We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but summer is coming to a close. For most of the country it will be sweet relief from the oppressive heat wave that made the past three months unbearable. But whether you sweated out the summer or soaked up the sun, the payoff for bidding yet another season farewell is a whole new batch of in-season produce.
For those committed to eating a local, in-season diet means that they don’t get to enjoy any ‘ole fruit or vegetable any time they want. No, they have to wait patiently; much the same way others have to wait to throw on a tank top or sweater at just the right time of year.
Eating seasonally is also a simple way to support the environment and your local economy. Picking up fresh fruits and vegetables grown in your local area puts money in the farmers’ pockets, and therefore right back in to your city. It also means that the food didn’t travel by plane, boat, and train to get from the farm to your over-priced grocery store, burning fuel and increasing the edibles’ carbon footprint.
The nice thing about September is that it eases us out of summer and in to fall, so you’ll get to enjoy the last of the summer harvest, while taking your pick from the first of the fall harvest.
Vegetables: Salad greens, tomatoes, cauliflower, carrots, mushrooms, corn.
Fruit: Grapes, plums, figs, melon varieties, blackberries.
There are, of course, endless ways to enjoy any of these fruits and vegetables, but a few of our favorite recipes are listed below.
Curried Chicken and Grape Salad
Created by Terry Grieco Kenny for DietsInReview.com
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
2 Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 tsp curry powder, preferably Madras
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz roasted skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup seedless grapes, halved
1/2 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds
Garnish: Lettuce leaves
1. In a large bowl, stir the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, curry powder and salt until blended.
2. Add the chicken, grapes, celery, cilantro and onion and toss to mix and coat.
3. Line individual plates or a serving platter with lettuce if desired. Spoon chicken salad on top and sprinkle with almonds.
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