Editor’s Note: Kelly Reynolds, graphic designer, social media consultant and author of the blog Reynolds Report, is taking a personal Eat Local Challenge during the month of April and will be reporting weekly about her journey. Kelly hails from Phoenix, Arizona.
My Eat Local Challenge is more than half-way done – I can't believe it! The last week and a half has challenging, but extremely fun at the same time.
This week I moved across town, which gave me the added challenge of having to plan my meals without being able to cook at home. A few salads and a couple trips to Joe's Farm Grill and Chipotle later, I think I did well. I tried to eat local and organic first, but when impossible I tried to eat at a locally-owned restaurant. It didn't work 100% of the time, but I'm happy with my effort.
I've made it a priority to attend the Phoenix Public Market as much as possible. I'm impressed with both the open air market (Wednesday, Saturday) and the Urban Grocery and Wine Bar (Tuesday thru Saturday). The Urban Grocery and Wine Bar features fresh, locally-sourced produce, meat, dairy and packaged food. You can also pick up breakfast, salads, sandwiches and soups and a wide variety of wine and beer. They're definitely one of the first places an Arizona locavore should visit.
Even though I was busy with the move, I tried a few new recipes this week. I made some delicious and easy nachos using locally raised, grass fed beef from Double Check Ranch, locally grown onions and organic chips and cheese. I wish I would have gotten some peppers and different toppings from the market while I was there, but it was delicious anyway.
I also cooked short ribs for the first time (also from Double Check Ranch). I marinated them in Plum Chipotle sauce from Terra Verde Farms and browned them on both sides before cooking them for about an hour on 350 degrees. I served them with a baked potato with locally made mango salsa and a fresh salad.
I've also started spicing up my potato preparation beyond just baking. This week I fried them and next week I'm going to mash them and try a couple other recipes. What's your favorite way to prepare potatoes?
I found an amazing local Arizona wine -- Kokopelli Winery's White Merlot. It's fruity, refreshing and delicious. Kokopelli also has a bistro I want to visit this coming week.
Additional goals for this upcoming week
- Get back on track with eating strictly local and organic.
- Visit additional farmers markets. So far, I've only been to the Gilbert and Phoenix Public markets. Where's your favorite Arizona farmers market? What must I try?
- Continue to branch outside of my comfort zone. Get a couple of different types of produce at the markets.