Sustainable Pantry showcases the home cooking of a Queens couple, Alexa and Matthew Weitzman, who don’t let their full schedules get between them and a healthy meal.

Our goal with Sustainable Pantry is to show that even in an urban setting with a demanding schedule, you can sustain yourself on an environmentally responsible diet that’s healthy, delicious and won’t break your budget or cause you to spend your whole life in the kitchen. The trick is careful planning and stocking your kitchen with some pantry essentials.

The Kinds of Recipes You’ll Find Here

This blog is about how we cook at home, and is therefore a reflection of the way we eat at home. All recipes pull heavily from our pantry which is stocked with a variety of whole grains, legumes, spices, oils, vinegars, condiments, and other assorted goodies. Unless noted otherwise, all recipes on sustainablepantry.com are original.

This site was started in June 2008. At home, the majority of our food is vegan, yet we do occasionally eat some cheese, eggs and dairy, and  about once a month or so, we enjoy responsibly raised/harvested meat or poultry. We stick to Kosher dietary principles at home which means no mixing milk and meat (when we’re eating either), no shellfish, and no pork products. We’re lucky in that Alexa’s father keeps chickens at his house in upstate New York and those are the only eggs we eat  and in addition to those eggs, we now have a Greenmarket in Forest Hills, where we stock up on local, pasture-raised eggs during the Greenmarket season. Any meat we enjoy is from Grow and Behold, a kosher, pasture-raised meat company. We occasionally eat canned, wild seafood from Vital Choice, a certified sustainable seafood company in Alaska. It’s most important to us to eat whole, local, minimally-processed foods as much as possible. We do crazy things like make our own bread so we don’t have to buy anything processed. When we eat out of the house, we (Alexa especially) tends to stick to a vegan diet.

What’s This Sustainability All About?

Sustainability is the capacity to endure. With the choices we make, we have an impact on the endurance of the planet, the earth’s resources and our health. Be a gastroactivist – a totally made up word that I’ve decide to define as:

Gas·tro·ac·tiv·ist (gas’troh-ak-tuh-vist)

n. One who makes informed and empowered food choices with the awareness that what they eat has a direct impact on the health of themselves and the planet

We all make our everyday food choices based on so many factors which may include: taste, health, cost, convenience, geography, religion, politics, you get the point. With the hustle of modern life, it’s understandable that convenience and cost usually win out, it happens to all of us. But that doesn’t have to mean fast food, microwave dinners, pizza and take-out all the time (or even any of the time once you’ve worked at it and learned a few tricks).

We’ve been fooled into thinking that cooking food from seasonal vegetables and whole grains has to be time-consuming, inconvenient or expensive, but that’s just not true. With a few techniques, some basic equipment, and the right pantry, you can learn how to get yourself on a great tasting, nutrient-dense, feel-good diet.

Support Local, Sustainable and Organic Producers

By supporting local, organic, and sustainably produced food, visiting farmer’s markets, joining a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, and cooking at home using real ingredients, we can help bring real change to the food landscape in this country.

Alexa co-chairs, and we participate in a both a Summer and Winter Hazon CSA that delivers to a drop-off location in Queens, and majority of our produce is from our CSA’s farm, Golden Earthworm Organic Farm, on the North Fork of Long Island. Last winter we actually purchased 2 winter vegetable (!!) shares and have been using up our 50 pounds of root vegetables every 3 weeks. During the summer, our fruit is from Briermere Farm, also on the North Fork and part of our CSA. Our CSA offers supplementary shares of  Cayuga Organic Farms dried beans, grain and flour and Adamah goat cheese, pickles, and jams. In the late season, our CSA offers additional tomato shares, which we process and can/freeze to last us through the winter. To learn more about our CSA, and to find out if there’s a CSA program near you, CLICK HERE

Cooking Demo

A little about us:

Alexa Weitzman grew up cooking and learned at an early age that good food comes from fresh ingredients. She has worked in the kitchens of some of New York’s finest restaurants, served as the chef at a small organic vineyard in Provence, France (best 6 weeks EVER!), and has stocked healthy meals in the fridges of busy New York families. Alexa has a BS from NYU in Studio Art and a MS from Touro College in Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture. She is a licensed acupuncturist in New York State as well as a nationally board certified Chinese herbalist. She runs a food-as-medicine consulting company, working with patients and families to manage health and promote resilience through Chinese dietary principles. She also teaches cooking classes throughout the NY-metro area. Check out the Other Endeavors page for upcoming classes.

Matthew Weitzman learned to hold a knife for a paper on neuroplasticity in grad school and has been eager to chop things ever since. He has recently discovered the joy of baking artisanal bread, and after a few early successes, he is officially hooked. Matthew practices acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine at a pain clinic on the eastern end of Long Island and at Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan.

We hope you find inspiration in our posts. If you do, subscribe to our RSS or sign up to receive our monthly newlsetter in you inbox. You can also follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, and become a fan on Facebook (see below).

Questions, comments, favorite recipes and successes are welcomed either through comments, or by emailing: comments {at} sustainablepantry {dot} com. Sustainable Pantry is also available to cater your next get-together in the New York area, contact us for details.

 

 

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