Monday, March 8, 2010

Local Food Gifts

I love gifts of local foods and when a package with these kale chips arrived from my sister in Austin, I realized I must have mentioned kale one too many times to her last fall when I visited. I recalled telling her that my friend Patty makes kale chips and also that I'd discovered this fantastic kale and avocado salad at Whole Foods in Austin. Who couldn't love kale when paired with creamy avocado and drenched in a luscious honey-lemon dressing?

I couldn't get enough of the salad when I was there, but I felt a little bad since my sister was stuck in the hospital without any appetite and the hospital was serving up just about the worst food I'd ever seen. If anything could put you in an early grave it's the deep fried corn dog and jalapeno poppers served in the hospital. Anyway, when I was there, I'd leave the dreary hospital, go to Whole Foods, about a block away and dine at the Raw Food Bar. Now why don't they have that option here? Because that's where I discovered my inner foodie really did love kale.

So these packages of kale chips arrived--original, Bombay curry and Zesto Nacho. Gluten-free, raw, vegan--that's the kind of snack I'm up for and my Kitchen Assistant, Finn, was right there with me. Mr Conventional Palate (Tom) declined to try them. I don't think he could quite wrap his mind around kale and chips in the same sentence, but I thought they were quite good and Finn eagerly licked up the crumbs.

When I want to pay it forward with a gift from the market, one choice is Holmquist Hazelnuts. These come in all kinds of flavors and they even offer gift packs.

Another choice is Olson's beef jerky. Maybe it sounds like an odd choice for a vegetarian, but people rave about this jerky and it's grass fed local beef. If you're going to eat animal products, you should be at least up to speed with how those animals are raised and the alternatives available. Get Jo Robinson's book Pasture Perfect, available on her Web site. Speaking of Jo's book--that's another perfect gift idea for friends who love meat.

Finn dreams that I'll try and take a picture of him with a hunk of beef jerky.

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