As you know I am a big fan of seasonal eating and local shopping. I’ve mentioned them before and one of my favorite places to shop in Austin is in.gredients.
They consider themselves, “A grocery store in scope and corner store in scale.” Think of them as “Farmer’s market offerings with grocery store hours.”
So while the farmers markets are fantastic on a Saturday morning or Wednesday evening, I recognize it’s not always the most convenient.
Last weekend was super busy and I didn’t have a chance to make it to the farmers market, so I Car2go’d over to in.gredients to see what I could find.
I went a little crazy in there but it’s often hard not to.
While you can find a ton of options at a Whole Foods or Central Market, this store carries things you just can’t find; like a pasture raised, antibiotic-free chicken from Richardson Farms, seasonal, locally raised sustainable veggies, AND a great beer selection.
The point of this post is to share a few recipes, but before I get to that, I want to let you know that I’m working on a post about reducing food waste and what you can do at home to minimize your waste. It’s a major problem in the food industry and some of the numbers are frightening. I’ll save them for the next post but in.gredients is setting a great example for our community here in Austin.
In.gredients is a zero-waste store. They are proud to claim they have sent zero pounds of food waste to the landfill since opening their doors in 2012. They are working towards a better food future. When asked about their goals for zero waste, in.gredients, “aims to lead by example for businesses and individuals alike, proving that achieving zero waste is not a pipe dream but rather an achievable standard that can have a significant impact on reducing our overall footprint on the planet” (Source).
But back to the food. I walked out of the store with the following:
- 1 whole chicken
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 2 apples
- 2 lemons
- A bunch of cherry tomatoes
- 1 Asian cucumber
- 1 bag of arugula
- 12 carrots
- A bunch of leeks
- 1 can of black beans
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1 ginger root
- 2 onions (yellow and red)
- Goat cheese
- 12 happy chicken eggs
That’s where the fun started.
My Aunt Susan just got back from vacation in Morocco and lucky for me she is the queen of gifts. She so thoughtfully brought back some of most amazing spices I have ever tasted. Ras el hanout, Sweet paprika, Cumin, and ground ginger.
The smells were unbelievable. She had to air out her clothes for 3 days if that gives you any idea about the power of these spices. I mixed them together with a little garlic powder, salt and pepper and voilà, a bomb-ass Moroccan chicken dry-rub. Get the full grilled-chicken recipe here!
Now that I figured out the main dish, it was time for the sides. I always have a fun time deciding what to make for sides and my favorite book of inspiration is the Vedge cookbook from the Vedge Restaurant in Philadelphia. On page 49 there is a recipe for “spiced little carrots with chickpea-sauerkraut purée.” Boom!
There I had all I needed. The title was enough, all I needed was the spark. I had carrots, but no sauerkraut or chickpeas. What I did have was red onion, garlic, black beans, and some AMAZING Spanish olive oil called Veritat oli d’oliva. (Side note: I was given this bottle of Veritat by my boss and it’s fantastic. It is an Arbequina Olive Oil direct from the Priorat region of Spain. If you’re an olive oil fan like myself, I highly recommend getting a bottle and trying it out.)
I decided to make grilled carrots and leeks with a black bean puree. Click here for the full recipe. Here’s a picture of the finished product.
Wednesday night was no joke. I was going all out so the buck didn’t stop there. Now it was time for one of my favorites. Mashed potatoes. SWEET POTATO, MASHED POTATOES!
And I’m not going to sugar coat this. Don’t look up a recipe online. Just use mine. I made ginger-garlic mashed potatoes that were out of this world. The secret…
Don’t boil the potatoes!!!!
You have to roast the sweet potatoes and the potato will do all the work for you.
Too often you’ll see recipes with all kinds of sugar or maple syrup that needs to be added to make them sweet and delicious. But it’s a SWEET potato, and when you cook it correctly, they’re sweet. So trust me on this one, even if you don’t like ginger and garlic. See my recipe here and you can add your own spices.
Finally, I’m a salad for dessert kind of guy, so I threw together an arugula salad, with tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, and Pure Luck’s June’s Joy goat cheese. Once again the Veritat Olive Oil was clutch. When it was mixed with a bit of lemon, salt, and pepper, I had a delicious dressing.
While this meal was a bit extravagant, (final products below…) it’s not difficult to cook like this. Good food tastes good when it comes from good places.
I can always count on in.gredients to have my back and be stocked with local produce, meats, cheeses, and beer that make for a happy chef and even happier friends and family who get to eat it.
If you live in Austin, go check it out. They have a great community and I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Special thanks to my good friend and photographer, Diego Menchaca!
2 thoughts on “Wednesday night I went crazy with in.gredients”
You are one impressive guy. I absolutely love to cook and will definitely use these recipes!
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