We're so lucky that we have access to produce that can be flown in from all corners of the world. Why is it so important, therefore, that we turn our backs on that privilege and, for the most part, eat seasonally?
I would say that the best strawberries I have ever eaten are grown in England each Summer. Despite the fact I'm able to buy them in December, my tastebuds remember those sweet, succulent berries on a warm early summer's day. Strawberries in December? No thank you! But aside from the lack of taste, what else is so important about food that belongs in its true season?
I challenge my clients to go in search of local, seasonal produce that they've never tasted before. It's fun. It gets us out of a cooking rut. It widens our nutrient intake - and let's face it who amongst us doesn't need all that? There are tens of thousands of edible plants to choose from - how many can you honestly say you eat?
Talking of nutrients, over-farming depletes our soils by shocking statistics. Previous generations would fallow the land. That is, plough the field and leave it uncultivated to restore fertility. Not any longer. Nowadays farmers plant the heck out of their fields, resulting in poor quality land that ultimately harvests poor quality produce.
There's also the ethical standpoint. Excess use of pesticides anybody? And think about the carbon footprint - gas and oil needed for the transportation used to treat us to this nutrient depleted produce. What about the extra energy required to heat hot houses, not to mention more water to keep those ultimately inferior specimens from drying out.
How do you feel when you take a long haul trip? Do you arrive at your destination vibrant and full of life? I'm willing to bet that's a big NO. So why would your Chilean blueberries, Peruvian asparagus, or Spanish broccoli feel any different? Don't go thinking fruits and vegetables don't suffer from jetlag!
Let's support our local farmers by keeping money within the district, encourage them to make their living by cultivating sustainably. And let's get back to eating mostly seasonal, fresh, nutritious food. So, whilst it might seem a luxury to have all the foods at our fingertips throughout the year, do we really need to eat strawberries in Winter? Heck No!
My Marinated Chicken with "Tabbouleh" and Rosewater Dressing below, is featured in the new AIP Community eBook AIP By Season. Check out the book below. And when you can no longer find pomegranates, think about something else from the shelves instead.[maxbutton id="5" url="https://www.e-junkie.com/ecom/gb.php?ii=1603939&cl=305524&c=ib&aff=283566" text="BUY AIP BY SEASON NOW" ]
Marinated Chicken with Tabbouleh and Rosewater Dressing
Get the recipe here!
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup mint, finely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
zest and juice of a large lemon
3 tbsp avocado oil
2 large, plump chicken breasts, skin off
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large cauliflower, coarsely riced
zest and juice of a lemon
good pinch pink Himalayan salt
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 scant cup mint leaves, chopped
seeds of a large pomegranate
rose petals to garnish
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a shallow dish. Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthways and through the centre. Lay a piece of parchment paper or clingfilm over the top and flatten the breasts with a mallet or rolling pin. You want them to be around 1/4 inch thick. Add them to the dish and coat well with the marinade. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight, or for at least 6 hours.
Heat a griddle or large sauté pan until hot and cook the chicken for around 2 minutes on either side, Make sure you get a good colour on the chicken and that they are cooked all the way through. Transfer to a warm plate and set aside to let them rest.
Now make the tabbouleh. Wipe out the pan and put it back on the heat. Add the coconut oil and allow it to melt. Put the onions into the pan and cook gently for 6 minutes until softened and a little golden. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Now add the cauli rice to the pan and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring gently once in a while. When the cauli rice is cooked, add the lemon zest and stir through. Now remove from the heat and stir in the herbs.
Meanwhile, put the dressing ingredients into a small bowl and mix well. Divide the tabbouleh between four plates, top with a piece of chicken and drizzle over some of the rosewater dressing. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and rose petals.