All posts tagged gardening

NEST + CREATE + NOURISH … with a fresh start to the school year

IMG_1233

Happy Friday! We’re enjoying some fantastic “fall like” mornings here in Kansas City.

This is just a handful of what was waiting in the garden when we came back from visiting family for a week. It was exactly what I needed to kickstart school lunches for the year. This is my favorite time in the garden when most of the vegetables are at their peak and I’m inspired to send the boys off with nourishing meals. After being away from home off and on for the past month it is SOOO good to be home and slowly settling into a routine again. Since my counters were overflowing with food I made pickles, marinara sauce, and salsa.

For the quick pickles and the salsa I used the recipes from this recent post. I added fresh peppers to the salsa recipe and no kohlrabi this time. I’m anxious to try some new pickling herbs next time and experiment with apple cider vinegar.

For the Marinara sauce I usually don’t use a recipe and I don’t chop the ingredients small because I blend it up at the end. You do not have to to this, but my kids eat it much better when it’s a smoother sauce.

MARINARA SAUCE

olive oil and butter (3 T. of each, or just olive oil)

garlic cloves (4-5)

onions (1 large) or several small

I add as many tomatoes as I can, all varieties. (around 4 cups of chopped tomatoes)

peppers – 2

If I have other vegetables on hand I like to add them too, such as carrots, zucchini, summer squash.

handful of fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, thyme) Again, it’s not necessary to chop these finely if you are blending it at the end.

If you have some greens on hand mix in a handful (swiss chard, kale, spinach, or a mixture)

a couple drizzles of balsamic vinegar and sometimes a T. of honey.

salt to taste (aprox. 1+ t.)

DIRECTIONS.

Heat the butter and olive oil, sauté onions and garlic for a few minutes and then add everything else. I cook this on the stove for a couple of hours or a super simple way is to let it cook away on a low setting in the crockpot for the day. (Thanks to my dear sister-in-law Julie for giving me this genious idea for cooking sauce). After the sauce has cooled blend until smooth in a food processor or blender.

I know this is a very loose recipe but it changes often based on what I have available. Dried herbs can also be used but I have an abundance of fresh right now. If you make extra sauce, freeze for another meal or to add to school lunches.

 SOME FAVORITES LATELY

nesting

 Add some color to your walls with Limited Edition art prints from Minted.

creating

Kiwi Crates are awesome gifts, but take a look at their DIY page for an enormous amount of creative art, craft, and science ideas. Kiwi Crate DIY page.

nourishing

12 ways to preserve the August Harvest without canning. Aimee from Simple Bites has some great ideas for easily preserving your harvest.  Since peaches are in season, I am planning to roast them instead of the strawberries she recommends.

 Cilantro inflammation busting smoothie. Kate taught an ayurvedic workshop here in Kansas City this past spring that was amazing and she always has some excellent healthy practices. Take a peek at her blog and recipes. Here is great post of hers on ayurvedic menu planning.

I will be sharing some simple school lunch ideas soon. This week a favorite school lunch was black-eyed peas mixed with homemade salsa and chips for dipping.

Enjoy the weekend!

Julie

NOURISH … with a new favorite garden vegetable + kido snack | raw kohlrabi

kohlrabi

We have been having gorgeous weather lately and perfect for working in the garden. This is the first year we’ve planted kohlrabi, (or baseballs, what the boys have named them),  and wow I wish I would have planted more than 8. It has been a favorite at our house lately and I’ve prepared it a few different ways.  All of them have been raw since my kids prefer most of their vegetables in that fashion.

One simple way to enjoy kohlrabi for the first time is to take the leaves off (which, by the way, you can cook the same way as kale or collard greens, or chop finely to add to a coleslaw). Peel the tough outer peel off and then cut into matchsticks.  Add a little sea salt and enjoy alone, dipped in hummus, or as a topping for a lettuce wrap.

another couple of favorites …. kohlrabi salsa and quick pickled kohlrabi

KOHLRABI SALSA

1 kohlrabi chopped

1 large tomato chopped

1-2 garlic cloves minced

2 spring onions chopped

1 t. cumin

1/4 t. salt

a little cracked pepper

juice from 1/2 of lime

1/2 t. honey

a couple of drizzles of balsamic vinegar

2 T. chopped cilantro (optional)

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients together and serve with chips or use as a topping for tacos. If you allow the salsa to sit for a couple of hours the flavors mingle and get tastier. This recipe makes just over a cup of salsa so feel free to double the amount. I only had one tomato at the time, otherwise I usually make more to feed our small army.

A QUICK PICKLED KOHLRABI

One Kohlrabi sliced into matchsticks

1/2 c. of brown rice vinegar

1/4 c. of water

1/4 c. of honey (we have also tried maple syrup as a sweetener and it is also delicious)

3 t. sea salt

2 t. of dill seed

DIRECTIONS

Set aside the sliced kohlrabi. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add Kohlrabi to the mixture and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator. These are easy and so much better than store bought dill pickles. You can also use this pickling mixture with cucumbers.

one more way …

cut kohlrabi into matchsticks and cut melon or cantaloupe into matchsticks, add a few leaves of  chopped basil, drizzle with a little olive oil, honey, and sea salt. YUM!!

Next up … we are going to try out a tzatziki, made with kohlrabi instead of cucumbers.

here is another recipe on the list to try soon Kohlrabi Home Fries.

So, if you see a Kohlrabi at the farmers market, don’t hesitate to pick it up and experiment!

- Julie

NEST + NOURISH … with plans for a spring garden + garden journals

IMG_7116

DSC_0063

james-gardenjournal

As the snow covered the ground we busily started planning our spring garden.  In the past our kale, hearty lettuces and swiss chard have actually done well with a light covering of snow. They love the moisture and are very cold tolerant. Try planting some seeds now in a pot outside and see what happens. The boys started making their lists of the food they want to plant as they perused the Bakers Creek Heirloom Seed catalog. Here is a previous post listing a couple of our favorites.

DSC_0083

DSC_0103

They are planning to keep a garden journal this year so they can jot down notes on what grew well and what did not, plus what veggies were super tasty that they would like to grow again. I am hoping the journals will include some of their recipes too!  James concocted a sweet and salty cinnamon dressing for his greens that was quite tasty and he ate that salad every day for a week.

Children really love to experiment with what they grow.

Also, if you want a quick tasty green to grow with kids try growing these microgreens.  They are fantastic added to a healthy wrap or pasta dish for a healthy school lunch.

happy garden planning!

– julie