New beginnings

Thank you everyone who has followed this blog. I have really been enjoying my life with you and have realized that there is even more that I want to share. I have decided to expand and have created a new blog at http://www.thegoodlyfe.com. Lyfe stands for love your food, family, and farm everyday.  I will continue to cover the local food movement in Georgia, but will be offering more thoughts on my eating style (mostly Paleo), recipes, and more! I hope that you will continue to follow. Please check out http://www.thegoodlyfe.com. Feel free to subscribe! Thank you again!

Amber

Friday at the market

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Another great thing about going to some farmer’s markets are the chef demos! Today, I got to sample a delicious salad and marinated collards. They were yummy and free!

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Burger Wars

Ok so maybe it’s not a war, but it definitely was a competition. I went to Farm Burger on Thursday to celebrate Food Day with my family, and also to compare them to Yeah! Burger. Here is my review.

Disclaimer: I grew up not eating beef (from the age of 5 or 6). I started eating it occasionally when I began to eat Paleo. I say all of that to say that I do eat it now, and when I do, I shoot for grass-fed beef (instead of eating cows that have been fed corn, although they are not meant to eat that). I am probably not a burger expert, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. 

My mother, cousin from Buffalo and I went to the Farm Burger on W. Ponce de Leon in Decatur, Georgia. The first thing I noticed was that I felt like I was entering a…barn? Cute idea. There was a scare crow along the way to the order area, which made it feel even more farmy (made that word up). I knew I was going to order their main burger, since that is what I always get at Yeah! Burger. After debating between okra and sweet potato fries, okra won when the guy at the register explained it was a whole piece of okra. Sounds good right? 

I took a seat at one of their long picnic tables, which are purposely set up so that you can potentially share that space with a stranger. Everything was down to earth, from the utensils to the “drink” station. I almost felt like I was in Portland (I love Portland by the way).

So how was the food? The burger was pretty tasty. I didn’t love the bun, but the onions were good and all in all, it was good enough for me to finish every bite. The okra was just ok. There was not a lot of flavor but there was a lot of breading. The concept was good, but the execution left me wanting more. 

I did like the ambiance and the friendliness of the staff. They use glasses, another plus on the “sustainable” checklist. And their ingredients are locally sourced, so it was easy to feel warm and fuzzy about what I was eating. 

As we were walking out, another family had ordered the sweet potato fries, and the smell was amazing. I instantly knew I should have ordered those instead. Maybe next time. What’s your favorite place for a local grass-fed burger? I do love to travel, so don’t hold back if you are not in Atlanta! 

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       Scarecrow

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Drinks and papertowels

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I thought this was a cute touch

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               okra

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                       FarmBurger

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Celebratory Dinner

Celebratory Dinner

As I shared earlier, I cooked a special dinner for Food Day!

Tonight’s menu included:

Cajun seasoned bay scallops
Roasted asparagus
Spicy Sweet Potatoes

Dinner was scrumptious. The night ended with my husband (Brandon) and I eating the scallops and sweet potatoes straight from the pan. Yummy and healthy!

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Food Day shenanigans

Food Day shenanigans

My grass-fed Farmburger. Devoured in honor of Food Day!
Full review coming soon =)

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Happy Food Day!

Already have plans to celebrate? Pat yourself on the back. But if you are like most people, you have never heard of it. So what is Food Day you ask and why should you get involved?

Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. In a nutshell, it’s a day about eating good food. Starting in 2011, this annual event has been gaining steam across the country with the numbers of events multiplying.

How can you get involved? Check out the Food Day website to see if something is going on near you. If you don’t have anything happening close to you, or are limited on time, don’t let that stop you from celebrating. Decide to cook dinner instead of picking something up from a fast-food restaurant. Decide you want to start supporting your local good food economy and find a farmer’s market that you will start patronizing. Or participate in the Let’s Get Cooking on Food Day photo contest. Just tag a photo of your finished product with the hashtag #LetsGetCooking (on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram) to win a Jamie Oliver cookbook. I’ll be submitting a photo for sure.

I also took the Food Literacy Quiz and fared surprisingly well. I knew more than I thought. The questions I missed reminded me how much change we need in our food system. For instance, how many tablespoons of sugar are in a bottle of soda? You may be surprised at what you know/learn so I encourage you to take the quiz too, and share with us how you did.

I will be sharing photos of my Food Day dinner and how I celebrate today with you all so stay tuned (or follow GoodFoodGeorgia on Instagram). How are you celebrating?

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10 Reasons why I bought a CSA membership

As you may have read, I have been visiting the Urban Farm of Truly Living Well for a few weeks. Finally, one of the volunteers recommended I buy a CSA (community supported agriculture) membership. Basically, I pay ahead of time for my food. This is an investment. I provide some financial capital; they grow amazing food that I get to consume. It made total sense when she said it and I wondered why I hadn’t thought of it before. If you can join a CSA, and are wondering if you should, here are ten of my reasons for doing so:

  1. I like knowing who grows my food. I like being able to ask what’s being harvested next; and to know that my food is being grown naturally, even if it doesn’t have the “organic” label. When in doubt, I just as my farmer.
  2. I appreciate that I’m eating seasonally appropriate food. I have always felt strange eating watermelon in the dead of winter. I personally feel like there is some amazing reason that certain foods grow at certain times of the year. Besides, food grown in season tastes better to me.
  3. It is forcing me to try new vegetables. I…don’t…like…vegetables. At least I would have said that a few years ago. I didn’t grow up trying a lot of different greens (I was a picky eater). When I go to market now, I want to fill my basket to the brim to get my money’s worth. That means I’m either going to eat a lot of the same, or have to branch out and try some new vegetables. Not only does trying new vegetables give my tongue a break from the ho hum of eating broccoli every day (I do love broccoli though), but I’m getting an even wider variety of nutrients since I’m eating a more diverse array of vegetables.
  4. Helps me limit waste/save money. There is something about knowing I’m eating top quality food makes me not want to waste it. I’m good at buying fresh veggies and then finding it weeks later hidden in my refrigerator’s crisper. Now, I’m connected to my food. I remember what I bought, and make every effort to cook it all before the next visit to the farm. This has helped me save money for sure.
  5. I feel more connected to my food. Not all CSAs are the same, but I get to go to the actual site where my food is being grown and harvested. I have never felt so closely connected to my food…except that one time when I was living in France and my host mother grew her own tomatoes.
  6. I like supporting an organization that is creating jobs locally.  I happen to know one of the farmers at my local farm personally. I also know that there are others who are employed by my farm and they seem to love what they are doing. I love supporting that. It just feels good.
  7. My food tastes better. Since the people growing my food seem happy, I really believe that energy is going into my food. They are taking great care in their farming practices and it makes for some amazing and delicious vegetables. Also, they harvest the vegetables for the market that day. It doesn’t get any fresher than that, unless you grow your own food at home. Sorry, but supermarkets just don’t compare.
  8. It helps me eat less meat. Since I am focused on eating all of the food I buy, and also don’t feel like going to the grocery store as much, I have been eating a lot less meat. This also helps me save money. Now, I love chicken as much as the next person, but when I started eating it less, I realized I think I have been eating too much meat. Yay for eating more vegetables!
  9. The food I buy there is always Paleo. I tend to not eat bread, rice, pasta, corn, or white potatoes (not 100 but for the majority of my food). Aside from potatoes, which I don’t really miss anyway, everything there is Paleo.
  10. It supports the Good Food movement in Georgia! I’m getting good, healthy food. I’m supporting my local economy. It’s great for the environment. What’s not to like?
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People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award

The 2013 winner of the People’s Choice Nature’s Plate Award goes to (drumroll)….Miller Union! I’m excited to check thise Westside restaurant out and share if it wins my vote. The concept sounds fantastic though; a weekly revolvung menu depending on that weeks local harvest. Pics and impressions soon to follow.

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Family Fun at the Market… and a Yummy Local Surprise

Today has been GREAT! It started with a wonderful mile walk where I was able to break a sweat and soak in some good vitamin D. And then, Naima and I went on our weekly trip to the Farmer’s Market at Truly Living Well. This time, my sister Maya and my mother came along. Yay! I am probably the most “granola” in the family, but they are exploring with me, which is awesome! The market was beautiful as always. I bought a lot more this week. I had to repeat my purchase of okra (this time I got the red okra too). I also bought the Japanese eggplant, yellow squash, bell peppers, chard, and some heirloom tomatoes. I have never had Japanese eggplant and have no idea if I will like it, but I’m finding that these trips to Truly Living Well is forcing me to learn to cook new veggies, which I greatly appreciate since that’s the majority of what I eat (I primarily eat Paleo). My theory is that eating local is forcing me to eat healthier and a more diverse variety of vegetables. Can’t wait to share what I make with you all!

After the market, Mom and I decided we needed to get something to eat. I live in Southwest Atlanta and one of my favorite places to eat there is Tassili’s Raw Reality, in the Historic West End. Some may be surprised to find a raw vegan restaurant in the West End, but it is there, and you need to go! Tassili happened to be preparing food in the kitchen, and she came out for a few minutes. I had the opportunity to ask if she buys her vegetables locally. Yes! she does, and in fact, plans to begin growing her own kale to also share with the neighborhood. Sounds awesome to me. It was a pleasant surprise to know that I have a restaurant just up the street that is serving not only super healthy food, but it’s also local. Mom and I ate the mild Kale salad and her curried plantains (mixed with curry and bell peppers and agave). It tasted amazing and I FEEL amazing after eating it. I also had the carob climax brownie, which was the perfect amount of sweet and totally guilt free. If you don’t know the West End, check it out! If you haven’t eaten raw vegan before, check it out! (Trust me, I’m no raw foodist, but this food was bangin’.) Enjoy and Happy Friday!

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Naima was ready for the market too

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My sister’s 1st trip to the market. Yay! She got some peppers, and some other stuff I can’t remember.

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Mommy getting her shopping on.

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She’s happy about her purchases of chard, okra, garlic and peppermint tea.

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Naima helping me pick out my heirloom tomatoes.

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Tassili’s in Historic West End

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Yummy!

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carob climax brownie

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