Archive for LOMB News

Tons of Tomato

The first freeze is coming to Santa Fe this weekend.  All the gardens and farms are out harvesting all the fruits and vegetables that may be damaged in the three days of cold temperatures.  In my garden, the harvest is producing a lot of green and red tomatoes.  The Farmers Market, CSA and even grocery stores may also have a lot of ripe tomatoes that are from a plentiful harvest.  They may even be on a better deal during the next few weeks.  Here are some tips to preserve and ripen them.

Amy Hetager, Home Grown New Mexico and Local Organic Meals on a Budget Blogger

Ripe Tomatoes-

1. Cherry or grape tomatoes can be roasted at 400 degrees with salt, pepper, small amount of olive oil and dried oregano for 45 minutes.  Let cool and store in a glass container in your freezer.  Leave the skins on for extra flavor in a future tomato sauce or soup.

2. Roma or red tomato varieties are good for hot water bath canning or blanching and freezing.  Check the recipe section for tips on canning tomatoes.

3. Heirloom tomatoes have a high-water content and are hard to roast or can.  Drying these in an oven on 150 degrees or a dehydrator can preserve them as a type of sun dried tomato.

Green Tomatoes-

1. John Connell, guest chef from our Wed class, had great advice to pull the entire tomato plant and hang upside down in a window.  The tomatoes will ripen on the plant.

2. Wrap the tomatoes in newspaper or place in a closed paper bag on your counter.  Most of them should start to be ripe in the next few weeks.  They won’t taste exactly as they did on the plant outside, but they are typically better than what you can buy.

3. Cook some green tomato recipes.

My Green Tomato, Green Chile Jam

My Green Tomato Cake recipe



Meet Mark, a Local Organic Fan

Are you a local organic fan?  This is a great way to talk about why you love organic food and ways that you find local food.  We have our first entry this week to share with you.  Mark has also submitted some of his easy recipes so look for them in future blog posts.  Send us the answers to the questions below and you may be the next Local Organic Fan!

Local Organic Fan

Mark, a Local Organic FanName: Mark Arcuri

Hometown: Patchogue (Eastern Long Island), New York

Why are you a Local Organic Fan?

Three years ago I learned about a blood clot in my left leg. While the clot was superficial and not life threatening, the experience at 47 years old was shocking. I had an interest in healthy cooking and in wellness, but in reality, I didn’t make health much of a priority. I never once attended the gym and, despite the appearance of healthy eating and making sustainable choices, I did those things only in spurts unless I was around others. Indeed, others saw me as much healthier than I actually was. The clot was a game-changer. I looked in the mirror and I saw my dad. I saw the potential for the host of preventable lifestyle-related diseases that he suffered for years. The doctor said that my clot was due to genetics, but I knew better. I believe that genetics merely provide a blueprint of possibilities rather than a destiny. I decided to take charge and from that moment on my life has never been the same.

How do you live a local, organic lifestyle?

I found a new doctor who was in Family Practice and Holistic Medicine. I returned to the gym and hired a personal trainer. I started reading material that I had placed on the back burner, such as the anti-inflammatory guidelines by Andrew Weil, MD. I cleared my cupboards of foods such as certain oils, preserved foods, manufactured foods and anything that did not grow as-it-was, like GMOs. I started shopping in markets offering local and organic foods, such as the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market and La Montanita Food Coop. I prepared more morning and evenings meals at home and packed my lunch.

On frequent overnight travels, I stopped at local markets for fruit and nuts and nonperishables. I committed to reading something new everyday that could support me in my efforts – often a web page, part of a book or an article.

Any inspiration, tips or advice to share with others?

Share what you are doing with others! But, be sure to choose kindred folks. I began talking about what I was doing with family (my dad has since passed, but we made progress), friends and even strangers in the gym and markets. Sharing information with others is a great way to make the intention more real. I also remind myself that modifying my lifestyle is a process that continues to expand and unfold, as does my life. Like anything, it will never be done. So, there is no pressure to do any more than I have time for on a given day. A step is a step is a step. None is big and none is small. Do what you can, and it is enough.

What successes have you had as a result?

Once the momentum got going, I found that my appetite for more was enough to push me forward.

  • Lost nearly 30 pounds without dieting.
  • Learned that wholesome, sustainable ingredients sometimes cost more, but that the cost was balanced by my tendency to buy less – I was not eating less necessarily, but I was wasting less.
  • Discovered that cooking was often quicker, took less energy (mine, and natural resources!), and left me with food that was easily turned into different meals another day.
  • Felt more connected to my community through more purposeful interactions with purveyors, during meals, and in healthy lifestyle-related gatherings.
  • I also became a wealth of information for others, and even inspiring to some. I made peace with my dad and with his choices before he passed away.
  • My work also shifted to its current focus on holistic wellness and helping clients in their transitions to aligning with a healthier, sustainable life.

What are some of your favorite fast and easy dishes that you cook regularly?

  • Grill year round – chicken, fish, occasional beef. Any of these can be enjoyed as-is with a side of a sweet potato, asparagus, steamed brown rice, or fresh veggies/salad of your choice.
  • Eat whole wheat pasta at least twice a week with a fresh sauce. My policy is that the sauce must be prepared in the same time or less than it takes to cook the pasta. A chopped tomato, some basil, minced garlic, olive oil, and fresh ground pepper with a bit of grated cheese is my staple. Maybe add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. And this sauce doesn’t require cooking at all!

Any final thoughts?

My new lifestyle may sound like a lot to make time for, but it takes me less than an hour including the food preparation and reading. Commitment must follow any vision in order to allow the reality of that vision to manifest. We are all blessed with unlimited choices for how we might manifest the blueprints for our lives. Becoming a Local Organic Fan can be easy and inexpensive. It is the best way that I have found to transform my life by embracing my blueprint, modifying it and building the perfect holistically healthy life.

Still room in Saturday’s class

Our Weds. class is sold out, but there is still room right now in the Sat. class. Marc Howard will be making an Heirloom Tomato Caprese tart (fresh pesto, mozzarella and tomatoes on a quick and easy handmade pie crust) and lamb kebabs from Talus Ranch. Reserve your space online or call 471-7780. Only $10, but lots of great info and inspiration. Come with a friend!

Thanks, Volunteers!

We had a great group of people at our Volunteer Meeting yesterday. It’s always a treat hearing volunteers’ stories and why they’re drawn to Local Organic Meals on a Budget. Listening to what everyone is passionate about in their lives and what they’re working towards, individually and collectively, is really inspiring. Thanks to ALL our volunteers who make this project happen and especially to the amazing group who showed up and contributed their ideas and energy Wednesday night!

How to post comments

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Welcome to the LOMB blog


Classes, Community & Resources

Are you a local organic fan, into healthy cooking, fresh ingredients and enjoyable eating? Join our community of like-minded enthusiasts and share your stories, your recipes, shopping or cooking tips, or feedback and suggestions for our monthly classes. This blog is for YOU, to have a voice and to connect with other people who share your interests and passions. We hope this will be a forum for useful information and for supporting and enlightening each other in creating a healthier planet, one meal at a time. One person can change the world, so let’s empower ourselves and start locally. Sign up for a class today at Buon appetito!