Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our backyard garden... and the vinaigrette recipe!

Most years, we plant herbs in our garden (must have access to fresh herbs).   This year, hubby wanted to get into the earth and plant more.  So, we have a miniature farm in our garden, and our back yard is not very large, just fyi (in fact, our trampoline takes up most of the space)!  Thought I'd show you some of the green goodness...

Swiss chard.  Bought it as tiny starter plants.  We've already picked so much and it has continue to produce, so we've saved a lot of money using this fresh chard in our morning green smoothies.

Basil, basil, yummm.  It's hard for me to pick it, even though I know I need to - and want to use it!  I get excited seeing it fill out and knowing I can make triple batches of pesto to freeze!

We have two tomato plants and one red pepper plant.  Will take a while for these to produce I think, but boy they have really flourished since we bought them as tiny starters.

ZUKES!  Very exciting, most of the family loves zucchini (babe actually whines for them!), and they have just started to blossom and grow.  Hubby was intent to grow these from seeds, so we did.  It took a while to see the sprouts poke out of the ground, and now they are giant leafy creatures!  Look at this wee zuke getting going with the blossom on top.  It's truly fascinating and rewarding to see plants grow in your very own back yard.

Pumpkins!  Also planted the seeds with these.  We'll have our very own lil' pumpkin patch this year.  And that would be lil' babes legs wandering around the trampoline in the background. :D

uh-oh little miss... don't let daddy see you digging in that garden he's planted!  See that glistening line coming down her arm?  Pretty certain that's some baby drool, hee.

Gratuitous baby bum cuteness.  Ever notice how babies squat to pick things up.  Yep, use their legs, unlike us adults (myself included) that bend over, and then walk around wondering why our backs are so sore.  uh-huh.

And, now, onto the Raspberry Vinaigrette.  I've tested it again, and added an element that I think really improves the overall taste - toasted pecans.  You can still choose to leave them out if you like (or leave them raw), but the buttery flavor of pecans really complements the fruity raspberries.  Now, after I made this dressing I thought "I wonder how some vanilla seeds would taste in here?"  Was ready to split open a bean... but, alas, none in the cupboard!  So, if you want to try that out, and let me know how the vanilla seeds taste in there (even seeds from maybe 1/2 a bean rather than the whole)... I'd love to know.  Please read through the notes in the recipe.  You know I love to "talk" with you when I write recipes, so yeah, indulge me and read through the recipe before diving in!  Hope you enjoy... please let me know!  :)  (Oh, and this is how I toss vinaigrettes into salads.  Grab a pair of tongs, get a small amount, then toss through.  Makes it easy to add the dressing and helps not to over-dress the greens.)
Zucchini and other squash have been growing in the mountains of Mexico since 7,000 B.C.  Both the flesh and the seeds were used as a food source.  (Source: Celebration of Wellness)

15 comments:

Sarah said...

Uh oh! Did you forget to actually post the recipe? Or am I missing something...

Dreena said...

whoooops! forgot to add the link to my recipes page. It's there now - thanks Sarah!

Mindy said...

What a beautiful garden! I love fresh herbs as well. I live in a small apartment, so no space for a big garden, but I do grow fresh herbs in pots. Currently I'm growing: Thai basil, purple ruffles basil, red rubin basil, lime basil, lettuce leaf basil (can you tell I like basil too? :) )peppermint, chocolate mint, orange mint, lemon balm, rosemary, thyme, mexican tarragon... I think that's about it. Equal parts lemon balm and peppermint leaves in a jar of water left in sun for a few hours makes the most refreshing sun tea imaginable.

What an interesting point about babies and squatting. I wonder at what age we stop doing it and foolishly start bending from the waist. Have you noticed with your other children?

Awesome looking recipe! I love raspberries, and I know I will try this one. I just emailed a copy of the dressing and the banana rice pudding to my best friend. I gave her a copy of your Eat, Drink and Be Vegan for her birthday this past spring. She has been including more vegan food in her family's diet. She just made your polenta casserole recipe very recently and the whole family loved it. I spied a spoonful left in the baking dish and got a taste. It was awesome! Thanks for all the great work Dreena! We are fans!

Mindy said...

Oh, Dreena, I just thought of a recipe you might enjoy. I found it on the Raw Epicurean website - a recipe posted by Ingrid. It's a green smoothie made with only bananas, basil, water to blend - Ingrid also adds some agave to sweeten, though I didn't find I needed it. It sounded so unusual, but I went ahead and tried it, and really liked it. I also recently created a green smoothie of my own with lots of pineapple and cilantro, plus a banana and peeled lime - then added some Thai basil and mint leaves. That hint of basil and mint really sent it over the top.

Whole Foods Vegan Momma said...

I love the chubby little legs in one of the photos! Such a great thing for kids to be around.

My garden has become quite overgrown and my greens are overtaking everything! I admit, I have neglected the poor things, ever since morning sickness overtook MY LIFE! Btw, was your morning sickness just unbearable with this last pregnancy? I, unfortunately have not been able to stay vegan the past few weeks...how did you get through it?

veganspoonful said...

Is that a Fuzzi Bunz diaper on that cute baby bum? Looks just like my baby boy (9 months) in his green apple color Fuzzi Bunz. So very cute! I just love the warm summertime when they can crawl or toddle around in just a diaper!

Lovely garden pics, by the way! Ours was lush last year, but this year having had our 3rd baby we have neglected the garden a bit! I don't know how you have done it, new baby and all (not to mention creating a new cookbook!). You are amazing!

Beth said...

Being a great lover of garden art, I enjoyed going through your blog. keep on posting. Iflorist.co.uk

Smug said...

Is that a Bum Genus? My daughter wears bum genus and I love them!! It's so nice to read and see others using cloth diapers and gardening and eating consciously! I am around so many who think I'm nuts!!

Dreena said...

Mindy, herbal explosion in your apartment - wow!! I have *never* thought of basil in a smoothie, always associate it with more savory dishes, though I know it can be used in desserts and such. Would be strange to first try, as you mentioned - but I can imagine with the right fruits it would be very tasty! I haven't noticed when our kids stopped squatting, but I remember our first daughter squatted SO much, and would sit and play that way way into toddler years. It struck me the other day b/c my lower back is always so sore (and my hips) and once after a chiro visit my chiropractor saw me bend over to pick something up and said "bend with your knees"!! Then, watching babe the other day I realized how they instinctively do it, perhaps for balance - but they also have perfect posture as babes. Thanks for the support, I'm so please you enjoy my work.

Veganmothering, it's so nice to hear from you again. AND, I had no idea - CONGRATULATIONS!! Though, I know it's hard to be excited when you feel so terribly sick. I've been there, 3 times over. It is awful, purely awful. I think it got worse with every pregnancy, and lasted over 2 months the third time, with me vomiting once or more a day. It was day long - not "morning" (what a crock!) So, I feel your pain. Yes I do. And, like you, I hated most food. I couldn't eat raw foods or salads for months. I remember very early in my pregnancy (about 5 weeks), having salad and looking at hubby saying "I just can't eat this now". After that, it was A LOT of carbs - potatoes, rice, noodles, and white carbs were just easier to digest. Even those were awful at times, but that and fruit and salty foods was just about all I could take. I did everything "natural" I could, including B6 injections (helped, but didn't completely remove the nausea - but some reports I've heard it does indeed), wrist bands, supplements, and even a downloaded hypnosis program for morning sickness. I couldn't do diclectin, just wasn't settled with it personally. I don't criticize others for using it, it just wasn't something I felt comfortable using, so the stress of taking it would have been worse for me I think. Don't give yourself too hard a time about your diet. You have three children that you are a mommy to, and your energy is being zapped to grow this baby. I would love to know what our food preferences are linked to with pregnancy, b/c it seems they often go to foods we loved as children, or elements of foods like acidic, salty, etc. I craved a lot of the foods I grew up with, carby pasta dishes, etc. Just get through it, it's temporary, and it's about being able to get through the day, every day, until it subsides. You *will* like good food again, it's just going to take a few weeks! I remember wondering if I would ever enjoy food again, crying I felt so horrible... it feels like forever when you are in it, but it will pass. I wish you the best, and feel free to e-mail if you want to talk more (as I've really rambled here)!! xo

veganspoonful, fuzzi bunz indeed! We tried diff cloth diapers early on and liked these the best - easy for hubby too, he appreciated that! Don't fret about your garden - last year we did NOTHING, b/c our babe was a crier, and it was just getting through the first three months until she settled. So, we planted not a thing, and the year before I got sick so anything we did plant I couldn't use - ha! It's only been the last few months that I feel I have been able to get more time to myself and catch up on things. A bit. You should see my messy office! ;)

Smug, it's a fuzzi bunz (pocket diaper). I think we used some bum genius when she was a newborn. Yeah, I'm pretty much a nutbar in my family, not to worry! I figure as long as we're okay with that...!!

Mama Motz said...

Beautiful pics, I love your garden! Nothing more beautiful than nature in it's purest form....and in my belly lol.

Jacklyn said...

swiss chard! never thought of growing that. I also have a small yard and a little garden going. Would love to expand it..swiss chard seems like the perfect veggie to add to it!

俊宏淑松 said...

祝福您春風得意。..................................................

greekyogurt said...

You are so lucky to have a garden with your own veggies.
Fresh herbs are amazing for our health.

miss v said...

your garden looks awesome! and i totally know what you mean about picking basil. i look at it every day, but just can't bring myself to do it.

Josh said...

Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout (http://www.giveawayscout.com). Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog (http://www.giveawayscout.com/addblog/ ). thanks, Josh