Kerry and Joy Hedges are among the increasing number of people who recognize the advantages of eating locally produced food.
The owners of Slowpoke Farm, a sustainable operation located just south of Cisco between Abilene and Forth Worth, the Hedges believe buying local food improves a community’s ecology and economy and benefits an individual’s health and spirituality.
“Food is fundamentally the most important thing you have in your life. It is the primary way you interface with the world,” Kerry Hedges said.
Buying locally produced food results in cooking locally produced food. Even with the stress of college life, the Hedges suggest taking small steps to move toward incorporating fresh and organic food into eating habits.
“You cannot change everything,” Joy Hedges said. “You start with one meal and work your way up.”
With that in mind, you may want to try out a few Slowpoke Farm recipes. They may take a bit longer than Top Ramen, but they are top-notch alternatives to fast-paced eating. The Hedges suggest experimenting with spices and ingredients in these recipes to fit personal taste.
Local products, including produce, meat and dairy, are available every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at the Abilene Farmer’s Market. The market opens at 8 a.m. and is located in the Frontier Texas parking lot on N. 1st St.
Rosemary, lemonÂ and garlic chicken
1-2 chopped cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons rosemary
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
lemon juice from two fresh lemons
salt and pepper to taste
2 chicken breasts
sliced lemon for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Toss and coat chicken breast in olive oil and lemon juice, and place in a baking dish. Add garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Top with lemon slices. (Or experiment with your own flavors.)
3. Roast in oven for 25-30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.
4. Serve warm with oven-roasted balsamic squash.
Roasted balsamic squash and sweet potato
4-5 cups winter squash (such as acorn squash) and sweet potatoes, cut into 1 in. wedges
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
2 onions, cut into wedges
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons gruyere cheese (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Toss squash, sweet potatoes and onions with oil and vinegar. Add spices.
3. Place ingredients in a roasting pan and cook for 30 minutes. If using cheese, sprinkle over squash and cook another 20 minutes.
Raisin, pecan and brown rice pudding
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup maple syrup or sorghum
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups brown rice
3/4 cups pecans
2 cups raisins
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Beat eggs with cream, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon.
3. Stir in rice, pecans and raisins. Pour into casserole dish. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
4. Garnish with more cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm.