Green Update: Things are Growing!

Well, Friends,  I am ashamed to say that I worked hard on getting tomato seedlings to take root (haha) but put them in the ground too early.  Our ten day forecast had said we would have 50 degree temperatures the rest of the week, so I took it upon myself to toss my tomato seedlings in the ground.

That night it hailed.

Oh well.

I bought new tomato plants at our local Amish/Mennonite/Natural Food/Awesome Store.

(That is it’s technical title, yes.)

100_2526They are lovely, aren’t they?

In addition, I have some lettuce coming up.  Some lettuce I actually planted, mind you.  I continue to have lettuce planted by our home’s previous owner pop up every year.

Not that I mind.  I like salads. 🙂

100_2520In addition, I love all things green, so I decided to plant some spinach and kale this year:

100_2522 100_2523Isn’t the kale cute?  All spikey?

I also have some Egyptian bunching onions, a gift from my husband’s grandparents:

100_2518We haven’t tasted them yet, because, honestly, I’m not sure what to do with them.  When I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

Because, really, that is a lot of bunching onions to let go to waste.

I have also tried my hand at peas this year.  They seem to be doing well:

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And my final green update deals with our rhubarb.

For those of you that are not familiar with this strange delicacy, it is a reddish stalk that resembles celery.  It is often cooked with strawberries to be made into jams or pies, but it can be used on its own.  My husband loves it.  So I have to grow it.

It is a perrenial, meaning the plant returns every year, but it does die back quite a bit in the winter time.  As it started coming back this year, I saw the bunched up leaves sticking up through the dirt.  Bunched as they were, the leaves looked a bit like an alien creature emerging from my garden, so I had said it looked creepy.

Of course, Madeline heard my reaction.

Now when we go into the garden to check on our plants she points to the rhubarb to remind me:  “Creepy, Mommy.”

Yes, Baby Girl.  Creepy indeed:

100_2525 100_2524

I also have grandious plans to make a large flower bed near our mailbox since it is a pain in the neck to mow the lawn around it.

When life gives you lemons, make a pretty flower bed out of it, I say. 🙂

Has anyone else begun digging in the ground?

Green Updates: July Planting

Last week I had talked about my great failures in gardening this year.  We had only successfully harvested lettuce and cherry tomatoes.  These are wonderful vegetables, but when you plant so many other kinds, it’s sad to bring in only these two.  We had harvested spinach and carrots much earlier in the season, but in my naivete I hadn’t planted very much of them, so we ate them up quickly.

What I had found out, though, is that I am able to replant a lot of the original vegetables this month and get a later harvest.  And oh boy that is exactly what I did.

I had a few of my raised beds covered in weeds, so with the help of my dearest Beard I removed all of the weeds and softened the soil for planting.  I read up on a few websites (namely www.vegetable-gardening-online.com) to figure out which vegetables would survive and produce a crop starting this late in the season, then I made my selection.

This morning I replanted peppers, pole beans, carrots, spinach, kale, cucumbers, zucchini, sauce tomatoes, basil, oregano, and fennel.  I also planted pumpkins and butternut squash, but this was their first shot in the ground this season.  We had killed a pumpkin plant last year by planting it a bit too early, and it didn’t quite survive the beating it received from the Virginia sun.

I’ll be keeping you all posted with this second round of vegetables.  I can only hope we will be more successful than earlier in the season.

And if we are, I have some great recipes to share!

Food Waste Friday

I haven’t yet participated in this through my blog, but oh boy have I been ever since I started reading her posts.  The Frugal Girl is one of my favorite bloggers, and I’ve been reading her for almost two years now.  One of the best things she started, in my opinion, is Food Waste Fridays:  a way to raise awareness of how much food we waste in our kitchens each week.

For my first week I didn’t do so terribly, but I was quite disappointed regardless because of what I was throwing away.

Most of this is left over from Beard’s graduation party last Sunday.  I was expecting a few more big eaters, and we had a lot of leftovers.  We sent a good amount home with friends and family, but apparently we were still left with too much.

The top container is leftover lemon cilantro potato salad.  It was an awesome recipe I found on Pinterest, but it made 5 lbs of potatoes.  And usually 15 people won’t eat 5 lbs of potato salad.  Bummer.

Underneath that is some homemade salsa.  I made it with fresh tomatoes, which is unfortunate.  I hate wasting fresh produce.

Finally, the bottom is what spinach I had leftover.  If you remember my post last week about my aversion to green salads, I was having a hard time getting through my spinach and was putting it into smoothies.  After a while I was getting nauseated from smoothies, so I had to just pass up the spinach altogether.  Of course by the time I’m starting to get my normal appetite again (yay 2nd trimester!) my spinach has gone wilty and gross.

What did you guys waste this week?

FoodWasteFriday

It’s Going to Be a Green Monster Kind of Week

First, let me explain what a green monster is, then I’ll tell you why I’ll be drinking these all week.

I first read the term “green monster” on the blog  Oh She Glows.  This blog is written by a very creative vegan baker and blogger.  She has some of the best tasting and most innovative recipes I’ve seen on the web, and they’re pretty darn healthy, too!

Now, if you’ve been reading long enough, you’ll know that no one in the DP family is vegan or even vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the occasional healthy vegan recipe, including, of course, green monster smoothies.

A green monster is a smoothie that is made with a few cups of greens (usually spinach or kale) in addition to the usual fruit, ice, milk/yogurt, etc.  Green monsters are almost always very green in color (thus the name) but have little to no taste of the greens in them.  They are an excellent way to get your  daily dose of greens!

Why will I be drinking these things this week?

Since college I have been eating a green salad for lunch almost everyday during the warm months (and soup in the cold months).  I am one of those people that just loves veggies dressed in olive oil and vinegar.

I know there are those readers thinking “yes, yes, me too!” and then there are some of you thinking “ugg, I knew there was something I didn’t like about this lady”.

In the past week or so, though, (approximately weeks 11-12 of this pregnancy) I have not, for the life of been, been able to eat a green salad.  Which is weird.  Beyond weird.   But, of course, being the huge fan of Sam’s Club that I am, I bought the giant container of fresh baby spinach this week (which for the record, I go through by myself in a week and a half with no problem.

So my problem is that I have tons of spinach and no appetite for it.  And my husband is not about to dig into a green salad either.  Because of this, I’m embracing the green monster smoothie, both to use up my spinach and also to get it in my body in the least offensive way possible.

One of my go to green monster smoothie recipes is this:

DP’s Go To Green Monster Smoothie

(makes 2 servings)

2-3 cups spinach

1 banana

1/2 cup milk or yogurt

3-8 fresh or frozen strawberries (depending on size and mood)

2-4 tbsp flax seed (depending on how things are “going” that day)

1 cup of ice

I throw this in my blender on high until it’s smooth, then pour into two small Mason/Bell jars.  I’ll keep the second serving in the freezer if Beard isn’t feeling a smoothie; it’ll thaw just by taking it out and sitting on the counter at least a half hour or more before you want to drink it.

 

As a treat, sometimes I’ll look up some crazy delicious sounding green monster smoothies, and this is one I loved from Oh She Glows:  Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bomb .

I did alter the recipe quite a bit when I made it because of what I had on hand:

  • I didn’t use tofu
  • My spinach was raw
  • I used extra cocoa powder instead of carob powder and Chocolate Infusion powder
  • I used cow’s milk
  • I used no oil
  • I used flax seeds instead of chia seeds (which DON’T do the same thing, but I just wanted flax in there)

The smoothie is a delicious treat!  Try it. 🙂