Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Greenmarket Challenge: Day 12

Rather than supplementing my Greenmarket purchases with purchases from the supermarket as I usually do, I bough all of my purchases from the Greenmarket this week. I set myself a budget of $110, which is only slightly more than what I normally spend for two weeks of groceries. Keep in mind that this budget will cover my breakfasts, lunches, and dinner for the next 12 days; that's $11 a day, a fair budget considering my average lunch in midtown Manhattan is $8. I have allowed myself some leg room to use ingredients such as grains, sauces, and garlic that I already had on hand, but other than that necessary allowance, my entire diet for the week will consist of local foods. Follow along with me as I document local my meals over the next twelve days of my Greenmarket Challenge.

Day 12

Poached Knoll Crest eggs over whole wheat toast

Lunch: Rotini salad with green garlic pesto and sugar snap peas

Dinner: Polenta with green garlic pesto, chorizo, and roasted asparagus

And with that, my Greenmarket Challenge is over! I was hoping to end the challenge with an interesting, celebratory meal of Greenmarket ingredients, but alas, I had very little of my Greenmarket purchases from two weeks ago remaining.

All in all, the past twelve days have been incredibly rewarding, both as an amateur cook and as a proponent of locally-sourced ingredients. Not only have I challenged my culinary creativity, but I have also learned how to make the most of my food budget. While I doubt that I will continue to try to source my meals entirely from the Greenmarket, my Greenmarket Challenge has taught me some valuable lessons in both budgeting and cooking.

With the completion of my Greenmarket Challenge, I have a couple celebratory meals planned for the weekend. The first will certainly be a restaurant meal, as I have cooked non-stop for the last twelve days and am in need of a meal out. For my second celebratory meal, I will return to the theme of the past two weeks and cook a meal consisting entirely of local ingredients. Check back to read about my meals!

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