The idea of growing your own produce is daunting for many people.
I was one of those people until a few years ago.
Growing nutritious vegetables and salad greens in your backyard is really pretty easy and inexpensive.
A little bit of effort at the start and a small amount of ongoing care is all you need to produce some impressive results.
The reward of eating something you have grown yourself is one of the greatest feelings you can get on top of the clean flavour. Not to mention eliminating the need for packaging that comes with store bought foods.
This is just a few greens I’ve picked from my garden. From left to right are:
A new achievement today in the backyard after just a couple of years of growing my own veggies.
My home grown first asparagus.
I planted these a year ago and nothing. A friend told me you never get anything from asparagus in the first season. The plants have looked like weeds all winter then suddenly like a ‘Christmas Miracle’ in the last few weeks they appeared.
Despite successfully growing many vegetables over the past two Spring/Summer periods I am yet to transfer my so-called green thumbs to similar amounts Winter crops.
Maybe I’ll have a green house up in time for next Winter.
That said my backyard garden has not been completely useless since the cold weather struck. I am still getting large amounts of spinach, Swiss chard, kale and lettuce’s. The broccoli plants I put in are starting to show small heads too.
On top of this my first attempt to grow mushrooms in the kitchen have been encouraging.
I think it’s time to make an Asian inspired winter soup with these and a few other veggies.
1/2 teaspoon of Savannah's Middle Eastern spice mix or similar
2 tablespoons of Dr Furhman's Tuscan Herb sauce or similar
1 teaspoon of Slap Yo Mama New Orleans spice mix
1 cup of diced onion
Lite salt and pepper to season
Slice potato, zucchini, eggplant and carrot into large chunks then steam for 10 minutes.
Season the vegetable chunks
Potato - Rosemary
Zucchini - Oregano
Eggplant - Savannah's Middle Eastern spice mix
Tomato - Basil
Carrot - Maple syrup
Air fry or bake until they start to brown well. While this is happening slice the tomato, season with lite salt, pepper and basil. Cook in non-stick fry pan until the centre starts to soften then remove and set aside.
Using the same pan place garlic and onion inside and dry fry until caramelisation starts. Add a splash of water. After another 60 seconds remove and set aside.
Still using the same pan, cook the peas for 5 minutes then add the Tuscan herb sauce. Cook for a further 5 minutes then set aside.
Just before your chunky vegetables are cooked, add a kale leaf covered in a New Orleans spice mix of your choice to the air fryer or oven. It will only take a few minutes to crunch up.
Once this is done plate up as shown in the photo above or vary as you see fit.
Incorporating greens into your meals is critical to ensure you are getting enough nutrition from your food.
Greening up some of your favourite dishes is easy especially if you are mixing it with other flavours like tomato.
Add in some brown lentils and you have a super nutritious basis for a meal.
TIP – Because brown lentils are a nutritionally superior form of starch, I shy away from having wheat pastas with this sauce in favour of vegetable based ones to keep the glycemic index of the meal on the lower end of the scale. This is particularly important for diabetics.