Local Meals in Non-Local Season


Winter is over but spring is only barely here. In this in-between time, what local foods can we still focus on? Below are some of the types of meals we have been enjoying lately.


To find local foods this time of year we head down to our Kitchener Farmer’s Market or use Bailey’s Local Foods (an online farmer’s market). These are meals we’ve recently made or are making this next week:

  • Indian Cabbage and Potatoes and Daal– Local cabbage and potatoes seem to stay available almost right up until when the new crop arrives! For green chili we use frozen jalapeño from last summer.
  • Spanish Chickpeas with Greens – To keep things local when we can no longer find local spinach we use frozen kale from last summer. The version of this recipe we use is from Cook’s Illustrated and does not feature almonds like the one linked here does. This is one of our favourite recipes, and it makes good use of the stale ends of homemade loaves of bread.
  • Black Bean and Tempeh Tacos – Thanks to Oak Manor, we can get local beans all year (we just have to be willing to cook them from scratch!). The same can be said for Henry’s Tempeh. Add in a seasonal Pico de Gallo and you can have a lovely plant-based Cinco de Mayo meal this week. Oh and make some flan for dessert!
  • Fish Tagine – We cook fish about once every 2 months, but when we do it’s a very special treat. We are lucky to live very close to T & J Seafood and we like to buy an Ontario-raised fish, which usually is a variety of trout from Lake Huron. To keep things local this time of year we use frozen peppers from last summer (have you noticed a theme?). 
  • Soup and bread – We try to find soup recipes that put our frozen vegetables to use (cauliflower, kale, peppers, corn) or our canned tomatoes. Finally we consider the remaining local vegetable options that local farmers have been storing since last fall (cabbage, potatoes, beets, radishes, carrots, and if we’re lucky butternut squash). Ideas like Cabbage and Beet Stew or Cabbage Soup with Lentils and Potatoes.
  • Bowls – Same as the idea above for soup, we try to find recipes that feature the local foods that are still available (either in our freezer, jars, or stored by local farmers). Ideas like Roasted Carrot, Beet, and Lentil Bowls, or many of the recipes from Alison Day’s blog or cookbooks
  • Pizza – A great use for canned tomatoes (or sauce), but what local foods can you use this time of year? We are lucky to often find local greenhouse tomatoes, but we also like putting apples on pizza, or any of our frozen veggies. Mushrooms are local all year long and make a great topping, as do potatoes. Here are some of the pizzas we make throughout the year