Healthy Living Blog

Savor Summer Flavors with Locally Grown Produce

Tina Miller 2011August brings to life peak flavors of Michigan grown produce.  Enjoy crisp locally grown greens in hearty entrée salads.  Sink your teeth into ears of Michigan grown sweet corn.  The tastes of summer don’t get better than this!

Farmers markets aren’t the only place to find the high quality locally grown produce you desire – look no further than your Meijer produce department!  Meijer has been buying local since 1934 and currently buys from 100 farmers in the five states that we serve, resulting in an $80 million annual economic impact on local communities.

Meijer offers more than 75 different fruits and vegetables from local growers and is one of the largest purchasers of locally grown produce.  Each year we purchase and offer you in our produce department:

  • One Million pounds of Michigan asparagus
  • 3.5 Million pints of Michigan blueberries
  • 40 Million pounds of potatoes from Michigan, Ohio and Indiana
  • 750 Thousand pounds of Michigan and Ohio grown green, red leaf and romaine lettuces
  • 2.5 Million pounds of cabbage from Michigan, Ohio and Illinois
  • 11 Million Ears of Michigan, Indiana and Ohio-grown sweet corn (yum!)
  • Year round we offer Michigan grown fresh “Markets of Meijer” tomatoes from our local hydroponic grower

Reasons to stock up on locally grown produce:

  • Local ingredients taste better: Local foods are at their peak of nutritional value and bursting with flavor.  You can taste and see the quality difference in fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables.
  • Eating locally boosts the local economy, supporting Michigan and surrounding area farmers.  The local purchases that you make at your local Meijer have a direct impact on the local economy in your community.
  • Eating local supports jobs in your community including everyone involved from getting food from the farm to your table.
  • Regional variety: You can often find interesting types of unique produce and seasonal items locally that you can’t find anywhere else—which makes for an exciting dinner table (Honeyrock melons!)
  • Protect and preserve the local farmland:  Supporting local family farmers who create your neighboring fields and pastures helps to protect and preserve the land for years to come. Buying local, seasonal products gives these farmers an incentive to prolong their livelihood.
  • Eating locally is also good for the environment.  Locally grown foods travel less distance creating fewer exhaust emissions during transport.


Recipes Featuring Locally Grown Produce:


Grilled Shrimp Wraps with Cabbage
Makes: 4 servings



¾ cup Meijer light sour cream

1½ tsp. lime zest, divided

2 tbsp. fresh lime juice, divided

1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro

1 lb. Meijer frozen ready to cook medium shrimp (already peeled and deveined), thawed (NuVal® Score 75)

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 Tortillas, warmed

1 cup each finely shredded locally grown red cabbage and Napa cabbage (NuVal® Score 100)

Salsa Verde (optional)



1. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium (300°F to 350°F). For the sauce, in a small bowl whisk together sour cream, 1 teaspoon of the lime zest, 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, plus cilantro. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


2. In a medium bowl combine shrimp, garlic, remaining ½ teaspoon lime zest, remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste; toss. Thread shrimp onto 5 (10-inch) skewers.* Grill 3 to 5 minutes per side or just until shrimp turn pink.


3. Place shrimp evenly in tortillas. Top with cabbage, and drizzle with sauce. If desired, serve with salsa verde.


* If using wooden skewers, soak at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent burning.


Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories 314, Fat 9g, Cholesterol 240mg, Sodium 324mg, Carbohydrate 28g, Fiber 4g, Protein 30g.


Source: Recipe adapted from the Meijer Taste of Summer booklet on


Serve with: Locally grown grilled summer vegetable spectacle




Grilled Summer Vegetable Spectacle
Makes: 6 servings



1 medium zucchini, sliced ½-inch thick on the diagonal

1 medium yellow squash, sliced ½-inch thick on the diagonal

1 medium unpeeled eggplant, sliced ½-inch thick

2 medium red or yellow bell peppers, sliced into ½-inch thick rings

2 tomatoes, quartered

½ cup Meijer extra virgin olive oil, divided

½ cup Meijer balsamic vinegar, divided

1 tsp. McCormick Gourmet Collection Italian Seasoning

¼ cup minced fresh parsley




  1. In a large bowl, combine zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, bell pepper and tomatoes.  Drizzle with half of the oil and vinegar; toss to combine.  Add Italian seasoning, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste; toss to combine.  Let vegetables stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high (350 F to 400 F).  Place vegetables directly on grill rack or in a grilling basket.  Grill 3 to 4 minutes per side or until tender and lightly charred.  Arrange vegetables on a platter.  Drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.


Source: Recipe adapted from July/August Meijer Healthy Living Naturally booklet.


Nutrition Information (per serving): 160 calories, 12g fat, 2g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 2g protein



Grilled Corn and Kale Salad
Makes: 4 servings



4 ears fresh Michigan corn, husks and silks removed

4 tbsp. Meijer Classic Olive Oil, divided

3 cups trimmed and coarsely chopped local grown kale leaves

1½ cups Markets of Meijer diced tomatoes

½ cup diced red onion

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

¼ cup white wine vinegar

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice


1. Coat grill rack with nonstick cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high (350°F to 400°F). Brush corn evenly with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Grill corn, uncovered, 10 to 15 minutes or until tender, turning frequently. Remove from grill and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut kernels from cob and place in a large bowl; set aside.

2. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil over kale; toss gently. Place kale in a grill basket or on a sheet of heavy-duty foil. Grill kale 3 to 5 minutes, turning frequently until slightly wilted. Let cool.

3. To the large bowl add kale, tomatoes, onion, basil, vinegar, lemon juice, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and pepper to taste; toss gently to combine. Chill at least 30 minutes before serving.

Recipe source:  Meijer Taste of Summer, IN Marketing