Tag Archives: vegetables

Thursday Thoughts: Gardening

Thursday Thoughts: Gardening

I never ever thought I would say this, but I’m enjoying gardening!¬† I wasn’t a fan of gardening when I was growing up, but I guess it’s in my blood and I shouldn’t fight it! ūüėČ My grandpa and my mom must have passed the gene on down despite my resistance!¬† Now, I’m thankful.

I really started appreciate gardening since I’ve been on a quest to live and eat healthier.¬† There’s something very satisfying in cooking food that we grew!¬† You know…that whole “I-can-do-it-myself” pride that you see in your toddler, well now I remember what it feels like with gardening!

Another bonus: I know exactly where the food came from and what was put into it!¬† And¬†now it’s really helping our grocery budget! We have a pretty short growing season in Minnesota, but I’ve still been able to harvest lettuce, zucchini, green beans, and sugar snap peas already! I didn’t have to buy any veggies this week on my grocery trip! Mostly fruit and a few other staples! Maybe “going green” ain’t so bad!

Other things I love about gardening:

  • My kids are involved and learning so much!¬†¬†They’re learning science, health, and good eating habits¬†as well as spiritual concepts like “What you sow is what you grow!”¬† (And they are having a¬†LOT of fun! They beg me to water the garden or pick vegetables!)
  • There’s something therapeutic in pulling out weeds! I don’t know what it is, but it feels good to yank a weed out by the root and toss it aside!
  • We get off the couch and enjoy the outdoors while gardening.
  • Fresh food takes flavor to a whole new level! You may never buy another canned vegetable from the store once you try growing your own!
  • When we live 28 miles from the nearest big grocery store it’s nice to be able to just go to our yard and pick something last-minute for a meal!
  • It’s a meaningful (and frugal) gift to share homegrown veggies with a friend or neighbor!

Have I convinced you to try gardening yet?!?!?!¬† Don’t let having a small (or no) yard hold you back.¬† We have a few containers of herbs and lettuce on our porch that really supplement our meals nicely!¬† You could try a tomato plant in a container and make your own spaghetti sauce or fresh BLT sandwich!¬† The possibilities are endless! You might just grow a green thumb while you’re at it! :)

 

Our garden

 

 

Fresh salad for lunch, anyone?

 

We’ll probably eat this for dinner tonight!

Fresh herbs! Basil, oregano, rosemary…and a cute toddler (pick at your own risk!) ;)

He’s happy to help…especially if it involves water and mud! Win-win!

Savory Rosemary-Pumpkin Soup

Savory Rosemary-Pumpkin Soup

This is one recipe that I wish had an aroma-link or something, because it smells soooooooo good while cooking it!  I happened to have some pumpkin to use up and this was a yummy way to do it!

Ingredients

  • medium onion (chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • 1-2 celery stalks (preferable with leafy tops) chopped
  • 1¬† t¬† rosemary
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1 dash allspice
  • 3 oz reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree (or 2 cans of store-bought)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • chopped cilantro for garnish

Drizzle olive oil and saute onions, garlic, and celery for 5-7minutes until veggies are soft.  Add rosemary (I used whole leaves and crushed them a bit before throwing them in the pan), cayenne, allspice, and a little salt & pepper.

Pour chicken stock and pumpkin into a pot on medium heat.  Back in your frying pan add the cream cheese to the veggies.  Once the cream cheese has melted pour whole cheesy-veggie mixture into the pumpkin broth.

Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes.¬† Then comes the fun part…the blender!¬† Puree in batches.

Pour soup back into the pot and salt & pepper to taste.  Serve with cilantro garnish.  (You can also add sour cream if you like, but it was plenty creamy for me!)

Enjoy!

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