It’s not often that I get the opportunity to share with you about a company that cares about its customers, their employees, the environment, and is right in my hometown. So, when Pacific Foods invited me to their Pasture to Plate, I said yes immediately.
Since 1997, Pacific Foods, which is based in Tualatin, Oregon, has been focused on organic, natural, and non-gmo foods. They make sure every ingredient is, “certified to the source” and support transparency in labeling. What does that really mean to those of us buying their products? We can trust them.
Their products are real food and ones that my family buys and supports with our food dollars. Pacific Foods is a company whose values align with mine and they strive to farm sustainably and act kinder to the earth. If they can’t find a sustainable resource, they raise it themselves and have added to their flocks and farms as needed.
They respect their employees, animals, and the environment. Their corporate offices smell like my kitchen – chicken broth made from actual chickens and vegetables – without any ‘hydrolyzed’ or ‘natural flavorings’ in the ingredients. They grow and raise their ingredients. I like that.
For the Pasture to Plate event, Pacific Foods brought together food bloggers from around the Pacific Northwest and planned events for us that included tours of their farms, facilities, and to meet the family. Yes, family because Chuck Eggert’s entire family is involved in the business.
Pacific Foods also treats their employees like family. They maintain an employee store and vegetable garden where their products and fresh produce are offered at very little or no cost. Every employee (regardless of rank or pay) can bring home fresh vegetables and Pacific Food products to their families.
Pasture to Plate and Fresh Salsa
We stayed at the Sentinel Hotel in downtown Portland. The rooms were lovely and right in the city. What impressed me the most about the hotel was their commitment to the environment. They’re keeping bees on their roof top! We got a tour from the bee keeper himself and the views were beautiful.
Friday morning, we started bright and early and headed to one of Pacific Foods farms. They raise all of their animals with care and kindness. Remember when I went to their bee event? Since visiting their farm to learn about bees, they’ve added pigs, cows, and turkeys. I had never seen a turkey close up. While chickens will let me hold them, the turkeys weren’t into cuddling at all.
We began Saturday with a behind the scenes tour of Portland’s renown farmers’ market. Ivy Manning, a local food writer and farmers’ market expert, led us to all the right spots. She’s a regular at the market on Saturdays.
The gorgeous vegetables inspired us to cook – which is good because that’s what we had to do! Cook dinner. We were paired up with another food blogger and given an assignment. I was matched up with Alyssa from Everyday Maven and our assigned Pacific Foods product to cook with was beans.
Here’s a video of Alyssa and myself at the farmers’ market…
We had a commercial kitchen to cook all of the different courses. Alyssa and I made tacos with meat and tortillas from the farmers’ market. I also made the fresh salsa but really – how perfect for me to cook with beans! I cook a lot of beans and was excited to try their beans. Buying beans isn’t something we normally do because I don’t like food from a can. (Need a tutorial in cooking with dried beans? Check here.)
Their beans are super tasty – and just like homemade – but when opening the package of beans, place it right into a small saucepan. Don’t think about the shape which is square/rectangular – and soon – you’ll have them looking as good as they taste, too! (Oh, the package is easy to open and recyclable, too!)
- 6 tomatoes, Roma
- ⅔ cup onion, white or yellow
- 1 Tablespoon cilantro
- ¼-1/2 lemon, freshly squeezed
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- Chop tomatoes and toss into medium bowl.
- Chop onions and add to bowl with tomatoes.
- Finely chop cilantro and toss into tomatoes and onions.
- Sprinkle salt over bowl and squeeze lemon juice onto ingredients.
- Stir until well combined and adjust lemon juice and salt.
- After sitting several minutes, drain liquid from salsa and use in another dish.
- Serve with beans or chips and enjoy!
Once the fresh tomato salsa was ready, we poured the liquid from the salsa into the pan with the beans and warmed them on low. This helped give the beans some liquid so they could be stirred and when they were just bubbly (but not burning), we placed them in a serving bowl. Garnish with sour cream or cilantro.
Our dinner was absolutely tasty and fresh. We dined outside but not until after we took lots of pictures. Hey, food bloggers love to cook and then take pictures of everything we make – just ask my family!
I hope you enjoyed the Pasture to Plate tour. Thanks to Pacific Foods for sponsoring the trip!
What’s your favorite soup from Pacific Foods? What do you like most about farmers’ markets? Have you ever tried to hold a turkey?
Go Gingham related links:
Carrot and kale salad – tasty and so good for lunch – or dinner
Chicken noodle soup – packed with spinach and heart-warming vegetables
So simple chicken curry salad – easy with lots of kick to it!
Pumpkin and squash soup – it’s easy and delicious!
More related links:
- Alyssa from Everyday Maven made a creamy kale and sausage soup that looks delish
- Julie from Lovely Little Kitchen has a lovely write up of our event – of course it’s lovely!
- Megan from Healthy Grocery Girl shared her pumpkin soup recipe – topped with hazelnuts
- Ivy Manning, local Portland food writer, has loads of recipes, too
- Want to learn more about urban bee keepers or buy their honey? Bee Local
- Pacific Foods has recipes and coupons on their site – plus more pictures of cows!