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Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

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September 30, 2014

Cooking With Local Produce from Safeway

"Buying Local" means different things to different people.  To me, it means anything that is grown in our sunny state of California.  Just recently, Safeway delivered a farm basket full of locally grown fruits and veggies as a gift.  It was like Christmas in September!  

A new survey by Harris Interactive found that only 30% of Americans incorporate local produce in their meals daily.  I'm a Safeway shopper, always have been and I like that Safeway makes it a little easier for us to support our local farmers.

Before I had a chance to bake the pear crisp I had in store for the gorgeous red pears grown at Scotts Valley Ranch in Lakeport, CA, my kids devoured them as an after school snack.  Not to worry, pear crisp recipe coming soon.  

The heirloom tomatoes were so beautiful and very sweet.  I bought some mozzarella, sliced it along with the tomatoes and arranged the slices on a plate as a light and fresh side for dinner one night.

After arranging the slices on a platter, I combined balsamic vinegar and olive oil, sea salt and pepper and drizzled it over the top.  Once drizzled, I dropped some baby basil leaves on top and ground some more fresh pepper over the dish and then drizzled more balsamic and olive oil dressing.

The tomatoes are from Capay Organics out of West Sacramento, CA.

According to Wikipedia, the eggplant fruit is botanically classified as a berry and contains numerous small, soft seeds which are edible, but have a bitter taste because they contain nicotinoid alkaloids (being a relative of tobacco).  Many recipes advise salting, rinsing and draining of the sliced fruit (known as "degorging"), to soften it and to reduce the amount of fat absorbed during cooking, but mainly to remove the bitterness.

Eggplants found at my local Safeway are from Valhalla Produce with the eggplant being grown in Kingsburg, CA.

I cubed the eggplant along with the green bell pepper to add to some cubed chicken for our Moroccan dinner of Spiced Lemon Chicken.

 I cubed the chicken, rolled it in Italian Style breadcrumbs and browned it in a skillet with olive oil.

I then added all the cubed eggplant and peppers and added a Moroccan Lemon Spiced pre-made simmer sauce, which I also found at Safeway and wanted to try.

Fruit, veggies and meat all in one dish. 

 My favorite type of dinner.  Easy and nutritious.

Click here to read about the Safeway Farm Field Trip I experienced last summer, where I met and learned all about the Perry family and their family farm who provides Safeway with the many seedless watermelons and pumpkins throughout the year.

Special thanks to Safeway for providing the basket of local fruits and vegetables and for also providing a $50 gift card to purchase additional ingredients to complete my meals above.  Though fruits and vegetables were provided complimentary, I was not monetarily compensated for this post or any other Safeway related post I've written.  All opinions above are my own.

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