Garden

Yesterday I shared a picture of a large zucchini from our garden. It is that time of year when you are eating fresh vegetables. They seem to taste better when you get them fresh from the garden. Here is a picture of a large zucchini, some Early Girl tomatoes and a few tomatillos. The tomatillos are volunteers. We did not plant any the last couple of years but they keep coming up in the summer.

Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day

We planted one zucchini plant this year.  Usually you get more squash than you can eat. Not this year. We have only gotten 2 huge zucchini and a couple small ones.  It’s funny that we pick vegetables on Friday before going to work on the weekend.  Than on Monday we end up with this size of zucchini. How did we miss it on Friday?

Whether you grow your own zucchini or buy them at the store. Try this Zucchini Parmesan Crisps by Ellie Krieger, Food Network.

Cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (¾ ounce)
1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into ¼ inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

Aquaponic Garden Plants

Last year I introduced you to our aquaponics garden.  We had to remove the watercress because it took over the garden.  Just this week we finally removed an overgrown Swiss chard plant.

 

We purchased some watercress and butter lettuce at the store this week and planted them in our large new pool.  The hope is that the watercress will cover the pool, reduce the algae and provide food for us as well as the fish.

 

 

 

 

Hoping this year to have some great vegetables growing. Have you started your garden yet?  What are you growing?

Eat Your Vegetables Day

I have learned to enjoy quite a few different vegetables like watercress, Swiss chard and kale.  These are very good for you and can be eaten raw or cooked.  Here are pictures of these growing in our aquaponics garden.

Watercress

Watercress 6-17-16 (2)

Swiss Chard

SWiss chard 6-17-16 (1)

Kale

Kale 6-17-16 (2)

***They come in every color of the rainbow, almost every believable shape and size, and the flavors they bring to the table are absolutely astounding. Whether you’re just talking about the staple vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and onions that we all get from the store, or the diverse range of vegetables that come from around the world like Bok Choy and watercress, we’ve all been eating them our whole lives. Eat Your Vegetables Day is dedicated to getting people eating their veggies, and also in spreading awareness of their diversity and necessity in a healthy diet.

History of Eat Your Vegetables Day
The history of Eat Your Vegetables Day starts with an awareness of nutrition and the role it plays in a healthy lifestyle. Vegetables have always played an important role in the lives of humans, all the way back to when we were simply hunter gatherers. Vegetables were one of the hallmarks of civilization, and are arguably the reason we settled and stopped being nomads, we couldn’t travel anymore when we planted our crops, we had to be there to tend them as they grew.

As we cemented our ability to produce them they stopped being an opportunistic part of our diet, and instead became a foundation part of our culture and cuisine. As time went on we established that there were benefits to eating them, better health and growth, but it wasn’t until much later that science confirmed what we already knew.

Eventually it was established that yes, they were a vital source of nutrients that were hard or impossible to get form an animal source. These nutrients can help to prevent heart disease and decrease bone loss, offset diabetes, and even improve the health of your hair and skin.

How to celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day
Well the easiest way to celebrate Eat Your Vegetables Day is to ensure that vegetables play a major role in your diet for the day. To make sure you’re getting enough ensure that you’re eating at least a half a cup of each vegetable you decide to consume, or a cup of a medley. Think vegetables can’t be delicious? We have the simplest recipe to prove you wrong. Just take an equal mixture of cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots and steam them until tender. Then layer them in a casserole dish with seasoning salt, cheddar cheese, and sunflower seeds and place them in the oven to bake until the cheese is melted. If that doesn’t make you believe that vegetables are delicious, we don’t know what will! So get out there on Eat Your Vegetables Day and gobble down a tuber, munch on a leafy green, or serve up a nice bowl of legumes.

 

***https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/eat-your-vegetables-day/

Spanish Style Scrambled Eggs

I’m not really sure why these are called  Spanish style but they are basically a simple scrambled egg over a bed of cooked vegetables.  It is very tasty.  If you just want a twist on your normal scrambled egg this is the way to go.

 

Spanish Scrambled EggsOlive  oil
2 medium-sized green peppers, sliced
1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp. Dried thyme
Salt
3 medium-sized tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. Hot pepper sauce
8 large eggs
Parsley for garnish

 

In 12” skillet over medium-high heat, in 1 tablespoon hot oil, cook green peppers, onion, garlic, thyme and ½ teaspoon salt until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add tomatoes and hot pepper sauce; cook 2 to 3 minutes until tomatoes are softened. Spoon mixture onto warm large platter, keep warm.

In large bowl, with wire whisk or fork, beat eggs, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ cup water until blended. In same skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until hot; add egg mixture. As egg mixture begins to set, with rubber spatula, stir slightly so uncooked egg flows to bottom. Continue cooking until egg mixture is set but still moist, stirring occasionally. Spoon egg mixture over vegetable mixture on platter. Garnish with parsley.

 

From Good Housekeeping August 1990

National Pig Day

Today being National Pig Day made me realize how much I miss our pig, Miss Amy. She died on Thanksgiving last year. We got her when she was 8 weeks old in 2003. She was a pot belly pig that reached about 250 pounds. She wasn’t crazy about people she didn’t know but once she recognized you she was known to “talk” loudly to get your attention. When she “talked” it was like a loud squeak – which was weird because I never new they made that sound. I always thought they made an “oink” sound because of that old song – “Old McDonald Had a Farm”. Anyway, Miss Amy was fed food specially made for pot belly pigs but she loved treats like vegetables, fruit and even dog food if you can believe it. Here is a picture we found of Mac holding Miss Amy when she was about a year old. Cute – isn’t she!Miss Amy 2004 - 1 yr

 

* National Pig Day is an event held annually on March 1 in the United States to celebrate the pig. The holiday celebration was started in 1972 by sisters Ellen Stanley, a teacher in Lubbock, Texas, and Mary Lynne Rave of Beaufort, North Carolina. According to Rave the purpose of National Pig Day is “to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man’s most intellectual and domesticated animals.” The holiday is most often celebrated in the Midwest.

National Pig Day includes events at zoos, schools, nursing homes, and sporting events around the United States. It is also recognized at “pig parties” where pink pig punch and pork delicacies are served, and pink ribbon pigtails are tied around trees in the pigs’ honor. According to Chase’s Calendar of Events, National Pig Day is on the same day as pseudo-holidays Share a Smile day and Peanut Butter Lover’s day. The question of whether the holiday is a time to honor pigs by “giving them a break” or to appreciate their offerings (spare ribs, bacon and ham) is an open question.Pig Day

 

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Pig_Dayhttps://home4tina.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/miss-amy-2004-1-yr4.jpg

Romaine vs. Wind

romaine 1-29-16Mac has designed this aquaponics bed with the 45 day cabbage and red romaine.  They have been growing since November 2015.  These are great for salads any time and very tasty.  Isn’t it amazing how vegetables always taste better when they are home-grown.

 

We live in southern California and don’t get much weather. But when we do, it is often extreme.  Yesterday (January 31st) a rain and wind storm came through our area. We got a little rain but the wind was vicious.  It blew about our house all day and night and this is what our once lovely romaine now looks like. romaine 1-31-16 The 45 day cabbage did not sustain much damage as it is low profile.  The only positive thing is that the romaine did not break  just got a little bent.