For those of you who follow this blog regularly, you know that we often recommend starting a home backyard garden as an easy sustainable practice that will help you reduce your carbon footprint and eat healthier. Now that we're staying home more often and going to the grocery store less (or just finding less at the grocery store), it's a great time to start your own if you haven't already. Creating your own home garden can also be turned into a fun and educational experience if you have a child at home with you.
One of the biggest complaints I hear about starting a home garden, or purchasing from your local CSA, is that the harvest is very random and people can’t figure out what to make with the produce. It seems we've grown accustomed to finding whatever we want at our local grocery store, regardless of whether or not it's in season. Our grandparents knew how to cook what was seasonally bountiful, a skill we may be wise to rediscover.
In that spirit, us gardening fans here at Sun Valley Solar are happy to help. Here are four of our favorite simple recipes made with many of Arizona's best springtime harvests.
1. Cucumber, Tomatoes & Basil Salad with Mozzarella and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Seasonal ingredients: Cucumbers (2), Tomatoes (2), and Basil (1 sprig)
Purchased Ingredients: Mozzarella, balsamic vinaigrette, Basil
Simply chop up the fresh ingredients, and mozzarella and toss in a salad bowl, then drizzle with vinaigrette. If you are looking to turn this into a meal, you can also add some chicken, avocado or pasta to make it more filling!
2. Cucumber with Salt and Lemon
Seasonal ingredients: Cucumber (1), lemon juice
Purchased ingredients: salt
Well, it is pool season, and with the triple digit temps you might be trying to maintain that summer physique. One of my favorite replacement for chips are sliced cucumbers sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and salt. Especially on a hot day, this is a refreshing snack.
3. Fresh Salsa
Ingredients from my garden: Tomatoes (5), jalapenos (2) – seeds removed), cilantro (1 handful), garlic (2 cloves)
Purchased ingredients: onion (1), lime (2), salt & pepper (to taste), cumin (1tsp.), sugar (1 tsp.)
Add Tomatoes, jalapenos, cilantro, garlic, and onion (roughly chopped) to your food processor. Then as dry ingredients and lime juice. Them simply process until it reaches the desired consistency. This should leave you with an awesome salsa!
4. Grilled Zucchini
Ingredients from the garden: zucchini (1-2)
Purchased ingredients: Olive oil, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper.
Simply slice your zucchini, and place on foil. Drizzle the slices with oil, and sprinkle with seasoning. Place on the grill for about 10 minutes. This makes for an awesome side to grilled chicken or steak, and you don’t even have to heat up the house by turning on the oven!
Sometimes I do find myself with an item that I am not sure what to do with. In cases like this, Google is your friend. A quick search will easily provide a couple of recipes to consider! Not only will you be eating healthier, you’ll also have accomplished making something completely from scratch that you may have never considered before—all from the seeds or plants you planted just a few months ago! Bon Appetite!
If you are interested in learning how solar can help you reduce your carbon footprint and ensure a cleaner future for generations to come, we invite you to download our exclusive solar whitepaper. You can also request a custom solar quote from one of our solar experts today.
*This blog has been updated since its original publication date of 6/28/2017.