Tag Archives: Eat your veggies

Eat Your Garden Veggies

Garden season is here again and that means veggies.

One of the good things, yet challenges with gardening is the amount of fresh veggies that seemed to all come in at once.

I have been thinking about this dilemma ever since I joined a CSA (community supported agriculture) and I found myself with a random section of veggies that I had to figure out what to do with.

I needed a way to get a variety of veggies into my meals before everything went bag (and to make room in the frig for the next CSA BOX)

Out of this came what I call: 

Gardeners Essential Veggie Recipes/Techniques.

I felt all gardens needed to know them to best use their veggies. The list is not complete, but here is a start.

Recipe will follow in later posts.

Cole Slaw

Veggies: (Cabbage, carrot, radish, onion, scallion, beets, turnip, apple etc…)

Cole Slaw is not just green cabbage and mayo. In fact, you don’t need to use mayo at all. I prefer an Asian slaw made with a soy vinaigrette. The great thing about a slaw is that it will keep for a few days and you can use a food processor to prep the veggies.

Curry

Veggies: Root veggies especially potato, squashes, green beans, peas, carrots, cauliflower, onion, peppers, broccoli, spinach and leafy greens, mushrooms

There are a number of types of curry like Indian and Thai. Serve over rice, with meat, seafood or in a soup

Pizza

Veggies: Tomato, onion, pesto herbs, broccoli, zucchini, peppers, eggplant, spinach, etc…

Pizza is one of those great way to sneak veggies into a meal for kids

quiche

Veggies: Spinach, dark leafy greens, broccoli (kale, collards, mustard greens, beet greens, chard), onion, tomato, root veggies, peppers, corn etc..

Quiche is a two-fer because it also allows you to use up all of those eggs on a CSA or if you have chickens. They also freeze well. They are a great way to use up all of those dark leafy greens you have especially late in the season when your kale is on the tougher side.

Roasted root vegetables

Veggies: Potatoes, Onion, garlic, carrot, celery root, sweet potato, radish, turnip, squashes, parsnip, parsley root, beets, rutabaga, pumpkin, corn

Roasted root veggies make great leftovers, so make a big batch. They can be a huge mix of veggies. I rarely use just one veggie anymore. This is my go to when the veggies start pouring in. And it works with a ton of meals like chicken, steak, fish, tofu, sausage etc.

Stir Fry

Veggies: broccoli. carrot, celery, peppers, onions, garlic, ginger, mushrooms, cauliflower, cabbages, eggplant etc..

Stir fry is similar to curries. It is served over rice or noodles. A huge number of veggies can work in one dish. The trick is timing when you put in the veggies, so they are done at the same time.

It can be all veggie or served with beef, fish, chicken or tofu and top with nuts and seeds for a more satisfying vegan meal.

Salad Dressing

Veggies: Fresh Raw veggies, cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce, in slaw, etc…

Lets face it. Most of our fresh veggies are going to be washed, cut and eaten raw, so having a list of some basic salad dressing and stocking the frig is an order of the season. A basic vinaigrette of good olive oil, vinegar (or citrus) salt, pepper, red pepper flake and fresh chopped herbs is my go to.

Mashed Veggies

Veggies: Root veggies

Mashed veggies are an alternative to roasting. The veggies are boiled until tender and mashed. You can selected a combination of veggies or just one. Add butter, salt and pepper and a touch of maple and honey and you are good to go.

Others:
Omelettes
Pot Pie
Soups

 

Weekly Menu Planning

Do you have a plan for dinner for the week? For a long time I just kind of winged it for dinner. I bought what looked nice, added a few staples, and then made dinner. The problem with my approach is that sometime it worked and other times it did not. There was also extra effort in trying to figure out what to do with all of the ingredients all of the time like I was on a TV food challenge show. So eventually, I started creating the weekly menu. The idea is to create meals with balanced plates of protein, starch/carbs, and a vegetable element which includes a green vegetable. Now I know some popular diets philosophies tend to favor one food group over the other like for example high protein and little too no carbs, but speaking for myself, I find that omitting one group from a meal leaves me feeling like there was something missing in the meal. And unfortunately veggies tend to be the third wheel in our Meat and Potatoes culture. The slogan is “Where’s the beef?”, but how about “Where are the Vegetables?”

Once the weekly menu is created, the family weighs in. Are their too many baked items? Is the menu too heavy on meat and not enough on vegetables. Am I falling back on the same thing week after week? Ideas, suggestions, and preferences start to take shape. For example broccoli is always a crowd pleaser, so I know to fit that in. I like to mix up the menu with various cuisines like Asian, Mexican, Italian, Comfort American, and others.

Suggestions are noted and a final menu is drafted. The family gets excited about the week’s meals and preferences are met. This strategy can be a good way too bring kids into eating healthier. If they have a say, they are probably going to eat it.

The other great thing about weekly menu planning is leftovers. I usually make a little extra for dinner which then becomes a quick reheat lunch the next day. Dinners do not have to be fancy, or entirely made from scratch. I run to can beans, the occasional frozen veggie like peas, and sometime center a meal around jazzed up ramen noodles.

Here is this weeks menu:

Baked Chicken with roasted potatoes and greens (saute kale and onions)

Beans with cornbread and salad w/dressing

Brown Rice Risotto w/seafood and peas

Turkey burgers w/salad and baked sweet potato fries

Vegetable Stir fry with rice

please feel free to share your weekly dinner menu.

CB