Garden Update

   
 
A couple of the tomato plants that I started from seed are still growing… Severely smaller than the ones that I bought as a fail safe… Which follow. 

   
     
 
I picked the first ripe tomato yesterday. It’s small, but it was really good. 

    
Eggplant that I got half off. I hope I get at least one before the seasons over. 

 
Sunflower. The ones I ordered were Pygmy sunflowers.  I thought they were supposed to be small. Guess not. 

   
The green beans are growing nicely. 

 
A pollinator for the acorn squash plant! Yay!

Garden goodness

   

This zucchini plant has blossoms on it. It is the one I bought from the store. The one I planted from seed has 3 leaves. 

  

A pretty good looking watermelon plant. I did plant that one from seed. 

  

Okra from seed. Not too shabby. 

One of the tomato plants. Bought it from the store. They all look good. 

    

So this is the end of the sunflower plant. Maybe the ants killed the fly. I’m not sure. They were climbing all over it. 

  

I put up some string wrapped around the fence so that the green beans had something to climb on. One of them already is taking to it. Yay. Now if only I can get the acorn squash plant to follow. 

 

Promising plants

20140523-111021-40221754.jpg These are the onions and shallots. I pulled a shallot for use in one of my dishes this week. It definitely needs some more time, however, it looks like the onion below is probably done. I guess I should pull it, but it looks like something you’d find in a smurf cartoon or something.

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20140523-111020-40220108.jpgGreen beans are looking pretty good. There are even blooms on them. I’m pretty excited about green beans. My husband moved the soil around a bit. I don’t know if that’s helping or if it’s the heat that helps. Any ideas?

20140523-111018-40218569.jpg Tomato plants. I need to buy cages to help them keep upright. It’s  almost falling down. And there’s a Nasturtium plant near the bottom of the frame. A lot of things I read said they are good to plant with tomatoes.

20140523-111016-40216662.jpgZucchini. I’m encouraged by the look of those leaves.

I’m so excited to have it start producing.

 

 

In the front flower bed: I can’t seem to get rid of the rosebush. It just pops up all over the place. 😦

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Garden Update

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We had some trouble with the zucchini and cucumber. I thought I was overwatering, so I cut back. But that was evidently not the right thing to do. So now we’re watering a lot more now.

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The tomato plants aren’t doing that bad.

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The onions are sure taking off.

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The green beans are lookin’ good. I don’t know what’s up with the one without leaves. Maybe bunnies.

 

 

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken, Mozzarella Zucchini and Shallot Green Beans

This is the first time I’ve had chicken in months, it tasted pretty amazing. I only wish that I wasn’t rushing to get out the door. I should’ve started cooking earlier. I have to say though that it was a pretty quick meal to cook anyways. I started cooking around 5:40 after saying good bye to the kiddos and was out the door at 6:20.

Balsamic Rosemary Chicken

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Start with however many chicken breasts that will feed your family. Pat them dry, sprinkle on some fresh rosemary (minced), salt, pepper, garlic powder (or minced garlic if you’re not crunched for time). Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for about 10 – 15 minutes. When it’s cooked through drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it.

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Shallot Green Beans

This honestly is my favorite green beans recipe. Slice a couple shallots and throw them in a preheated pan over medium-high heat with some olive oil. Season with salt to draw the liquids out and caramelize them. I like them all browned on the edges, deeper than the picture below. When you get it how you like it, throw in some frozen green beans, or some fresh blanched ones. (I don’t think canned will work that well as you’d basically have a bunch of mush when you’re done.) Season with salt and some garlic powder (or minced garlic). Keep moving them around the pan until they are thawed and to the tenderness of your liking. Sometimes I even like them to get a little brown and caramelized on a side or two. The shallots really add something to it. So yummy!

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Mozzarella Zucchini

I sliced the zucchini in 1/4″ thick pieces. You can go thinner if you want. Coat the baking sheet with cooking spray, lay the zucchini on it, sprinkle some salt on it. Give it another spray of oil, then layer on the mozzarella. I put it in the oven with the chicken for the last 5 minutes. The cheese will melt. When the chicken’s done, turn on the broiler and put the zucchini right under it to brown the cheese.

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The second day of the South Beach Diet is going pretty well. I had a mushroom and asparagus omelet (well it was supposed to be an omelette – but it just turned out like scrambled eggs. I need to get a teflon skillet), and I had a salad for lunch with turkey lunch meat, hardboiled egg, tomato, cheese, sunflower seeds and balsamic vinaigrette. Snacks were reduced fat cheese sticks and almonds.

 

Spaghetti with Mushrooms and Zucchini

I made spaghetti tonight. It’s kind of impressive that I don’t think I’ve made any spaghetti until now in the Great Fast. I think I’ve been doing pretty good with variety of foods.

I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles, and I made my own sauce. I had some that I had canned from last years tomatoes, and some canned tomatoes in water. I used some of my homemade spaghetti sauce and drained some of the tomatoes. First I sauteed some mushrooms, added some salt and garlic. I added the drained tomatoes to get them to break down faster. It got boiling pretty fast. I added some dried oregano and basil. I added some spaghetti sauce in hopes of making it thicker, then I remembered I had some tomato paste in the refrigerator, so I used some of that. I added some chopped fresh parsley and about a tablespoon of nutritional yeast. I think it turned out really well for having had no specific recipe I was working from.

The zucchini rounds, I wanted to be more like chips, but it didn’t turn out that way. I had the oven at 450* F. I used a mandolin to slice them evenly the smallest thickness available. I used some cooking spray on the cookie sheet and laid out the slices, sprinkled them with salt (and at this point I would usually grate some parmesan cheese over the top, but not during the Fast), sprayed them with cooking spray on the top and stuck them in the oven. I had two sheets, I wasn’t being very attentive and the bottom one burned. Oops.

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In addition to this we had a salad and cantaloupe. You know we have to get our fruits and more veggies! 😀