Who would have thought that my favorite spot at home wouldn’t be inside my house at all? Instead, I find myself drawn to the fenced in area out back where a swing set used to sit. The space that used to be either a pirate ship, or a secret dungeon where I was held captive by a wicked monster (pesky older brother) is now home to the cucumbers, the tomatoes and zucchini. While my nostalgia takes me to this small plot of land with the hope of reverting back to my status as fairy princess, truthfully the new garden has provided unexpected amounts of nourishment both to my physical self and my mental well being too. What started as a blank canvas is now filled with cucumbers, herbs, broccoli and if we play our cards right peppers (don’t hold your breath, we’re novice gardeners yet). I thank my dad for becoming nothing less than obsessed with this new hobby as I have taken a liking to watching our family’s hard work create a tangible and edible result. Gratifying doesn’t begin to describe it.
Summer Lovin’ Salad (pictured below)
Plant seeds, water, sunlight, eventually growth. If this were how it worked- everyone would do it. But alas my father has taken to this garden as something of an Olympic sport, attempting to gain tips and tricks from the best, and not ceasing until he has accomplished what seems like the impossible. Crops. Playing around with different soils, fertilizers and watering techniques has become the new adventure in the yard. But the climactic moment of the summer gardening adventure is one that will easily surpass any princess jurisdiction I ever held. The vegetables in my salad at dinner couldn’t have been brighter in appearance or in flavor. The cucumbers were crunchier, the tomatoes tangier and the zucchini was huge. I watched my dad beam as he observed my siblings actually finish their vegetables without hesitation.
Kale Guacamole Salad (pictured below)
We have more cucumbers than we know what to do with. So I took on the role of recipe researcher and tapped into FaveGlutenFreeRecipes.com. If you don’t already, I highly recommend growing your own produce. It’s economical, will save you many a trip to the grocery store, it’s wonderful for the environment and you can’t get fresher fruits and vegetables than this. Another added bonus, everything in the vegetable garden is gluten free. No cross contamination to deal with, no allergens to worry about, no nothing. In my household, we’ve used the family farm for some of the best garden salads you’ll ever taste. Here are some healthy gluten free recipes to get you motivated to find that green thumb. Beyond the vegetables, you’ll realize how much more you can get out of gardening than a nice looking cucumber.
Pico de Gallo (pictured below)