Being gluten-free can sometimes make lunch a bore – craving a mean sandwich on sourdough or a handful of salty pretzels is normal. Good gluten-free bread exists and so do as-close-as-you’re-going-to-get pretzels. But, let’s face it, not only are those items expensive to buy commercially, but they really aren’t the best choices you can make either.
With the arrival of spring, the quotient of salad to meal ratio has gone up dramatically. Our greens aren’t even local yet but the palate is ready(but in one more week our CSA box will be coming!); it is the mental state you reach in warm weather and plants blossoming all around. You don’t need a hardy meal to keep you going in the cold of New York any longer!
I am feeling passionate about my basic lunch today and felt compelled to share. Organic baby spring mix lettuces (Wegmans makes this so easy out of season), fresh strawberries (in three weeks they will come from Kirby’s and next year they will come from our garden), fresh blueberries, cranberry and cinnamon crusted goat-cheese (so grateful Aldi’s carries this product regularly), sesame seeds to add that salty crunch, topped off with Finger Lakes Butternut Squash Seed Oil.
My only locally sourced ingredient (today) was the oil. Let’s talk about that scrumptious oil. Oh my. Yum. The butternut squash is grown by a multi-generational family farm less than three miles from our house. The family is forward thinking and enterprising; recognizing the waste that was generated when they sold ready-to-cook packages of squash to Wegmans, they figured out a way to use what was being discarded — the seeds. Not only does the resulting oil have desirable nutritional qualities, it has a distinct but not powerful nutty flavor that is delicious. I chose this oil out of their line because it has a high smoke point, but truth be told, I love it drizzled on air-popped popcorn and salad as much as I enjoyed braising kale and onions in it.
I cannot afford to develop a habit here; this oil is pricey at $10-$12 per 6.3 ounces. But for a special treat, it will find a place in my pantry as often as I can justify it! You can purchase it in stores from Maine to Washington or order online. Set aside $1 per grocery budget and then try some, support a family farm and enjoy an amazing product!
No, I am not affiliated with the family or farm in any way. But, I may just offer some farm labor hours in exchange for a case of oil!
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