Writer and gardener Mirabel Osler once said: “There can be no other occupation like gardening in which, if you were to creep behind someone at their work, you would find them smiling.”
Getting our hands dirty, watching seeds evolve into fresh produce, and working with instead of against the earth prove to lower anxiety and depression. A CNN article confirmed that gardening creates a sensory experience and physical activity that attributes to a happier life.
Through cultivating the land, we quickly begin to see our hard work pay off. The first new plant sprouts stretch through the dirt and reach for the sun. Once the garden is in full swing, there is an abundance of freshly grown food! But with plenty of delicious vegetables at our fingertips, we need recipe ideas that go beyond homegrown salads.
Here are four recipe ideas that require ingredients straight from the garden:
Let's start simple. This recipe may have the word “salad” in the title, but this one leaves out the leafy greens. Chop up some cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and some cabbage. Add some corn, sprouts, and herbs to taste. For even more flavor, create avocado basil dressing to drizzle on top! Blend the following ingredients: 1 avocado, juice from 1 lemon, 3/4 c. lightly packed fresh basil, 1-2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp. agave/honey, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. water, 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss veggies and dressing together until covered. Add more flavor to taste.
Check out thegardengrazer.com for the complete recipe.
Juicy tomatoes are one of the best parts of summer. Below is a recipe to add a fancy twist to this summer snack.
Core four tomatoes to prepare them for stuffing! Saute together 1 tbsp. Extra-Virgin olive oil
1 shallot, 1 garlic clove, and 1/2 lb sweet Italian sausage. Cook until brown. Then add in chopped basil, 3/4 c. panko crumbs, 3 oz. fontina cheese, (1/4 cubes), 1/4 c. grated parmesan. Sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper inside of tomatoes before inserting the filling. Bake stuffed tomatoes for 15-20 minutes in a 425-degree oven.
Check out delish.com for the complete recipe.
One is wise when he figures out how to combine gardening and grilling! Gather some mini rainbow peppers, cut them into halves, and remove their insides to make room for the “good stuff.” Coat peppers with a mixture of 1 tsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Then mix a block of cream cheese, 1 garlic clove, 2 tbsp. chopped dill and basil, and 3 tbsp. of fresh chives into a separate bowl. Grill peppers for 2 minutes on each side and fill them with the delicious herb cream cheese before serving.
Check out skinnytaste.com for the complete recipe.
This last recipe made my mouth water! When you have leftover veggies that seem to have no use, think “PIE!” I am a fan of all things pie. So if I can eat pie without the added guilt of all the extra sugar, I'm all in! Tomatoes, zucchini, onions, and squash (to name a few) make a delicious pie filling! There are specifics to this recipe to get it just right, so click here for the details!
What are some of your favorite garden to table recipes?
Amanda is a wife, mother, writer, and certified life coach. Pen and paper make her spirit come alive. She spends her creative time reading, decorating, and handwriting fonts. Her world is better with an assortment of chocolate and a stack of books packed and ready for travel. She is a writer for Downs Ups & Teacups. When she’s not writing, she’s planning outdoor adventures with her husband and two children. She believes life feels best when it’s truly lived!