>> Thursday, September 17, 2009
Don't you love summer with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables? My garden was nothing to write home about, but I am grateful for the tomatoes, zucchini, corn, tomatillos, and peppers we got. Next year I will be ready for those nasty squash bugs who ate up my zucchini plants over night--grr! It is rare that at the end of summer I am still craving zucchini!
I have had many people email me and ask for recipes to help use up their tomatoes, peaches, and food from their garden and trees. Here are some of my favorite recipes to use the items in my garden...
Tomatoes: Who doesn't love garden tomatoes? Wow! They are one of the BEST things ever! So sweet, and so nice to have in your backyard. If you do not have a 'green thumb' I encourage you to at least try and grow tomatoes. They don't take a lot of room but can save you a lot of money in the summer. You can make homemade spaghetti sauce, salsa, enchilada sauce, or just enjoy them on sandwiches--wonderful! (I figure the plants cost me about $2-$5 and I get at least 20-30lbs. of tomatoes..that is $30 of savings!
My FAVORITE recipe for my grape/cherry tomatoes I love to grow:
Balsamic Chicken Pasta
1 lb. penne pasta
3-4 tomatoes, diced or grape tomatoes
1 c. mozzarella cheese
Add below ingredients in sauce pan:
2 chicken breasts, sliced
4 T. butter
½ c. white onion
1 tsp. garlic
1 c. balsamic vinegar
½ c. sugar
2 tsp. basil
Sauté all ingredients until cooked (except cheese and tomatoes). Cook until thickened. Add mozzarella cheese and fresh tomatoes on top. Serve with cooked penne pasta.
Ninty percent of all of the tomatoes I grow goes to make my homemade marinara sauce. I can't live without my freezer bags of spaghetti sauce. Beware, once you try this recipe, you will never be able to go back to Prego in a jar! This recipe is just an estimate. If you are a cook like me, I dump and pour, and play with the recipe until it has the perfect flavor. Go with what your family likes..more garlic, more basil, more sugar, less salt, etc. The fresh vegetables in this sauce give it great texture and adds more nutrients which I love. Give it a try, you will love it! (Tips: having a food processor and a wand/blender make this process MUCH easier)
Marinara Red Sauce (There are pictures and more detailed instructions on our other blog www.myfoodstoragedeals.blogspot.com if you have questions about this AWESOME recipe)
1-2 lbs. ground Italian sausage (spicy optional) Put more sausage if you like more of a meaty sauce
1 8 oz. mushrooms sliced
Garlic, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes (fresh or dried) About 1 T. of each seasoning. Do what you like!
Sauté the above ingredients while using a food processor to dice the carrots, celery and onions.
½ - 1 c. carrots finely blended/diced
½ - 1 c. celery finely blended/diced
½ - 1 c. medium to large white onion/diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 T. basil
1 T. sugar
8-10 (15oz. cans) of stewed or whole tomatoes or frozen/fresh tomatoes from your garden-if they are fresh, add a little sugar to balance the acidic flavor.
1-2 cans of tomato paste
Sauté sausage, onions & mushrooms until brown and tender in a large saucepan. Add diced carrots, celery and onions with 1 T. olive oil. Add the seasonings, except the basil, and cook until carrots, celery and onions are soft. Add tomatoes and the juice from the cans. For a smooth red sauce, puree all tomatoes and ingredients together in blender. Or for meatier sauce puree tomatoes only, and leave other ingredients in chunks. Allow sauce to simmer 2-5 hours on low, sauce should reduce about one third. Add basil right before serving. Simmer with out the lid on the pan! This freezes very well.
Tomatillos: I LOVE green salsa and chile verde. This is great on enchiladas or just with chips. They actually grow fairly well in Utah, they just don't grow quite so big--give them a try!
1 jalepeno, stemmed, seeded and ribs removed (keep ribs and seeds if you want it hotter)
2 garlic cloves
1 bunch cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
Remove husks from tomatillos. Place the tomatillos and the jalapeño in a pan and cover with water. Boil until the tomatillos are fully cooked and have become a dull olive green color, about 10 minutes.
Strain the tomatillos from the water and place them directly in a food processor fitted with a metal chopping blade. Add the jalapeño and garlic. Process until completely smooth. Add the cilantro to the food processor and pulse to chop and incorporate. Season with salt and pepper. Makes approximately 2 cups.
FOR ZUCCHINI RECIPES, VISIT OUR BLOG WWW.MYFOODSTORAGEDEALS.BLOGSPOT.COM
PEACHES: YUM!! What else can you say about a fresh, juicy, peach? We have them coming out of our ears! Four years ago we planted two peach trees and they have been AWESOME!! We have picked off of one tree somewhere between 4-5 large boxes packed full. It has been so wonderful to have fresh peaches to give to neighbors, make cobblers out of, bottle, eat plain, on breakfast cereal, and in shakes/smoothies. I LOVE summer! Here is my favorite (and basic) peach cobbler recipe.
Brown Sugar Crumb Peach Crisp
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. butter
10 med. peaches
In mixing bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture is crumbly. Peel and core peaches; slice and put into a baking dish. Sprinkle oat mixture on top of fruit and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Serve with vanilla ice cream.