I like to travel, as do many ICF members, but after traveling and eating conference food or restaurant food and not following my normal eating patterns, I am always glad to get home. I tell people I need to get "back on my feed" which typically means lots of ICF produce, lean protein, clean and simple foods.
"Institutional food" is much different from farm-to-table and locally sourced food, no matter how hard a banquet chef tries. I was in Baltimore last week and access to fresh vegetables was difficult. Oh, I had a few good spears of asparagus (source unknown), a few good strawberries, and on the last day a plentiful fresh baby spinach salad. Yes, there was crab in some form at every turn, but crab is rich and when you are used to less rich foods, havoc ensues. I did have some lovely oxymoronic Jumbo Shrimp and I tried to gravitate to those when given a choice. Yes, there was salad (of sorts) but it wasn't fresh baby lettuces. Or arugula.
We are always hearing from members that they are grateful to have such plentiful, fresh, local produce and how well they eat as a result. If you've taken your share for granted, step away from the bounty for 5 days and check your reactions!
I did have a particularly good kale salad on the last night at the B&O American Brasserie, a restaurant housed in the former headquarters of the B&O Railroad. It was described as a Kale Chopped Salad (grilled chicken, lardons (bacon bits, I was told), roasted peppers, chick peas, ricotta salata, shaved egg, white balsamic ranch) but the new menu used green goddess dressing. It was lightly dressed, thoroughly coated, all of the flavors and textures blended perfectly. The fresh kale was delightful and I will be trying to recreate this salad very soon.
If you've been confused about some of our vegetable offerings (fennel, eggplant, napa cabbage), be sure to check our recipe board near the pick-up desk. Aly has put a lot of work into printing recipes featuring the in-season produce and giving members ideas to change up their usual menus. Some of you have shared what you are eating on our Facebook page and it's always fun to see what you are cooking on a weekend. Keep sharing!
Let us know: have you been traveling and experienced a particularly tasty dish that you'd like to share with others? See if you can recreate the dish and share with us...you may find your recipe hanging on our bulletin board! Even if you are staying close to home, share your creations with us or let us know how you like the recipes hanging on the board!