What You Got Cooking (Early Garden Edition)

I haven’t written anything food or cooking lately, which is crazy because I have been cooking up a storm. Not exactly cooking, but preparing, chopping, and salad spinning. We are at the tail end of the huge lettuce and spinach harvest from our (my husband’s if you want to get technical) garden that has kept us up to our eyeballs in salad. Almost every night. For the LAST 3 MONTHS.

Not only have we had a great harvest of lettuce and spinach this spring and early summer but we also already have a boatload of herbs, radishes, onions, and garlic. I thought I would share some of our harvest and how we have been eating it.

First the garden – Ohhh, Ahhh. My husband’s favorite hobby.

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Pesky toddler is always getting in my shots.

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Lettuce and Spinach

As I mentioned before, dinner salads have been the way to go around here especially when it is hot out. We usually have large salads with either grilled chicken breast, hard-boiled eggs, or some other protein for dinner about 4-5 times a week. My husband subscribes to the “kitchen sink” method of building his salad, by dumping whatever edibles from the fridge in his large metal mixing bowl. Yes, hubby uses a mixing bowl and it has become known around here as “his bowl”.

One of my favorite salads that I eat often for lunch is what I refer to as a Fruit-Nut-Cheese salad. I had my first Waldorf salad when I was in college and since then I have been in love with salads that feature fruit, nuts, and cheese. My current favorite is a peach, walnut, and gorgonzola salad with poppy seed dressing.

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My other favorite combinations will include:

  • apples
  • berries (strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
  • mandarin oranges
  • other stone fruits (plums, nectarines)
  • bleu cheese
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • pecans
  • slivered almonds (or whole almonds if you want to chip a tooth)
  • honey vinaigrette (I like this one from Martha Stewart)

The other simple way we have been using up spinach is by adding it in to eggs. I add it into Ace’s scrambled eggs all the time and he gobbles it up.

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Green Onions and Chives

We also have tons of green onions and chives in the garden, which is great because I love throwing them in everything. One way we use up a ton of chives is by throwing them on baked potatoes. Hubby loves his potato with a little butter and tons of chives (1/2 to 1 cup) and I prefer mine with a big scoop of greek yogurt, salt and pepper, and also tons of chives. So good.

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Another side dish I use green onions and chives for is seasoning up mashed cauliflower. The green onions or chives add all the flavor you need and help cut the heaviness of the butter/cream/cheese that you add. This is my very inexact recipe since most of the ingredients are to your taste. Hey hey hey – it is even gluten-free for all of you celiacs and celiac-wannabes!

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Mashed Cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1/4-1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon or more cream or milk
  • 1/4-1/2 cup greek yogurt or cream cheese
  • 1 cup or more green onions or chives
  • salt and pepper to taste

Clean cauliflower and steam it pot with 1-2 inches of water or with a vegetable steamer until tender. Drain off water and place cauliflower back in pan on still hot (but off) burner to steam off excess liquid. Mash cauliflower with first 3 ingredients with a potato masher until consistency you want. Mix in green onions or chives, and salt and pepper. Serve.

Even Ace is a big fan of mashed cauliflower – chives and all!

The tomatoes, zucchini, and cucumbers will be ready in the garden within the next week so I will be back in the next couple of months to share What We Got Cooking (Late Garden Edition).

Have a great weekend!

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