Adventures in cooking sustainably, healthfully, and locally

Until Dave puts the kybosh on it anyway.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

To Inventory or Not to Inventory...

That has been the question for the last couple of days. Do I go through every last item in the cupboards and see what is from Colorado?

Ah, homemade BBQ from one of Dave's co-workers. We'll count that. Oooh! And some bottles of Coors. I mean, seriously, it has the Rocky Mountains on the bottle and the brewery is about 45 minutes from our front door. We're up to two!

Moving to the pantry...Hmmm...

  • dried figs from California
  • quinoa from Ecuador (although claiming fair trade
  • kombu from China
  • honey co-made by the U.S. and Brazil (not sure how that works, but moving on...)
  • huckleberry jelly beans from Montana
...then I got bored. So I came up with another idea: inventory en route.

So I'm about to describe what what we had for dinner. Keep in mind that Dave's review is after the ingredient list, so if you are inspired look at our comments afterwards to ensure we actually liked the dish.

Beef Quesadillas and Zucchini/Onion Quesadillas

  1. 1 lbs beef - origin unknown
  2. 1/2 zucchini, juillianed (or just into thin strips... or whatever) - from my garden
  3. 1/2 onion, same as zucchini - origin unknown
  4. Packet of taco seasonings, or your own mix - California? Bah, I forgot to look specifically. I'm sure it isn't from 'round these parts.
  5. Taco sized flour tortillas - distributed by ... Texas. What does that mean?
  6. Shredded cheese of choice - distributed by Illinois*.


  1. Brown beef in pan. Drain. Add taco seasonings and water, simmer as per direction.
  2. Move taco beef to bowl. Add onions and a bit of oil to the pan.
  3. Saute onions for a minute or two; add zucchini strips/chunks. Add more seasoning. Saute until all soft.
  4. Heat large pan like you are going to make some grilled cheese.
  5. Put two tortillas in. Fill half of each with ~1/4 cup of beef and a generous sprinkle of cheese. Fold in half.
  6. Don't burn the tortillas. It can happen, so watch 'em close.
  7. Using TWO spatulas (the key to not having them spill all over the place!), flip quesadillas.
  8. Toast some more.
  9. Remove from pan.
  10. Repeat starting at #5, only use the zucchini/onion mixture with the cheese instead of the beef.
  11. Make as much as needed.
  12. Serve with dollop of sour cream and a good spoonful of your favorite salsa or taco sauce.

Sounds good, right?

Dave Stars for beef, "3/5, edible, uninspired, but it had meat so it gets a point for trying. Guacamole, some freshly chopped cilantro, and a mojito would have given this a four...if not a five."

Dave Stars for zucchini version, "1/5 stars. Only because he loves his wife."

Ahem. Well then. 3/5 stars is not bad for Dave. I liked the beef version, but it was a tad salty. I did like the zucchini version, but it was too oniony. I'd have to give 3/5 for both.

Now then. How do we improve the localness of this dish?

  1. 1 lbs beef: I've already started asking around about home grown beef. This will be easy to rectify once we have all our frozen beef used up.
  2. 1/2 zucchini: got it covered!
  3. 1/2 onion: Farmer's market should have some from local farms, and maybe next year I can plant my own.
  4. Packet of taco seasonings: Tough call. I'd say that I could get away from using prepackaged stuff and make my own seasonings. This one I'm going to hold off on, mainly because we have a Costco-sized container that we'll have for years. I have time to ponder.
  5. Taco sized flour tortillas: I think it is possible that I could make my own. Issue being is that I need to find locally produced flour, something I haven't really considered yet.
  6. Shredded cheese of choice: I wonder if we have any local dairies around here. I bet I could get some cheddar. But to be honest, it'd be hard to compete with my home state, California, and Vermont. But it can't hurt to look.

Saturday, I go to the Littleton farmer's market and a friend of mine is bringing me some home grown eggs to boot. I'll have to see what is available. I haven't gone to the more local farmer's market in Parker, which is pathetic because it literally is a mile from my front door. I think it's time I go and stretch my legs at least for research if anything else.

*"Distributed" by Illinois? What the hell does that mean? So I went to Kraft's food page to find out the mystery of where their shredded cheddar comes from.

The result?

Fail. It led me to a FAQ site that only answers preset questions. Unless I missed something.


Sent me here. Interesting about the link suggesting that Kraft uses a milk protein concentrate from New Zealand, Argentina, Poland, India, China and the Ukraine. But I'm not about to raise holy heck with Kraft because: (1) I still need to do more research (can't base it all on one biased website) and (2) a good family friend was a lifetime employee that gave him the opportunity to support his wife and three boys**. But I'm sure it isn't from Colorado, regardless.

**See, one has to consider the big picture. Taking down one of the Big Boys in one foul swoop will not just hurt the CEO's, but all the hard working Americans that rely on the Big Boys for employment. I haven't figured that one out yet.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you have been a one very busy little girl!
    I don't think I would have really liked zuchinni
    burrito. But it would have given a good chance to have some sour cream.
    Keep cooking and try and make those farmers markets. They are almost done for the season.