We all know that feeling – it’s 4pm in the afternoon, and we don’t really feel like facing the masses at the grocery store, but don’t have anything in the fridge for dinner – what to do? What if we could just step into our back yard and pick dinner? The majority of us are not farmers, urban farmers, or even gardeners, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep a couple useful things alive. Here are a couple tips for how you can grow your own.
- So you don’t want to grow plants from seed, we get it. Most grocery stores have that lovely little spot right out front with plants on little plastic shelves? Next time you’re there, check them out. This is a great spot to pick up some fresh herbs in a little pot like basil, parsley, cilantro, and rosemary. Then you can just sit that pot on your back porch or window sill – et voila! herbs to order.
- Feeling more adventurous? At many grocery stores, you’ll also find seed packets (you could also order some online). Pick out a couple of simple seeds based on the space you have. For small spaces, lettuce, basil, parsley, or mint will do well. For a larger growing space, try squash, cucumbers, and beans. Make sure you’ve got a pot ready at home, and then place the seeds in soil according to the directions on the back of the packet. Water daily, and soon you’ll have a little something delicious sprouting!
- Starting late in the season, and don’t have the time to grow from seed? No problem! Find a local farm and give them a call. Most farms will have extra transplants, which are the plants they started from seed and will eventually put in their fields. You can usually get some kale, collards, tomatoes, and herbs that the farm doesn’t need. These can go directly into a pot, window box, or raised bed.
- Want to start a serious backyard garden? Look around for a local garden or agriculture club, or check back in with that local farm to see if they’re holding classes. You can even see if there’s a non profit in your area that can help you build some beds and start some seeds in your back (or front) yard.
- Want to grow, but not in your yard? In most cities around the country you can find community gardens. Spaces where you can rent a raised bed, and grow a season of vegetables. You can even share tasks with other members, which will make a bigger harvest bounty for all of you!
We are unveiling our new Community Garden at Hope Farms this fall. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in reserving a raised bed to grow your own delicious veggies!
So you’ve got those delicious, fresh, beginning-of-the-season tomatoes from the Farm Stand or farmer’s market. They’re gorgeously sitting on your counter making your mouth water, and you’ve popped popped one in every time you walk by… now what? You could always make tomato sauce – especially if you freeze it for later, but we’re sure you’ve already got an amazing family recipe for that. We’re here to offer some other options for this flirty nightshade (recipes linked below).
- Black Bean & Tomato Quinoa – brimming with tomatoes and scallions, this make ahead quinoa recipe is the perfect answer to your weekly food-prep prayers. It only takes 25 minutes and can be used as a side or base for any meal, any time of day.
- Pico De Gallo Salsa – We all have our favorite chip brand, the one we always reach for in the store, so delicious and crunchy and just the right amount of salt… but what to pair it with? This salsa is the perfect companion. Just hot enough, with hints of cilantro and lime, it can last you up to one week in the fridge, and will be a party favorite.
- Quinoa Pilaf – We know, quinoa again. But we’re seriously crushing on this ancient grain, particularly because of it’s versatility. This recipe makes use of all that is currently in season – mint, artichoke, tomato, red onions, and bay leaves.
- Tomato Pie – When you want to wow you friends for a dinner party during tomato season, this is your go to. A true Southern Style pie made with tomatoes just at their peak, this looks and tastes more challenging than it is to bake – just take your time.
- Caprese Salad – This one needs no recipe. The perfect snack on a warm evening, just slice some mozzarella cheese on a plate with tomatoes, olive oil, salt & pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil. Pair this with a little cured meat and some olives for the perfect seasonal insalata.
Ready to try these out? Let us know how they go! Tag us with #vegoutrfs, #vegout2019 & @r4sfoundation on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook!
We’ve had blast watching our April 2019 Ambassador Casey crush the veggie competition – seriously she’s got over 40 veggies and 975 points halfway through the challenge – and we’re celebrating with some recipes from her blog!
She cooks to heal, making meals that are nutrient dense and also extremely satisfying. When she goes out to eat, she takes the flavors she loves and develops recipes at home that are equally craveable. Below are some of her spring favorites.
- Being gluten-free, Casey was tired of going out and finding all those delicious brussels sprouts recipes had soy sauce in them. So she decided to go home and re-create the recipe with tamari, a gluten-free alternative. These Sweet Tart Brussels Sprouts are just as craveably delicious as anything you’ll pay for at a restaurant.
- With a firm belief that food is medicine, Casey shows us yet again that what you eat changes the way you feel. After reading studies of how much beta-carotene is in carrots (names sounds familiar, do they?), she realized that eating more of these delicious root veggies can help improve brain function as you get older. With this delicious Carrot + Sesame recipe, your brain will be in excellent shape!
- Why is that when we eat salad at a restaurant, it’s so incredibly delicious, and then when we try to replicate it at home, it feels more like a chore? The secret: ‘fixins’. This Arugula, Delicata, & Pomegranate Salad is the perfect answer. Filled with yummy & good for you veggies and toppings, it will become a go to for many a warm spring evening.
- With spring in full swing, our social calendars start picking up, and we all want to serve the dinner our friends will keep talking about. But who has the time to spend hours cooking these days? Casey’s Grain-Free Fish Tacos are something you can prep mostly ahead of time (and make in bulk for the next day), and will be a fan-favorite for sure.
Please say hello to our April Ambassador, Casey! She is the mastermind behind The Informal Grub, where she focuses on healing, self-care, and full body wellness. The site (and her gorgeous Instagram) is filled with recipes, wellness tips, interesting health facts, healthy spots to eat around the country and ‘full on truth talk’.
She’s also taken her passion for wellness even further by turning it into her profession, and is now getting her Masters in Clinical Nutrition at the University of Bridgeport to become a nutritionist. She graduates in April of 2020 and ‘cannot wait to help others heal with whole foods, healing herbs and self-care routines.’
We’re so excited to have her taking the VegOut! Challenge this month, and will be posting links to her delicious recipes and tips throughout the challenge. If you want to help Casey be the most rockin’ ambassador ever, you can sign up for her team – Team Informal Grubbin’ – and help her crush competition this month.
Welcome, Casey, to the VegOut! family! We’re so happy you’re here!