Garden Goodness

My friends Troy and Sarah, whom I love dearly, came to my place of work and brought me a GIANT BAG OF PRODUCE from their garden!  Look at this!

My first instinct was to use one of those huge cabbages to make soup.  I was planning to go to the store to get some white beans to add for protein, but I didn’t feel like going out, so I used (yep, you guessed it) lentils instead.  This was super easy:

Cabbage-Lentil Soup

First I sauteed:

  • 2 onions (for T & S’s garden)
  • and a few cloves of garlic.

Then I added:

  • 1/2 large cabbage, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 small green bell peppers, chopped (from T & S’s garden)
  • 10 cups homemade veggie broth

I brought that to a boil, then reduced the heat and let it simmer about 30 minutes, or until the lentils were tender.  Then I added salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste.  It made about a billion servings, but it would definitely freeze well.

Then I started thinking about what to do with the sugar snap peas and radishes.  I decided that they would be good in a stir fry together, and through the magic of Google I found this recipe:

…which I tailored to suit my needs.

Radish and Snap Pea Stir Fry

First I heated 2 tablespoons sesame oil in my big wok.  Then I sauteed

  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 4 scallions, finely sliced
  • 1 banana pepper, finely sliced (from T & S’s garden)

When that was fragrant, I added

  • 1 bunch of radishes (from T & S’s garden), very finely sliced using the mandolin attachment on my food processor

I stir fried those until they became slightly glossy/translucent.  Then I threw in

  • a couple handfuls of fresh sugar snap peas (from T & S’s garden), the strings removed and the larger ones broken in half.

I stir fried those for just a couple of minutes, until they were crisp-tender, and then I added:

  • the radish greens, chopped
  • the juice of one fresh lime
  • 2 tablespoons tamari (soy sauce)

Then I cooked it for another minute or so, until heated through.

I served it on top of brown rice and garnished it with:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, crushed

This made 2 generous servings.  I couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch the next day. It was a party of fresh, summery flavors and textures.  Thank you, Troy and Sarah!

This leads me to my tip of the day…

Don’t throw the greens away!!!

Not only did the greens from those lovely radishes made a delicious addition to my stir fry, but they were also packed with valuable nutrients.  Recently, I also tried cooking some beet greens from a bunch of beets from Kate’s garden, and I was sad that I hadn’t tried that sooner.

Clockwise from bottom right: beet greens sauteed with red onions, crushed red pepper and balsamic vinegar, beets roasted with a little bit of olive oil, store-bought frozen vegan meatballs in homemade honey-mustard (honey is not technically vegan, but I don’t care), and brown rice.

Finally, I have more recent garden goodie to share.  A while back Kate had given me a bunch of small cucumbers from her garden.

I decided to pickle them, but I didn’t want to go to the trouble to learn how to do the whole thing with the self-sealing jars, etc., so I Googled “refrigerator pickles.”  I found this recipe:

…and followed it almost exactly, except that I also added some chili peppers from Kate’s garden and some peppercorns.  I couldn’t find a big enough jar, so I put them in a bowl with a tight-fitting lid:

This yielded a really crisp, fresh-tasting pickle that got more and more flavorful the longer I left them in the fridge.

I am truly lucky to have friends with gardens.


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