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Salad days

September 3, 2009 - Kathie Evanoff
With everything in the garden ready for harvest at once, it isn’t difficult to come up with some great meals without having to go far for our ingredients.

Although he didn’t take a photo, the husband made a delicious pasta sauce using with all ingredients coming directly from our garden. When I came home from work on Wednesday, not only did the house smell wonderful with the fragrances of tomato, onion, garlic and green pepper, but it tasted even better. He served his impromptu sauce over whole wheat pasta and it was a perfect meatless meal.

When I asked if he used a recipe, he said, “no, I just tossed a bunch of stuff in the pan and waited to see how it would come out.” Some of the “stuff” he tossed together included chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion, green pepper, basil, thyme and oregano. Not only was this a great pasta topping, but I think it would be great on homemade pizza as well.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with ingredients from your own gardens. He also could have added chopped zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, broccoli and a number of other vegetables to the sauce. Some of my favorite meals are made up of many different vegetables all sauteed together. You can add mushrooms too, although those should be purchased from the store. Don’t trust anything that grows in your yard that you haven’t planted.

I was able to continue the garden vegetable theme for my own lunch today. In a good sized container with an ice pack attachment to keep it cold and crispy, I tossed together romaine lettuce leaves, raddichio leaves, grape tomatoes, chopped green pepper, chopped carrots and from the grocery store, a chopped celery stalk. (I didn’t pay the extra prices for the already chopped celery, opting instead to buy an entire head and chop a stalk myself. It only takes a minute).

I did bring commercial salad dressing, a couple tablespoons of low-fat shredded cheese and for crunch, which I must have to get that mouth satisfaction that makes it a real lunch, I added a handful of lightly crushed nacho cheese chips in the absence of croutons. The salad, even with the dressing and the cheese, is so low in calories that I didn’t think the chips would put much of a damper on my healthy food goals.


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A salad made up of everything good from the garden can't go wrong as a filling lunch.