Last week, I developed and promoted a seasonal recipe at Disney ABC as a part of my internship rotation. The recipe was simple, fresh, healthy and most importantly, it was delicious. In fact, it sold out at the company’s cafe that day! While most people were drawn in by the free samples, I got to chat to a number of employees about the benefits of eating seasonally and locally and it was so great to connect with individuals and learn about how other people prioritize nutrition and our environment to promote clean eating (for your body, as well as our home).
Spreading Local News
Since the recipe and the nutrition news were such a hit, I thought I would share it with all of you! Below are some of the reasons why eating locally and seasonally can be beneficial:
- Eating seasonally means produce is often more nutritious, since it is at its nutritious peak, and less expensive, since it grows more abundantly (a win win!)
- Produce often tastes better when it is in season (which is why that watermelon tastes so amazing in July!)
- Eating locally is often “greener”, since food spends less time in transit (meaning it takes less fuel to get it to its destination)
- You can try all of the tasty treasures the season has to offer and learn how to prepare a new food that you wouldn’t typically purchase (bonus – if you purchase from a farmer’s market, they will often answer any questions you may have and explain how to prepare the food)
- You can grow your own! Summer is a great time to grow cucumbers, tomatoes and strawberries!
Local Kale Salad With Citrus Vinaigrette:
Kale is a nutrition powerhouse that grows well throughout the year in locations near New York City, since it can thrive in cooler environments, as well as during the summer months. This means that kale is widely available year-round near New York City. Since kale can be grown and sold locally, it is truly a GREEN veggie!
Kale offers a ton of nutrition packed in to each leaf, and comes in a variety of kinds! Make sure to try each variety, including Curly Kale, Ornamental Kale and Dinosaur kale (also known as Tuscan Kale)
Kale is a significant source of vitamins K, A and C, as well as calcium and potassium. Also, kale offers a hearty dose of fiber and is nutrient dense – meaning it contains a lot of nutrition for a small amount of calories.
All of the fresh ingredients for this salad (including the kale, tomatoes, cucumbers, feta cheese and lemon juice) were purchased locally – and this salad was a local hit!
Ingredients (serves 2):
1 C Raw kale leaves, large stems removed
1/4 C cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 large cucumber (about 8″ in length)
1/4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 Tbsp)
2 Tbsp lemon Juice
½ Tbsp extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp red Wine Vinegar
Dash salt (to taste)
Dash pepper (to taste)
- Wash and dry kale. Place in large mixing bowl.
- Slice cucumber and cut slices into quarters. Set aside.
- Cut tomatoes into small pieces (approximately 1” in diameter). Set aside.
- Combine lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oil in a medium-sized bowl and whisk together until ingredients are well combined. Pour over kale and use gloved hands to massage the dressing into the kale. The kale should begin to look slightly wilted after about 3-5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese to salad. Sprinkle salt and pepper over vegetables and use gloved hands to mix ingredients. Serve chilled.
The Goods: Whats Inside?
Nutrient Analysis Per Serving:
Calories 87 calories, Total Fat 5 g, Saturated Fat 2 g, Cholesterol 6 mg, Carbohydrates 9 g, Fiber 1 g, Protein 3 g, Sodium 175 mg, Calcium 96 mg
What Else Is In Season Near NYC In The Summer?
Below is a list of other fruits and veggies that will be fresh for summer – so have your pickings!
- Summer Squash (zucchini, yellow squash)
- Swiss Chard
- Turnip Greens
- Many Herbs
GrowNYC. What’s Available. GrowNYC Website. 2015. Available at: http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket/whatsavailable. Accessed June 8, 2015.