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11.04.2010

Good Food in Mesa by Guest Blogger Kara Bagley



We are delighted to have Kara from Taste is Trump blogging over here at I Heart Mesa today.  Her blog is a fresh perspective on how to eat whole, fresh, and natural food.  She says: "I am a from-scratch, real-food health nut who loves to create unusual recipes that are tasty and nutritious."  Today Kara gives us the scoop into some of her favorite ways to get good food here in Mesa, AZ.

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I moved to Mesa 12 years ago from a small, small town in the Midwest and have never looked back.  I feel great pride in this city and all that it has to offer, namely, good food.  My life revolves around food; growing food, preparing food, learning about food, buying food, eating food, preserving and storing food.  There is much to be said about the disconnect people have with food in our days.  Traditionally, gathering and preparing food was an occupation at the very heart of daily life.  If we want to be well, we need to repair our relationship with food.

Growing Food
            Mesa is a great place to garden, we can grow year round.  I do continuous gardening; when one thing comes out of the ground, another goes right back in.  Start small and grow with your comfort level.  Anything you grow (and eat) yourself is way better for your health than buying a like product at the store because it contains more than just nutrients, it is full of tender, loving, care.
            I supplement my own garden produce with produce from local, sustainable farms purchased and delivered by The Backyard Farmer.  This is better than the farmer’s market because it has not been out in the heat all day getting wilted.  Great care is taken when selecting and packaging your items.  It is delivered to your door, so you avoid the lines, crowds and time it takes to drive and shop.  I find this incredibly convenient at this time because I have three little boys to cart around with me.
            Just send an email to THEBACKYARDFARMER@live.com to get latest order form, fill it out and send it back.  He delivers to the surrounding areas too. This is a high-quality Mesa business with great service and consideration for its customers.  When you find a variety that you really like, ask the farmer if it breeds true and you can plant your own!

Preparing Food           
Though I have always enjoyed being in the kitchen, it wasn’t until I met Chef Brad that I put cooking and health together in one pot.  He is a great inspiration; I took classes from him, received training by him and worked with him for many years.  Chef Brad has a charming training center in downtown Mesa, where he can inspire you too.  Check his website for details.

Learning About Food
            Because the food industry is so commercialized, it can be difficult to navigate through all the propaganda. I have found it incredibly helpful to talk to people who have passion for what they are producing.  One example of this is Ready and Well, an internet company that does business on a personal level.  The owners live here in Mesa and sell local honey that is truly raw.  They have a close relationship to the bee keepers and go onsite to see all their practices first hand.  Real honey is a medicinal food and it a great, natural remedy for many ailments.

Buying Food
            While I am a big believer of buying directly from the source and making as much as possible from scratch, modern life can get in the way of all that.  We all need to start somewhere, and knowledge is power.  Found on the southern edge of Mesa is a great grocery store everybody loves called Trader Joe’s.  This chain is a great place to pick up pre-made items made with real food ingredients to supplement your weekly meals.
Beware that not all their products are entirely healthy, you still have learn what to look for and read labels.  Their brown rice pasta is a staple for us in making quick and tasty meals like Roasted Vegetable Linguine and Salmon Green Bean Pasta.  Not ready to make homemade yogurt?  Trader Joes carries an organic, full-fat variety with 5 strains of friendly bacteria.  Also find the best price on Kerry Gold butter and many varieties of cheeses from pastured animals. Check out my buying tips to get the most health-bang for your buck.

Eating Food
Good restaurants are everywhere in this town, but the high standards set at Caffe Boa Bistro in East Mesa, are rarely met.  Organic, seasonal, farm fresh and most importantly, yummy.  The service is excellent and the chef is very personable, a little tip for getting extra special treatment; show your Iowa Hawkeye pride, the chef is a big fan J

Preserving Food
            With the instability in the food system/economy these days, it is smart to have some stored for hard times.  Find a wide selection of whole grains, beans, dried fruits and vegetables at Preparing Wisely in downtown Mesa.  They also are stocked with other emergency essentials such as solar ovens, canning supplies, storage containers, water filters and grain mills.  The owners are great people who work hard at building a successful, honest business.

Mesa has loads to offer in the way of really good food, take advantage good friends!

3 comments:

Elena T said...

This post is full of incredible info. Thanks for giving it a place to find it all in one spot.

Kayla said...

This is AWESOME. We're doing whole foods these days and I've been struggling to find good sources for things. Thank you!!

Kara said...

Yay! Be sure to email me at TasteisTrump@gmail.com to get on my local finds list and feel free to ask any questions on where I find this or that on my blog.