Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not Your Ordinary Bed of Roses

Well, it has been a long spring with little time to work on the garden between commitments, construction, rain and the busyness that always comes each year at this time. I was able to start some flats inside in March (the earliest we have ever started anything so I was hopeful!).

We had talked with our next door neighbors about joining forces. Since we didn't have time to build our raised bed right away, we planted many of the seedlings and some seeds in their bed from last year. We added a bag of compost from Sonnewald's. We planted broccoli, radishes, carrots, various lettuces, and marigolds around the exterior to deter rabbits. Here's how it looked:

Unfortunately not long after planting we had a torrential rain that washed away many of the seeds. Then, the neighborhood rabbit family decided to munch on a little of everything. So, needless to say there is not much left. There was a little lettuce, 3 broccoli plants, a few radishes, a few carrots, and one or two marigolds. We'll have to replant and perhaps put some chicken wire around to deter the critters.

Today my husband built a raised bed, we decided on a spot and then moved barrels full of dirt for the bed. We are beat! (And this was after I had already weeded for over an hour in the hot sun!) I am so excited to get the rest of my veggies that are in flats and dying to get out, into this new bed! (Hopefully tomorrow!)

I have squash, zucchini, watermelon, cukes and pumpkins that need to find a home. We are planning on putting marigolds along the outside of the box, along with chicken wire. I want to get some fish fertilizer (I can't remember the site right now) my mom told me about to help the soil as well, and we made sure to get lots of worms in the bed as well!

While I was outside, decided to take a few more pics:

And while I'm at it, here are some pics of the inside cactus that has shot off a very tall bloom stalk!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chocolate Steel Cut Oatmeal

Could it be possible for me to find a recipe that is TOO chocolaty? Well, it has happened! I found this recipe for Clean Eating German Chocolate Oatmeal from the Gracious Pantry Blog. I really haven't eaten "regular" oatmeal lately since I've been chowing down on my baked oatmeal most of the time, but after a long run this morning, I had a little extra time and taste buds that were ready! Here is my version, with a few alterations. Also note that I was entirely planning on eating the whole batch (because even with the 2 servings it would have been a big breakfast, but not too much) but ate half and was more than satisfied! My daughter ate about half of what was left, and I finished off the last quarter as a snack after church. I could definitely eat this as a dessert, though! I will most likely cut the cocoa powder in 1/2 though if I make it again for breakfast. I apologize for no pictures, but it was basically dark brown oatmeal :)

Chocolate Steel Cut Oatmeal

2 servings of dry oats (I used 2 servings of steel cut oats as I prefer their texture to rolled oats, whichever oats you prefer cook as directed on package)
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (ugh, I'm still using Hershey's for now)
2 tbsp. unsweetened dry coconut flakes (These were my favorite part of the recipe, I loved the texture the coconut gave to the dish! Make sure you use unsweetened coconut. Once you have, you'll never go back to the sweetened stuff, and if you thought you didn't like coconut, you probably will like the unsweetened, it has a much lighter texture and taste, not to mention a lot less calories!)
Small handful of raw almonds
1 egg
2 tbsp. honey

Cook oats. As soon as they are finished cooking, remove from heat, add in cocoa powder, coconut and almonds, then quickly stir in egg and honey. The egg will cook as you stir. That's it! If you want it to look pretty, sprinkle with coconut flakes and/or chopped almonds.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Right now I am on a HUGE zucchini kick. I am eating 2 a week (sharing with my family if they want to eat it, but typically I am the one to devour it). I mostly enjoy it broiled or grilled with olive oil, garlic and onion, or as one of my veggies in homemade Chinese. I have also made it fried, which my daughter loves but I don't care for as much. So, since I was hankering for a new way to eat zucchini, and have been in the mood to try quinoa (pronounced "keen-wa") again, I thought this was a perfect fit. If you have never tried quinoa, it is definitely well worth it! It is a gluten-free whole grain with 11 grams of fiber per serving! Wow! And, it has such a fun texture and look to it, almost comical to see all the little sprouts that come out of it when you cook it! I feel like it is similar to rice and could eat it a lot more often, but, alas, I have yet to win my family over with it. I would also like to try it in a cold salad for summer, something similar to a couscous or pasta salad.

This is a very simple, fairly quick dinner. This small amount of shrimp will thaw quickly in a bowl of cold water if you have frozen. I recommend using non farmed, wild caught American shrimp. Shrimp that is farmed has many of the same issues as animals raised in CAFOs, with a high concentration of animals in the water in addition to high doses of antibiotics (not to mention the fact that many are fed chicken poop, and if you are what you eat, and shrimp eat the poop, and you eat the get the picture) as well as the fact that vital habitats are being destroyed to make room for shrimp farms. Almost all shrimp that you get at restaurants is farmed, as well as most shrimp at your local grocery store. I get ours from Route 30 Seafood. They regularly run a special of 5 lbs 26-30 ct shrimp for $20.99. Right now the deal is $27.99, but that is still a lot cheaper than other locations for wild caught gulf shrimp. While you're there, pick up some wild caught salmon (yum!).

Quinoa with Grilled Shrimp and Zuccini

1 c Quinoa (Cook to directions on package, mine took about 1 1/4 c water, I added chopped onion and garlic to the water. Bring to boil and stir in quinoa, cover, reduce heat and simmer about 10-12 minutes, fluff with fork)

Grilled Shrimp (click for recipe) - 8 skewers of 5 shrimp each will feed 4 people

Grilled Zucchini (Cut 2 zucchini into slivers, coat in the same mixture as the shrimp and grill.)

Combine all 3 ingredients and enjoy! Very simple, and delicious! I did add some extra Old Bay once I had them all combined on my plate. I guess I'll need to write to the company and ask them to start making an organic Old Bay, because I don't think I can give it up- yet!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...