef because there is such incredible support for the event from the Chicago restaurant community and you will not go home hungry. The Chicago Gourmet Festival, the weekend in September (9/27/-9/29) where Chicago is Ground Zero for the culinary world in the US and abroad has already sold out its early bird tickets. You had better buy your tickets now.

Chief Beet Rob Gardner gives you an updated rundown on what is season. Our full list of area markets can be found here. If you are interested in finding out even more about what is in season, there really are some well written, highly informative market letters and farmers blogs you can access. A few include Terra Brockman’s commentary every week from Brockman Family Farms, Connie Spreen’s weekly market letter for the 61st Market, Farmer Vicky of Genesis Farms is now blogging and Prairie Fruit Farms has a monthly newsletter filled with all sorts of cheesy tidbits! Food Day Chicago (Oct. 24) has now moved on to asparagus for their Eat Real Chicago vegetable of the month.  Check out their Facebook page and “like” it while you are there!

Now on to the busy week ahead including Executive Director of Food and Water Watch Wenonah Hauter reading from her book, Foodopoly at The Book Cellar in Lincoln Square tonight at 7pm. There is a cake walk sponsored by Les Dames Escoffier of Chicago and the proceeds will support the Green City Market and Eli’s Farmers Market with Wright College opens Thursday, now onto the week!

June 12

Andersonville- Andersonville Farmers Market opens 3-8pm (6/5-9/4) On Berwyn between Clark and Ashland

Chicago - Meet Wenonah Hauter Executive Director Food And Water Watch -7pm  The Book Cellar 4736-38 N. Lincoln Ave (Near the Western- Brown Line stop) Come to the Book Cellar in Chicago to meet Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter as she reads from her new book, “Foodopoly” and discusses current campaigns in Illinois!

Chicago - Wednesdays at Wood Street - Growing Home Wood Street Farm Stand 11am – 4pm 5814 S. Wood St.

Chicago - Green City Market Lincoln Park Location 7am – 1pm Chef demonstration 10:30am – 11:30am

Chicago – Wine Wednesdays at Province – Seasonal farm to table 5 course tasting menu with pairings $49 159 North Jefferson A Gold level LEED certified restaurant with 3 stars from the Green Restaurant Association.

June 13

Chicago – Grand Opening of Summer 2013 Season of Eli’s Cheesecake & Wright College’s Farmer Markets  7am!  Fresh fruits and vegetables from Nichol’s Farm and the Chicago High School of Agricultural Sciences, as well as hand crafts, flowers, and more will be available for purchase. FREE Continental Breakfast from 7am – 9am with $5 market purchase. Lunch on the Grill will be served from 11am – 1pm. For more details, contact Kathy at kkirby@elicheesecake.com or call (773) 308- 7000.

Chicago - Daley Center Farmers Market - Market will run May 16th through October 31. There are now microgreens and wheat grass sold by Alex Poltorak of The Urban Canopy and Seasons Soda is there as well!

Chicago – Uptown Market Uptown Farmers’ Market is year round. Every Thursday from 7-1 inside Weiss Memorial Hospital or in the parking lot during the warmer months. 4646 N Marine Drive This is an appropriate day to stock up on Spark of the Heart Soups

Hyde Park - C & D Family Farm delivers 7-11am Harold Washington Park

June 15

FD!! Champaign, IL -  Prairie Fruit Farms  City Pub in the Country 4pm Bar Pastoral is a new cheese and wine bistro adjacent to the original Pastoral Artisan Cheese, Bread, and Wine Shop in Chicago. Chef Chrissy will be showcasing her love of cheese, charcuterie, pickles, and other local ingredients. $107

Chicago - Sausage Making Class - 10am – 1pm Red Meat Market This will be another class where you will havea hands-on experience learning how to make sausage and take far home than the cost of the class.

Chicago - If Recipes Could Talk: Wisconsin Foods and the Stories They Tell.  Teresa Allen Chicago Foodways Roundtable 10 am Kendall College 900 N. North Branch Chief Beet Rob Gardner has been a big fan of Terese Allen’s books on Wisconsin and farmer’s markets.  She had the eat local beat before there was an eat local beat (or Beet).

Chicago - Growing Home Open House at The Wood Street Farm - 5814 S. Wood St.  11am – 3pm An Organic Farm Stand with affordable locally grown vegetables Free Farm Tours Gardening and Nutrition Workshops Healthy Cooking Demonstrations/Tastings Green and Healthy Neighborhoods Land Use Plan/ New ERA Trail Presentation Come learn about Greater Englewood’s plan to grow into an Urban Agriculture District that will bring more jobs, businesses, resources and healthy food options to the neighborhood! Music, Tasty Refreshments, Fellowship and Fun ! FREE AND OPEN TO ALL! This is our final Open House Celebration this year.

Chicago - Mash Tun Festival - The festival is a celebration of the release of Mash Tun: A Craft Beer Journal issue #3. The Mash Tun is a publication put out by your buddies at Maria’s Packaged Goods & Community Bar and The Public Media Institute, a non profit arts and culture organization based in Bridgeport.

Chicago - Les Dames Chicago Culinary Garage Sale and Cake Walk 10am – 2pm Kendall College This event will include live music, food trucks and a cake walk to compliment the treasures from top Chicago chefs! The proceeds benefit the Les Dames d’Escoffier Scholarship Program & Green City Market.

Chicago 61st Farmers Market -  9am – 2pm During the outdoor season, which lasts through the end of October, the Market is located on 61st Street between Dorchester and Blackstone Avenues. The 61st Street Farmers Market accepts LINK and Senior Farmers Market Coupons. They also match LINK purchases up to $25 per cardholder, per market day, as long as funding lasts.

Chicago Green City Market Lincoln Park 7am – 1pm

Chicago - Iron Street Farm Stand - 9am – 3pm 3333 S. Iron St.

Evanston - Downtown Evanston Farmers Market - This market will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. every Saturday through November 2. Location: Intersection of University Place and Oak Ave. (behind Hilton Garden Inn, east of East Railroad Ave.) In 2013, the market will celebrate its 38th year.

Geneva - Movie Night Meet Up Fox River Valley Food & Water Watch – 5pm  We will be screening “Genetic Roulette” THIS Saturday, June 15th at 5:00pm after the Batavia Green Walk Learn more about the Issue discuss plans for our next action!! Come to Prana Yoga Center – 321 Stevens St Geneva, IL 60134

Morton Grove – Morton Grove Farmers Market opens!! (6/8-10/19) 8am – 12pm  - 6210 Dempster StLa Fox – Heritage Prairie Saturday Farmer’s Market  9am – 1pm 2N308 Brundige Road

Oak Park - Oak Park Farmers Market - The market will run every Saturday through 10/26/13 7am – 1pm Pilgrim Church, right next door to where the market is held, offers fresh warm donuts, juice and coffee, with live bluegrass music nearby. The Oak Park Farmers’ Market is located at 460 Lake St., just one block west of Ridgeland Avenue.

Woodstock - Woodstock Farmers Market Outdoors 9am -12pm

June 16

Chicago - Glenwood Sunday Outdoor Market opens! – It is the 4th anniversary for the Glenwood Sunday Outdoor market and they have a very loyal customer base! June 2, 2013 and run until October 27, 2013.  The Outdoor Market is located Glenwood Avenue on the west side of the CTA Red Line between Morse and Lunt Avenues in Rogers Park. Hours are 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sundays

Chicago - Logan Square Outdoor Market 10am–3pm Logan Blvd between Whipple and Milwaukee Ave; May 19–Oct 27

Chicago - Pilsen Community Market -9am–3pm  1800 S Halsted St Chicago Community Bank parking lot

Chicago  - Portage Park Farmers’ Market 10am – 2pm Portage Park, Berteau and Central Aves; June 2, 16, 30; July 21; Aug 4, 18; Sept 15, 29; Oct 6

June 18

Chicago -Chicago Gourmet Wine & Spirits Dinner One Ingredient One Varietal  Green Zebra – 1460 West Chicago 7pm Chef/Owner Shawn McClain invites guests to experience a singular dining experience, featuring a 7-course vegetarian dinner. Each dish will be oriented around one seasonally celebrated ingredient, from a Spring Pea quinoa with glazed carrot, pea tendril and Parmesan tuile to Fava Bean Lemon Cake with olive oil ice cream and fennel gastrique. Similarly, the accompanying wine selections will be based on a single grape varietal. RSVP by calling (312) 243-7100.

Chicago - Takito’s Kitchen  2013 West Division St. Farm to table prix fixe at $35 per person.  Greens from Genesis Growers and asparagus and rhubarb from Mick Klug, see how they showcase the best of the Midwest.  Reservations required. 773-687-9620

SAVE THE DATE

 June 20

CHicago – Meet The Market at Table, Donkey and Stick 6-8pm 2728 West Armitage Free admission. Proceeds from cocktail sales will be donated to Green City Market’s youth education programs: Club Sprouts and The Edible Gardens.

Chicago – Taste of the Great Lakes – 6-9pm Columbia Yacht Club The annual fundraiser for the Alliance For the Great Lakes Tickets

June 21

Chicago – Growing Power Summer Solstice BBQ – 5-8pm  Growing Power Chicago 3333 S. Iron Street Come celebrate the beginning of Summer! Growing Power Chicago has a lot to celebrate this season — 11 years of growing delicious produce in Chicago, their two year anniversary at Iron Street, and the launch of the City wide Farmers for Chicago Program at their new South Chicago Farm. Join them to eat scrumptious BBQ, drink local brew and lemonade, and come hang out with the GP Chicago Crew. For our vegan and vegetarian friends, don’t fret! We believe in equal opportunity BBQ — they’ve  got you covered. $25 PLEASE RSVP by calling 773.376.8882

Chicago - CigarBQue -  6:30 – 9:30 pm Beyond Design 4515 North Ravenswood Avenue Join chefs, Rick Gresh, Cleetus Friedman and Giuseppe Tentori for an intimate evening of fine cigars, food prepared by some of the country’s best chefs, beer, wine and cocktails by master mixologists. This is an outdoor smoking event; there is no designated non-smoking area. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Cigar Family Charity Foundation$150 per person

June 25

Chicago - The Stew Supper Club presents “A Smoked Supper”  7pm $45

June 26

Chicago - Logan Square Night Market kicks off today – Palmer and Kedzie in Palmer Park 5pm – 9pm weekly through September 4th.

June 27

Chicago – Come Grow With Us At The Plant –  6:00pm-9:00pm The Plant 1400 West 46th Street Proceeds from the event will support its mission to promote closed-loop food production and sustainable economic development through education and research. The event will also include: a casual meal by Pleasant House Bakery, with ingredients grown on-site, guided tours of the facilities, discussions with their fantastic growers, shared remarks from founder and Executive Director John Edel. Advance tickets are available for $75 each or $90 at the door.

Chicago - Argyle Night Market kicks off today – Argyle and Broadway 5pm – 9pm weekly through September 5th

June 29

Champaign, Il – -  Prairie Fruit Farms Summer Vegetarian 4pm Thad Morrow, chef/owner of Bacaro, Champaign is back for another season. He will be making the trek from Bacaro, in downtown Champaign, across town and out into the country! His SUV will be packed with lots of early summer vegetables. $107

Chicago – Let’s Get Canned: A Honey History of Preserving.  Sherry Brooks Vinton
author of Put ‘em Up! Fruit  will discuss the history of home canning and share a number of tips on today’s best practices for putting away seasonal foods.

Chicago - 2013 Hunger Walk  7am Care for Real at Soldier Field as we fight hunger by participating in the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s (GCFD) 28th Annual Hunger Walk. The walk steps off at 8:30 on the 29th and is a 5K (3.1 Mile) from Soldier Field to 31st street and back. The event is important to Care for Real as the funds are a vital part of our efforts to provide food to the thousands who turn to us in a time of need.

July 13

Champaign -  Prairie Fruit Farms - – Big Grove Tavern “Local Comfort Farm” SOLD OUT

July 18

Chicago – The Locavore’s Real Taste of Chicago - The Green City Market BBQ Tickets on sale now!

Some sites to check out for further detail on sustainable food/urban ag are the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (get their policy updates here) out of Springfield and the Advocates for Urban Agriculture who is having their spring gath  WeFarmAmerica has tons of weekly events and The Peterson Garden Project  has lots of information for the urban gardener.

July 27

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms - “Greek Feast” SOLD OUT

August 10

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms - Jared Van Camp “Downstate Reunion” SOLD OUT

August 14

Chicago - Taste of the Nation - Returning for the third time to the historic Grand Ballroom and east lakeside plaza on Chicago’s Navy Pier! Join event chair R.J. Melman (Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises) and nearly 100 of Chicago’s most innovative and renowned chefs and mixologists as we gather together to end childhood hunger in Illinois and America.

August 24

Champaign - Prairie Fruit Farms – “Fiesta Mexicana” SOLD OUT

September 27-29

Chicago Gourmet – A celebration of food and wine. Chicago becomes Ground Zero for the culinary world during this weekend. This will sell out.

 

WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOODS

These stores specialize in local foods:

Artisanal Wilmette – 414 Linden Ave. Wilmette

Butcher and Larder 1026 North Milwaukee in Noble Square, Chicago

Dill Pickle Food Co-op – 3039 West Fullerton, Chicago

Edible Alchemy Foods Co-op - Located in the near-SW Pilsen neighborhood, the co-op has grown to five locations in, including Hyde Park, River North, Lakeview, and Logan Square

Green Grocer 1402 West Grand Ave in West Town Watch this fantastic video about GMOs, sourcing local and see what you are missing if you don’t shop at the GG.

Marion Street Cheese Market 100 South Marion St. Oak Park

Provenance Food & Wine - 2 locations Logan Square 2528 N. California Lincoln Square 2312 W. Leland Ave.

Publican Quality Meats – 835 W. Fulton, Chicago

Sauce and Bread Kitchen - 6338-40 N. Clark, Chicago

Sharpening By Dave  - Green City Market and other locations throughout Chicagoland. If you want to eat local, you need to have sharp knives to prepare the produce!!  Let Dave know that you read about him in the Local Beet and you will get one dollar off each knife sharpened. 

 

Area resources for local food initiatives, workshop, classes:

Advocates for Urban Agriculture

Edible Evanston

Illinois Stewardship Alliance

The Peterson Garden Project

WeFarmAmerica

 This Week’s Local Calendar sponsored by Vie Restaurnt

Vie Logo




Vie’s Sponsoring the Local Calendar at the Local Beet

By
Posted: June 11, 2013 at 10:13 am

The Local Beet is Pleased to Announce its Newest Sponsor

Vie Logo

Many years ago, before the Local Beet was a good pun waiting to happen, I was explaining my idea of eating local, which entailed putting food away for the colder months, to Joel Smith, Regional Governor for Slow Food USA. Smith said I had to see this place in Western Springs. Paul Virant, formerly of Blackbird, had opened a place called Vie.  At Vie, Virant had his own canning room filled with product set aside for year-round local eating. I got myself a reservation for dinner, had a great meal, and wormed my way into a post meal tour of the kitchen and canning room. Thus began a long relation with Vie and Paul. (See my old blog for some examples of our relationship.)

In the years subsequent, I’ve have the good fortune to enjoy great meals at Vie. When we got the rather miraculous news that my daughter could forsake her scoliosis back-brace many years earlier than expected, we celebrated at Vie. I’ve also have the good fortune to spend much time in the back of the house; getting canning demo’s, seeing a steer butchered, participating in an interview for WBEZ and more. I hit the road with Paul and a few others for a tour of the Ball Jar labs and factory in Minnestra, Indiana.

I have great admiration for the food Vie produces, but I have even more admiration for Paul and what he’s done with Vie. Talk a bit with Paul, and he’ll tell you that many of his fondest childhood memories involve food. He can tell you about family traditions of baking pies and sourdough bread interspersed with weekly visits to the local smokehouse and farmers market. He foraged for mushrooms with his siblings, preserved fruits and pickled vegetables with his grandmothers and visited local wineries with his parents. These experiences have driven Paul, as a chef, to use the highest-quality, best ingredients for every component at his place.

For Vie, the highest quality comes forms three facets to his approach. First, as much as any local chef, Paul has worked with local farmers to supply nearly every ingredient he needs. When it’s an ingredient not available in the Midwest, such as citrus or hearts of palm, he’s found equivalent farmer “as if local.” Vie’s commitment to local foods lasts year round; you will find as much local in January as in June. This, of course, brings up the second facet, and maybe the thing Paul’s most renown for these days, his use of preserved ingredients. Going back to those early days, Paul was canning to ensure he had his high quality ingredients all the time, but over time, the use of preserved ingredients as components to his dishes became one of signatures. Thus, you’ll find pickles, relishes, jams, and more on the menu in June as much as in January. Finally, Vie has been doing for years, what is expected these days. They break down whole animals, using all parts; making sausages and charcuterie in house. They bake their own bread, smoke their own meats. Paul calls what he does, “seasonal contemporary American cuisine, strongly influenced by Western European cultures and rustic fare.” Probably, but to me, it’s always been the Joy of Cooking come to life the way he combines a consummate sense of cooking as well as an appreciation for classics–e.g., his current menu features cassoulet, gnocchi, a burger, and spanakopita. It’s all we respect and clamor for at the Local Beet.

And now we can proudly say, Vie’s a sponsor too.  For the next month, Vie will be sponsoring the Local Calendar that is diligently and expertly done each week by Jeannie Boutelle.  I believe the Local Calendar is our signature piece on the Local Beet, and I believe that Jeannie does an amazing job with it each week, highlighting events, farmer’s markets, dinners, workshops and much more.  Vie’s sponsorship of the Local Calendar and the Local Beet recognizes their respect and admiration for what we’re doing here.  It’s been a great relationship since first hearing about that canning room many years ago.

 

 

 




Everything But the Farmer’s – Sunday’s in the Park Monday, June 10th, 2013
Scenes from the Oak Park Farmers Market Monday, June 10th, 2013
The Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links – Wisconsin, New Orleans, Iowa and Conneticut Monday, June 10th, 2013
Paw Paw Trees – Suitable for the City or the Country Friday, June 7th, 2013
More new breweries Friday, June 7th, 2013
Strawberries are Red Damnit – (Mostly Recycled) Thursday, June 6th, 2013
TWO Packs a One-Two Punch of Local Midwestern Flavor Thursday, June 6th, 2013
I packed 8 CSA ingredients in 1 bowl Thursday, June 6th, 2013
Do You Want To See Illinois Pass A GE Labeling Bill? You Have A Chance This Summer to Make A Difference Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
The Local Calendar 6/5/13 Midnight Sun Farm Tour, Morton Grove Market Opens, Bake Sale at Little Goat Wednesday, June 5th, 2013
Master Gardener farm tour provides a chance to learn Tuesday, June 4th, 2013
Training webinar on changes to IDPH TIB #30 – Sanitation Guidelines for Farmers Markets to be held Monday, June 3rd, 2013
The Weekly Harvest of Eat Local Links has Matt & More Monday, June 3rd, 2013
A wet year so far Downstate Monday, June 3rd, 2013