Tag Archives: vegetables

Meal Plan {22.06.2013} + Veggie Harvest

A Whoop Whoop for our garden this week. The cauliflower, carrots and a cabbage were ready for harvesting. I don’t know why but I feel “winter” vegetables need so much more washing. I did learn a good trick though, fill a bowl up of water and a tsp of salt and stick the recently harvested vegetables in the solution….all the bugs come out and die.

Here are some photos of the harvested vegetables…..Carrots, Cabbage, Cauliflower respectively.

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The cauliflower may be a little mature based on the edges but we are going to give it a try anyway and add it to our indian chicken dish tonight.

UPDATE: The cauliflower tasted great with the Indian chicken dish.

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That brings us to the meal plan for the week. I am out of town this week Mon–> Thu so the boys are fending for themselves.

DAY BREAKFAST DINNER
Saturday Bread + Marmite Indian with Chicken + Cauliflower + Bell Pepper
Sunday Bircher Muesli Date Night!!
Monday ?Depends on Hotel Spaghetti Bolognese
Tuesday ?Depends on Hotel Slow Cooked Beef Daube + Egg Noodles + Cabbage
Wednesday ?Depends on Hotel Hot Dogs
Thursday ?Depends on Hotel Alfredo Sauce + Tortellini
Friday Berry + Banana + Spirulina Smoothie Chicken “Fried” Rice
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Chicken and vegetable Cacciatore

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This chicken vegetable cacciatore recipe is my favorite recipes. It falls into my comfort food category and is great on a miserable day (be that cold or raining/snowing). It happens to be a weight watchers recipe from WeightWatchers Momentum Cookbook (page 123) – modified quantities below.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 packet of purdue boneless chicken breasts, diced into about 1 in chucks (pre-packed two 1/2 breasts)
  • 1/ 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 package of cremini mushrooms (~4 ounces), sliced
  • 1 celery stalk, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 a jar of pasta sauce (or a can of tomatoes+herbs of your choice)

Cut the chicken and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a skillet, add the chicken and brown. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Add the vegetables to the skillet – from the bell pepper to garlic cloves, cook and stir the vegetables until slightly softened (about 3 minutes).

Add the chicken back to the skillet with the vegetables. Add the pasta sauce or canned tomatoes + herbs and heat. Once it starts to bubble slightly, reduce heat and simmer covered for about 15-20 minutes.

We serve this with either a 1/2 cup of brown rice pasta or a grain like couscous or quinoa. It usually provides enough for an additional 2 lunch portions – its great reheated. You can also freeze it easily in a sealed container.

Dinner tonight: Vegetable Frittata

Our weekly plan is our guide to our meals – we mix up the dinners sometime and eat what we are in the mood for. Easy is what was on my menu for tonight – so I opted to have the vegetable frittata early.

Our Vegetable Frittata ingredients varies based on what I have in the fridge and what needs to be used. Below is tonights ingredients but you could add spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers – really anything goes.

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Ingredients

1 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced (you could use leeks or spring onions)
1 garlic clove
1 small head of broccoli, chopped into small-ish pieces
1 medium-large zucchini, grated
1 tomato (I used a Roma tomato)
salt and pepper for seasoning
5 eggs, lightly beaten (You could use three eggs and 1/2 cup of egg whites)
2 tbsp italian cheese, grated (optional)

  1. Heat pan on medium heat. Place olive oil in the pan, then the onion and garlic. Cook onion until clear.
  2. Add Broccoli, Grated Zucchini and tomato to the pan – heat ingredients through. I add the broccoli first and then the other ingredients. Cool.
  3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Add the vegetable mix to the eggs and lightly stir.
  4. Place the egg mixture back in the pan you were using to cook the vegetables.  Add cheese to the top (optional, My husband wanted cheese I did not so I only added it to one 1/2). Cook mixture for 10-15 minutes on low heat.
  5. Once almost set, place pan into oven and broil for 3-5 minutes (keep an eye on it) remove once top has become firm.
    NOTE: I put aluminum foil on the handle of my pan before putting in the oven as I do not think it is oven proof.
  6. Serve 1/4 of the frittata on a plate, it goes well with a spinach or garden salad.

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Backyard design and garden update

We survived the night in the tent, but we did wake up to a frost. I am very thankful that it was for only one night. I get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

After spending time outside yesterday, I realized that the backyard has come along way since we posted our design progress a month or so back. We are in fact ready for sod (though it might be too late for us to lay it down before winter).

The winter vegetable gardens are coming along too, though slowly but I suppose that is due to the colder temperatures now. Here are photos of the everlasting bell peppers (still growing from Summer), the swiss chard, broccoli, cabbages and spinach.

    

We have carrots and cauliflower too but they were planted a little late and are still quiet small.

That’s it for today – my new dwell magazine just arrived in the mail and the banana bread is about to come out of the oven – time for a coffee break :-). I will post the banana bread recipe tomorrow.

Summer and Fall Vegetable Garden Planning

One thing I have discovered in my first year of designing and growing a vegetable garden…..it is truly a science.

My summer garden has been very successful, surprisingly so, since I knew almost nothing going into this project.  I grew from seed cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, summer squash, bell pepper, lettuce and corn in my main garden beds.

  

In two oval tin barrels, I grew the herbs again from seed…basil, thyme, rosemary, chives, oregano, and parsley.

Some lessons learned this summer:

  1. Plant zucchini, in the south, as early as you can (after frost though) – you are almost guaranteed to get vine borer in early July and lose your plants. I almost cried when it happened as my zucchini were in full production and rocked!!! You can also replant late summer but there is still a chance you may loose this to.
  2. Don’t waste your home garden space with corn. Mine grew great but for the yield it takes up a lot of room.
  3. Bell peppers, due to the very hot weather here in North Carolina tend to be late summer. Due to the cooler temperatures and the rain this past month, my bell peppers are taking off (they like 86 degrees F or below). I gave them more room once the lettuces finished and I removed the corn.
  4. You don’t need to grow 40 plants of each vegetable :-). I had extremely high yield from my seeds especially the tomatoes and bell peppers – almost all the seeds produced and I was only expecting about 1/3 to grow….we had some happy friends who now also have plants.

Late in the summer, the other thing we started was our own compost pile. What a great way to reduce on waste, we were already recycling and now this is a perfect compliment and a great learning opportunity for the family.

For my fall garden, which I am hoping to plant this weekend (delayed since I am recovering from surgery) I was able to plan it out much better. For example, did you know that there are companion plants?? These are plants that should be planted with each other as they complement each other and can ward of viruses etc. There are also plants you should never plant with others in your garden. So my plans are to grow the following:

  1. Replacing the tomatoes with cabbage and spinach
  2. Replacing the zucchini with broccoli and swiss chard
  3. And once the bell peppers ripen and finish I will add cauliflower and carrots. The cauliflower I can grow in seed starter trays and then transplant.

I am also expanding the garden to include another small bed. I am thinking of adding more fruits to the garden for next year as my son prefers them to vegetables; strawberries and rhubarb are definite (rhubarb can remain for up to 5 years so I need more room).

To finish off, I wanted to share some photos of the fruits of labour.