Photo illustration by Joe Rudko//AS Review

The holidays are about family and friends, and having that little bit of extra time to finish homework. But when it comes down to it, this American holiday is characterized in no small part by food.


This year, do something new and try cooking a holiday feast with locally-grown ingredients for a more sustainable approach to the holiday festivities. 


Buy from local vendors, who sell locally grown products.


This may seem a little complicated, but in Bellingham, it’s easier than it sounds. Local produce and meat is sold at the Community Food Co-Op, or the farmer’s market on James Street. Find your vegetables, meat, dairy and bread at these places. You can also support bakeries such as Avenue Bread and the Mount Bakery.


Most of your traditional holiday recipes can include local ingredients without much alteration. Just buy locally-grown veggies and meat.


Be creative. Try something other than Turkey.


Can’t find traditional Thanksgiving turkey from Bellingham? Try serving other locally -raised meats such as beef from Skagit Valley Beef. You will be supporting local vendors and your family, and friends may appreciate a change of pace. Here are some simple recipes to try:

Beef Pot Roast

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 1/2 pounds beef
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon dried rosemary


Directions:
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.


Pour vegetable oil into a large oven-safe pot over medium-high heat.
Season the chuck roast with salt and black pepper.


Brown the meat on both sides in the hot oil, and transfer to a plate.
Stir carrots, celery and onion into the pot, and cook and stir until vegetables start to release their juices, which takes about 3 minutes.


Loosen any brown flavor bits on the bottom of the pot.
Add butter, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Then sprinkle in rosemary, stir the vegetables, and return the roast to the pot. Cover the pot with a lid.


Roast in the preheated oven until the chuck roast is tender, about 2.5 to 3 hours.
Season vegetables with additional salt and black pepper, if desired.

Green Bean Casserole

Ingredients:

3 cups of locally grown green beans
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 (3 1/2 oz.) can French fried onion rings


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pour half the beans into casserole; cover with half the soup.


Place half the onion rings over soup. Add remaining beans and soup.


Bake at 350 degrees for 15-25 minutes. Remove from oven; cover with remaining onion rings. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes longer.

Chicken


Ingredients:


1 (3 pound) whole chicken
2 cups stuffing mix
2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
2 tablespoons olive oil


Directions:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


Stuff the bird with the prepared stuffing and rub the skin with the olive oil. Cut one lemon in half; cover the opening of the bird with a lemon half and stuffing (save the other half for garnish.)


Pour the juice of the second lemon over the bird. Season the bird with the salt, paprika, rosemary and sage.


Cover and bake in preheated oven for 1 to 2 hours. Remove the cover half way through baking to brown. Baste often.