Growing up, my parents served a garden salad with every dinner. It usually had lettuce, carrots, and miscellaneous other veggies. It was fine. Even good. But I got bored. I rebelled against the salad for many years after leaving home, focusing on other types of vegetable preparations. Recently, I’ve fallen in love with salad all over again. It started with a beautiful head of green leaf lettuce I bought at my local farm club. It tasted so fresh, crispy, and bright. Combined with fermented carrots and my homemade mix-and-match dressing, it was truly delicious. We planted a lot of greens in our garden this year, as well as in the Aerogarden. Now we have enough to harvest fresh garden salads a few times a week.
I came up with a list of ideas for making a scrumptious salad on the fly. Start with a head of fresh lettuce, spinach, or one of those super convenient salad mix bags. Then add in one or more from the list, and walla! Better than most salads you get in a restaurant.
This is our second go-round with the Aerogarden. Round one was a fantastic success. We grew our first set of herbs in it for almost a year. This time, I decided to document the growth of the garden along the way. We planted seven different herbs in in it: dill, cilantro, parsley, tarragon, lemon balm, shungiku, and mitsuba. Some of them are familiar to us, others new adventures. The Aerogarden website offers a lot of different herbs. You can also grow tomatoes, peppers, flowers, and other plants.
In this post, I'll tell you a bit about how the garden works and what we chose to grow.
Image from the Aerogarden website
You know you should be eating more fish, right? This recipe is mild, easy, and delicious. I used flounder but you can use any thin fish fillets. I’ve always loved fish coated with nuts, but it’s a little labor intensive and sometimes the coating doesn’t stick. This recipe eliminates those issues by simply sprinkling the nuts on the fish before serving. Simple fix. I don’t know why I never thought of it.
Did you know that if you mix chia seeds with liquid they will gel and turn into a pudding-like substance? I capitalized on this to make a tasty, hearty breakfast pudding that fits within the Whole 30 diet. It can be made with any kind of fruit added. Bananas are my favorite so far, with blueberries a close second. The texture of banana works well with the texture of the pudding. This pudding is enjoyable to eat with its funny consistency and it fills me up for a long time.
This orange and avocado salad is fantastic. The flavors combine in a special way. The bite of the jalapeño and shallot bounces perfectly off the sweetness of the orange and richness of the avocado. I need more of this in my life. I already have plans to buy the ingredients so I can make it again, very soon. This recipe is Whole 30, paleo, and low carb friendly. But you don’t have to be on a diet to appreciate it. It’s super yummy.
This is my favorite collard greens recipe. The blend of spices with the ground meat (lamb or beef- both work well), tomatoes, and collards is an adventure for the taste buds. I find heavily spiced dishes like this invigorating and satisfying. I made this for our first dinner on the Whole30 diet. It is free of grains, dairy, added sugar, and legumes. It is wholesome, filling, and delicious. I’ve already enjoyed eating leftovers twice for lunch.
My family loves this guilt-free fudge, which has just six natural ingredients and takes about ten minutes of active time to prepare. It has a gooey-soft texture and tastes perfectly of peanut butter. The sweetness comes from banana and a small amount of maple syrup. Combining peanut butter with coconut oil gives it a fudge-like consistency. Then there’s just a little vanilla and salt for a flavor boost.
I love the earthy umami flavor of mushrooms. This recipe really highlights it by roasting the shrooms in butter and adding complementary salty and tart flavors to help the earthiness shine. A delicious sauce forms as the mushrooms roast, which can be soaked up with bread or potatoes. We had a low carb dinner of roasted shrooms and egg salad, so I ended up drinking the sauce since I didn’t have anything to soak it up. It was scrumptious!
Mug cakes are great because I can make one serving and avoid the temptation to binge! They’re also made with just a handful of basic ingredients and take only a few minutes to throw together. There are endless variations. This banana cake version is delicious. It’s gooey and a little pudding-like in texture. It satisfies my sweet tooth and is a special treat. In future posts, I plan to share recipes for chocolate, snickerdoodle, and peanut butter versions.
Have you tried microwave mug cakes before? Share in the comments.
Chicken tikka masala is chicken cooked in a creamy sauce with a mix of Indian-inspired masala spices. In this lightened-up version from Weight Watchers, tomatoes make it rich and filling and Greek yogurt gives it creaminess. It is spicy in the sense of being filled with the flavors of ground spices (there are no hot peppers). The recipe takes about 15 minutes to throw together. You can easily double it. It freezes well.
My name is Hillary. This blog is about the everyday food I prepare in my kitchen, with tips and recipes for easy, wholesome, and diet friendly meals. I have been chanting "cheese please!" since I was a toddler, although lately I've cut back on dairy.