Calling all aspiring gardeners and garden pros! The summer heat and the Michigan rain we've been having has worked its magic, your gardens are thriving, I'm sure of it. I plan to create a garden of my own once our new fence is finally installed. Seriously though, I've got my vision saved to a very specific Pinterest board. Not to mention also having a perfect gardening hat in mind. Until then, I'll reap the benefits of my future inlaws garden; Tomato's, Cucumbers, Cayenne Peppers & Zucchini galore! You've all heard the saying, "you are what you eat," and I am here to tell you that it's true. You can literally feel your body smile from the inside out when you fuel it with fresh, clean & organic foods. Vegetables, being one kind of food that Mother Nature has gifted us with.
If you're in need of some healthy, nutrient dense & delicious summer recipes, say no more, I've got you!
You've got the butter melted in a pan, freshly picked parsley & garlic on deck and you're taking a swig of a nice cold glass of your favorite & well deserved Sauvignon Blanc. That my friends is a sweet vision of absolute bliss.
To be honest though, I have a confession. I prefer to eat plant based. Nothing against anyone who indulges in meat & dairy, if you feel you're living your best life then by all means, go for it. The best way I can explain, "why the vegan diet?" is that I feel my body feels & runs its best on a plant based lifestyle! (The safety and welfare of our furry friends is for sure the most ultimate bonus) I'm saying this now because the recipes I am sharing are mostly geared towards my lifestyle, however, you could very well add meat to any of these recipes and it'd be delicious. You could also substitute various items with dairy & I'll definitely indicate that in the recipes. My fiance, however, does not share the same lifestyle I do. In most cases, I find myself creating recipes that we both will be happy with. No, I am not the best cook and there have been many errors to my madness, but he isn't cringing as much when he tastes my dishes, so that's a plus! Trust me, all recipes I am sharing with you are meat & dairy eating fiance approved!
I'm just going to jump right in with my new and improved veggie burgers! Before you turn your nose up, if you don't want a veggie burger, you can just as easily use ground turkey or ground chicken as the base to this recipe. Incorporate all of the garden fresh veggies to the meat before baking. I didn't mention beef because red meat tends to cause inflammation in most people. For that reason, when cooking for my man I tend to choose leaner meats.
Garden Fresh Veggie Burgers
2 celery stalks
2 large carrots
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/2 of a medium size zucchini
1 small cayenne pepper
1 large garlic clove
S&P to taste
1 large handful of organic spinach
1 1/2 cup of rolled oats - for base
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast (for cheesy/creamier taste) - Optional
1 small cap full of liquid smoke (if you aren't using meat)
1 15oz. can of black beans
Blend until smooth in food processor or blender, put in refrigerator for 1 hour before forming patties. This will allow the mixture to firm up a bit. Create the patties on parchment paper and back on 400 degrees F until patties are nice and firm. Usually about 20 minutes. You can also freeze the patties instead of baking right away for later use! Super easy & delicious. I recommend a toasted whole grain bun with your fav. condiments.
Red Lentil Pasta & Mushroom Delight
1 box organic red lentil pasta (you could also do whole grain or whichever you prefer)
1 tbsp of minced garlic (or more, you can usually never have enough)
2 8oz packages of white mushrooms (coarsely chop)
1 cup saved pasta water
a good sprinkle of parsley
a good sprinkle of basil
a good sprinkle of thyme
2 tbsp of plant based butter (or regular butter if you prefer)
a good handful of spinach (if you have it on hand, optional)
S&P to taste
1 tsp Arrowroot (for thickening, or use normal flour)
1/4 cup original unsweetened oat milk (or your milk of choice)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast (for a cheesy taste, you could always add your choice of cheese as well)
Get your pasta going, cook using instructions on box. Heat up your skillet and add your butter, garlic & dry seasonings. Let that aroma engulf your senses, then add your chopped up mushrooms. Once mushrooms are cooked & tender, add your pasta water, S&P and oatmilk. Add your cooked pasta, let that sauce saturate your noodles. If you want the sauce to be a bit thicker, add the teaspoon of arrowroot or flour. Wallah! Enjoy!
Dairy Free Cucumber Salad
We had an abundance of cucumbers and needed to think of a way I could use them quickly. Once you taste this, you'll definitely make more than one batch. This salad turned out great!
1 or 2 large cucumbers (dependent on how much you'd like to make, eyeball it)
1/2 medium red onion (slice thin)
1 lemon juiced (I prefer it a bit tangy)
1 hand full of fresh dill (chop fine)
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
S&P to taste
1 large garlic clove minced
1 cup unsweetened original coconut yogurt (or greek yogurt)
Add all ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together. Leave cucumber and dill out of the equation until other ingredients are whisked smooth. Once smooth, add cucs and dill, fold until everything is saturated. For best taste, let marinate in the fridge for 1 hour or more. Keep covered.
Broccoli & Kale Sweet Summer Salad
2 heads of broccoli
5 oz. garden baby kale
1 organic green apple
1/2 cup organic no added sweetener craisins
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup crushed pecans (almonds or cashews are great too)
good handful of unsalted pumpkin seeds
Your favorite poppy seed dressing
Chop and dice veggies and apples. Add to a large bowl. Sprinkle craisins, pecans & pumpkin seeds over the top. Add poppy seed dressing to taste, usually a little goes a long way. Toss that salad! Tip: before tossing and adding dressing, squeeze lemon over the apples to prevent browning.
My meal prep has been on point this week, these recipes are top notch. I hope ya'll enjoy! Ope! Almost forgot, Bobby (fiance) used the tomato's we were given for fresh garden salsa and it truly was the perfect side to those Garden Fresh Veggie Burgers.
Bobby's Summer Salsa
32 oz. of garden fresh tomato
1/2 cup red onion
4 stalks of green onion
1 whole lime, juiced
S&P to taste
6 garden cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 large clove garlic
2 handfuls fresh cilantro
1 tsp honey (or 1/2 tsp of granulated sugar)
Roughly chop the tomato's, red onion, green onion & garlic. Add all ingredients to food processor. Pulse until desired thickness. Enjoy with your favorite chips or incorporate into your main dish!
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