I am so excited because Spring is in the air, well at least it was last week, but this week it seems to be just rain. But anyway, I am pumped up because this year I am finally going to have a vegetable garden. I had one two years ago and it thrived like crazy! I had a ton of tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and snap peas. Well last year, I didn’t have a garden because my dog, Sampson ate all of my plants. No matter what I tried to do, he wouldn’t leave the garden alone. He is obsessed with tomato plants, eats the whole thing. So last year, we skipped the garden. But not this year, we are going to have a thriving beautiful garden, but instead of having it in the backyard, we decided to have it in the front.
My Husband was kind enough to clear the gardening plot for me. It’s in the perfect spot on the side of the house. It gets morning sun with afternoon shade and it even has the water sprinklers. Yah!!!! After we pulled the weeds, the only thing left is mending the soil. I like to use Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Gardening Soil. Soil is so important to your plants and the environment. You need something that will feed the plants and will hold the water, that’s why I like Organic Choice Gardening Soil, which is available at most retailers.
Here is a picture of my gardening plot. It looks really plain and boring now, but wait till I show you my garden late Spring, where it will have beautiful, big vegetables. I am so excited, you just have no idea. Even my Husband is excited! I guess he missed the fresh tomatoes we normally have.
The kind of plants I plan on planting this year is tomatoes of course, cucumbers, corn maybe? Acorn plant and maybe zucchini? Do you have any suggestions? I would love them!!! One key thing I learned from gardening in the past is plant basil next to to tomato plants. The basil really intensifies the flavor of the tomatoes. Remember that when your planting. Another key element to gardening is planting Marigolds. Marigold flowers aren’t only pretty, but it attracts the bugs away from the vegetables and herbs, such as aphids. So Marigolds in the garden is a must!!! Right now I am growing a tomato plant in my kitchen window. It’s already budding and is needed to get in the ground. After the rain clears, it will be making it’s way into the ground.
This past weekend, I went to the Farmers Market to pick up some fresh veggies and it inspired me to make today’s recipe, which is Marinated Garden Salad. Yum, yum, yum! It is so fresh, light and so darn good. Oh boy I miss the garden and can’t wait to start. This salad makes for a great base to a pasta salad, top on a bed of lettuce or mix in some chicken or grains. It truly is the perfect garden salad.
The salad is made with tomatoes, cucumbers, snap peas, onions, carrots, sweet bell pepper and celery. I love all fresh from the garden produce. Or I should say in my case, fresh produce from the Farmers Market. Ha ha No trips to the Farmers Market for me this summer because I should have all of the fresh produce I need. Oh and I plan on planting strawberries too!
For the salad I also made a wonderful simple marinade for the salad which is made of olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and fresh thyme. I mixed it up and let the salad soak in the dressing for a few hours, but it tastes even better overnight, so this salad can be made in advance.
A light refreshing salad made with fresh veggies that have been marinated in a balsamic dressing.
- 1 large sweet bell pepper, sliced thin
- 2 stalks celery, diced small
- 1 cucumber, peeled, diced small
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup carrots, shredded
- 1 cup snap peas, cut in half
- 1/4 cup purple onion, sliced thin
- 5 basil leaves, sliced thin
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 4 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/2 tsp. thyme, fresh
- In a bowl, add bell pepper, celery, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, carrots, snap peas, onion and basil leaves. Mix until incorporated.
- In a small bowl, add olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, dijon mustard and thyme. Mix until incorporated. Pour dressing over salad; mix well.
- Cover the salad and store in the refrigerator for 1 hour up to one day. The longer is marinates the more flavor it will have.
Calories per serving: 51, Fat: 3.4, Cholesterol: 0, Sodium: 53, Potassium: 213, Carbs: 5, Fiber: 2, Sugar: .09, Protein: 1
I am just so stoked for gardening season. Are you going to be planting a garden this year? if you are, what will you be planting? Any recommendations on what I should plant?