Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Use those garden veggies!!

For 3 years we have tried to grow a killer garden!! My husband, bless his heart, even starts all the plants in Feb/March from SEEDS, and treats them like his other children!! We do everything right, but still can't get a garden to grown and yield LOTS of produce.

Last year we had over 8 tomatoes plants which grew only a foot tall and produced 4 TINY red tomatoes. Yes, only FOUR!! This year we decided to plant our veggies in three places (1) garden plot which has failed us the past 2 years (2) pots in the front of the house (3) in the mulch bed on the side of the house. Our garden plot did HORRIBLE this year despite going to extra lengths to improve the soil (coffee grounds, 1 years worth of compost, 2 huge cubes of peat moss). We decided to take down the fence and mowed over it! The pots are doing the best (not a shocker)!! However, if you read previous posts, you know the storm a few weeks ago knocked over our killer tomato plant and knocked off 3 of the 5 branches. The peppers survived along with about 10 green tomatoes. The two tomato plants and 1 pepper plant on the side of the house are FINALLY starting to produce some small veggies -- hopefully with time and water they will grow!!

All of that being said, we have been blessed with gifts of produce from many friends and Nate's coworkers!! I needed to use up some of my produce, so my mom gave me this killer recipe to try. I had everything on hand!!

Eggplant Spaghetti with Fresh Mozzarella

1 eggplant (~3/4lb) - cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 med onion - diced
4 cloves of garlic - minced
1/4 cup EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
5 plum tomatoes - chopped
1 1/2 cups zucchini -- cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I used 1 med size zucchini, but could have used 2)
4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 lb of cooked spaghetti (I used just 1/2 bag of brown rice pasta instead from Trader Joes)
9 oz of chopped mozzarella - cut into 1/2 inch pieces (I just used 3/4 of a block of moz cheese)
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (I didn't have any fresh left, so I used dried)

(Note: I grilled 4 chicken breasts and diced them up as well).

1. Cook and stir eggplant, onion, and garlic in EVOO on med heat x 10 min
2. Stir in tomatoes, zucchini, vinegar, salt, and pepper, continue cooking for 10 min or until veggies are tender and sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally.
3. Place in large serving bowl.
4. Add hot spaghetti, moz cheese, basil (and chicken).
5. Toss and Serve!!

It was a huge hit in our house!! Pretty tasty if I don't say so myself!!



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