Whether you are trying to eat more healthily, ethically, or environmentally sound, one of the first things to do is use fresh and local ingredients. We are lucky in Iowa to have some great food sources so nearby, even during the winter months. I make it a point to buy as many local products as I can, and every once in a while, they come together in serendipitous wonder. Today was one of those days.

I'm trying to eat a little more healthy, so I've added a lot of vegetables and salads to my diet. Today, I wanted something a little more interesting for my lunch salad, so I went exploring through my refrigerator. I found some Dan and Debbie's Tomato and Basil Cheese Curds and some Amana Double Smoked Summer Sausage.

I cut off two nice slices of summer sausage and sliced those into thick matchsticks, then sprinkled the sausage and some cheese curds over a bed of Rolling Hills Greenhouse Lettuce. It was all dressed lightly with a homemade vinaigrette made with olive oil, Amana mustard, and Wilson's Apple Cider Vinegar.

It's almost as if I was eating a salad picked right from my backyard, and it was one of the most delicious and fulfilling lunches I've had in quite some time. Give it a try!

All of the mentioned ingredients can be found at most Hy-Vee stores in the area and from their respective links.