Whether you grew your own food and put some away a little for the winter or take time to support the local farmers at the tailgate markets, you can choose lots of fresh food grown right in your community for your celebrations!
Here in Southern Appalachia, right now you will find local onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, greens, lettuce, winter squash, apples and pumpkins. You might even be able to find a local turkey, trout and even meat alternatives called tempeh and plant meat. For serving with all those fruits, vegetables and protein, there are local grits, cornmeal, flour, rice and a variety of local breads and baked goods to complement them.
Western North Carolina also has plenty of beverages to enjoy along with holiday meal which include beer, wine, kombucha and even local soda.
In addition to all the local food to have on the holiday table, now is the time to think about what family holiday traditions that you want to add and keep in your family so that they can remember years from now some of the special things that you did together in addition to food celebrations. One thing that my family added to our holidays is a long walk after our meal to talk and burn off a few of our extra treats. When I was a child, I remember my mom provided art supplies so we could make decorations for the table. We also watched the Macy’s parade on television while my mom was preparing foods and we were waiting for out of town guests.
There is lots to be grateful for with the variety of food where we live and the community of people who live here surrounded by the beauty of the mountains.
So take a little time to enjoy the season, slow down, savor and enjoy. If you are looking for a different salad to try, Here is a seasonal green salad with winter squash and pears. I hope that you and your family enjoy!
Roasted Butternut, Pear & Arugula Salad
This salad recipe is from my book, Farm Fresh Nutrition: Eating Green and Clean. Supporting Your Local Economy. You can find most of ingredients for it locally during the fall and winter.
Makes 4 servings
1 large butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and cut into one inch cubes, or other squash you have on hand
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary from the garden
Salt and pepper
4 cups arugula
2 medium pears
1-2 tablespoon goat cheese
1-2 tablespoon pecans
2 pounds arugula
Preheat oven to 400 degrees as you seed, peel and chop squash into one inch cubes.
Roast squash tossed with one tablespoon of olive oil for about 30 minutes until it gets soft and begins to caramelize.
In a small pan add pecans in oven and toast for 5 minutes.
Take out and let cool. While the squash is roasting, wash arugula well, drain and add to a large shallow bowl.
Make dressing with balsamic vinegar, mustard, olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, salt and pepper.
After squash is finished allow to cool slightly and add on top of arugula.
Drizzle with dressing and top with crumbled goat cheese and toasted pecans.