Heart of the Matter 26: The Locavore

Eating locally is big these days - the closer to home your food comes from, the more economical, carbon-friendly and overall good-for-everyone it can be. People who eat mostly local foods have even garnered their own title: locavores. Locavores are people who eat mostly food that has been grown or produced near their home (sometimes a radius of 100 miles - or even their own back yard). Many farmer's markets are beginning this month (or on their way), the first spring lettuces, asparagus and rhubarb are peeking their way out of the ground and ready to grace our plates after a long winter, and the idea of supporting your local economy couldn't be more prudent...what better way to enjoy all of these things than to cook up something at home, made with fresh, spring ingredients that have traveled a minimal distance to your plate?

Since we're as big of supporters of being good to our bodies (especially our hearts) as we are of being good to the Earth, we thought a theme of Local Foods, or "The Locavore" for Heart of the Matter this month would be fitting. So go ahead - forage, grow or shop your way to a heart-healthy dish made mostly with foods from the area where you live, then share it with all of us!

Here's the rules:

Make something that is heart healthy (low in saturated fats - ie. lean meats and fish, low in sodium and abundant in vegetables or fruit), using mostly ingredients that are grown or produced within 150 miles of your home (or heck, at least from your state/region). If you're growing something in your garden and it's ready to use, that's even better! If you can find only a few ingredients locally, then use one of them as the centerpiece for your dish! We're not strict, we just think it will be a great way to start the summer off - thinking about what might be grown in your community, or what you could be growing by the time September rolls around and Fall is here (for instance, tomatoes are best towards the end of summer...there's still time to get seedlings and start growing your own - everybody knows there's nothing as tasty as a home-grown tomato!). Just think of all the participants of HotM from around the world and all the possible climates and different types of things that can be grown in all those different places!

Once you've blogged about your local foods dish, submit to me by email at phillipslayden AT gmail DOT com by midnight on Thursday, May 28 (please put "HotM" in the subject line). Then stay tuned for the round-up and see what everyone else made from ingredients that were local to them. If you're still unsure what "heart-healthy" means, check out the HotM blog, and the many useful links in the right hand sidebar. Please only use your entry for this event so that we can keep things centered on heart-healthy recipes. We're excited to see the diversity of heart-healthy and local dishes that you produce this month and can't wait to read about them!