The great thing about having your own backyard garden is access to fresh, organic fruit, vegetables, and herbs any time you want. It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to supply your groceries. The downside is having way too much of a good thing. One “harvest” in my garden last weekend yielded six cantaloupes; there are only three people in my household. That’s a lot of melon!
It’s a shame to let all of that excess produce go to waste. And as the summer draws to a close and all of those plants reach their peak of production, you’re going to have a lot of fruits and vegetables on your hands.
My primary policy is to share the wealth! I keep what we can reasonably eat and then start sharing the rest with friends and neighbors. No one has ever passed! My secondary policy – get in the kitchen! When pinched for creativity or inspiration at meal time, use what you have available as your muse. We’ll give you a little help to get started.
Tabbouleh-Inspired Freekeh Salad – Any extra cucumbers and tomatoes will go to good use in this simple vegan salad. You can also use some of the basil and chives you’re growing.
Carrot Cake Pancakes – Maybe the best pancakes we’ve ever dreamed up, and chock full of carrots, this vegan recipe is one of the healthiest pancakes ever, too. Baby or standard carrots won’t go to waste any more!
Zucchini Fettuccine Alfredo – At 120 calories, you’ll wish you’d grown even more zucchini than you planted! Chop the veggie in to noodle-like slices and toss in a cashew-based cream-like sauce that resembles the cheesiest alfredo.
Melon Ball Soup – Too much cantaloupe on your hands like us? Blend it down to make a pretty + sweet appetizer for brunch or simple dessert.
Roasted Beet Chips – Use this recipe to turn extra beets, turnips, red and sweet potatoes, zucchini, and squash in to crunchy, craveable chips.
Vegetable Broth – Soup will be on all fall and winter when you prepare and freeze your own homemade broth. This recipe is a good start, but there isn’t much in your garden that would be off limits to toss in here.
Grilled Balsamic Vegetables – Turn your surplus of bell peppers, asparagus, and squashes in to the best side dish of the season. Just a quick toss in balsamic vinegar and olive oil and a few minutes on a hot grill is all you need.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers – If your yam crop turns well this year, you could make your own vegan burgers. It’s a hearty, satisfying, flavorful burger that bears no resemblance to the cardboard variety you’ve been buying in the freezer section.
Sriracha Oven Fries – And no burger is complete without a side of fries, but ours are better than most! Take that bounty of potatoes growing under your backyard and toss them in spicy sriracha for craveable fries. Too hot? Cool down your squash harvest with our Butternut Squash Fries.
September 4th, 2013