With warmer temperatures comes fresh food. Try one of these vibrant recipes and discover bold, new flavor combinations and a way to utilize those homegrown tomatoes or cucumbers.
In the heat of summer, patio tomatoes and trellis climbing cucumbers begin yielding their first rounds of homegrown eatables.Beyond creating fresh, delicious food, growing your own veggies can yield physical and mental health benefits as plentiful as a zucchini plant once it starts producing fruit.
First of all, gardening can create space for mindfulness — allowing you to be present in whatever task is immediately in front of you. Tending to those turnips can also provide a boost to your self-esteem and provide a sense of accomplishment and joy as you witness your plants go from seed to harvest. And, when you grow your own food, you are able to control the sorts of pesticides and herbicides that you apply — or don’t apply — to your garden plants.
Think you don’t have enough space to grow your own produce? There are several ways to enjoy freshly grown fruits and vegetables with a limited amount of space. Several widely available varieties of vegetables thrive in small containers that can be kept on a deck or windowsill. And if you’re looking for a flare of chic sustainability, you can find ideas all over Pinterest for herb gardens that can be created withold tomato sauce cans or other upcycled items.
Anyone who has ever cultivated their own food knows that the taste of homegrown fruits and vegetables is unmatched—popping a garden fresh cherry tomato or sugar snap pea straight into your mouth can’t be beat. With a little bit of store bought produce and a few jewels from your own garden, you can whip together one of these creative, healthy recipes in just 10 to 15 minutes.
CUCUMBER AND GREEN TOMATO PICO
1 medium cucumber, seeded and diced
1 medium green tomato, diced
2–3 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
3” stalk of rhubarb, finely diced
¼ cup chopped cilantro
Juice from half a lemon or lime
Salt and pepper to taste
1.In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
2.Serve immediately, or cover and chill for up to four hours prior to serving to let flavors mingle.
STRAWBERRY AVOCADO SALSA
1 cup finely chopped strawberries
¼ cup finely chopped, peeled avocado
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon finely grated lime rind
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped, seeded jalapeño pepper
1. In a medium to large serving bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss to coat.
2 .Cover and store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve room temperature or chilled.
CITRUS KALE AND ANCIENT GRAIN HOT SALAD
Cracked black pepper Salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup cooked pearlized farro
1 cup chopped kale
¼ cup dried sweetened cranberries or cherries
2 tablespoons chopped walnut
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
1. Cook farro according to directions on the bag and set aside.
2. Add olive oil and garlic to a skillet, heat on medium heat just until the garlic starts to sizzle. Turn heat up to medium high, add chopped kale and sauté until just tender.
3. Add orange juice, toss in berries and chopped walnuts to the pan. Mix ingredients together in skillet. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Pour ingredients into serving bowl and top with cooked farro.
PINEAPPLE MINT SLAW
2 cups mayonnaise
¼ cup lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup fresh pineapple, finely diced
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 quart coleslaw chopped cabbage
½ cup coarse chopped mint
1/2 small red sweet pepper, julienne
2 shakes Tabasco
1 teaspoon salt
1. In a small bowl, stir your mayonnaise, lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper, Tabasco and sugar together.
2. In a large bowl, place your cabbage, pineapple, mint and red sweet pepper and toss to mix.
3. Pour mayonnaise dressing over the cabbage mixture and mix well.
4. Eat right away or let it sit in the refrigerator for about an hour to let the flavors mingle and the cabbage to soften.