My friend, Renee, mentioned in her blog that one of her goals for 2010 was to eat more local food, which in turn helps you to eat healthier in many cases, I believe. I started thinking about that and quickly sent an email to some girlfriends to issue a challenge for the new year. Many of them mentioned that they would like to eat healthier, so I challenged them to find more local foods to help meet that goal. Back when I was pregnant and even up to the time Abbey started eating table food, I shopped at more local places including the farmer's market. Although I always had good intentions to can my own garden goodies and those purchased at the farmer's market, I never made the time. One of my goals this year, like Renee, is to eat healthier and shop locally for what I can. Also I would like to can the extras for the Winter, so I'm counting on this challenge to help me with my goals as well. I'm starting off with a simple soup recipe with tons of veggies and I'm going to borrow Renee's corn muffin recipe (hope you don't mind Renee)because they go great with the soup and is made with honey instead of refined (white) sugar. The recipes are great basic recipes with ingredients you could buy at the regular grocery store, but you will notice that to the side I have added how you can make them more local and fresh. Always remember that veggies bought frozen hold more nutrients than those that are bought in cans, but freezing and canning fresh at home is always the best way to go. I hope you will check back with me because I would love for this challenge to help you in your goals as well. I will do my best to pass along recipes that can be made with local ingredients, give tips for gardening and buying local and pass along any other information I can to boost your interest in getting your family healthy, helping our environment and helping the local economy (farmer).
2 cans beef broth (Or you can make your own)
1 can tomato sauce (Canned fresh in the summer)
1 can diced tomatoes (Canned fresh in the summer, or cut fresh from the garden)
1 can whole kernel corn or half bag of frozen (canned fresh in the summer, or cut fresh from the garden)
2 cans mixed veggies or 1 bag frozen (can be frozen in the summer, or cut fresh from the garden)
1 teaspoon basil (dry herbs are best for soups)
1 teaspoon parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
Ground Beef (Optional)
If you like meat in your soup, as my hubby does, brown a ½ pound – 1 pound of ground beef and drain.
Add the other ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with corn muffins.
It is also a very forgiving soup so if you don’t happen to have something or like more of one veggie than another, you can almost put anything in it and it will turn out good.
To make it a little healthier with the meat choice, you can add cooked chicken instead of the beef. Just change the beef broth to chicken broth to match the flavors.
Honey Corn Muffins
1/2 stick, unsalted butter
1 1/4 c flour (check out the local mills, we even have a bakery that sells a local mill's flour)
3/4 c cornmeal (same for cornmeal, even some farm CSA's carry it in there boxes)
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt1/2 t baking soda
2 large eggs (Fresh eggs from local farmers are wonderful)
1 c buttermilk
1/3 c honey (Local bee harvesters have different flavors of honey depending on the flowers the bees use to make it, so try some local favorites)
Heat oven to 375. Grease muffin tin.In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and baking soda. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, buttermilk, honey and butter. Add the flour mixture and stir.Divide into muffin cups and bake until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 30-35 minutes.