Five Garden Inspired Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try

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FDJ OBESE HT 1My wheels get spinning this time of year. I just planted my entire vegetable garden full of spinach, broccoli, herbs, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, the list goes on, and I am not about to waste any of it.  I want to be armed with inspiration and recipes that thrill me.

This is where the benefit of the internet comes in.  Tired of your tried and true tomato mozzarella salad and want to find something new to do with your bumper crop of Big Boys?  Google “fresh tomato recipes” and come up with dozens, if not hundreds of recipes.  Take the best and store them in Paprika, my app I use to store all my recipes. So quick and easy.

Our conveniences, however, can turn into a curse. The problem comes in knowing what a good recipe is, which recipe sites are great and what has the potential to ruin your next barbecue.  Searching can get overwhelming.

That is where I step in.

For this search I had a few rules. The criteria? They have to be recipes that you can use ingredients straight from your own garden (or farmer’s market). They need to be seasonal of course and they need to be healthy (no processed foods or anything with mysterious ingredients). Here are five straight from the garden recipes that I found and will be making this summer.

Tomatoes.  I plant all types of tomatoes, from cherry tomatoes to giant yellow and red tomatoes.  I plant too many,  I can’t help it, bowloftomatoesand then have bumper crops that need big ideas.  I found this recipes for Herbed Tuna in Tomatoes, which reminded me of something we used to make when I was a kid.  And it uses all those giant tomatoes so nicely.

Zucchini and Yellow Squash. The plants look so tiny – until they grow up.  Last year I had about 100 summer squash and I had to get creative, fast.  I created recipes for a Summer Squash and Goat Cheese Gratin, a Corn Bread (hidden squash inside!) and a Summer Ratatouille.  Click HERE for those recipes, I will be making them again this August.

Cucumbers. On the list of anticipated bumper crops: cucumbers. One year I made homemade pickles, which were fun.  I also love cold soups in the summer.  This recipe for Chilled Cucumber, Basil and Mint Soup will use my fresh herbs as well.

Bell Peppers. I love the versatility of bell peppers and there is life beyond simply sautéing them.  I used to make a version of this Red Pepper and Walnut Pesto eons ago and I plan on having a go at it again this summer.  Just FYI, pestos are not only so full of goodness, they are so versatile as well.  You can use this pesto over whole grains, pasta, on top of fish or chicken or even as a dip.

Basil. I am highlighting basil here because, from talking to many of you, if you don’t have a garden, you at least have a basil plant growing in a  a container on your deck.  I like this idea for a Basil Vinaigrette, where basil is the star and eggplant still shines through.  Sounds delicious.greensjpeg

Okay, that was more than five and I hope they inspire you to get into your own gardens this summer, plant and cook.

Now I would love to hear from you, do you have any great recipes you would like to share?  Post your ideas below, we all need inspiration from each other!


22 comments to " Five Garden Inspired Recipes I Can’t Wait To Try "

  • Please explain you comment about storing tomatoes in paprika.

    • Heather Carey

      Hi Marlene! Thank you for pointing that out! An explanation of Paprika would be helpful! Paprika is an app I use to store all my recipes. You can capture recipes from the internet or put in your own, and it syncs with your phone, computer, etc. I put the link up, click on it and check it out, I love it!

  • Heather I completely agree that having access to 1000’s of recipes can be completely overwhelming and definitely leads me to heading right back to my tried and true. Thanks for whittling these down and taste testing them for us. I look forward to trying them!

    • Heather Carey

      Yes, the internet can be an overwhelming place! I hope you like these picks, I think they will all be fresh and delicious!

  • You’re so enthusiastic about your garden…it’s endearing! I plant on a very teeny, tiny scale. Just some cherry tomatoes and one Kirby cucumber plant; both in huge pots. I admire people that have these huge organic gardens and compost piles. When I want more choices, I head to the local farmer’s market. Thanks for all the great info here!

    • Heather Carey

      Hi Lori, I think it is important to grow something, I admit that I can get a bit carried away with my garden, and if I didn’t have my husband doing all the hard labor it might be on a smaller scale!

  • Yummy recipes Heather! I must try a couple for sure. Paprika, I will check it out. I tend to be a print and save recipe girl. Time to go techno in the kitchen.

    • Heather Carey

      I used to be a print and save girl too, until I had 100’s of recipes floating around (I am not very good with paper!) Paprika is a lifesaver for me, really helps organize!

  • the chilled cucumber, basil and mint soup sounds fabulous! thanks for all of the fresh recipes and quick tips, heather.

  • Yum! The weather’s finally warm enough to have put our plants in the ground…now I’m impatient for everything to grow! Will definitely be trying out that corn bread much sooner…

  • I just ordered a Spiralizer that slices your veggies into strands of veggies that you can sauté like pasta. Check it out if you don’t already have one. Now if only I could have a cook ;)

    • Heather Carey

      Hi Susie! I actually have a spiralizer as well and I love it for zucchini and yellow squash. My husband, who can’t boil water, bought it for me one year. For whatever reason he ends up buying strange but very useful kitchen utensils for me!

  • I can relate to the overwhelm that can occur when looking for new recipes online. Something I have done in the past is simply google “healthy”, then any key words I want such as “raw”, “vegan”, “gluten free”, ect, and the ingredients I would like to use. I usually find a decent variety of recipes doing that. It is really easy to fall into a rut of using the staple items over and over in the same recipes though. I am definitely going to try some of the ones that you listed! Between my own garden and the farmer’s markets the possibilities are endless!

    • Heather Carey

      Hi Cathy, it is always good to share recipes with each other because, like you said, we can start to make the same recipes over and over (even with the overwhelming internet!) Happy cooking!

  • Numm the Basil and mint soup sounds lovely! Also thanks for the tip about Paprika App I had never heard of it, downloading it now!

  • I can’t wait to try the chilled Cucumber, Basil and Mint soup. I love cucumber and pineapple smoothies in the summer. It’s so refreshing. Oh, and the Herb Tuna in Tomatoes, sounds yummy! Thanks for the recipes and my new soon-to-be favorite app.

    • Heather Carey

      Hi Denise! I can’t wait to make the soup too, it still feels like April where I live! Paprika is such a great app, you will love it!

  • Paprika! Wow. Just looked it up! cool. Think I’ll get it. I was just thinking the other day… how can I keep all these recipes clear and then you come along. Pretty sweet!!!! :)

  • Wow that paprika app looks great! I always google recipes and then can’t find them again! Thanks

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