Garden Recipe: Watermelon Refresher (Drink)

July 24th, 2014

This is just perfect for a hot summer afternoon, and is also pretty enough for company.  So easy too!

Note:  Portions provided make 1 pint sized serving.

Place in your blender (Nutribullet or similar works fine too):
- 2 cups cubed watermelon
- juice from 1/4 lime
- 1/8 to 1/4 tbsp agave nectar
- 1/8 cup water

Blend until smooth and frothy.  Serve over ice!

Refreshing Watermelon Drink Recipe

Refreshing Watermelon Drink Recipe

Favorite Raw Red Pepper Hummus Recipe

May 19th, 2014
Use zucchini from the garden to make hummus, and werve with other garden veggies

Use zucchini from the garden to make hummus, and serve with other garden veggies

Garden Recipe: Raw Red Pepper Hummus

This is now officially my new favorite hummus recipe!  Why, you ask?  ;)   Well, I’ll tell you.
1) The flavor is outstanding!
2) It is very fast to make, requires no cooking, and there’s very little cleanup.
3) It is fresh.  (I don’t particularly care for vegetables stored in metal cans (including beans) nor do I trust the chemicals they use to treat the cans.)
4) It’s very healthy.  Have you ever actually looked at the ingredient list on the storebought hummus?  Very scary.  This recipe contains only healthy good stuff to fill your tummy and nourish your body.

1 cup chopped zucchini
1 chopped red bell pepper
2 small cloves fresh garlic, minced
juice from 1 lemon
1/8 cup extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
1 tsp sea salt (more to taste, if desired)
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/3 c tahini
pinch cayenne (to taste)

Put everything in the food processor & process until smooth.  If the lemon’s too strong, add a little more tahini.  Let sit for a couple of hours before serving, for the flavors to meld.  Serve with other fresh garden vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, scallions etc.) or with whole wheat crackers.  (My hubby likes to eat it on Ezekial bread.) 

This recipe easily doubles to make a tasty take along for pot-lucks and parties.

Note:  it will be a little soupier than the storebought version. cut back on the liquid ingredients a little, if that’s a concern.

Garden Recipe – Mango Sorbet

May 14th, 2014

Easy recipe for home made mango sorbet

Easy recipe for home made mango sorbet

This recipe is such an easy sweet treat. 

- Frozen banana slices (peeled)
- Frozen mango pieces (peeled)
- chilled water, only as needed.
- coconut flakes and mint sprig for garnish

I pick up extra bananas and mangoes when they’re on sale.  Of course, if you live in Florida, you can grow your own!  Once the fruit is fully ripe, I then peel them, cut them into bite sized pieces, place in labeled freezer bags, and freeze.  (Handy to use for smoothies, etc.) 

To make the Mango Sorbet:
1) Take out some frozen banana and mango pieces and let sit at room temperature for approx 10 minutes, or until slightly squishy, but still frozen. 
Note:  The bananas are your sweetener… so go moderately with them, or they’ll overpower the flavor of the fruit.  I like a ratio of 1 part banana to 3 parts fruit.
2) Place in food processor and blend, adding just a little chilled water at a time (only enough for the mixture to start moving and fully blend in the food processor). 
3) Spoon into serving dishes, garnish & serve immediately!

For other variations:
- Try using a little chilled coconut milk or fresh orange juice instead of the water. 
- Try adding minced fresh mint with the mango when you blend it.
- Try other fruits (like berries, peaches, nectarines)

Garden Recipe – Drunken Pirate Fruit Salad

August 11th, 2012

A Garden Recipe Idea from

This recipe couldn’t be simpler, and is nice for company.

Mix together your tropical fruit.  I used:
- fresh pineapple chunks
- sliced bananas
- fresh coconut meat (used dried, if not available)

*Note: you can include any fruit you like really…

Sprinkle a little liberally with dark rum, garnish with a sprig of fresh mint, and serve.  (If you have time to the let the fruit marinate in the rum, it’ll enhance the flavor further.)



Garden Recipe – Lemon Coconut Bar (No Sugar)

August 6th, 2012

A Garden Recipe Idea from

This was surprisingly rich and delicious.  I’m experimenting with some raw (uncooked) dishes from some cookbooks I found at the library, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect.  Ok… they really should be called “uncook” books, I guess! :)

This recipe came from Ani Phyo’s book titled “Ani’s Raw Kitchen.”  It was actually remarkably easy to make, is pretty dang healthy, for a desert (as there’s no processed food or sugar added).  My husband was even impressed, commenting that it looks like one of those deserts you get at a fancy restaurant! Although, it’s so rich, he felt it really needed to be served with coffee.

For the Cookie/Bar:

* 1 cup almonds, chopped in food processor** (see note below)
* 1 and 1/2 cup pitted semi-soft pitted dates
(I used dried dates, as that’s all my grocery story had available)
* 1 tsp vanilla (or 1 vanilla bean, if you prefer)
* 1 tsp sea salt
* zest from 1 lemon
* 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (approx 1 large lemon)
* 1 cup shredded dried coconut

(I like lemon…  and had an extra 1/2 lemon, so added the juice & zest, in addition to above)

**Note:  Soak the almonds for 12 hours in water.  Drain and discard the water (do not use the water).  Spread the nuts out on a cookie sheet to dry.   (You should really soak all nuts & seeds before using, as they have an enzyme inhibitor that gets in the way of your body digesting the foods properly.  Once dry to the touch, then chop for the recipe.  (Waiting for all of this to happen is the most time consuming part of the recipe.  Allow 1 day in advance for this prep)

In the food processor, chop the almonds into small pieces.  Then add the other ingredients.  (Note:  she mixes them all together in a mixing bowl… but I didn’t feel like the extra step, so just did it all in the food processor.)

Place on a plate and pat into the shape that’s most pleasing for you.  Cover with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for several hours to chill.   (It will slice easier when chilled.)

Top with chocolate sauce recipe & garnish with fresh mint:

Chocolate Sauce (Carob sauce, except that I couldn’t find any carob powder)

1/2 cup pitted dates
1 cup water, plus as needed
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (or carob)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Place dates, water and cocoa powder in blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add olive oil and more water (as needed) to make a thick syrup.  (Note to self… I used the food processor instead of the blender.  Bad idea – syrup tasted fine, but turned out lumpy.)

* This made way more chocolate sauce than I needed… so will use the rest this week, drizzled on top of fruit, or whatever else I can find.  Don’t worry – it won’t have a chance to bad!

Drizzle on top of lemon coconut bars, garnish & serve!

Garden Recipes – Summer Sangria

July 5th, 2012

A Garden Recipe Idea from

This was a huge hit… perfect for entertaining, as it is:

A.  Tasty
B.   Very easy to make
C.   Makes a lovely presentation

- Riesling White Wine (I used 2 x 750 ml bottles)
- 2 cups peach schnapps
- 1 container frozen lemonade, thawed
- 4 nectarines, thinly sliced
- 1 cup green seedless grapes
- 1 cup red seedless grapes

The day before you want to serve the sangria, slice the nectarines and place them in a large pitcher (I used a sun tea pitcher).  Add the wine, schnapps & lemonade.  Mix & let sit in the fridge until ready to serve.

Halve the grapes &  place them in ice cube trays, mixing the colors & filling each ice cube cup.  Place them in the freezer, until you’re ready to serve.

Use the frozen grapes instead of ice cubes, and serve the sangria over them.  (They won’t dilute your beverage, like ice does when it melts!)   Be sure to add some of the marinated nectarine slices to each glass also.

viola!  enjoy! :)


Garden recipes – Grandma’s “Fish Italiano” (easy)

June 26th, 2012

A Garden Recipe Idea from

Found this in a stack of Grandma’s recipe cards… what a nice find!  It’s quick, healthy, easy to make, and tasty too!

3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium sized zucchini, sliced 1/2″ thick
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 lb white fish fillets (orange roughy, or whatever you have available.  My husband’s a fisherman, so we used whiting that he’d caught).
salt & pepper to taste
a dash of dried oregano, a dash of dried parsley
finely shredded parmesan cheese

Note:  I served this over brown rice.  If you’re doing the same, start the rice first.

Heat the oil in a large skillet on med-low heat.  Add onion and oregano and saute, stirring.  Once the onions are starting to turn a little translucent, add the zucchini.  Stir & saute until the zucchini and onions are the consistency you like.

Add the tomatoes.  Then nestle the fish fillets in the vegetables.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper (and a little extra oregano & dried parsley).  Cover the skillet, and simmer until the fish is opaque & flakes easily with a fork.

Prepare the plate with a helping of rice (or pasta) & spoon the sauce over.  Sprinkle with Parmesan & serve.

Alternative serving suggestion:  Serve in bowls, with chunks of fresh bread on the side.

Garden Recipes – Parmesan Crusted White Fish (Easy!)

May 8th, 2012

A Garden Recipe Idea from

This turned out just fabulous.  Not only is it a pretty dish, but was delicious too!  It was even tasty as a leftover.  Although, be warned, it is a bit rich tasting.  Very simple to make though.

- white fish fillets
(of any variety of fish with white meat.  I had fresh caught whiting, thanks to hubby, so that’s what we used.)
- Olive oil
- finely ground, fresh grated parmesan or romano cheese. (a quick run in the food processor does a great job with the cheese for this recipe.  Fresh is always better tasting.  The preshredded won’t give you the same results.)
- paprika
- lemon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly coat the fish fillets in a little olive oil (both sides).   Dredge the fillets in the cheese, so that both sides are coated.  Place the fillet on a lightly oiled cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with paprika and lemon pepper (to taste).  Bake for approx 15 minutes.  (Note:  cooking time will vary, depending upon how thick the fillets are.  The fish should be white and flakey when done.)

Serve with lemon slices, a nice garden salad, and fresh fruit from the garden.

Garden Recipes – German Goulash

April 2nd, 2012

A Garden Recipe Idea from

A hearty, flavorful and nutritious meal.

Quarter and slice potatoes into bite-sized slices (I usually do 2 medium potatoes per person, or a little more for leftover).  Place in a pot of water, and boil until the potatoes are tender.  Drain.

Dice one onion, and saute in a light coating of safflower oil.  Cook until translucent.

Add cabbage, thinly sliced.  Add just enough water to barely cover the bottom of the pan (I save the sauerkraut juice at the bottom of the jar and use it for added flavoring.  Waste not, want not!).  Cover the pan and let the cabbage steam.  Stir, as needed.  Once the cabbage is nearly tender, add the potatoes, and 1 tsp of caraway seeds.  Stir, and serve.

Note: you can brown the potatoes separately, if you prefer.  It does make a little nicer presentation, and adds a little extra texture to the dish.

Also:  Try mixing in cooked, sliced German-style sausage or kielbasa.




Garden Recipes – Garden Pasta Salad

March 31st, 2012

A Garden Recipe Idea from

Pasta salad is one of my favorites for keeping in the fridge.  Makes great quick lunches, side-dishes for supper, snacks, etc.  And you can do just about whatever suits your fancy with them (see my entry on BLT pasta salad, just to prove that point!) :)   Plus, it’s a handy way to introduce some fiber and raw vegetables into the meals.

I’ll describe what I used for this variation, but put your creative hat on & use what you and your family enjoy.

- 1 box pasta, fully cooked (I prefer whole wheat pasta)
- 1 cucumber, quartered and sliced into bite sized pieces
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 2 tbsp dried parsley (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley)
- 1 cup diced cheddar (small dice)
- enough salad dressing to lightly moisten the mixture (I used Ceasar dressing)

Mix all ingredients, chill and serve.

Other suggestions: Parmesan cheese, olives, cherry tomatoes, artichokes, steamed asparagus, beans, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, snow peas, zucchini