Our local farmers have just what you need for last minute dinner ideas after work. The possibilities for a menu are endless with fresh ingredients from our farmers including spring carrots from Bloomsbury Farm, beautiful swiss chard from Delvin Farms, fresh herbs from Slocal, lettuces from Green Door Gourmet, wild spinach from Lost Weekend Farm, baby kale from Flying S Farms, greens from Athena’s Harvest, and strawberries from Kelley’s Berry Farm.
For a complete meal, add a meat from any of our meat farmers including Wedge Oak Farm, Quarter Springs Farm, Tavalin Tails Farm, Triple L Ranch and Laurel Mountain Farm, and maybe try a meat you may have never tried before, such as lamb. Lamb is a meat that many people are scared to try, but lamb is a good source of omega 3 fats, the healthy fats that have been shown to reduce inflammation and guard against cancer and heart disease. It is also has less saturated fat than other meats. Lamb has a delicious flavor and is not “smelly” or “mutton tasting” as its reputation has been.
I’ve always thought the lamb farmers got the short end of the marketing stick. For example- the beef industry marketed the Angus breed well, and now everyone looks for the Angus beef symbol at restaurants. When people talk about lamb, they conjure up ideas of the tiny cute fluffy balls in the field standing next to their mommas. Not so! Lamb meat is a full grown sheep, so be reassured when you order lamb meat from any of our local farmers, you are not eating the cute animal you had at your daughter’s Easter photo shoot.
Lamb is easy to prepare and not to be confused with the meat you only serve at fancy meals or special occasions. It pairs well with mint, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme (all herbs our local farmers like Athena’s Harvest, Bloomsbury Farm, Slocal and Lost Weekend Farm grow), and there are plenty of quick and easy meals you can make during your workweek.
Here are a few ideas:
-Ground Lamb: Use ground lamb from Tavalin Tails Farm or Triple L Ranch. Add some salt and pepper for delicious lamb burgers, or mix it with oregano, rosemary and thyme for meatballs served over a bed of mixed greens.
-Lamb Shoulder: Add this cut of lamb to a slow cooker with salt, pepper and oregano and forget about it for about 6 hours. Make some kale from Flying S Farms or swiss chard from Green Door Gourmet and you have a fantastic, easy meal brimming with health benefits.
-Leg of Lamb Steaks: No need to make a fancy leg of lamb. To get the same taste in a fraction of the time, choose leg of lamb steaks from Tavalin Tails Farm or Triple L Ranch. Marinate it in olive oil or herbs from Galina Garlic and grill it for a meal made in 15 minutes!
For lamb and more, visit any of the farmers mentioned above at the East Nashville Farmers Market every Wednesday in Shelby Park 3:30-7:00pm.