Every week I head to the store (or farmers market, weather permitting) and stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables for the week. With the veggies I make a big batch of roasted vegetables, which is my favorite way to eat them, and they’re perfect for adding to salads, side dishes, stews, and so many other dishes. Having them already cooked means one less thing for me to do and it’s easy to just toss them into a dish like a salad. Some of my favorite vegetables to roast are corn, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini, green beans, and cauliflower and I always try to buy local. No matter where I am living I like to support local businesses and products and that means looking at where things come from. Since I’m in California I try to buy as much produce grown in California as possible and the best way to do that is by purchasing from farmers markets, farms, local fruit stands, or by checking labels/packaging in the grocery store.
The weather has been a little crazy around here lately so it’s made getting out a little harder, but there is a local grocery store that recently remodeled and one of the big concepts of the store is buying California grown products. They have a whole produce section filled with items grown right here in California and so does their meat department. I love this concept and wish every store had something similar because it makes being able to support California farmers so much easier when I can buy their produce along with my other grocery items.
California farmers and ranchers play such a critical role in growing the delicious, healthy, safe and affordable foods that feed families across California and the United States. California grows nearly half of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S., that’s a big role that they play in our food supply. California has also been hit with a pretty big drought and it’s impacted how crops are being grown so California farmers and ranchers are consistently looking for innovative ways to use water responsibly so that they can continue to put food on the plates of Californians. Without water for California farms, we wouldn’t have fresh food available. California’s farming and ranching community is highly aware of the need to make the most of our natural resources and are committed to using water efficiently and responsibly. Since the food that is grown in California drives the state and U.S. economy, and overall is a vital part of our local communities they’re committed to finding the best solution possible.
With warmer weather on the horizon it means more grilling and salads on our plates, using California grown produce of course. I’ve been missing the warm weather and figured I would get into the spirit with a Southwest Steak Salad, grilling meets salad in this delicious and hearty meal that is perfect for one or a crowd. For this salad I am using a Tri-Tip, but a flank steak would also be a good addition. I like to get the pre-marinated ones since they do all the messy work for me and I just toss is on the grill or roast it in the oven, depending on the weather. This salad has roasted corn and bell peppers so I add those to the grill to cook with the tri-tip and remove them once done. Once the meat and veggies are cooked I let them cook while I assemble the rest of my salad. Lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, and cheese what complete this delicious salad and drizzled with a southwest ranch dressing gives it a nice final touch.
If you can’t find the pre-marinated Tri-Tips or you would just like to do it on your own, this Santa Maria Tri-Tip recipe is a great substitution.
For this salad I tossed some roasted bell peppers (red and green), red onion, tomato, lettuce, shredded cheddar cheese, roasted corn, and sliced tri-tip together with a southwestern ranch dressing. For the Tri-Tip I cooked it in the oven on 350 for about 10 minutes per pound, flipping every 10 minutes. If you’re going to cook it on the grill, make sure to watch it carefully, there is usually a layer of fat on one side and they can catch on fire quickly. Trust me, I’ve gone back outside to check my meat and it’s a ball of flames.
What local products do you buy? Do you visit local Farmers markets?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.