Posts Tagged ‘Local Farmstand’

Dining at Westside’s Miller Union

Posted in Atlanta, local food, meals, Restaurants, vegetarian on April 26th, 2011 by Betsy – 5 Comments

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David and I met at  Miller Union for dinner on Thursday night to celebrate the end of my successful lacrosse season and the conclusion of David’s most recent work project.  It was a perfect venue for a romantic and delicious date.

I have a confession: David and I went to Miller Union for dinner the month it opened (over a year ago) with our friend, Chris.  The three of us sat at the bar, and were a little disappointed with our dinner.  At the time, there weren’t many items on the menu, the service was mediocre and the food did not meet my expectations based on all of the hype Miller Union had been receiving.  This underwhelming meal made me sad, as I really like Chef Steven Satterfield, a frequent customer of mine at The Local Farmstand, and I love Miller Union’s mantra of minimal, fresh, local food.

Chef Steven Satterfield (photo from Food & Wine)

Chef Steven Satterfield (photo from Food & Wine)

Since that dinner, David and I have returned to Miller Union for drinks (we love the bar), and I’ve enjoyed lunch with friends at Miller Union.  Their seasonal vegetable plate is one of my favorite dishes on the Westside and perfect for a lunch date.  The ambiance at Miller Union is bustling, yet relaxed, with the perfect amount of people watching but not so loud that you can’t talk to the person with you.

But last Thursday was our first time splurging on dinner at Miller Union since our so-so evening nearly 18 months ago.  I’m glad we gave it another try.  Nearly everything on the menu is naturally gluten-free, literally almost everything.  The only red flags were the “farrotto” that accompanied the New York Strip and the cream grits fritters appetizer.  (It turns out that the “grits fritters” are normally gluten-free but that night fried chicken was the special so the fryer was contaminated.)

So I oohed and ahhed over the menu for awhile before discussing my top choices with David.  It turns out we were on the same page and were intrigued by the same two entrees.  Since everything we wanted was gluten free, we decided to split two entrees so we could enjoy both.

David went with the fritters for an appetizer and I ordered the soup of the day: spring pea soup, which came highly recommended by our waiter.  Beautifully green, my soup was light yet very flavorful.  A great way to start the meal.

Spring Pea Soup

Spring Pea Soup

The first of our entrees was the grilled pork loin, with cranberry beans and braised greens.  The pork loin had an amazing kick to it, due to the apple cider vinegar they use while grilling the pork.  Juicy, flavorful, and meaty, this pork dish is a meat lover’s dream.  Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, with plenty of food on the plate.  You won’t go hungry with this order.  The cranberry beans tasted meaty themselves and I loved combining them and the pork in one bite.  The greens were braised with onions and were delicious by themselves, in the juices of the pork.

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While David started with the pork, I began to work my way through the sautéed quail with dirty rice and arugula.  I usually stay away from restaurant entrees that involve rice, simply because I just don’t find it all that exciting and I’d rather a vegetable, quinoa or risotto.  Miller Union’s dirty rice, however, is not your ordinary rice.  As much as I love vegetables, everything tastes better with pork and this rice affirms that statement.  The dirty rice is a mix of wild rice with Miller Union’s homemade pork sausage and bacon.  Wow.  I could have eaten just the rice as my entrée.  The quail was also yummy, and simply cooked, with crisp skin and flavorful meat.  I followed the waiter’s suggestion, and ate with my hands.  (If you use your fork and knife, you won’t get very much meat.)  The arugula added a nice bite to the dish and beautiful color on the plate.

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I would highly recommend Miller Union for a date night.  While it’s a little pricey, the quality of food and ingredients make the price worth it.  Chef Steven Satterfield really uses as many local, seasonal vegetables as he can access, and supports local farmers.  Many chefs say they do this, but don’t always live the principle (to quote my new favorite show, “Big Love”). I’ll definitely be returning to Miller Union for another date night.

I only wish that I could enjoy Miller Union’s daily ice cream sandwich special!  (Not GF.)

Tomatoes, Galore

Posted in Atlanta, local food, meals, recipe on July 8th, 2010 by Betsy – 8 Comments

I know it’s summer when I find any excuse to slip tomatoes into our meal.  Once you’ve had great, fresh, local tomatoes, you can never buy a grocery store tomato again.  These tomatoes from Crystal Organics Farm are the real deal.

Bright red slicers…

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Heirloom tomatoes…

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Cherry tomatoes…

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Last week we had a tomato overload in the Metcalf house but I didn’t get sick of this seasonal treat.  Here’s what we made:

Quinoa with edamame and cherry tomatoes

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BLT’s

IMG_1530And of course the family favorite, tomato pie.  One of the easiest recipes, the key to making this delicious dish is using huge, beautiful, summer tomatoes.  No excuses here.  This is truly a seasonal recipe.  A great centerpiece to a summer meal, I like to serve tomato pie with corn on the cob and a salad.  David likes to eat the leftovers for breakfast.

Tomato Pie…

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Tomato Pie:

Ingredients:

  • Gluten-free pie crust (I use Whole Foods Bakehouse, but of course you can make your own too)
  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into extra large slices
  • 4 tablespoons Chopped basil
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • S&P
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

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Heat empty pie crust in the oven at 350 degrees.  Remove crust from oven and let cool completely.

Place one layer of tomatoes in the pie crust.  Sprinkle with s&p and add basil and green onions.  Add remaining tomatoes in another layer.  Mix cheddar and mayo in a bowl and spread evenly on top of tomatoes.  Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, until cheese/mayo starts to brown.

(The juicier the tomatoes, the more watery the pie can be.  Don’t be dismayed if it’s not beautiful when you slice and serve the pie.  It’s still delicious!)

IMG_1543Happy Cooking!  What are some of your favorite tomato recipes?

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Posted in local food on May 26th, 2010 by Betsy – 1 Comment

IMG_0895 There has been no shortage of rain this year in Atlanta.  In fact, it has rained since we got here.  But I’m hopeful that we’ll start seeing the benefits from the down pours we lived through last fall and early this spring.  Flowers, vegetables and fruit galore.

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Spring is in full bloom and I couldn’t resist posting some photos of these gorgeous flowers from Crystal Organic Farm.

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Don’t they just make you want to play outside?

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From now through the end of the summer, gorgeous bouquets like this can be found at The Local Farmstand.  Isn’t nature amazing?

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Weeknight Dinner: Honey Mustard Chicken & Roasted Asparagus

Posted in local food, recipe on April 26th, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

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I often find myself planning my meals around what side dishes I want to serve.  Last week when I was greeted at The Local Farmstand by the arrival of this beautiful asparagus, I knew I had to make it that night for dinner.  Yes, spring is finally here!  When Nicholas dropped off the asparagus, I immediately started planning what I could make that would go well with the asparagus and I thought of our staple weeknight-dish, honey mustard chicken.

I’ve written about honey mustard chicken before, but I just couldn’t resist taking a few photos of this family-favorite last week.  Honey mustard chicken is another entrée that’s perfect for entertaining.  Minimal labor and no work once the guests arrives.  The combination of sweet honey, spice mustard and the kick of curry make a great trio.  I usually serve this dish with a veggie and a grain of choice.  Last week I used leftover quinoa with leeks and green garlic…stay tuned for that recipe.

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A last minute dinner idea turned into a delicious feast.  So easy and so delicious.

Honey Mustard Chicken

  • 2-6 boneless chicken breasts (depending on how many people you’re trying to feed)
  • ½ stick unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup Dijon mustard
  • ½-1teaspoon curry powder

Preheat oven to 325. Melt butter over low heat. Remove from burner.
While melted butter is still warm, stir in honey until it mixes with butter. Repeat with mustard. Stir in curry powder.
Place chicken breasts in a Pyrex dish. Pour mixture over chicken. Put in oven and let cook (uncovered) for 1 hour, basting every 15 minutes. If mixture gets a little sticky, just add some water.
Remove from oven and serve with rice or another grain. Use the sauce from the dish on the rice as well.

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Roasted Asparagus (Serves 3)

  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • S&P

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Preheat oven to 375*. Snap off tough asparagus ends and discard.  Put on baking sheet and gently toss to coat in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Roast in oven for about 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through.  Cooking time can vary with asparagus, depending on how crispy you want it to be.

*Note: I put the asparagus in the oven towards the end of the chicken’s cooking time, so used a 325 degree oven instead of 375.  Once I removed the chicken, I cranked up the heat to 400 for another few minutes.  They turned out delicious.

Enjoy!

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Brunch Ideas: Quiche Two Ways

Posted in Atlanta, baking, recipe on April 23rd, 2010 by Betsy – 2 Comments

One of my favorite things about the weekend is the rare opportunity to sit and really enjoy breakfast food.  No need to rush through a bowl of cereal and grab a to-go cup of coffee.  You can sit by yourself, with friends, or loved ones, and simply enjoy the morning and those great breakfast foods that you don’t have time for during the week.  Ahh.  I’m so glad it’s Friday.  Last weekend was so busy, with lacrosse tournaments and a trip to Chapel Hill for our godchild’s baptism, but I’m looking forward to a weekend at home to relax and enjoy leisurely meals.

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Looking for a great idea for brunch?  Quiche is a simple recipe that allows you to be creative with the ingredients that go into it.  You can be seasonal, meat heavy, or vegetarian.  A crowd pleaser, and relatively hands-off during the preparation process.  You can even make it ahead of time and simply reheat.

I decided to make my quiche recipe for Easter brunch and it was a big success.  It’s a great recipe for entertaining because you just mix the ingredients together (after some chopping), pour into the pie crust and bake.  No work once the guests arrived.  I use the Whole Foods Gluten-Free Bakehouse pie crust since I haven’t yet perfected the made-from-scratch GF crust.

I made two very different quiches, both of which used the same base ingredients:

  • 4 quality eggs lightly beaten (Of course I used ‘Amazing Eggs’ from Love is Love Farm.)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup 2% (or whole) milk
  • Salt and pepper

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Preheat oven to 375.  Whisk the above ingredients together in a bowl.

Bacon & Onion Quiche

This quiche is a meat lover’s favorite!  Cook 5 pieces of bacon in a skillet on medium heat.  I love bacon, but hate cooking it (and consequently smelling like bacon for the rest of the day) so I get my favorite sous chef to cook the bacon.

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Once cooked, remove from skillet and place on paper towels.  Cut bacon into small pieces.  In the same skillet, using bacon grease, sauté ½ cup of onions on medium until browned.  Add bacon and onions to egg/cheese/milk.  Mix and pour into pie crust.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until top of quiche starts to get golden brown.

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Broccoli & Green Garlic Quiche

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I used fresh, spring veggies for this one and it was perfect for a lovely Easter Sunday.  Chop green garlic into thin pieces.  (Don’t use green ends, just white and light green parts.)  Sautee in olive oil for about five minutes.  Chop broccoli into pieces and bring a pot of water to a boil.  Add broccoli to boiling water and heat for 3 minutes.  Quickly remove broccoli from hot water and put into a bowl of ice water.  (This process is called blanching.)  Cut broccoli into smaller pieces so they are bite size.  Add green garlic and broccoli to egg/cheese/milk mixture.  Mix and pour into pie crust.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, until top of quiche begins to turn a golden brown.

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I love a nice spring salad and fresh fruit as sides when serving quiche for a fancier brunch, such as our Easter luncheon.

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Enjoy your weekend!  I hope you find it relaxing, with lots of time to enjoy yummy breakfasts.  What are some of your favorite quiche recipes or brunch favorites?

What’s for Dinner?

Posted in Atlanta, cooking, vegetarian on April 16th, 2010 by Betsy – 4 Comments

I know everyone’s eager for the traditional summer veggies we all love.  Mmm, corn, squash,  tomatoes.  But take a look at what’s beautiful and in-season right now at The Local Farmstand.

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Can you resist these beautiful veggies? Decisions, decisions.  What to choose?  What to make?  So many vegetables. So little time.

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I made this for dinner last night…Delish.  I don’t have a name for it yet, but it was amazing.

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Who knew salad could look so good?  Crystal Organics salad mix and beets.  Woodland gardens micro greens.

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Chopped pistachios.  Roast beets, peel, cut.  Saute with balsamic vinegar, honey and olive oil.

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Top with goat cheese.  Eat.

IMG_0697The Local Farmstand – 1198 Howell Mill Rd – Atlanta, GA 30318

Spring Break 2K10 Continues

Posted in advice, cooking, travel on March 9th, 2010 by Betsy – 3 Comments

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Sun, books, writing, cooking, and rest. Glorious vacation. After a few days in Naples, Florida with Jen I’m feeling totally relaxed and in the groove of vacation. We wake up with no alarm, eat breakfast with a beautiful view of the water, gather our things and head out for a few hours of writing. Yes, it’s a total nerd fest. We spend most of the morning writing and drinking coffee. Around noon we head home for lunch, and then an afternoon of sun and books. The big decisions of the day include, pool or beach and which book to read? Lots of great conversation during and in between all of these. A late afternoon “wog” (walk/jog) followed by cocktails, appetizers and delicious gluten-free dinner. Perfect day.

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Our gluten-free menu this week:
“Smorgasbord” of appetizers including hummus, Farmstand carrots, dates & parmesan, chips & salsa

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Gluten-free pizza (Bob’s Red Mill) with pears, goat cheese, rosemary and caramelized onions

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Farmstand salad mix with watermelon radishes, pears, red onions, & dried cranberries

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Barefoot Contessa’s Roast Chicken with onions, rutabegas & sweet potatoes

GF Fusili pasta with tomato sauce, garlic, ground turkey, onions and oregano

Betty Crocker Gluten-free Brownies

Tonight’s my last night in Naples. So sad. For the final night, we’re going out on the town for dinner in Old Naples at Café Lurcat. So we’re not being totally anti-social this vacation. We even went to hear live music at the beach club the other night. We didn’t dance, but we enjoyed watching the odd (and most likely drugged) man dance. (See photo below.)

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Each gluten-free vacation gets easier and easier for me. I continue to learn more about traveling gluten-free and how to stay healthy away from home. Of course it helps to have a gluten-free travel buddy who likes to cook just as much as I do.

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A Roasting Extravaganza

Posted in recipe, vegetarian on December 8th, 2009 by Betsy – 2 Comments

Roasting vegetables is a simple, and delicious, side dish to make and it’s naturally gluten-free.  I love roasting vegetables because the meal changes as the seasons change.  If you have a CSA or go to a farmer’s market, just pick up what’s fresh and local and you’re ready to go.  The only steps involved are scrubbing, chopping, tossing in olive oil and baking.  Beautiful on the plate and delicious!  Goes well with pretty much any meal or it can be a meal on its own.

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Our go to weeknight roasting vegetable is the sweet potato.  David sees sweet potatoes almost daily, but they’re just so fresh, delicious and easy!  On Sunday night, as we decorated our Christmas tree, I shook things up a little bit and added some other veggies to my roasting pan.  In between putting up the Christmas tree lights and the ornaments, we ate a dinner completely composed of fresh, roasted vegetables.  So delicious!

What did we roast last night?  Sweet potatoes (of course!), a variety of baby turnips, and sunchokes.  We also roasted romanesco cauliflower, as well as beets. A great meal and super easy cleanup!

Simple Winter Roasted Root Vegetables:

Select your desired vegetables.  For this recipe, I used baby turnips, sunchokes and two varieties of sweet potatoes.

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Preheat oven to 425.  Clean vegetables.  I didn’t even peel mine but you can if you prefer not to eat the skin.  Since mine were fresh from Crystal Organic Farm I knew that I didn’t need to worry about chemicals and the skins are so good for you!  Chop root veggies, depending on what size they are and how big you would like them.  The key is to have them all around the same size.

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Put vegetables on pan and drizzle with olive oil, about 2 tablespoons.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Last night I added fresh rosemary because we had some extra in the fridge that needed to be used.  Toss vegetables to coat with olive oil.

Cook vegetables for 20 minutes, then flip and cook for another 20 minutes.  Add more salt and pepper before serving.

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Roasted Beets:

I’ve developed an appreciation for beets in the last two years, thanks to my in-laws, Bob and Elaine, who grow beets in their garden.  Nothing beats fresh beets!  I enjoy them cooked and served simply.

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Preheat oven to 375.  Clean beets and cut off greens and long stems.  (Don’t peel them.)  Put beets on tin foil and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Wrap beets in tin foil.  Bake for 45to 90 minutes, depending on the size of the beets.  Remove from oven, let cool.  Peel beets.  (The peel should come off pretty easily when they’re done cooking.  Be careful, your fingers can turn purple as you peel!)  Slice beets or leave whole.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Other ingredients that go nicely with beets are goat cheese, walnuts, and balsamic vinegar.

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I used two varieties of beets, your typical beet that you find in a grocery store and the ‘candy cane’ variety.  You can see they’re red and white striped, like a candy cane!  Perfect for a night of Christmas tree decorating!

Roasted Romenesco Cauliflower:

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What a cool looking vegetable!  I love looking at it so I had to experiment with cooking with it.  You can boil romanesco or steam it just like you would regular cauliflower, but I decided to stick with the theme of the meal and roast it.

Preheat oven to 400.  Cut cauliflower into florets like you would broccoli or cauliflower and put on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Toss to coat romanesco with olive oil.  Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flip with spatula, and cook for another 10 minutes.

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Add ¼ cup of pine nuts  and 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese for the last 4 minutes of cooking.  Toss with a little red wine vinegar before serving.  (If you don’t feel like including this final step, the cauliflower is delicious simply roasted with olive oil too!)

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Since I made all three of these recipes in one night, I tweaked the cooking temps and baked everything at 400 and they turned out just fine.  You can judge how well you want your vegetables roasted.  I like a good brown crust on my roasted root vegetables so I keep an eye on them as they bake and just keep them in a little longer if need be.

So do you see a common theme with these recipes?  Vegetables and olive oil.  What more could you need?  Fresh, simple, delicious.  In one evening, we made a yummy, seasonal, vegetarian meal, put up the Christmas tree, and continued working on my ‘perfect chocolate chip cookie’ recipe.  Stay tuned for more details!

Local Food Economics: It’s Easy to be a gluten-free local consumer

Posted in Atlanta, local food on December 2nd, 2009 by Betsy – 1 Comment

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Check out this video presented by Georgia Organics.  It raises a lot of great questions and thoughts about the benefits of buying locally and creating a sustainable, local food economy.  We’ve gotten so used to buying cheap food, but is it good food?  Is it nutritious?  We don’t think twice about spending money on clothes, cars and home decorating.  Why not spend more on what we’re putting into our bodies?

The video features Ron Eyester, the chef/owner of Rosebud, one of my favorite local restaurants, discussing why he buys local.  Judith Winfrey and Joe Reynolds, from Love is Love Farm, share their thoughts about how we, as a community, can benefit from supporting local farms.  Check it out:

Local Food Economics: Georgia Organics

Eating locally fits easily into a healthy, gluten-free diet.  Fresh produce is definitely gluten-free and tastes so good!  Do you know what’s in season right now in your area?  What are some of the meals you make with fresh, seasonal produce?  If you live in Atlanta, here are some photos of local produce you can find right now at your farmer’s market.  Roasted sweet potatoes, homemade applesauce, butternut squash risotto.  Doesn’t it sound delicious?  Beautiful, local, AND gluten-free!

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