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Filtering by Tag: Central New York

Mushroom And Beef Stroganoff

One of the neat things that my family and I did this summer was participate in the Open Farm Day event in Madison County in Central New York.  We spent a whole Saturday visiting three local farms in our area.  

My main interest for this event was to see the mushroom farm Fruit of the Fungi.  Since it's hard to find local, organic mushrooms the idea of touring this mushroom farm was such a unique opportunity I couldn't pass it up.  

If you've been following me for a while you know about my fascination with mushrooms.  Why mushrooms?  Mushrooms are medicinal.  There are certain ones that will help control blood sugar and even help ward off cancer.  Mushrooms are certainly one of Mother Nature's gifts to us.  

Fruit of the Fungi has been growing a number of certified organic mushrooms like shiitake, reishi, lion's mane, and king trumpet for ten years.  They also sell a wonderful variety of mushroom powders and dried mushrooms.  I love the versatility of the mushroom powders. I have been adding it in a lot of my dishes.  I've even used the powder as a gluten free breading for tuna cakes.

One of the perks that I got from visiting Fruit of the Fungi besides seeing how they grow their mushrooms was picking up some of their delicious mushroom recipes.  One of the recipes that I had to try right away was their stroganoff recipe.

This recipe is a winner!  You can make adjustments when needed or to one's preference.  This recipe can be prepared dairy free and gluten free.  Mushrooms really make this meal packing it with so much flavor.  I like using shiitake and cremini mushrooms.  I've tried other combinations but that's my personal preference.  The original recipe called for venison but I used grass fed sirloin steak instead.  I've also used grass fed tenderloin and that works great, too.  

I like to use local organic wheat pasta with this recipe.  For those in Central York New my favorite pasta at the moment is Flour City Pasta.  I like fettuccine for this recipe but any one will work really well.  If you would like to avoid wheat, you could use gluten free pasta, organic rice or mash potatoes.  For a gluten free pasta option I've also tried organic quinoa pasta shells by Ancient Harvest.  It's pretty good.  

Since coming across this recipe I've made it several times adding my own spin to it.  I think this is a recipe that really can't go wrong.  Even my four year old can't get enough of it.  Like I've mentioned I love the mushroom powder.  I believe that it helps thicken the sauce a bit.  If you don't use mushroom powder you could add a few tablespoons of pasta water until you like the consistency of the sauce.  Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.  I love this recipe and I hope you and your loved ones do too!


Mushroom and Beef Stroganoff

Ingredients

3 tbsp grass fed butter or ghee

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, chopped very small

Freshly ground pepper

Himalayan pink sea salt

1/8 to 1/4 cup red wine or brandy

4 cups shiitake and cremini mushrooms (and/or mix with king trumpets and oysters)

1 lb grass fed sirloin steak, grass fed tenderloin, or venison, cut into thin strips

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp mushroom powder

1 cup homemade beef or mushroom stock

1 cup organic crème fraiche or 3/4 cup organic sour cream (dairy free sour cream is available at health food stores if you're on a dairy free diet)

1 tsp brown mustard

3 or 4 sprigs flat parsley, chopped

Directions

Heat oil and butter in a cast iron pan and saute onions for about 5 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to cook until mushrooms are just tender.  Remove and set aside.  Add cut steak to the same pan and quickly fry for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, and mushroom powder.  Add wine and continue cooking until alcohol burns off.  Scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula to release all the brown bits, they will add flavor to the sauce.  Add the stock.  Put onions and mushrooms back into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until everything is heated through and slightly bubbling.  Stir in crème fraiche and mustard well.  Add the parsley.  Serve with pasta, mash potatoes or rice.  Enjoy!

Central New York Favorites

Fruit of the Fungi  You can order their mushroom powders and dried mushrooms on their website.  I highly recommend.  They can also be purchased through Greyrock Farm's CSA program as well as the CNY Regional Market.

Flour City Pasta  I love the texture of this pasta and that it's local and handmade the old traditional Italian style.  I get mine at Greyrock Farm.  

MacDonald Farms Mom's Mustard  I never liked mustard before until I tried this brand.  It's so delicious.  It can also be found at Greyrock Farm.

Resources for Clean Eating

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My ON FIRE 6 Month Health Coaching Program

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Shop and Chop Days

Mushrooms are medicinal. There are certain ones that will help control blood sugar and even help ward off cancer. Mushrooms are certainly one of Mother Nature’s gifts to us.

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Local, Local, Local

When I was still in a fast-paced corporate life, I often heard the mantra location, location, location.  Fast forward ten years later and the world as I know it has changed.  Now my favorite phrase is local, local, local.

I have gladly changed gears and careers.  I got out of the corporate rat race and competing with the Joneses mentality for a kinder, slower paced and relaxed lifestyle much better suited to who and where I am today.   I'm so glad I did because at the rate I was going I was headed towards a heart attack.  Plus I like myself a hundred times better now.

So why have I adopted local, local, local?  Why do I live by it as much as possible and I promote it to everyone I know and meet?  It's simple.  Follow a seasonal, local diet and you will notice a difference in your physical and emotional state and your health will improve greatly.

I used to think that as long as I ate organic I would be getting the very best in nutrition.  Well, that's not necessarily true.  Many people do not consider that grocery stores source food from all over.  You will find produce from different regions of the US and even other countries.  By the time that produce hits the stores there's practically nothing left in nutrients and vitamins.  

And this was one of the reasons that got me sick in the first place.  Even though I was eating organic at the time, I was severely nutrient deficient because my body was unable to absorb nutrients. 

While I'm a proponent of eating organic I am very much in support of patronizing local produce and local farmers who grow without unnecessary chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.  God bless them because who knows how hard they are working to produce good, honest, organic local food!   

Fresh local, organic food is medicine.  I'm willing to spend on high quality, freshly picked, local and organic produce in order to avoid antibiotics and maintenance meds now and in the future.  I am thankful every day that my family and I have been able to steer clear of antibiotics, pharmaceutical drugs, and prescription medicine.  I believe that eating clean, local, and organic food has boosted our immunity.  My four year old son has never been on antibiotics and I'd like to keep it that way for as long as possible.

You might be wondering how to find locally grown organic produce.  One solution would be to have your own organic garden.  Research biodynamic farming and learn how to do organic gardening the right way.  Imagine the convenience of walking out into your backyard to harvest your favorite vegetables and herbs!

If growing your own produce isn't your thing, farmers markets is an alternative.  They are an outstanding place to find local produce and products.  There's a large one in Syracuse called the CNY Regional Market (which is on my list of places to visit).  Cazenovia and Skaneateles have farmers markets as well.     

Finally, consider joining a CSA (community supported agriculture).  Start with  www.localharvest.org to find a local CSA.  CSAs are the solution to the concern that organic is too pricey.  CSAs are great value for what you are getting.  There just is no better deal in town.  Not sure which CSA to join?  Talk to local farmers (especially farmers who grow organic) near you and visit their farms.  They are more than happy to answer questions and many times they will give you a tour of their farm.

Know your farmer.  Eat local and seasonally.  Listen to your body.  To your health and happiness!

Favorites in Central New York

Visit www.localharvest.org to learn about local CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).

Go see my friend Emily at Greyrock Farm in Cazenovia.  She gives the best customer service and the best ideas for how to prepare the delicious organic food the farm offers.  Greyrock sells grass-fed meats and bones, raw grass-fed milk and many other local dry goods.

Black Brook Organic Farm in Skaneateles has been a certified organic farm for 20 years.  Kendra and Paul grow the best looking organic produce I've ever seen.  Every time we buy the food is super fresh and delectable.  They are also the owners of our favorite farm to food truck in CNY called Potatoes & Molasses.  

Looking to grow your very own herb garden?  Go to Lee's Feed Store in Syracuse.  They sell organic potting soil called Vermont Ag Moo Grow and Moo Doo (cow manure).  Kendra at Black Brook Organic has been using these for years.

The Yard in Manlius is a fun, unique outdoor market open on Sundays.  You can find Black Brook Organic Farm there as well as other local talented vendors.  They have live music, local beer, Ironwood pizza, and more!  

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Interested in working with a health coach who can help navigate you in this confusing world of nutrition and wellness? Click on Learn More below.

Know your farmer. Eat local and seasonally. Listen to your body.

     

Crazy For Caz

Caz is short for Cazenovia which has become one of my favorite places to spend with family in Central New York.  I love this place!  Whether we're in the middle of winter trekking through piles of snow or taking in the serenity of springtime, Cazenovia is really a charming place to be.

My husband brought me and our son Constantine to The Brewster Inn, a very warm and comfy country inn in Cazenovia for my birthday this past March.  He had dined there for a work event and was very pleased with his meal so we were very excited about celebrating there.  

I was surprised to see how busy the inn was for a Tuesday night.  There were patrons at the bar as well as small parties dining for dinner.  I chose the crab cake appetizer with arugula, beets, and goat cheese salad.  I also had a delectable Brewster's style shrimp scampi.  For dessert, we shared a passionfruit custard and coconut ice cream.  Overall, it was a lovely evening and the whole experience was wonderful.  I will definitely go back to bring family and friends to enjoy the excellent food and ambience at The Brewster Inn.    

The second time we visited Cazenovia, there was a lot of snow, with 28 inches having fallen a few days before.  Despite the snow, we easily made it over to discover Cazenovia.  I'm so glad that we did.

Our first stop was at a local CSA farm store called Greyrock Farm.  I was interested in this CSA for a few reasons.  Lately, I've been intrigued about raw milk from grass-fed cows.  In the state of New York the only place where you can buy raw milk is from the source so that means you would need to buy at the farm.  

Since I can remember I have never liked the taste of milk so naturally I avoided it if possible.  But just last year I tasted raw milk for the first time in Virginia Beach.  I was at Whole Foods and saw raw milk for sell.  I had recently read the benefits about raw milk from a book I was reading called Real Food For Mother and Baby by Nina Planck.  (By the way, this is an excellent book for those trying to conceive, who are pregnant, and who are figuring what foods are best for your infant.)  

So the verdict was a two thumbs up for raw milk that day I tasted it.  And I decided to add grass-fed raw milk to our family's diet and I probably will stick to this for the long haul.  The benefits of grass-fed raw milk outweigh pasteurized organic milk.  I want the very best for my family and that means patronizing local farms and companies to get the most nutritious food available to us.  We like to get at least two half gallon bottles, one to consume right away and the other to freeze.  Raw milk contains no preservatives so it needs to be consumed fairly quickly within 7 to 10 days.   

Now Greyrock Farm is not your regular CSA (Community Supported Agriculture).  I had been accustomed to participating in CSAs in which you go to your weekly pick-up location to get your shared box.  That meant that the produce was handpicked for the CSA member and whatever produce the farmer had on hand was our share for the week.  When I was on an elimination diet, many times I would give away produce that was not part of my diet to friends or neighbors.  This is one small drawback but I still highly recommend joining a CSA for getting the most bank for your buck as well as the most nutrient dense food locally available for yourself and your family.  But I have noticed that more and more CSAs are offering you your choice of produce.

Greyrock Farm is unique in that you visit the farm store and browse through different offerings like produce, grass-fed meats, pasture raised eggs, local cheeses, local butter, local organic bread and pasta, local fungi, local condiments and other products.  I appreciate that you can talk face to face with the farmer, Matt Volz, and that the farm team is very accessible, friendly, and knowledgeable.   

Greyrock Farm has certainly made their CSA a step level more competitive than most CSAs.  For anyone who lives in the Syracuse area sign up at Greyrock Farm is very simple.  Just visit the farm store and sign up at the register.  The minimum amount to open an account is $500 but that amount goes a long way and you receive a discount of 5 percent.  The more you put down the higher the discount.  We were quite surprised that for our first purchase we must have picked up twice the amount that we normally get at the grocery store yet paid so much less.

A day in Cazenovia would not be complete without visiting Empire Farm Brewery.  Empire Farm Brewery has become one of my favorite farm to table restaurants in the Syracuse area.  We were amazed during our first visit.  As I've mentioned we had just gotten about 28 inches of snowfall yet this place was jam packed!  People were out and about enjoying the day despite the snow.

Being inside the brewery we took in the expansive view of pure white snow falling.  And we had the most delicious grass-fed burgers, the Meadows Farm wagyu burger, that we have had in the Syracuse area.  Nothing beats the taste of clean, farm to table food.  We also ordered their awesome mac n' cheese made with creamy Welsh style cheese and their own bacon.  The service was excellent and of course you can't leave without tasting their local beer!

Recently, I learned about the only vineyard in Cazenovia called Owera Vineyards and I had the delightful experience of tasting their Owaghena Red at my neighbor's home.  I was quite impressed with this red wine.  So needless to say we will be visiting Owera quite soon to sample their award winning wines and taste their highly rated farm to table food.  

So you can understand why I am crazy for Caz and all things organic and local!  Here's to more beautiful explorations in Cazenovia and surrounding areas in Syracuse, New York.

Resources for Clean Eating

Sign up for one of my programs!

My ON FIRE 6 Month Health Coaching Program

My 3 Month Health Coaching Program

My 1 Month Health Coaching Program

Shop and Chop Days

Whether we’re in the middle of winter plowing through piles and piles of snow or taking in the serenity of springtime, Cazenovia is really a charming place to be.