Lime Turmeric Salad Dressing

by Anne Maxfield on October 27, 2016

accidental-locavore-lime-turmeric-dressing-on-tomatoesLime, turmeric, ginger – got a couple of superfoods in this salad dressing, so it might actually be good for you.

And Zagat’s has named turmeric “this year’s trendiest superfood“.

The Accidental Locavore had some cilantro that wasn’t going to last much longer so I gave this recipe from Ottolenghi via bon appétit a shot.

Since everything ends up in a food processor, your chopping doesn’t need to be picture perfect.

Makes about ¾ cup.

Lime Turmeric Salad Dressing

  • ¾ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1” piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and crushed
  • 1 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon lime zest (from about ½ lime)
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and roughly chopped (more or less to taste)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Put the turmeric, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime zest and juice and some of the jalapeno into the food processor, pulse until finely chopped.

With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Taste and add salt and more jalapeno as needed. Serve over your favorite greens and enjoy!

accidental-locavore-lime-turmeric-salad-dressingMy verdict: Not love at first bite.  Tried the lime turmeric salad dressing on some heirloom tomatoes and then on some local lettuce and was, frankly, underwhelmed.

The original recipe called for a whole jalapeno and this time I was playing it safe. I ended up using about a quarter of a pretty big and spicy one, so unless you’re a heat freak (and/or you know how hot your chile is) err on the cautious side with this.

I think turmeric is an acquired taste. Good in small doses when it blends with other spices. It gave the dressing a slightly soapy taste and adding more lime juice didn’t perk it up. The original recipe called for fresh turmeric (4” piece peeled and chopped) and that might make a difference, but turmeric is hard to come by in my ‘hood. Are you able to find it by you? And have you ever used it?






The Best Burger in America

by Anne Maxfield on October 24, 2016

accidental-locavore-best-burgerYou know you’d better watch it before you start tossing out superlatives like “the best burger in America.”

But, according to Forbes (and reaching my desk via Rural Intelligence) the best burger in America is in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.


The Accidental Locavore was heading there for lunch with a friend who is always interested in a good burger, so we quickly changed plans and met at Camp Fire.

Everyone has their own criteria for best burger – well, best anything.

A best burger to me has to have great fries.

There are a lot of good burgers out there that would be great with better fries.

And both the fries and the burger have to be hot.

There needs to be good pickles.

A toasted bun.

That’s my line in the sand(wich).

As for condiments, lettuce, tomato, even cheese–a really good burger should just be enhanced by them, not need them.

Back to Camp Fire and the best burger in America.

It’s a big open farm/rural looking restaurant. Nothing fancy, just clean looking with a lot of hard surfaces.

There’s a lot of interesting looking stuff on the menu, but we were there on a mission.

We got distracted.

By the mushroom soup.

A rich blend of wild mushrooms with a small dollop of sour cream and just enough truffle oil, it was the perfect starter on a raw afternoon.

accidental-locavore-best-burger-soupThen, the burgers.

Because we were afraid it would be too much food after the soup, we both opted for the Mini Meat, a quarter pound burger (the regular one is a half-pound) which comes on a potato roll with cheddar, pickles, aioli and fries

The verdict?

Great fries! Twice-fried (always a good thing), hand-cut and good-sized, piping hot, maybe a slight hint of rosemary.

I think I ate half of them before turning to the burger.

The burger was good.

Not the best burger in America.

What I didn’t like about it was that it was a thin patty that didn’t seem to have been hand-made. It was cooked the way I like it (rare) but it wasn’t very juicy.

The pickles were good, but the cheese and the aioli didn’t have a lot of flavor. The bun was fine, warm and I don’t remember whether it was toasted or not.

Here’s why I think Camp Fire could still have the best burger in America.

We ordered the wrong one.

Our waitress told us that both versions (mini and regular) were the “best burger” but everything that I was finding fault with may have just been because it was the mini version.

So, we’ll have to go back.


Apple Cake Recipe

by Anne Maxfield on October 20, 2016

accidental-locavore-slice-of-apple-cakeThe idea of a fruit CSA had its appeal.

Apples and other fresh fruit, weekly when we picked up our regular CSA share at Poughkeepsie Farm Project.

Shared with friends since the Accidental Locavore knew 8 pounds of fruit was going to be too much.

Even 4 pounds is a lot of fruit, but this delicious apple cake will take six of them off your hands.

I’d seen this recipe on Smitten Kitchen and then my cousin called raving about this great apple cake she’d made. She was right!

accidental-locavore-apple-cakeApple Cake Recipe

For the apples:

  • 6 apples, McIntosh or whatever looks good
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 5 tablespoons white or light brown sugar

For the cake:

  • 2 3/4 cups (360 grams) flour
    1 tablespoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine salt
    1 cup vegetable oil (or mix of butter, olive oil etc.)
    2 cups sugar
    1/4 cup orange juice
    2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    4 large eggs

accidental-locavore-apples-for-apple-cakeHeat oven to 350°. Butter a tube pan (angel food, bundt).

Peel, core and chop apples into 1-inch chunks. Toss with cinnamon and 5 tablespoons sugar and set aside.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, orange juice, sugar, vanilla and eggs.

Mix wet ingredients into dry ones; scrape down the bowl to ensure all ingredients are incorporated.

accidental-locavore-apple-cake-assemblyPour half of batter into prepared pan. Spread half of apples (and their juices) over it. Pour the remaining batter over the apples and arrange the remaining apples on top.

Bake for about 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely before running knife between cake and pan, and unmolding onto a platter. Serve and enjoy!

My verdict: Great apple cake! After we devoured a couple of slices of it, I cut it in quarters and stuck most of it in the freezer. Two days later, most of it has already been pulled from the freezer (not to worry, got more apples from the CSA). Slightly warmed up, it makes a great breakfast too! Now I’ve made it twice and it still hasn’t lasted a week.

I used a combo of McIntosh and Macon’s which worked well, you probably want to avoid the mushier apples like Delicious. Since we’re not an orange juice drinking household, I just bought an orange and juiced half of it.

The recipe calls for a cup of vegetable oil and suggests that you can use olive or coconut oil and/or butter. Because butter makes everything better, I used one stick of butter, melted and topped it off with vegetable oil. Might try an olive oil-butter mix the next time.



Pumpkin Spice Overload

by Anne Maxfield on October 17, 2016

accidental-locavore-pumpkin-spice-bagelsPumpkin Spice:






Warm spices.

All good stuff– makes your house smell wonderful.


accidental-locavore-pumpkin-spice-teaThese days, it seems that there is almost nothing that wouldn’t benefit from some “limited edition pumpkin spice.”

Tipping point for the Accidental Locavore?

Possibly the sneakers.

Or maybe the fact that you could make at least one day’s meals, along with cocktails, snacks and after-dinner drinks entirely with pumpkin spiced (processed) foods.

And between meals, do a wash and brighten your clothes with pumpkin spiced Clorox*.

accidental-locavore-pumpkin-spice-oreosWhat could be better than this? “Pumpkin Gingerbread is scented with the enticing aromas of holiday baking”. Are you sitting down? It’s dog shampoo (and comes in caramel apple too).

Can we all agree that this is way too much of a good thing?
Between People Magazine’s Comprehensive Guide to Pumpkin Spiced Flavored Foods” a 58 slide show and Eater’s “65 Pumpkin Spice Foods That Have No Business Being Pumpkin Spiced” you’ve got 123 items (okay, some may be dups, but you get the point) and that’s just stuff you can eat or drink!

Actually, making a pumpkin spice blend is a snap.

accidental-locavore-pumpkin-spice-ingredientsThis from Betty Crocker: To start, you’ll need all of three minutes and the following ingredients: 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg, 1 ½ teaspoons ground allspice and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves. Mix the spices together in a small bowl and take a little whiff.

Don’t you love the part about the little whiff? I’d also take a little taste and adjust according to your taste.

Now that you’ve got that, your own imagination is all that stands between you and __________.

Add some to sugar and sprinkle on buttered toast. Isn’t that better than a pumpkin spiced English muffin with PS cream cheese? It would also be good with oatmeal, granola or cereal (and taste a whole lot better because you’re using real spices).

Or go the savory route and sprinkle some on chicken or lamb. It’s a combination used in a lot of Middle Eastern and Indian dishes.

And there’s always pumpkin pie…


*Trick or treat. This may not be a real thing.