Monday, August 10, 2009

The Real Food of Summer: veggies and butter!

Summer is definitely upon us here in Minneapolis. We've had great, sticky, hot weather that's ripening the tomatoes, a plethora of patty pan squash is coming up in our backyard and the farmer's markets are bursting at the seams with amazing, fresh produce. I've been going to the farmer's market a couple times a week and also harvesting veggies and herbs from our own small garden. No matter what portion of the food we eat comes from our own yard, it makes each bite taste better, just knowing that I plucked a green pepper from the dirt this morning before it became part of the spaghetti sauce in our lasagna.

Speaking of summer, did you know that > butter is really a seasonal food? Have one look at this beautiful butter from > Pastureland, notice it's bright yellow hue which comes from the cows eating only fresh grass rich in beta-carotene. It is delicious and nutritious and once you taste grass-fed, local butter I doubt you'll want to go back to the white stuff. For more info on the health (and taste!) benefits of pasture butter check > this out.

Here is my meal plan for the week with my goal being to waste little and continue using our bounty from the garden and the market as inspiration for making meals that are truly seasonal and delicious!

grass-fed ground beef stroganoff with zucchini on top of egg noodles;

dessert is banana and nectarine clafoutis;

grass-fed rib eye beef bulgogi, my recipe is adapted from > The Grassfed Gourmet.

veggie lasagna with homemade spaghetti sauce using carrots and tomatoes from the > Midtown Farmer's Market, green peppers and oregano, basil, thyme and rosemary from my own backyard.

curried chicken roasted with sweet potatoes and yellow potatoes and young purple onions from > Youth Farm.

pulled pork made with local, pastured pork shoulder steaks served with kale and black beans. Go > here for information on one way to prepare black beans to avoid embarrassing consequences! My mother always soaked beans overnight in plain water, she tells me that if you add salt the beans won't cook well.

quiche made with > Fischer Farms bacon which you can buy at the > Birchwood Cafe, cheese, broccoli and onion, with a from-scratch crust using > sprouted whole wheat pastry flour, and of course, local, grass-fed butter.

Happy eating my fellow real food lovers!

This post is apart of Gnowfglins Tuesday Twister blog carnival, check out other real food blogs > here!

I am also sharing this with Cheeseslave's Real Food Wednesdays. Go > HERE to join in and read some great real food stories!


  1. Emily - the grass-fed butter is beautiful. You're blessed to have that wonderful source. I clicked over to see the remedy for avoiding embarassing bean consequences - and it is what my mom always taught me! :) It works.

    Thanks for joining in the Tuesday Twister!

  2. thank you for stopping by! in Minnesota you learn to appreciate seasonal foods o much, i mean fresh, gold butter just doesnt happen in the winter!

  3. I am new to Wyoming and very much discovering the term 'seasonal foods'. That butter looks amazing as does the clafoutis.

  4. All of the food looks and sounds delicious! I especially love stroganoff.

  5. Everything sounds wonderful. Your butter is beautiful. Everyone seems to be making butter this week. :)

  6. i WISH i could take credit for the great butter. it's made by pastureland, a local, grass-fed butter and cheese company here in MN.

  7. The butter looks so delicious. I love that you are eating locally and from your garden as much as possible. We strive to do the same!
    thanks so much!

  8. Mmm, there's just nothing so good as pastured butter. And duck fat. :-)

  9. Wow! I had no idea that butter is seasonal! I'm fortunate that my local farmer offers it all year round but maybe he's freezing it when it's in season. Whenever I cook with real butter people always go mmmmmmmmmm!!! :-)

  10. yes, here in MN real, grass-fed butter is seasonal in that we don't have grass for half the year. my understanding is the grass-fed butter from Pastureland that i get is frozen and then thawed and sold in the stores during the winter.

  11. My family are all from MN and this is such a great resource for them! Keep up the great posts!

  12. I just had my first taste of grassfed butter. WOW! It was so wonderful! btw- my first time to your site, looks like I'm going to enjoy it :) You seem like my kinda gal!

  13. anne-thanks for checking out mpls real food lover, glad you like it here!