Shoko is our go-to gal for all things local. When it was time to shop for Christmas presents this past year, she knew every new boutique and bakery to shop for the perfect gift. For this month's theme of great tips and tricks on getting organized, more green, and cooking and crafting, we knew that Shoko would have a great little local secret to share.
Last year, my roommates and I made several adjustments to our daily routines and Brooklyn apartment in an effort to adopt a more eco-consciouslifestyle. We began collecting kitchen scraps during meal times for a neighborhood garden to use as compost. We started purchasing biodegradable garbage bags and reusable coffee filters. We found resources for recycling items that can’t be picked up during regular curbside collection (e.g., Whole Foods has bins for #5 plastics, and the Union Square Greenmarket, among other places, has a textile recycling drop-off booth).
My favorite green endeavor of the year, however, was joining our neighborhood CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture) program over the summer. For a relatively low cost, we received an assortment of farm-fresh vegetables every other week, all the while helping to support a local farm. We were not able to choose the vegetables we took home each week, but this gave us an opportunity to discover new foods and learn to plan meals around unfamiliar ingredients (garlic scapes, anyone?).
As the weather got colder, we began receiving an abundance of kale, which until recently, I had classified as rabbit food. Turns out, not only is kale a delicious, nutrient-rich winter vegetable, but it’s one that’s pretty straightforward to prepare, as well. My favorite kale recipe comes courtesy of my lovely mother. It’s fast, easy, and a perfect side dish for a winter meal.
Learn more about CSA programs here. (http://www.localharvest.org) Unable to make the commitment? Shopping at your local farmers’ market is another way to gain access to fresh, seasonal foods and support local farms all year round.
Shoko's Sauteed Kale
by shoko wanger
What you need:
- 4 or 5 stalks of kale
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Salt & pepper
- 3/4 cup water or vegetable stock
- Parmesan cheese - optional