New Ways to Feed Our Communities

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New Ways to Feed Our Communities
 

Over the course of the summer Farm Share season, we have explored an array of issues focusing on food systems, agriculture, health, sovereignty, and racial equity in local communities and on a much broader scale. Corbin Hill’s mission to provide fresh food to those that need it most goes beyond providing individuals with healthy food, but also to provides a choice for community members in what they eat and how they purchase, regardless of their race, income, or zip code.

As a result of ongoing advocacy and organizing by local and national food justice leaders and coalitions, the local food system has recently begun to address issues of food access in low-income and communities of color. Initiatives such as mobile markets, farm stands, sliding scale Community Supported Agriculture, affordable Farm Shares, and programs that provide incentives for SNAP recipients such as Health Bucks at farmers markets, all play an important role in expanding the reach of healthy food access for vulnerable communities. Yet, the reality is that even with these different programs, it can still be too costly for the most vulnerable. So how do we serve these communities?

One strategy to address this is to work with institutions that serve vulnerable communities. Schools, hospitals, workplaces and health clinics are examples of institutions that do meal preparation and service for a cafeteria. Through its Wholesale Institutional program, Corbin Hill works with institutions like these in order to provide high-quality, local food that can be used for meal preparation. This allows more people and communities to have more access to fresh, local foods. We are proud to partner with community-based organizations and schools like the DOE Fund, East Harlem Bilingual Head Start, West Harlem Economic Development Corporation, and others to reach their communities.

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Sweet Potatoes! These babies are fall's sweet treat. There are so many recipes out there that enhance this delightful veggies flavor. Try out the following Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas!

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Ingredients

Avocado Salsa Verde

1 cup mild salsa verde, either homemade or store-bought

1 large ripe avocado, pitted and sliced into a few big pieces

Big handful of fresh cilantro (some stems are ok)

½ lime, juiced (about 1 tablespoon lime juice)

Quesadillas

1 medium-to-large sweet potato (about 12 ounces), peeled

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Salt

4 whole grain tortillas (about 8” in diameter)

3 cups (about 6 to 8 ounces) freshly grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup cooked black beans (from one 15-ounce can), rinsed and drained

2 teaspoons refined avocado oil or other quality high-heat vegetable oil, for brushing

Directions 

1. Make the avocado salsa verde: In a food processor or blender, combine the salsa verde, avocado, cilantro and about 1 tablespoon lime juice. Blend the salsa until it is super creamy, stopping to scrape down the sides as necessary. Scoop it into a bowl for dipping.

2.Slice your sweet potatoes into ¼″ cubes. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped sweet potatoes and toss to coat, then add the chili powder, cumin and a pinch salt. Stir to combine. Once the pan is sizzling, add ¼ cup water, then cover the pan and reduce heat to low to avoid burning the contents. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
3.Make the quesadillas, one or two at a time: Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Warm one tortilla for about 30 seconds, flipping halfway. Flip once more, and sprinkle one-half of the tortilla with about ⅓ cup shredded cheese. Cover the cheese with ¼ of the cooked sweet potatoes and ¼ cup beans. Sprinkle about ⅓ cup cheese over the fillings and fold over the empty side of the tortilla to enclose the fillings.
4.Quickly brush the topside of the quesadilla with a light coating of oil, then flip it with a spatula. Let the underside of the quesadilla cook until golden and crispy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Brush the topside with a light coating of olive oil, then carefully flip it and cook until the underside is golden and crispy. Transfer it to a cutting board. Repeat with remaining quesadillas.
5.Slice each quesadilla into three even wedges using a sharp pizza cutter or chef’s knife. Serve immediately, with avocado salsa verde on the side.

Recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate

Cook time: 25mins