Friday, September 26, 2008

Local Harvest Grocery--Best Grocery Store in St. Louis

Local Harvest Grocery is the Best Grocery Store in St. Lous. Yes, it's true---well at least according to the "Best Of" edition of the Riverfront Times. Hey, we're happy to take it!!! Check it out in the newest edition.

And as great as it is to have that recognition, it was just as great to hear this from one of our regular customers-- "I hardly have to go to Schnucks or Whole Foods anymore. You guys are doing great."

Thanks for all the support. And please spread the word....
stay green and local,

Green Homes Renewable Energy Festival

Don't miss:

Green Homes Renewable Energy Festival
Saturday, September 27Check Spelling
GIANT STREET FESTIVAL, 3600 block of Grandel Square in Grand Center area

Local Harvest Cafe and Catering will have a food booth on Saturday and we'll premiere our veggie chili and roasted veggie wrap.


Green House Tour
Sunday, September 28
Starts at EarthWays Center
3617 Grandel Square
$10 or $15

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beans and chocolate???

The store is again full, full, full of local produce. Don't miss it. Lots of delicious roasting peppers, fresh green beans (while they last), new potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, grapes.....don't wait.

Tonight I enjoyed the green beans sauteed in olive oil with some onion, garlic and a little bit of salt. So simple, so good and so fresh.

Oh, and of course don't forget that we now have Kakao chocolate again. That stuff is a bit addictive, but oh so good. I recently enjoyed the marshmallow pie which was unbelievable. It is nothing like the ol' moon pie you ate as a kid.

Hope to see you in the store this week.

Enchilada Sauce-mm, mm good

The change of season almost always inspires me to do a lot of cookin'. So last week I made my one of my favorite dishes--enchiladas. Of course the beautiful anaheims in the store also helped inspire me. The key to this recipe is the sauce.

5 anaheim peppers roasted and chopped
1 sweet red roasting pepper roasted and chopped
2 fresh tomatoes chopped
1 white or yellow onion chopped
2 tsps (or more) cumin
salt to taste
2-4 cloves minced of garlic
olive oil

Broil peppers in the oven on low broil. I think it took about 7 minutes on each side. You want the skin on the peppers to brown and bubble so that you can easily remove it. Once they are good and bubbly on both sides let cool to touch. You can then remove the skin and cut off the tops. I like to leave the seeds in for extra heat. Chop peppers. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add peppers and saute about 5 minutes. Then add chopped tomatoes, salt and cumin. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Once it's all nice and cooked down I put it in a bowl and use my new favorite kitchen tool--the immersion blender. This thing is so great. You can also use a regular blender. Blend until smooth and pour back into pan.

I made two types of filling. The fillings are adapted from recipes in the cookbook The Enchanted Broccoli Forest.

2-3 ripe avocados
juice of one lemon
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup cream cheese
1/4-1/2 cup chopped cashews (especially good if you toast them lightly in a cast iron skillet)

Mash it all together. You can adjust the sour cream/yogurt and cream cheese to meet your preferred consistency.

Squash, onion and cheese
2-3 squash and zucchini sauteed ( I used a lemon squash and a zucchini)
1 onion sauteed
1/2 tsp thyme
salt and pepper to taste
medium sharp cheddar cheese or monterrey jack cheese grated (about 1 lb)

I used blue corn tortillas for these enchiladas. The fillings above made about two big pans of enchiladas. Before you start filling and placing them in the pan, put a light layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan. To soften the tortillas I like to lightly heat them on both sides in a pan with a little bit of oil. It makes them much easier to roll.

Once all enchiladas are rolled cover in the sauce and if desired cover in cheese for extra deliciousness. Back covered at 375 for 30 minutes. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes before serving.
MMM good.

yours in some local eating,

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Delicious Tidbit--Pickled Beets

As fall sneaks up on us, this is the time to savor the last bits of summer - and look forward to the root vegetables to come. One of my favorites is beets; hearty, delicious, and oh-so-good for you. With so many varieties to choose from - red, golden, white, and even striped - beets create a lovely color palate in any dish.
As a kid, I never liked pickled beets - but I think that is because I never had 'real' pickled beets. One evening, a couple of years ago, I walked into my friend Katie's kitchen and was immediately hit by the smell of vinegar and the deep red of freshly pickled beets. I stared at the huge glass jar and wondered kind of magic it was.She explained the process to me, something I never learned in culinary school, and I knew I had to do it myself. And I did, with fantastic results. You should too--it's easy.

What ya' need:

-6 large beets
-2c sugar
-2c white or cider vinegar (cider is tastier)
-2c water
-3T pickling spice
-1 1/2t salt
-1T black peppercorns

What to do:
-scrub the beets and remove the greens, but don't pierce the skin
-boil the beets until the flesh is tender (when you can put a fork in, with little resistance)
-drain and cool slightly
-while beets are cooling, mix all other ingredients in a pot
-heat ingredients until salt and sugar are melted, a you see a few bubbles
-peel and slice beets, place in a glass jar
-pour hot liquid over beets
-serve immediately, or place lid on jar, refrigerate, and enjoy later

Sometimes I like to add carrots, onions, or turnips to the beets. Yum! See, it ain't that hard. And just so you know, beets contain small amounts of protein, fiber, iron, calcium, phosphorus, niacin, and vitamins A and C.

Yours in beets,


"Knowledge has sweet savory, honeyed things which precede in value all other treasures as sovereign..." - Christine de Pisan

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Trend for smaller stores

Just read an interesting article in the NY Times sent to me by Clara. Curious what others might think about it. Obviously I think Local Harvest is pretty great and we're radically smaller than even the supposedly tiny 10,000 square foot stores they describe. One of the things I love about the size of LHG is that it is not overwhelming to shop. Prior to opening the store I really didn't enjoy grocery shopping. I always felt like there were too many choices and that it was so sterile. And some Farmer's Markets, while certainly full of character, can feel overwhelming when they are super big and have tons of vendors. One of the reasons I like Tower Grove Farmer's Market and the Maplewood Market is that they are manageable.

Anyway, click this link and let me know what you think.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

Delicious Tidbit--Define Organic

So instead of me just yammering away, I'm going to have some "guest" bloggers. When you see posts that start with "Delicious Tidbit" you will be treated to an entry by Clara Moore. Clara is our catering manager at the cafe and maker of the oh so famous Clara's Hummus.
So, here's the first entry.....

Hello everyone. Clara here, your local culinary artist, hummus-maker, and great believer that an informed customer is an invaluable customer. I wanted to share a little tidbit of knowledge to make your shopping and dining experience with us far more interesting.
So, what does organic really mean?
Everyone is familiar with organic food, right? – I mean, Walmart has it's own organic line now. Everyone knows that organic is better for you, right? but does anyone actually know what organic means and why it is better for you?

The official national guidelines for acquiring organic certification where set by the USDA, released in 2000 and states that produce must be grow under certain conditions:
-no use of artificial fertilizers, chemical/conventional pesticides, or sewer sludge (human waste)
-must use organically produced seeds and planting stock
-must rotate crops to retain the nutrients in the soil
-can only use chemicals from a very short list
-no use of genetically modified seeds or plant stock
-can not be exposed to irradiation or any additives
-and must be grown under sustainable growing practices (basically, practices that allow the natural ecosystem to thrive)

In turn, these guidelines produce a healthier and more tasty product. Without chemical intervention, the produce is allowed to grow under it's natural conditions and ends up with more vitamins and antioxidants. It also limits the toxicity in the bodies of those who eat it. Sustainable farming practices are better on the environment and generally use less fossil fuels.

Organic is usually more expensive, but there is much more to gain by eating it.

A short explanation of organic labeling:
100% organic – grown and/or produced under USDA organic guidelines
organic – 95% of the product has been grown and/or produced under USDA organic guidelines
made with organic ingredients – at least 70% of the product has been grown and/or produced using the USDA organic guidelines, and the remaining ingredients cannot be genetically engineered, irradiated, or fertilized with sewer sludge
Thanks for reading, and keep doing it local!"

Knowledge has sweet savory, honeyed things which precede in value all other treasures as sovereign..." - Christine de Pisan

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Broiled eggplant

I know some folks are afraid to cook eggplant but I'm going to give you a super easy and delicious way to fix them. You can use the Japanese eggplants (from Spikenard Farm) as pictured, or the traditional eggplants which are larger and more bulbous.

Thinly slice the eggplant. Leave the skins on. Lightly coat the slices in a marinade of olive oil, minced garlic and salt. Set oven to Hi-Broil and pre-heat. Broil for approximately five minutes on each side. For a more substantial dish, prepare zucchini in the same way. I like to also toss onion and peppers in the mix and broil those as well. The other evening I made this dish with eggplant, zucchini, onion, sweet and hot peppers and served it on a bed of quinoa which I had cooked in a vegetable broth. I also prepared a side of collard greens and served it with Parmesan bread.
You can make this dish in about thirty minutes.
Broiled eggplant is also great on an open faced sandwich with goat cheese, mushrooms, onions, and red pepper.

Vegan Muffins

Hello all-
Molly, one of the new folks at our cafe, baked up some yummy vegan banana muffins. Super moist, fluffy, and just the right sweetness. Don't miss them. For an extra special treat ask for a dash of Nutella. It's a super indulgence.

Local Harvest Cafe expands hours

Big news--in case you haven't heard, our cafe, Local Harvest Cafe and Catering is now open for dinner. That's right. And not only that, but we'll even wait on you. We now offer table service for your dining experience.

Last night we offered house-made veggie lasagna (not heat and serve from Sam's), Sicilian pizza, and antipasto salad. Even though I was holding down the fort at the store, I found time to sneak over and do a little sampling. I wish I'd had my camera, but alas it was at home. The lasagna was fantastic. What made it different was that the sauce had a bit of heat. Made with local tomatoes and Mangia Pasta, it was a delicious treat.

Now we just need YOU. Please pass this information on to anyone who loves good food, loves supporting local farmers, cares about the environment, and likes to support small businesses. They will love you for it.

New Hours:
Mon-Fri 7 am - 8 pm
Sat 8 am - 8 pm
Sun 10am -3 pm