Mixed Veggie Medley _lowres

Advocate staff photo by RICHARD ALAN HANNON -- Use that abundance of vegetables from your garden to make slow-cooked Mixed Veggie Medley.

Have you noticed the increasing popularity of home gardens? It seems like you can’t pick up any magazine or home improvement book without seeing more and more creative designs and options.

Raised gardens, multileveled architectural beds and groupings of decorative pots in everything for large to smaller patio-sized areas are all trendy. It’s not only trendy, but practical and delicious as well. Even restaurants are trying to grow their own fresh herbs and veggies if they have the space outdoors.

As creative as we can be designing the structures for our home gardens, sometimes we struggle with different ways to cook the vegetables we grow. Getting stuck on the same recipes is pretty common. How about putting several of them together into the slow cooker?

A friend was overrun with eggplant one year, and I remember her plea for new ideas.

If you’ve grown okra and perhaps corn, add those to the eggplant, along with canned stewed tomatoes and seasonings for a really tasty vegetable dish.

Julie Kay is a columnist for The Advocate. She can be reached at juliekay6122@gmail.com.