Last Friday, I participated in the local challenge mentioned in this blog post.

It was our first visit to Gorman Heritage Farm. The people were really nice and there was a good selection of organic produce. We bought some local raw honey, organic okra (LOVE), and a vegetable we rarely eat—baby eggplant.

Okra

Check out this delicious (my favorite) okra recipe.

Baby eggplant

I have such mixed feelings about eggplant. Maybe it's because I haven't really found a recipe that I really like. But, regardless of my feelings I bought it in hope of challenging myself to branch out and find a recipe that I like. I searched the internet for recipes and I either didn't have all the ingredients or the recipe just didn't sound good. So, I combined recipes into something that I had ingredients for and sounded good.

The result? Baby eggplant stuffed with caramelized onions, fresh garlic, and goat cheese.

Eggplant_stuffed
The photo just doesn't do the dish much justice, but I thought it was really yummy. All I did to make it was:

1. Scoop out the eggplant with a tomato corer 2. Add butter to a saute pan and cook onion and garlic until onions are really soft and a little brown then add the eggplant and cook for a bit longer. Add salt and pepper at this point. 3. Spoon mixture into eggplant shells and then finish cooking them on the grill (or skillet).

My other great find while shopping local (Gorman Heritage Farm) is antibiotic/hormone free chicken for $3/pound. I was excited when I  realized a savings of $2-$3/pound on chicken by just buying it local. That's a savings of $6-$10/week for us. The only thing about this farm is that they only sell the chicken whole. Which is fine, but it does take a little more preparation time. 

Yesterday I mentioned that you can put vegetable ends and peelings to good use to get more bang for your buck. Over the course of a week and a half I saved all my vegetable peels and scraps to make a vegetable stock. This allows me to make use of every part of the vegetable and not waste anything. Plus it saves me about $12 a week in buying stock for soups.

Vegetable stock

I followed this recipe. And we used the stock tonight to make a black bean soup. You can also do the same thing with chicken bones—this makes buying a whole chicken at $3/pound well worth it. Chicken broth is great for soup, but also a great healing drink for a cold in the winter. I'm buying BPA free ice cube trays to freeze the stock and then I'll store it in freezer safe ziplock bags to use all winter long.

Tipoftheday Check out this article on government raids happening on farms and private-supply food clubs.