By Jennifer Justus, Culinary Community Liaison
So many Nashville restaurants have offered vital support to our work over the years, extending hospitality through generous donations of food, purchasing from Growing Together farmers, and more. As Nashville continues to change and grow, we’ve sadly seen some beloved restaurants make the decision -- for various reasons -- to close.
But here at TNFP we’ve found ourselves in the position of trying to find a sliver of positivity in the wake of those changes.
For example, when the 26-year institution Tin Angel closed after Rick and Vicki Bolsom’s decision to retire, they graciously gifted us their leftover produce, spices and other dry goods -- more than 1,000 pounds of food -- that we could use in making meals shared in partnership with poverty-disrupting and community building nonprofits in Nashville. Writer Margaret Littman with the Nashville Scene wrote about the Bolsom’s gift while including it in this larger story about our efforts and others in Nashville to minimize food waste as a whole.
More recently, we accepted a donation from Flyte World Dining & Wine when it closed after more than a decade serving Nashville.
The Flyte donation included citrus fruits, mixed greens, wild rices, high-end oils and vinegars, canned tomatoes, flour, maple syrup and vanilla extract. We’ll continue to work through those products for our meals program for months to come, but most immediately we added Flyte mushrooms and potatoes to a stir-fry that went to seniors at FiftyForward and Vine Hill Towers. The stir-fry also helped provide healthy meals for Sweet Peas, our new summer meals program for kids.
We consider it an honor to be a part of extending the hospitality of these restaurants. From their tables to our neighbors, we do our best to make the most of what’s given to us for providing high-quality, nourishing meals.
Orange, Mushroom, Potato and Bell Pepper Stir-Fry
A lot of times we need to move fast at TNFP -- especially this summer as we’ve ramped up from 5,500 to 7,500 meals a week. Stir-fries offer a great way to make meals quickly while also packing in lots of nutritious vegetables coming out of the gardens at peak season.
1/4 cup canola oil, divided
2 cups potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 cups mushrooms
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
1 cup sliced green bell pepper
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
1/2 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 (8.8-oz) pkg. precooked brown rice (such as Uncle Ben's)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add potatoes to pan; cook 8 minutes or until golden. Remove from pan.
Combine 1 tablespoon cornstarch and orange juice in a small bowl. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan over medium-high. Add mushrooms, onion and bell peppers; cook 5 minutes. Add garlic, orange rind, and crushed red pepper; cook 1 minute. Add juice mixture, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in potatoes. Place 1/2 cup rice on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 3/4 cup of vegetable mixture. Sprinkle evenly with cilantro.
Recipes adapted from Cooking Light.