Thursday, January 23, 2014

Eating Omily: No, Seriously–Convenience Foods!

A while back, I wrote a couple Eating Omily blogpost about convenient options for locavores. At the time, most of the options involved making something ahead. But sometimes you didn't make something ahead. Sometimes it's been the insanely-busy, no-rest-for-the-wicked, week-to-end-all-weeks, and no, dammit, you didn't boil a bunch of eggs or make a big pot of beans in the slow cooker, or put together and freeze a casserole, and now you would like some fecking dinner, please, and you have until the count of three to give me some REAL convenience options, or I'm pulling up the seamless app!

First of all, go ahead and pull up the seamless app. Ordering some tacos every now and then does not make you a bad person, even if they aren't even a little bit local. The idea is to make those tacos (or pizza, or whatever) rare indulgences, instead of weekly concessions.

Second of all, this post is just for my fellow New Yorkers. I've been noticing a growing trend at the Farmers' Market over the past year, and trust me, real convenience has arrived at last! Farmers are smart. They know their customers. It's not just hard-core granola types strolling around with their baskets of an early morning anymore. Real people with busy lives go to the Farmers' market, and we miss our frozen dinners, our pre-made entrees, or easy shortcuts...and the farmers have figured it out!

At the Farmer's Market on a Monday or Friday you can find:

Several varieties of mouth-watering frozen or home-canned soups in pint or quart containers. Flavors include: tomato-parmesan, vegan butternut squash, thai ginger carrot, potato and leak, and more! Throw the container in a bowl of warm water to get the thawing process started, then just heat and eat! Add buttered toast to round things out, and a salad if you're feeling ambitious. Done and done!

Pizza! Ok, so really, they're more like flat breads, but the crusts are rich and chewy, and the toppings are artfully selected combinations of seasonal and cured items. They come in whole wheat or white crusts, and in personal, or sharable sizes. Heat it in your oven or on your stove for a crisp crust, and if you have some cheese, sprinkle it on top.

Multi-grain hearty turn-overs. These guys are ideal for a meal on the go. You know those days when you totally forgot about eating? Yeah. For six bucks, get your hands on a curried lentil, or white bean and collard green, or spicy tomato turn-over in a spelt/wheat blended pastry shell. Sooooo good, and super satisfying.
Chicken Pot Pie. I kid you not. Homemade, rich, buttery, perfect-comfort-food, chicken pot pie. Good thing I'm making chilaquiles tonight, or I'd be jonesing for one of those! Slide it in the oven, and thank God for the Farmer's Market!

Off the hook cured meats: It's official–the folks at Flying Pigs Farm have outdone themselves! They now offer two varieties of sliceable, munchable, cheese-platable, addictively delicious cured salamis! Take home some bread, cheese, and one of these bad boys, oh, and don't forget a bottle of wine, and propose a picnic in bed! Your bad day just got cured.

It's probably only a matter of time before rotisserie chickens start popping up.

If you have just a teensy bit of energy, or it's not the energy so much as the time crunch getting you down, look no further than your fish monger! Scallops are my favourite because they sear to perfection in under five minutes, and everyone loves them. They're a little pricey though, so if you're low on cash, go for mussels. They take five or ten more minutes to prepare than scallops do, but they're also super delicious, and stupidly cheap. I've even got a recipe for you right here. Feel free to sub beer for wine if that's what you keep around. Whole fish will bake in your oven in less than fifteen minutes, and a fillet or two will be done quicker even than the mussels!

How's that for real convenience? Am I still not talking your language? What makes you cave to convenient, bad-for-the-planet food? Tell me in the comments!

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