May 31, 2016 | 7:49am    area forecast:  :

Quick Search

UPCOMING EVENTS

NOEVENTS

Browse The All AboutTown Articles:

General Interest  |  Local History  |  Building & Home  |  Food & Wine  |  Health & Wellness

Asparagus Pesto Linguine. credit Courtesy Gigi Hudson Valley

The Tastes of Spring

Spring 2013   

While January usually kicks off "diet season," the arrival of spring provides an ideal opportunity to think about a healthier lifestyle. Finally we’re moving far beyond the sweets and treats of the holidays, followed by the braised meats and hearty stews of oh-so-cold January, and the "I give up" sentiment of February.

Yes, it’s definitely time to put away the stew pot and pull out the sauté pan or even the grill! The lighter and colorful harvest of spring looks so tasty and refreshing. I’m filling my shopping bags with fava beans, peas, asparagus, mushrooms and tender ramps along with spring lettuces, spinach, baby beets, slim baby carrots and green onions. A sauté of a combination of all with garlic, olive oil and parsley provides a "trifolata" that sings the season. Alternatively, I’ll single out an ingredient like Swiss chard, kale or even some spicier mustard leaves; after a quick sauté I’ll serve the greens piled onto crusty bread topped with a fried egg. So delicious.


credit Mary Anne McLean

Like many that enjoy our dynamic food scene in the Hudson Valley, I’m a strong proponent of eating locally. The reasons are many—while flavor tops the list, health merits and community connection follow right behind. As a registered dietitian, I’m often asked whether eating locally grown food is more nutritious than eating conventional food. Well, it depends. Research has shown that produce picked at its peak has its highest possible nutrient content and certainly its highest level of antioxidants. Once picked, the quality of fresh produce gradually starts to degrade. My commonsense tells me that when I eat a freshly picked perfectly ripe apple, fewer nutrients are lost to oxidation than an apple sitting on a freight car in Washington State.

But really, I favor local food choices because fruits and vegetables picked at their peak of ripeness just taste so much better. That isn’t a surprise. After all, they have not endured long transit times from farm to table, they haven’t stopped off at processing plants to be sorted and then reshipped, they haven’t been gassed with ethylene to prompt an artificial ripeness, and they don’t come from farms whose production methods I know nothing about. In contrast, when I get asparagus from Grieg Farm adjacent to Gigi Market & Café, I know they’ve been just plucked from the ground and the intensity of flavor blows away anything a supermarket can offer. It all adds up to my personal eating equation: local + seasonal = healthy. Furthermore, community support of smaller local farms encourages them to be adventurous and grow myriad varieties of vegetables and fruit, much more than I’ll ever find in the industrial food market. It’s this diverse cornucopia that, for me, makes cooking more interesting and eating more pleasurable.

Many local kids fully understand the good fortune of this exceptional place we call home. I just recently acquired 501c3 nonprofit status for SEED (Smart Eating Every Day), an after-school nutrition education program. Focus groups led last year in Red Hook elementary, middle and high schools clearly showed that our youth are knowledgeable and proud of their agricultural region and feel they are blessed to live in a this mecca of quality ingredients.

This is clearly a reflection of our agricultural gifts and the commitment of so many. I say: let our kids lead the way to a healthier future.

The Gigi Team and I try to share the pleasures of seasonal and local flavors with our customers every day. Recently we started a new "build your own" Skizza™ and salad option at Gigi Trattoria where you choose among local lettuces and vegetables and add on locally raised turkey breast and/or local artisanal cheeses and cured meats. This is an extension of the work I’ve done for years with a popular food outfit in New York City called "Just Salad." While we don’t have a Just Salad branch in the Hudson Valley (yet!), our Gigi "build your own" menu is one more way of helping our neighbors eat locally, tastily, seasonally and, of course, healthily.

 
Banner

Featured Community Businesses

Beautiful grounds & panoramic view of mountains & Mohonk Tower provide backdrop for this contemporary bed & breakfast. Lounge in our outdoor pool in summer, hot tub, or by the fireside. Play pool or a variety of lawn games. Wonderful hiking, biking, climbing, golf, cross-country skiing, antiquing within minutes. Central air. Smoke-free environment. Full breakfast with home-baked goods.

New Paltz
845-255-6144

Need help with science or nursing classes? Fulfill Regents lab time with NY State Certified Biology and Earth Science teachers. Learn from certified teachers, college professors and other educators highly trained in their field. Access assistance online: Live, Personalized, Private Education. By Appointment.

Online & High Falls
845-687-4552

Licensed Land Surveyor. Buying, selling, subdividing or building, our services assure you the real estate is where you think it is; that your house is on your property and your neighbor’s isn’t; that you've sold or bought what you have contracted for. Professional service, reasonable rates, thorough knowledge of area.

845-255-7358 or 845-246-8203

Highest-quality wallpaper installation. Over thirty years experience in NYC metro area and the Hudson Valley. Skilled in all types of wall covering. References on request. Insured.

845-679-8305 or 917-574-7002

Family owned & operated serving the Hudson Valley since 1973. We provide quality service & installations to homeowners, contractors, architects & commercial businesses. Let the "only real door company in the valley" exceed your expectations. Full showroom & parts counter. Like us on Facebook!

40 Arlington Ave, Poughkeepsie
845-471-1130

Your favorite new kids' shoe store with a vast selection of Stride-Rite, Keen, Merrell, Ugg, plus many other great brands. Next to Pegasus Outlet.

27 N. Chestnut St, New Paltz
845-256-0788

An active association focused on enhancing the economic and social opportunities of those who work in, live in, and visit the Rondout Valley. In addition to informative monthly meetings & mixers, activities include successful community events (Jennie Bell Pie Festival, Rondout Valley Garden Tour) and the new RondoutValleyGuide.com. The RVBA offers comprehensive member services, insurance, and discounts. Join us!

PO Box 450, Accord
845-687-4567

Your image is our passion. Let us turn your head with an exciting new cut and style. Convenient "headquarters" with easy parking. Hudson Valley Magazine voted us best in the Hudson Valley. Kelly & Sean Hoolihan.

4 N Manheim Blvd, New Paltz
845-255-3355

Serving Breakfast, Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Treats & Dinner. Tapas Menu and Wine List. Passionate member of Slow Food, committed to serving the finest locally sourced and artisanal ingredients.

10 Plattekill Ave, New Paltz
845-255-3434

A tast of Italy. Italian food store offering a wide range of authentic imported Italian goods. Single or bulk purchases available.


Celebrating over 50 Years! Sauerbraten, wienerschnitizel, hamburgers & sandwiches, plus steak and seafood. Located at intersection of Rtes 44/55 & 299, just below the Shawangunk cliffs across from Minnewaska Lodge.

3123 Rte 44/55, Gardiner
845-255-9766

Don't need office space full-time? Rent your office by the hour. Includes wireless internet service, telephones with private voice mails, copier, fax, furniture, conference room with wall board easel, etc. $15. per hour for office space, less for full-day, weekly, or monthly rentals. Rooms are spacious and light and can accommodate groups or serve as break out rooms. Just off Route 9W , across Milton Avenue from the fire station. Good parking, near restaurants and banks.

20 Milton Ave Rte 44/55, Highland
845-691-4570

Specializing in Private homes and Small Businesses. Weekly,bi-weekly or monthly. Owner operated with personal service. 30 years experience. Satisfaction guaranteed. Refer a friend rewards program. Special services include Windows, carpets and floors. Free estimates. Rebecca Frost.

845-901-1275

Delicious Wines Handcrafted in the Hudson Valley. 25 acres of vineyard, a friendly Tasting Room, a beautiful deck for picnics, and a spectacular view of the Shawangunk Cliffs Chardonnay, Merlot, our popular Awosting White and more....

331 McKinstry Rd, Gardiner
845-255-4613

For over 26 years, systems technical & project management professionals providing support for IBM Big Iron, experts in large systems infrastructure, and mainframe operating systems that run Western Civilization. Supporting legacy application modernization & transformation; Green Data Center Initiatives; Healthcare IT conversions from ICD9 to ICD10 & server virtualization on System z. Been there, done that - so you can avoid repeating yesterday's mistakes. Contact us - we can help.

New Paltz
845-256-1010

AboutTown Ulster: PO Box 474, New Paltz, NY 12561, 845-691-2089  EMAIL US
AboutTown Dutchess/Columbia: The Chocolate Factory, 54 Elizabeth Street, Suite 11, Red Hook, NY 12571, 845-758-3616  EMAIL US
  Privacy Policy
Terms & Conditions