Permaculture for the Body, Permaculture for the Earth

7 Easy Ways to Use Garden-Fresh Ingredients

So, you tried out your green thumb and it did alright! Now, how on earth do you use all of these fresh ingredients?

Maybe you are a pro in the kitchen, but I do not consider myself quite so adept. I am a newbie, when it comes to food preparation! If I am being honest, I was interested in gardening, before I was truly interested in cooking! I have always avoided spending a large amount of time in the kitchen. If there is a recipe that requires an hour or (heaven-forbid) more than an hour to prepare, you better believe I will not be keeping that recipe! I like quick, easy, fast & LARGE quantities of HEALTHY food.

So, when it comes to these amazing summer months, where food is copious and fresh, I find many meals to delight over! And since I am also a creature of routine, I like to cycle through my favorite summer-fresh-garden meals…which I will share with you!

1. Salads

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Salads are by far one of the quickest and easiest way to use your garden goodies! Just wash your greens and chop them up into a bowl, and add your favorite dressing. My go-do dressing is ALWAYS homemade…

Homemade Salad Dressing: (Depending on the size of your salad…)

  • Equal parts Apple Cider Vinegar or Balsamic Vinegar & Olive oil
  • 2-3 T Honey or Agave or Maple Syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste 🙂

The ingredients that can be in your salad are almost never-ending!!! IN addition to garden goods, I like to add hemp seeds, kimchi & boiled eggs for some texture, probiotics and protein.

Garden ingredients to include:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Young/small Chard (when it gets too large it is very bitter)
  • Bok Choy
  • Arugula
  • Cucumber
  • Dandelion
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Shredded Beets
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Perslane
  • (the list could go on, I’m sure!)

 

2. Spring Rolls/Sushi:

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This is another quick but a little more artsy way to have your garden greens!

I like to get these nori wraps for sushi or these rice paper sheets for spring rolls, and make some rice in my super handy Instant pot. Then I chop up fresh garden ingredients, add an avocado & some hummus or vegan cream cheese, for pure perfection!! 😉

(Special note: if you are doing the sushi rolls you will want to use sushi rice, as opposed to white, basmati, long grain, or brown, I promise it makes a huge difference! Sometimes, if you’re lucky you can find it in bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club)

Then dip your sushi or spring roll with whatever condiments best suit you! We like to use sweet/sour sauce, barges aminos/soy sauce, siracha or wasabi, or Thai peanut sauce.

 

Garden Ingredients to include:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chard
  • Spinach
  • Nasturtium
  • Basil
  • Cucumber
  • Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Cilantro

3. Vegetable Stir Fry (Asian/Mediterranean themed)

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You do not need a recipe for this, let your artistic side take over!! Add lots of variety and see what happens!!! Start with sautéing your onions, add some ginger, add some garlic, and from there the rest is completely up to you!! You can eat it over brown/white rice or add some fried tofu and fill up on the veggies!

I like to season my veggie stir fries a little differently every time. Sometimes, I use a Thai curry paste and add full fat canned coconut milk, for a creamy curry. Other times, I keep it very basic and I use a Bragg’s Liquid aminos or soy sauce. Some great options are Teriyaki seasoning, and/or good old salt and pepper.

In addition to an asian flair, your veggie stir-fry could take on more of a Mediterranean taste. Add some Italian seasonings (maybe fresh basil, rosemary, parsley or oregano) alongside a healthy marinara sauce and serve it over pasta, for a scrumptious option! (I use a brown rice pasta or a chickpea pasta, they are both delicious!)

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Garden Ingredients to include:

  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Snap Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Bok Choy
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers

4. Sandwiches

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My husband’s favorite food is the always-satisfying sandwich. Sandwiches can be different every day! My breakfast 6 out of 7 days a week includes 2 egg sandwiches with veganaise, lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and basil. For different sandwich varieties, try adding various types of hummus or a great pesto spread!

You can use so many garden goods when creating your sandwiches. For a gluten-free option try making your sandwich into a lettuce wrap, or using gluten-free bread. I usually make my sandwiches open-face, and I typically use sourdough bread or a sprouted grain bread (Silver Hills Bakery Bread or Dave’s Killer Bread or Ezekiel Bread) for my own creations.

Garden Ingredients to include:

  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Cucumbers
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Peppers

5. Fresh w/ Dip

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When I dip, you dip, we dip…

Ok, I just gave my generation away, but seriously…cut those goodies up! Slice them up and put them on a plate with some hummus or guacamole or “ranch”.

Garden Ingredients to include:

  • Kohlrabi
  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Cucumber
  • Small Tomato varieties

6. Omletes/Frittatas

Of course eggs are a staple in our house, because we have chickens. Not everyone eats as many eggs as we do, and if that’s the case, scroll on by. But if you love some egg options, whipping up a quick omelet or frittata  Chop and drop into your eggs for an omelet or a fritata. I recommend always including basil or cilantro in this.

Garden ingredients to include

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Tomatoes
  • Young/small Chard (when it gets too large it is very bitter)
  • Bok Choy
  • Arugula
  • Onions
  • Bell Peppers
  • Jalapeno Peppers
  • Basil
  • Cilantro (for on top)
  • Tomatillos (for the salsa we will make later 😉 mmmm

7. Green Smoothies

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And now, for the QUICKEST way to make and take your garden goodies. Through them into a blender and drink them down!

Smoothie recipes can change on the daily, but I have 3 go-to recipes:

For fruity/summer flavor:

  • Banana
  • Frozen fruit (mango/strawberries/blueberries)
  • Chia Seeds
  • Plant-based vanilla Protein Powder (I use Organifi protein)
  • Drop of Metabolic Blend (Slim & Sassy Doterra Essential Oil)
  • Almond milk
  • Water
  • Ice (if needed)
  • Greens (usually Kale and Swiss chard or Spinach)

For fresh/refreshing flavor:

  • Banana
  • Greens (Spinach or Kale or Chard)
  • Mint leaves
  • Cucumber
  • Ice/Water
  • Frozen Mango
  • Lemon (frozen or fresh)
  • Plant-based vanilla Protein Powder (I use Organifi protein)

For creamy/luxurious flavor:

  • Banana
  • Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  • Greens of your choosing
  • Almond/coconut/cashew milk
  • Plant-based vanilla Protein Powder (I use Organifi protein)

Garden ingredients to include:

  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Swiss Chard/Rainbow Chard
  • Beet Greens
  • Bok Choy
  • Arugula
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Perslane
  • Dandelion

(the list could go on, I’m sure!)

That’s it, folks! I am not a big recipe follower, so I am not throwing recipes at you, just general ideas to inspire your garden cooking!

Enjoy!!

 

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