Archive for the ‘Fresh from the Garden Recipes’ Category

My friend, Terri has some fun with a beet!

This spring, I planted the Early Wonder Tall Top Beet, and have really been enjoying the harvest. (Happily, the deer don’t seem to bother them.) The photo above was taken in early June when the beets were still rather small, a bit smaller than a ping-pong ball. When they were that size, they were delicious roasted, just drizzled with a bit of olive oil, wrapped in parchment paper, and into the oven until nice and tender. They were amazing!

Early Wonder Tall Top Beet

Once thinned in the garden, the beets kept getting bigger. When they became a good size, I was able to cut them julienne style and put them into a stir-fry. What’s great about a stir-fry is that the greens can be used as well, and saute nicely, usually best in a covered skillet and put in last, after the vegetables are mostly cooked.

Beets with carrots, celery, red pepper, onions, and beet greens over brown rice.

The Early Wonder is great raw too, in salads for example. And I found a tasty recipe (below) for lettuce wraps with lemon-ginger dipping sauce. These are so yummy but kind of messy to eat!

Lettuce wraps with lemon-ginger dipping sauce

Lettuce Wraps with Lemon-Ginger Dipping Sauce


  • 1/2 cup raw tahini
  • a bit of honey (to taste)
  • lemon juice (you can make the sauce as thick or thin as you like)
  • 2 tsp minced fresh ginger

Lettuce Wraps

  • Lettuce leaves
  • julienned carrots
  • julienned raw beets
  • julienned red bell pepper
  • sunflower or mung bean sprouts
  • basil and mint leaves (optional)

Great on a hot summer day. Enjoy!


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There was so much lettuce in the garden and I didn’t want this weekend’s 95 degree heat to get to it. So, I harvested a lot of it and decided to make a nice chilled soup called Lettuce Gazpacho. I got this recipe from a friend, a talented personal chef, who brought this on a picnic outing one summer day last year. This recipe is now one of my favorites.

Most of the ingredients for Lettuce Gazpacho

Lettuce Gazpacho

8 servings

  • 1 English cucumber, peeled, coarsely chopped (or use a regular cucumber, it works fine.)
  • 3 cups Romaine lettuce, chopped (I used the blend of lettuce from my garden instead)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 cup onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 jalepeno peppers, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • 2 fluid ounces olive oil
  • 2 fluid ounces sherry vinegar (I used balsamic, it was all I had on hand)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 oz cubed white bread (I used multi-grain)
  • 3 cups water (I used less, for a thicker soup)

The chopped cucumber, onion, jalepenos, and minced garlic.

Into the food processor!

Puree the first 9 ingredients in a food processor. Add bread, let stand until soggy, about 2 minutes. Puree until smooth. Mix in water until you have a desired consistency. I added less water for a thicker soup. Refrigerate 2 hours. (Or if you can’t wait, like me, eat it right away!) Can make up to 2 days ahead.

This chilled soup is so refreshing on a hot day! The jalepenos give it a nice little kick.

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A small kale harvest

On January 1st, it was a somewhat warmish 42 degrees, so I decided to head to the garden to see if there was anything happening. The lettuce was pretty much finished, but I had a little kale…and I do mean little. This kale, called Russian Red or Ragged Jack, grew huge during the summer and I could barely keep up with it all. But in the cooler temps, it didn’t seem to want to grow much bigger than the leaves shown in the photo above, so I picked most of it. The small young leaves are quite tender and I’ve even eaten them raw in a salad. However today I decided to make a vegetable juice/green smoothie combo.

Juicing red cabbage and apples

I got out my trusty Juiceman II and juiced up some red cabbage and gala apples. Instead of juicing the kale, I chopped it up finely and added it to the juice. The red cabbage and apples make a delicious sweet drink. I could barely taste the kale.

Cheers! Happy New Year everyone!

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I have no idea what the barnacle-type blemishes are, but they had no affect on the taste.

I started to pick pumpkins in late October, early November. What to do with a pumpkin harvest? A thick and hearty autumn soup, of course!

1 large sweet onion, cut into wedges
1 sugar pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, cut into wedges
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into chunks
3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled
olive oil
3 cups vegetable broth (or 4 if you prefer a thinner soup)
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp curry powder
1/8 tsp ground red pepper
1/8 tsp ground cumin
sea salt
plain yogurt for garnish

Peel pumpkin, cut in half, scoop out seeds and stringy things. Cut into wedges. Peel sweet potato and onion and cut into chunks. Place on baking sheet with garlic cloves. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast in a 400 degree oven for 35-45 minutes until vegetables are soft.

Ready to roast

Move vegetables to a soup pot and add vegetable broth, spices. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, stirring for 25 minutes. Use an immersion blender or food processor to blend into a smooth, creamy soup.

Garnish with plain yogurt. Enjoy with a nice hunk of crusty whole grain bread.

Thick and delicious

For a different kind of creaminess, instead of the yogurt garnish, add 1 can of coconut milk to the soup during the cooking process.

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Fresh tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic.

When I started to harvest a lot of tomatoes, I pulled out my recipes and found one for fresh tomato soup, but it involved peeling and de-seeding the tomatoes. Too much work! I looked around for another recipe and found this gem that includes red peppers. So easy, I couldn’t believe the tomato skins and seeds remained in the recipe. I adapted it slightly so that all the work is in the roasting. It brings out all the wonderful flavors of summer!

2 pounds ripe tomatoes, cut in half
2 red peppers, cut into chunks
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
1 large onion
6 garlic cloves
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
fresh basil leaves, chopped
fresh thyme leaves

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the tomatoes, red peppers, onions and garlic on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 45 minutes.

Transfer the roasted vegetables to a soup pot with their juices, and add the vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes with fresh thyme and basil leaves. Blend in food processor.

Serve with garnish of grated Parmesan cheese, more chopped basil or a dollop of plain yogurt. Delicious!

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