Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

No Grocery Store Challenge, Day 378 – BLT and Fajitas! January 14, 2011

Ok, I know I was said I was tired of typing “No Grocery Store Challenge, Day ___” , but in reality, I kind of miss it.  So, I’ll insert one every now and then when I get excited about a new find or meal.  Today was both.

For breakfast, fresh squeezed tangerine juice from the farmer’s market.  This will dwindle soon, as their season is nearing its end.  I’m contemplating ordering grapefruits and oranges from C&S Groves, but haven’t done so yet.  For lunch, I knew I wanted a BLT, but wanted to make it healthier than it could have otherwise been.  I had Barrie’s bread from Antonelli‘s Cheese Shop, an abundance of cheese as well, and some already cooked Kocurek Family Czech Bacon, local farm tomatoes and my garden lettuce.  In my cheese box, was some Pondhopper and it smelled like the perfect party with the bacon.

The result was the Pondhopper BLT.

Pondhopper Cheese

I cut off a smaller end of the Ciabatta than I wanted, but intended to load up on veggies.  I slathered on some Texas Olive Ranch olive oil, and toasted it in the oven.  The resulting sandwich was Kocurek Bacon, Pondhopper Cheese from Antonelli’s, a Milagro Farm’s tomato and my home grown lettuce. on toasted Barrie’s bread.  I can’t think of anything better.

BLT with add ons

If you salt and pepper the tomato and lettuce, it really makes a difference, as does toasting the bread.  Just sayin’.

So after too many errands to deal with this afternoon,  I finally stopped by the house around 3:00 to put some dried black beans in to simmer.  The beans were a gift from my oft mentioned friend Kristi, from one of her farmer’s market visits outside of Austin.

I dumped them into a pot of water, threw in some garden herbs, and the biggest smoked hock thing I’d ever seen, which was from Salt and Time.

smoked hock

I also threw in salt, pepper, chopped jalapenos, a bit of chopped green onion, and some chopped tomatoes.  Then, I left the house for 3 hours and they were almost perfect when I got back.

I then went out again for more chores, then turned them off and decanted them in to tupperware for later.

I met a friend at Bar Congress for a glass of wine, then home for dinner.  We also shared fried green tomatoes, an appetizer.

Then, I had thawed some Richardson’s Farms Fajita meat.

Richardson Farms Skirt Steak

It looked like a single package, but once out, if was a lot of meat, thinly sliced and tenderized.

Richardson Farms Skirt Steak

I seasoned it with salt, pepper, cumin and some red cayenne seasoning seared until it was medium rare.  I heated up a little of the black beans.

Black Bens (from farmer's market not here))

I built two beef fajitas with black beans, Full Quiver Cheddar and of course, a drizzle of Taco Deli dona, on two flour Tortillas from El Milagro on 6th Street.   Garnish is garden cilantro (from under its freeze protection). Voila! Fajita dinner!

Taco Dinner

And there are leftovers of everything!


2 Responses to “No Grocery Store Challenge, Day 378 – BLT and Fajitas!”

  1. Jeff Wyder Says:


    I saw the article about your 365-Day Challenge on the Take Part website. It was linked in a newsletter that I receive from my local farmer’s market here in Cincinnati, Ohio. Congratulations on your success and commitment. I am truely envious of your accomplishment!

    A quick tip on cooking beans, if I may be so bold. It is generally thought that adding salt during the cooking process causes the beans to become tough. So season after cooking. I have also found that the addition of a small amount of vinegar (I personally like cider vinegar for beans) adds a nice taste and helps to tenderize the beans during cooking.

    Your beans and fajitas looked delicious!

    Good luck and glad to have stumbled across your blog,

    Jeff Wyder
    Executive Chef
    Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    • Thanks Jeff! The challenge continues and I will keep on shopping locally. I had heard about the early salting of beans. I’m a bit of a lazy cook at times, when I’m in a hurry and didn’t even soak these. I added most of the salt at the end, hoping that the smoked hock would add enough flavor to require less salt. I did end up adding salt a few times. I’ll try the vinegar next time, I like what acidity does to food. I’m about to eat some leftovers. Thanks for the comment – suggestions always welcomed.
      Take Care,
      Carla C.

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