Tag Archives: veggies

Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

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Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

The backyard is the one private space you have in your home that gives you a chance to be in touch with nature and get outside at the same time. It’s also the place you have free rein to be as creative as you like. Getting outside and enjoying your garden space means choosing to reinvigorate and redesign your garden to make it look as beautiful as possible.

You should be able to head into the back yard with a book and a drink and soak up the scenery. The kids should be able to play safely and happily. You should be able to plant your favorite fruits and vegetables, knowing that they are in a healthy place to grow. With the tips below, you can make your garden the most extraordinary place possible, so that you can kick back and enjoy it no matter the season.

Use Trees:

Planting trees in your backyard to frame the garden is one of the prettiest ways to add something amazing. Asking New Life landscape to help you with your lawn is going to help you to map out exactly how you want your garden to look. Adding fruit trees is a great way to not only grow your own fruit, but you will be able to add these trees to the corners of the garden to frame that newly laid lawn of yours. Choose apple trees and lemon trees and watch them grow!

Design The Beds:

Between those new trees you’ve planted, adding garden beds will enhance the edges of the garden. You can make it as informal or as formal as you like, and you can plant beautiful flowers in the flowerbeds. The beds can vary in length, and you can plant flowers and bushes of a variety of colors to make it pop. You can coordinate the flowers by height and by color, and you can share your ideas with a professional landscaping team to bring it all to life properly.

Go Beyond Greenery:

Garden beauty comes in more than just flowers and bushes. You need to consider hardscaping. Hardscapes like decorative rocks and stone patios will help you to make your living space comfortable and low maintenance. You can add different types of hardscapes to the garden, too, to really give it a unique look.

Irrigate:

You should look at installing a drip irrigation or soaker hose system to water your garden properly. Irrigating your landscaped backyard will keep it fresh, healthy and it will stop it from flooding in the rain. Choose the right size irrigation system and make sure that you have your garden covered. You have the chance to create a beautiful backyard, and you should use these tips to give your garden the boost you need.

With the right inspiration, you can make your garden stand out and improve the way that you spend time in it at the same time. Take the time to landscape your garden this year, and you’ll be enjoying it by next summer!

Featured Image By: Pexels

My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

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My Attempt At Making Spaghetti Squash

Hello! When I’m at work, I am constantly being handed bagfuls of goodies from the gardens of whichever home I’m at for the day. During my produce haul last week, I was given a gigantic squash that I had absolutely no idea what to do with. My client’s mom suggested spaghetti squash and I have always wanted to try it so I thought I would give it a shot over the weekend.

Unfortunately, my attempt at making spaghetti squash was not very successful and, after a quick Google, I learned that the squash I used definitely did not look like traditional spaghetti squashes. WHOOPS! Lol, oh well. I tried something new and now I know differently for the next time! Take a look at some pics and let’s discuss:

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To learn how to prepare my “spaghetti squash”, I visited the blog Cookie + Kate. This is one of my mom’s favorite sites to get vegetarian recipes from and, as her spiel goes, “Cookie is the dog and Kate is the human”. Lol, I consulted Kate’s recipe while making my squash and it was so easy to follow because it was just like learning how to make it from a friend. No unknown cooking terms and no long stories of how she found God while making this dish, haha.

To prepare my spaghetti squash, I cut it in half from the middle and then halved the pieces again. Afterwards, I scooped out all of the squash guts… AKA the seeds! It was actually pretty fun. Once the squash halves were seedless, I drizzled olive oil onto each of them and then seasoned with salt and pepper. All that was left to do was bake them and I kept my squash in the oven for a little under an hour at four hundred degrees.

I was eager to take my squash out of the oven but, sadly, there was nothing really “spaghetti” about it. I tried to fluff the insides into a spaghetti like texture as Kate had mentioned but there was hardly even any squash to work with on the interior. What I was originally hoping was going to be a noodle shape ended up being a few forkfuls of the squash and the texture definitely looked more like pulp. Although, I must say, it still tasted really good!

Sadly, my attempt at making spaghetti squash didn’t go too hot. However, I feel confident that if I ever get the right ingredients to make it with, it will turn out delicious with the help from Cookie + Kate! 😀

What is your favorite vegetarian recipe? What do you top your spaghetti squash with? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Smoky Cauliflower Bites Recipe

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Smoky Cauliflower Bites Recipe

Hello! As I get older, I have definitely been trying to eat more healthy. AKA more fruits and veggies and less Taco Bell, lol! But, seriously, sometimes it’s just a hassle to make a healthy meal – especially after a long day at work. Quick and easy recipes are the name of the game in my household and this super simple/speedy recipe for Smoky Cauliflower Bites makes for a delicious and ultra fast appetizer for your fam:

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets

Directions:

  1. Combine all of your dry ingredients and mix into the olive oil, then pour over your cauliflower florets. You might want to let it sit for a few hours, shaking every so often to let the flavored oil sink in on all of the areas it might have missed.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 and transfer into a baking pan and roast until tender – about 15 to 20 minutes. This recipe is by Courtney Stultz of Weir, KS and I have no rights to it!

My client’s brother makes these cauliflower bites often and it is my absolute favorite treat. Last week, he so generously bought a head of cauliflower for me and mixed up the dry ingredients into a zip lock bag so all I would have to do is cut the veggies and heat it up at home. It was such a sweet gesture and I was eager to make it because it is so delicious in every sense of the word.

After fifteen minutes of roasting in the oven, my cauliflower was ready to eat and it was just as good as when my client’s brother makes it. I love all of the seasonings that drench the cauliflower because they add quite a bit of heat to it but it was never overpowering. Johnny and I dipped our bold and smoky cauliflower bites in Ranch dressing and enjoyed it as a side dish with our dinner. Ranch or sour cream is a good bet to have handy with you just in case there’s a little too much “oomph” for anyone at the table.

Easy as pie to make and tasty any time of the day, make these Smokey Cauliflower Bites to spice things up at your next family dinner!

What is your favorite veggie recipe? How do you eat healthy at home? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Garden Goodies

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Garden Goodies

Hi! I looove having lots of fresh fruits and veggies at my apartment and, during the summer, I am never lacking in that department. My dad as well as all of the families of my clients have gardens and I always seem to be returning home from work with surplus veggies. It’s freaking awesome and I haven’t been without cucumbers, zucchinis, tomatoes, peppers, and green beans in weeks.

I know that all of the families I work with are up to their ears in produce and they have entire gardens but, shit, I am too! I can’t even get to the bottom of my crisper drawer until it’s filled up again with all of the garden goodies I am constantly being gifted with. The last thing I am doing is complaining about it, though!!

My appetite changes drastically in the summer because I get nauseous when it’s really hot. I find myself craving light dishes as I think I would keel over even thinking about eating a heavy meal in my hot ass apartment. Having a never ending supply of veggies has been a game changer because I can snack on them all day totally guilt free and it has added a lot of variety to my cooking.

This past week, I had an overflow of produce that I needed to purge from my fridge – cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, lemon, and lots of garlic. So, I decided to prepare a cucumber salad with the ingredients I had available. My recipe went as so:

Lemon Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large cucumbers with the skin peeled and cut in slices
  • 1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • Multicolored grape tomatoes, halved
  • 4 large cloves garlic
  • Juice from one lemon, with some of the pulp added too
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

I am obsessed with the salad I whipped up and have been eating a few servings daily. I just love the tart lemon mixed with the tang of the balsamic vinegar and when it’s poured over crisp veggies it is an absolute treat. Get creative with your cooking and try making a salad recipe of your own next family dinner!

How has your garden been doing? What do you have growing? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Spaghetti Recipe

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Summer Spaghetti Recipe

Hello! On our last day of staycation in Lexington, Kentucky we had a great big cookout. My sister’s boyfriend, Ramon, was the grill master for all of the guys and I was in charge of the vegetarian dish for the ladies: Spaghetti. At first, I was fine with just heating up some sauce and calling it a day. However, Ramon was creating grill magic and I wasn’t going to be caught dead just serving spaghetti with red sauce!

So, I got to work. And, I must say, thanks to the friendly competition, I think I created a masterpiece that I would definitely serve for myself and Johnny again. My entire family loved it and I think all of you will, too! Check it out:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box spaghetti
  • 7 cloves garlic
  • 1 eggplant
  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 1/2 of a large, red onion
  • 2 lemons
  • Butter
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, parsley, oregano

Directions:

We all know how to make spaghetti so we are going to talk about the saute I made to put on top of it. I wanted the dish to be really light so I didn’t want to go with a heavy sauce. So, I created a dressing in the vegetable saute by doing the following:

  1. In your frying pan, add butter and olive oil and season it with the herbs of your choosing. I kept it light with salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano.
  2. Once your mixture is all melted, add the vegetables. Then, squeeze the juice from one full lemon over top. If the mixture still looks dry like mine did, add more butter and olive oil. To top it off, add five to six splashes of red wine vinegar and continue seasoning to your heart’s content.

By now, your vegetables should be frying away in its own sauce, which is going to make them literally burst with flavor. I kept mine cooking on a medium to high heat until the last five minutes or so when I brought it down to a simmer. I wanted to make sure they were all thoroughly cooked but I also didn’t want them to shrink away into nothing!

3. Once your pasta is cooked, simply add your saute to it and mix it well. Then, you’re going to take the juice from another full lemon to add in as well as any additional seasoning to taste.

The end result? A light, lemony pasta dish that is amazing on its own or, according to the meat eaters in my family, fabulous with chicken over top. I would have snapped some pictures of my creation but, by the time I thought to do it, the pasta was long gone. Lol, WHOOPS. 😀

My entire family agreed that another cookout needs to happen this summer and, this time, Ramon and I agreed that he will make the chicken and I will make the pasta again because it was such a hit. Bon appetit! ❤

How do you like to get creative in the kitchen? Have you had any cooking success or failures lately? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

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Fine Dining At Home: Soup & Sandwich Combo

Helloooo! One of my most favorite foods in the whole world is SOUP. I friggen LOVE it and find myself craving a huge bowl of French Onion even during the hot summer months. Weird? Maybe. Delicious? Always. While in quarantine, I have become increasingly fond of the soup and sandwich combo for lunches at home on the weekend.

Although, nothing beats my mom’s homemade soups, I have had pretty good luck finding vegetarian friendly canned soup at the grocery store. Normally, I’ll heat up whichever soup I feel like on the stove top (I’m partial to Progresso’s Butternut Squash) and make a grilled cheese or bagel sandwich to go with it.

I am a huge fan of Everything bagels and recently went with the following for an easy and filling lunch:

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The Amy’s Southwestern Vegetable was definitely not as good as their Black Bean soup but it was alright. Although, I can’t say I would want to get it again. Meanwhile, on my sandwiches, I love to have a leafy green on it like spinach, lettuce, or sprouts. Then, to break up the dryness of the bagel, I apply hummus and a spicy mustard for that extra special little kick. 😉

We are in a very weird time right now and, purchasing food that you can stretch out will really help you limit your visits to the grocery store. The beauty of the bagel sandwich? You could get yourself the ingredients for about ten bucks and it would provide you with lunches for an entire week!

I have grown very fond of packing myself a bagel sandwich for my longer days at work and it always nips the hunger pains right in the bud. It has been a solid month since I have gone grocery shopping for myself and my boyfriend so, hopefully, this fondness will continue as I eat my way through this bag of bagels. 😅

What is your favorite kind of soup? What is a food that you can eat any time no matter the weather? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

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The Best Spinach Artichoke Dip EVER

Hi! One of my favorite snack foods has to be spinach artichoke dip with tortilla chips or Wheat Thins. I love the cheesy goodness along with the crunch of your dipping utensil and I enjoy it so much that I can eat it by the fork full! One of my client’s moms just so happens to make the best spinach artichoke dip that I have ever tasted and I am going to share it with all of you. The secret ingredient? Water chestnuts! Prepare to drool in five, four, three, two, one…

Spinach Artichoke Dip

  • 1 bag of fresh spinach (Think the size of a salad mix)
  • 1 bar of Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1 can of water chestnuts
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts
  • 1 small bag of shredded mozzarella cheese

Chop up the veggies, mix everything together, and bake until light brown on top.

This recipe for spinach artichoke dip surpasses any kind that I’ve ordered at the restaurant or bought at the store by a landslide. The variety of cheeses combined with the crisp crunch of the water chestnuts makes my taste buds do a dance for joy every time. This is the perfect treat to make for a party or game night with your friends (I’ve already made it quite a few times for my “crew” and it has been a hit.) … But you might want to double the batch as it will go quick!

What is your favorite snack food? What do you like to cook for entertaining guests? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Comfort Food

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Comfort Food

Hellooo everyone! When I’m in the mood for it, I love to cook. But, that is something that I really haven’t done in a while, opting for quick hunger fixes like sandwiches, eggs, cereal, and mac n cheese (of course!). I’ve wanted to make some more fulfilling meals for a while now but haven’t felt up to it. However, the bad bitch is back (lol) and I spent Sunday morning cooking up a pasta salad that will feed me for the week as well as some carrots with a butter glaze and rosemary. Check it out:

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When I go grocery shopping, I try to buy a lot of fresh veggies to eat with hummus as a snack. It’s important to me not to be wasteful so I really do try to eat absolutely everything that I buy before hitting the grocery again. In my fridge, I had a bag of baby carrots and some lovely little cherry tomatoes that had been sitting there for a while so I decided to make some simple culinary magic happen with the ingredients that I had in my fridge and pantry.

I enjoyed my cooking time so much because I feel like I haven’t made a substantial meal since moving into my apartment and it felt good to create something delicious for myself. Self care includes eating good food and I’m hoping that my mental health will improve while I work my way through the pot of pasta salad that I made all by myself.

Here is the makeshift recipe I created for the salad if you’d like to try it out for yourself. I know I’m partial to it because I made it but it is such a nice, light pasta salad perfect for summer!

  • 1 box bowtie pasta
  • 2 small jars of artichoke, pour it all in (liquid included!)
  • 1 container cherry tomatoes
  • Large chunks of mozzarella cheese
  • Parmesan cheese sprinkled over top
  • Seasoned with: Salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano

And, for the carrots, I cooked them up, let them cook some more in butter, and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and rosemary.

I hope you enjoy my hodge podge pasta salad as much as I did and feel free to add your own twist onto it! 😀

What is your favorite dish to cook? What kind of food do you love to eat in the summer time? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

All Time Favorite Enchilada Recipe

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All Time Favorite Enchilada Recipe

Hiii! It is no secret that your girl loves to eat and I enjoy a variety of different ethnic cuisine as long as it’s vegetarian. But, perhaps, my most favorite is Mexican food. The spice, the flavor, and heat – I just love it and I wouldn’t complain if that was the only type of food I could ever eat for the rest of my life. Recently, I had one of my favorite Mexican dishes that is quite simple but insanely delicious and I had to share it with all of my fellow foodies!

This recipe for Avocado & Cashew Enchiladas is from The New Moosewood Cookbook. Enjoy!

Avocado & Cashew Enchiladas

  • 2 medium sized avocados
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 4 finely minced scallions
  • 1/2 cup finely minced parsley
  • 1 cup finely chopped cashews
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or firm yogurt
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, crushed
  1. Mash the avocados until they are smooth and add the lemon juice immediately.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Fill your tortillas and place on a pan sprayed with Pam.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.
  5. Top with your favorite salsa or enchilada sauce and dig in!

This recipe takes a whole ten minutes to make and the avocados and cashews provide a satisfying and relatively healthy filling. I feel so full after this enchilada meal and always can’t wait to eat it again the following day. 😀

What is your favorite type of food to eat? What are some of your favorite recipes? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

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How To Make Your Winter Garden Look Fantastic

America is in the midst of a gardening boom: one in three households grows food at home or in a co-op garden. Even millennials are joining in with gardening and the economic downturn doesn’t discourage people, either. Those with green thumbs are sure to dread the winter months. While your hard work is shining bright in the spring and summer, during the winter your pride and joy can sometimes be buried under a layer of frost and dead leaves. However, if you’re willing to change your perception a little, winter can actually be a great time for your garden. Here’s why, and a few tips on how to make your winter garden look fantastic:

Benefits of winter for your garden:

It turns out that gardens that experience winter may have some advantages over their warmer cousins. According to research from the University of Minnesota, many pests which are harmful to gardens hibernate when the weather gets cold. In addition, weeds grow more slowly and thanks to low light and less evaporation, plants often require less water in the winter. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Choose winter friendly veggies and crops:

Although you might have to give up on your tomatoes and most other fruiting crops during the winter months, there are many tasty and cold-hardy vegetables you can try to grow, instead. Top choices are Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, onions, and some types of spinach. Look for vegetables with leaves, stems, and roots, that mature more and more slowly as the weather cools and the days shorten. As an added bonus, some of these vegetables sweeten as the weather gets colder!

Making your garden look great:

There are many ways to brighten up a barren winter garden. Focal points such as an outdoor wall mounted fountain, a sculpture, or boulder can draw interest all year round. Water features such as ponds can look stunning in winter, becoming the center of attention in contrast to their plainer surroundings.

Thanks to the lack of weeds, winter-hardy plants, and the potential for dramatic winter views, winter gardening is a lot nicer than you might think. So grab your gloves and your shovel and join America’s gardening boom.