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vegetablesGone for five days and it rained for four of those days.  Lucky days for our garden (and for our son Brian who offered to water both our garden and his brother Daniel’s garden.)  We came home to brand new vegetables and an abundance of others that had already been producing.  Always grateful, we love sharing and my new neighbor mentioned she was a vegetarian (for 55 years now) and she got a large brown bag of assorted vegetables right after I cleaned them. Included in yesterday’s pickings were cucumbers, squash, zucchini, lettuce, beets, purple hull crowder peas, bell peppers, okra, and three varieties of heirloom cherry tomatoes.

Yesterday for lunch I made a green salad with three varieties of lettuce, the cherry tomatoes, avocado, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, boiled egg, chopped broccoli, cucumbers, and quinoa.  It was delicious.  We had a half a grilled cheese sandwich to top it off.  For dinner, I made cheese grits from organic polenta and because we do eat meat from time to time, I sautéed some chicken and then added a cold salad I made early in the day which had cucumber, tomato, and onion soaked in my homemade dressing of Bragg Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, olive oil, and honey.  For lunch today, I stir-fried slices of zucchini and veggie burger (which we split), deviled an egg for each of us, sliced some cold cumbers and tossed on a few cherry tomatoes and topped it all off with a couple of spoons of my homemade bread and butter pickles that I made last week.

Tonight I am making a zucchini risotto with sun-dried tomatoes and lots of other herbs and greens from our garden.  I’ll grill a slice of pork loin topped with garlic, grated lemon, red pepper flakes and some Louisiana seasoning.  And we will finish off our dinner with a flourless chocolate cFlourless-Chocolate-Chip-Banana-Muffinship almond butter muffin.  I found this recipe at the Huffington Taste website. Every once in a while it’s nice to not know the calorie count on something.  But eating healthy the majority of the time allows for a few hiccups and I do love chocolate chip anything!

But most of all, I enjoy taking advantage of the bounty from our raised gardens in our little back yard.  When I think about all the years we didn’t have one, I say a prayer of gratitude for what we have now.  Growing our own vegetables helps with our budget and it helps us know that what we are eating is organic and good for us.  And we get to enjoy new foods, create new recipes, and share our bounty with friends and family.