Garden Candy Basics Recipes

Jun 212015

Beefy Burgers with Vegetables. The Best of Both Worlds.

We don’t think every burger needs to have vegetables in it, but there are times (like almost always) when it’s worthwhile to mix a little nature’s goodness in with that ground beef. You not only get added flavor and vitamins but also, as in this recipe for example, anywhere from 30%-50% more burgers!

So you know, we’re not big proponents of hiding vegetables in your kids’ meals. We rather they learn to identify and love vegetables because they enjoy eating them. It will serve them better in the long run. That said, there’s nothing wrong with including some smart fillers—like carrots or zucchini—in the way you might add bread crumbs to your meatloaf.

These burgers retain a good bit of beefy flavor but also burst with the superpowers of some favorite vegetables. If you have a stickler for beef-only burgers you can chop the recipe in half and add the veggies to only half the ground beef. No problem. And, depending on what you like on your’s—some people are keen for ketchup only—you might try one of these flavored mayos to really feel like you’re enjoying a pub burger at home.

Skill: Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Grating, chopping, processing, skillet frying
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Beefy Vegetable Burgers

Ingredients:Adding a few ingredients to your beef makes more nutritious and more burgers.

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 cup chickpeas (About 1/2 a 19oz can)
  • 1⁄2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground 80% lean beef
  • 1 small carrot, (about 1/2 cup) grated or chopped in a mini blender
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper


  1. Grate the zucchini and using your hands or a sieve, squeeze as much liquid out of it as possible. Set aside.
  2. Place the chickpeas and onion into a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms.
  3. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the meat, carrot, garlic powder and zucchini.
  4. Add the chickpea paste to the meat mixture and blend together, again, using your hands is easiest.
  5. Once everything is blended, form patties of medium thickness – you should get 6 patties if using 1 lb. of beef, depending on the size you make them.
  6. Heat a cast iron or heavy skillet over medium high heat.
  7. Add the butter to the pan and cook until melted.
  8. Add the patties to the pan. Do not crowd them.
  9. Press each patty gently with a firm spatula to sear underside.
  10. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  11. With a spatula turn each burger over.
  12. Season with salt & Pepper
  13. Cook for another 3 minutes on the second side or until meat is firm when lightly pressed and juices run clear when poked with a fork.
  14. Remove to serving dish or straight to buns!

Watch this quick video to see how easy it is to make a good indoor Burger:

Jun 142015

No Mayo Cole Slaw

There are so many delicious ways to cook cabbage, but when you get right down to it the easiest way to serve cabbage is raw. And on top of being the easiest way, it’s the best way, since cabbage retains more of its nutrient goodness when served uncooked. Bonus!

Here is a terrific, basic slaw recipe that takes out the mayo (and the fat) and adds extra fresh flavor perfect for your summer gatherings.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: slicing, zesting, shredding
Skills: Stir-frying, slicing
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Crunchy Cole Slaw

Raw cabbage and carrot slaw - perfect summertime blendIngredients:

  • 1  small cabbage – red or green – or a combination of both
  • 1 carrot, grated or a 1/2 cup shredded
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (from same lemon)
  • 1/4 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Remove any tough or brown outer leaves from the cabbage.
  2. Slice the cabbage in half and then in half again so you have four sections.
  3. The thick piece holding the cabbage together is the core. Cut that out to remove it. (It can be thrown away)
  4. Slice the cabbage as thin as possible. It will end up in long thin strands.
  5. Add this to a bowl with the shredded carrot.
  6. Mix the lemon zest, lemon juice, oil, honey (or sugar), salt and black pepper together.
  7. Pour dressing over cabbage and carrot and toss to combine.
  8. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve this right away for a more crunchy salad, or store it in the fridge overnight for a slaw that’s more pickled (but still has some crunch).

Serves 6-8 servings

Helpful Hint: For extra flavor add some cilantro or sliced scallion to the cole slaw. For a full meal just add some cooked, shredded or diced chicken to the mix.


Jun 122015

No Fail Friday: Tomato Basil Soup – Two ways for Four Seasons

If you’re anything like me, when you think of soup you normally think of every season but summer. The problem is, my favorite tomato soup recipe calls for lots of juicy tomatoes, handfuls of basil, plus garlic and onion, so summer is actually the perfect time to make it when all the ingredients are at their ripest (and cheapest). Why not have a bowl of fresh-from-the-garden tomato soup on a rainy summer day or after one too many grilling nights? It’s quick and easy and leftovers mean you can skip another night of cooking later in the week which is never a bad thing!

It’s time to make tomato soup a year-round meal. And while we’re at it, why can’t we tweak the recipe so that we use the best ingredients in the summer and then switch out the often hard (and more expensive) winter tomatoes for the canned version in the off seasons? Just don’t ever skimp on the basil and you’ll have that wonderful summer flavor all year long.

If your weather’s stuck in the ‘tweens—with warm and sunny one minute and cold and damp the next, it’s the perfect time to make a batch of soup, but with nothing ripe on the vines yet it’s also a great time to give the canned version a try. I’ve included both recipes for you to use all year long. And as long as you’re eating this delicious soup year-round, don’t hesitate to adjust the “sides” too. In the winter a crusty bread does the trick with some olive oil in a bowl for dipping or your favorite cheese to go with it. In the summer, small cubes of a mozzarella and pesto panini make a delicious add on (or drop in), but in the hot weather just stick to a light salad and a breadstick. This soup is so versatile you can even eat it cold. Just toss some finely chopped cucumber and red pepper into the bowl with the soup and, voila, you’ve got gazpacho!

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: Roasting, mincing, chopping, puréeing 
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Summertime Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup


  • 6 pounds of ripe tomatoes, cored and halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil, plus a drizzle for the pot
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 cups of fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme (fresh or dry)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock


  1. Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees. Place halved tomatoes on a baking sheet with sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss with ¼ cup olive oil.
  2. Cook for an hour, but check at 45 minutes. The baking sheet will be filled with liquid, but the tomatoes should start to roast on top.
  3. While the tomatoes are roasting, put the butter and a drizzle of olive oil into a soup pot and heat over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. When tomatoes have roasted, add them (including liquid) to soup pot along with the basil, thyme, and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool and then pulse, in small quantities, in a blender so that the soup still has a thick texture.
  6. Return to pot to reheat and enjoy!

Serves 8-10

Cool Weather Tomato and Basil Soup


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 28-ounce cans of whole tomatoes (basil added is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups of fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons thyme (fresh or dry)
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock (1 cup reserved)


  1. Heat olive oil and butter in soup pot over medium high heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic and red pepper flakes and, stirring frequently, cook until onions are tender and begin to brown.
  3. Add canned tomatoes, salt, pepper, basil, thyme and the stock minus one cup.
  4. Bring soup to a boil and then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Let cool and then pulse, in small quantities, in a blender so that the soup still has a thick texture.
  6. Return to pot to reheat and enjoy!

Serves 8-10

Jun 052015

No Fail Friday: Sautéed Green Beans

This recipe was shared by Jeremy, one of the students participating in Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day event that was hosted by The Tutorial Center, Inc., back in May. The simple dish was a big hit with all the students and staff, proving once again that tasty food doesn’t have to be complicated.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Par-boiling, sauté, mincing
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Garden Candy Recipe Jar orangeNote from Christine: I made these the other night and started picking on them straight from the skillet as I got the rest of dinner together. By the time I plated the food there was only one small serving of green beans left in the pan! I reluctantly spooned the remainders on my husbands plate, making a mental note to always make extra—but there won’t be any extra.

184A0699 Sautéed Green Beans with Garlic


  • 1 pound green beans (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • salt & pepper


NOTE: If you’re using fresh green beans, boil them until they’re half cooked. Then remove them from the heat and “shock” them by running them under cold water. This stops the cooking process.

  1. Put olive oil and garlic into a large frying pan over medium-high heat, saute for about a minute.
  2. Add the green beans and cook until tender.
  3. Salt & pepper to taste.
May 312015

Sunday Things: Rosemary Roasted Red Potatoes

The fragrance and flavor of rosemary pairs great with all potatoes, not just red. Adjust the amount of garlic to your taste and don’t be afraid to use a tablespoon of garlic powder in place of fresh cloves.

Cook savvy: To get an added bit of crisp when roasting any vegetables, let the pan warm up in the oven while you’re preheating. Use oven mitts to remove it, carefully add the vegetables, and return it to the oven for the prescribed cooking time.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Cutting into cubes, mincing, roasting
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Roasted Red Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary


  • 5-6 Red potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (infused with red pepper flakes)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper


Preheat oven to 425°

  1. Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces (about 3/4 of an inch thick)
  2. Mince the rosemary.
  3. Mince the garlic.
  4. Pour the olive oil into a large bowl.
  5. Mix the rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper into the olive oil.
  6. Add the potatoes and mix until all the potatoes are coated.
  7. Spread potatoes in a single layer onto rimmed baking pan.
  8. Roast in oven for at least 45 minutes, longer if you want even crispier potatoes.


May 272015

Jack’s Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


My husband Jack’s known for many things: for being dependably late, for hiking and camping his way through the world, and come May & June, for making this pie with rhubarb from our garden. It’s his signature dish.

PS. When Jack shares the recipe—which he rarely does so don’t tell him we did—he lists vanilla ice cream as an ingredient. But he does that with ALL pies, we’re onto him.

Be sure to double this recipe and make two pies—one to freeze or generously gift to someone deserving. Think of it as making hay while the sun shines, or making pie while the rhubarb grows, and the flour flies.


Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Slicing, chopping, mixing, measuring, two-step baking
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie with vanilla ice-creamJack’s Super Easy Strayberry-Rhubarb Pie

Freshly picked rhubarbIngredients:

  • 2+ cups strawberries, sliced
  • 2+ cups rhubarb chopped
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
  • let stand 15 minutes
  • Add:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon orange rind (optional – but so good!)


  1. In a large bowl combine strawberries, rhubarb, cornstarch, water, 1 cup sugar.
  2. Let stand 15 minutes.
  3. Add flour, orange rind, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Pour into prepared pie crust, adding a lattice crust to top.
  6. Sprinkle with sugar (optional).
  7. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes then turn the oven heat down to 350 and bake 35 (or so) minutes till done.

Share the Yum.

May 222015

No Fail Friday for a No Fail Summer

This weekend we celebrate Memorial Day which most of us – beyond the parades and the tributes – consider the unofficial first day of summer. The days are longer, the temps are higher and the list of things we want to fill our time with during this fleeting season seems endless. Why then would anyone want to spend the summer stuck in the kitchen day after day cooking three squares when there is so much else to do?

We here at Garden Candy discovered long ago that every fridge has the potential to be a fast food restaurant if it’s set up right. Over the summer we will share our secrets with you for how to make your refrigerator the go-to source for food on-the-go, starting with one we use year-round: the salad bar.

If you put salad fixings in the fridge unprepped you often end up with some amount of wasted food and the added chore of making a salad. Take a few minutes to prep those same ingredients and put them in containers or baggies, stored together on a shelf, and you not only have a salad in minutes, but lunch AND dinner options. Best of all, like all good salad bars, it’s self-serve so everyone can eat on the run (even kids who think this is lots of fun.) The focus is now on the meal and not the effort of creating it. Here are 10 handy tips for getting the most out of your own in-house, all-you-can-eat salad bar:

1. Keep a few baggies of lettuce on hand, washed and pre shredded (if necessary). Paper towels tucked in the baggie help to keep the lettuce fresher longer. Pre-packaged lettuce works well too and is often on sale.

2. Buy shredded or prepped items in small containers – like shredded carrots, crumbled feta or ready-to-use edamame. They may cost a bit more, but the convenience is worth a few extra pennies.

3. Don’t overlook leftovers. A little corn not eaten at dinner or a handful of black olives might not make a meal, but will make a great topping for a salad and a couple of hard boiled eggs or a scoop of tuna may be the protein and “filler” you need to turn a light meal into something a bit more hearty.

4. Toppings like dried cranberries and slivered almonds don’t require refrigeration, but placed alongside the other ingredients will help to serve as a reminder to use them.

5. Be sure to have to-go containers on hand for salads and small ones for dressing so your salad bar is not only a smart “fast food” option, but easily portable too.

6. If you’re eating on the go, a personal-sized freezable cooler will pay for itself in just a few salads that were “brought” and not bought!

7. Don’t bother spending hours roasting a chicken just for a salad topping when a quick visit to the deli counter and 1/4 lb of a few kinds of meat can be diced and ready to go in seconds. Chicken, ham, turkey and roast beef are great options to name a few.

8. Whether bought or homemade, be sure to have a few dressing options on hand to keep things interesting.

9. Don’t forget that salad is so much more than lettuce. Add your toppings to pasta, orzo, or just toss them together alone. There are no rules.

10. Keep all ingredients on the same shelf in clear containers so people can see all their salad options at a glance.

Enjoy the first weekend of summer and have fun building your salad bar!

May 072015

Better than Perfect Scrambled Eggs

If you’ve been scrambling your eggs over med-high heat you’re missing out on really wonderful silky, moist eggs. Give this method a try. It’s like learning a new way to tie your shoes.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Stirring, stovetop cooking,
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Perfect Scrambled Eggs


  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped small


  1. 1.In a large frying pan, melt the butter over medium low heat
  2. While the butter is melting, crack the eggs into a large bowl, adding the water, and whip them well.
  3. Pour eggs in pan and with a rubber spatula, slowly stir them.
  4. And stir them.
  5. And stir them some more. Nothing will happen for a while and you will get bored, but don’t turn up the heat!
  6. Eventually small portions of the egg will begin to clump together. Finally.
  7. Keep stirring, very slowly until all the liquid is just barely gone and the eggs are moist and you will have  creamy eggs.
  8. For added flavor toss in the chives and cheese at the last minute giving one gentle stir so you can still see the cheese in the eggs.

Serve with toast and fruit, or salad for brunch.
4 servings

May 052015

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Now that you know (because we showed you) how easy it is to make fresh mayonnaise, here are cinco ways to spice up your mayo that will make any sandwich or vegetables you put it on want to shout “¡verduras larga vida!” (Pssst. you don’t have to make your own…store-bought works.)

make the mayo a day ahead and the flavors will bloom even more. These are each suggestions. When it comes to mix-ins, how much you add will depend on your tastes, but please pay special attention to #5. =)

Cinco Sabores (5 flavors):

  1. Sun-Dried Tomato: In a food processor, mix one clove garlic with up to 1/4 cup of well drained sun-dried tomatoes until smooth. Stir that mixture into your mayo.
  2. Basil Pesto: Fresh if you’ve got it, but out of a jar works. If your pesto’s oily, include as little oil as possible when spooning it out. Stir it in by the tablespoon, starting with one, then more to your taste depending on the amount of mayonnaise you’re flavoring.
  3. Pepper Sauce: Just say yes to Sriracha. A couple of splashes with a little minced garlic added, transform lowly mayonnaise into a mouthful of wow on a sandwich. Smoked chipotle is another great pick.
  4. Roasted Garlic: Well mashed and stirred in. Garlic mayo is the default style of mayonnaise at my house house.
  5. Horseradish: Prepared horseradish with a little dried thyme added. Y-U-M. But let me tell you about that time we used garden-fresh, spring-harvested horseradish to flavor our mayonnaise. On second thought, we’ll save that. Let’s just say it was atomic, at a cellular level. Store-bought is safer, but even with that, take a light hand until you’ve got what you like. Remember, horseradish can bring grown men to their knees. We’ve seen it happen.

Garden Candy Recipe Jar orangeGet the Homemade Mayonnaise Recipe

May 042015

Spiralized Zucchini Pasta

Everyone in the family will love spiraled vegetables, or, if you’re trying to get more goodness into your 4 year old we won’t snitch if you call it “schetties,” and they’ll never miss actual spaghetti. Once you try this dish, neither will you. To make this dish you will need a “Vegetable Spiralizer

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: spiralizing, sauteing, slicing, shredding

Spiralized Zucchini Pasta


  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ medium yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 medium zucchini
  • pint of grape tomatoes, sliced in halves
  • parmasean cheese for garnish


  1. 1. In a large frying pan, add a few tablespoons of olive oil and the butter and heat until butter is melted.
  2. Add onions and cook on medium until the onions are softened, but haven’t begun to brown yet. About 5 minutes.
  3.  Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes.
  4.  Add the zucchini and sauté the entire mixture until the zucchini begins to just barely soften, About 3 minutes.
  5.  Add the tomatoes and continue to cook until they just begin to soften.
  6. Put portion on plate and sprinkle on cheese if desired.

2 servings (as main dish)

May 022015

Chocolate Oat Zucchini Brownies

Around here we’ve pretty much never met a brownie we didn’t like and that includes this one. Which just goes to show you sugar isn’t everything when it comes to flavor. The applesauce and almond butter bring a perfect balance of sweet, while zucchini plays an Oscars-worthy best supporting role.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: measuring, shredding, milling, baking

Star ingredient for zucchini brownies: grated zucchiniIngredients:

  • ¾ cup oats
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup all natural applesauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cups zucchini, shredded and loosely packed
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 8×10” glass baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Blend oats in blender until fine. (It takes a minute or two)
  3. In a large bowl (electric mixer works well) mix together the almond butter, applesauce, honey, and vanilla until combined.
  4. Add the zucchini, cocoa powder, oats, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.
  5. Stir in half of the chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle remaining chips to the top of the brownies.
  8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife comes out clean. Check at 30 minutes.
  9. Cool brownies and then slice.

 16 servings


Apr 242015

One Pot Meal: Pasta with Tomatoes & Spinach

asta, onions, Garlic, cherry tomatoes, spinach with water and oilOne pot to cook in, one pot to clean up afterward. This convenient, tasty dish will not only become a family favorite with those around the table, but might be even more appreciated by whoever’s on clean up duty.

Level: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Slicing, boiling,
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

One Pot Meal: Pasta with Tomatoes & Spinach


  • 12 oz linguine
  • 12 oz package of cherry tomatoes, each sliced in half
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • two heaping handfuls baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil (optional)
  • grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional)


  1. Place all ingredients, except parmesan cheese, into a straight-sided sauté pan.
  2. Turn heat to high and heat until water boils.
  3. Reduce heat just enough to keep the water at a boil, but not boil over.
  4. Set your kitchen timer for 9 minutes.
  5. Cook while gently stirring ingredients in pan.
  6. Check pasta for doneness after nine minutes. Boil slightly longer for softer pasta.
  7. Transfer servings to plates.
  8. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves 4


Apr 222015

Thai Style Black Bean Salad

In celebration of National (Jelly) Bean day we thought we’d celebrate our own kind of beans with this Thai-Style Black Bean Salad. True, it’s not exactly the same as a bowl of jelly beans but it’s as colorful and it has an Asian zestiness that you can’t stop eating. It’s also close to a no-cook dish and would be if you simply planned ahead and let the corn thaw in the refrigerator overnight, so we’re saying it is. Either way this is an incredibly flavorful salad that pairs well with all kinds of foods especially pork and chicken. You can swap fresh or leftover corn for frozen, two ears would do it—roasted would be exceptional!

Level: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Chopping, Mincing, Measuring, Mixing
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Thai Style Black Bean Salad


1 cup frozen corn
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 small onion, chopped
1 small sweet red pepper, chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon salt


Cook corn according to package directions. Transfer to a bowl; add the beans, onion, red pepper, cilantro and jalapeno.
In a separate small bowl, whisk the oil, vinegar, lime juice, garlic, ginger and salt. Pour over bean mixture and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Yield: 4 servings.

Apr 122015

2-Minute Omelet in a Cup

One Cup Breakfast - microwave omelet

This recipe is super fast and can be made with almost any leftover vegetables you have or whatever’s in your fresh vegetable bin. You might toss in a little cooked bacon or ham, or sprinkle shredded cheese on top after the eggs are cooked. Experiment with several combinations of ingredients to come up with your favorites. And don’t worry if you don’t have little ceramic ramekins. You can make this in a coffee cup.

Level: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Chopping, Stirring
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • 2 eggs
  • Choose from:
  • Chopped red pepper
  • Chopped green pepper
  • Small broccoli florets
  • Chopped onion
  • Chopped fresh spinach
  • Tabasco or other hot pepper sauce (optional)


  1. One Cup Breakfast - microwave omeletCrack two eggs into small microwave-safe dish, ramekin or coffee cup
  2. Whisk eggs with a fork until mixed together
  3. Add a tablespoon or so of each vegetable youíve chosen, chopped small
  4. Place dish or cup in microwave and cover loosely with folded paper towel
  5. Microwave for 1:30 to 2:00 minutes, microwaves vary.
  6. When eggs are set, it’s ready to eat.
  7. Carefully remove dish or cup from microwave. It will be hot.
  8. Let sit for a minute then enjoy!
Apr 112015

Raw Rainbow Ribbon Swirl with Peanut Sauce

Raw Rainbow Ribbon Salad DetailThis may be the most beautiful salad you ever make, Bright, colorful spiral ribbons of fresh raw vegetables are impossible to resist. You can pair this with a variety of dressings but we especially like a Spicy Peanut Dressing. By using Tamari it’s gluten-free dish. If soy’s not a worry, regular soy sauce is perfect.

Skill: Easy/Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: slicing, spiraling, measuring
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Rainbow Ribbon Summer Squash Salad

  • 1 small zucchini (green summer squash)
  • 1 small yellow summer squash
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into strips
  • cilantro, chopped to garnish


  1. Slice both summer squash in half crosswise
  2. Use a spiralizer to make ribbons of squash. Trim long ribbons in half for easier eating.
  3. Add all ingredients to salad bowl and toss well to mix
  4. Top with cilantro.
  5. Serve in small salad bowls.
  6. Add dressing at the table.

Spicy Peanut Dressing

  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup soy (tamari works great too)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine or cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons dark sesame Oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil (optional though not for us!)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Directions:
  2. Put peanut butter in a large bowl and microwave for about 15 seconds to soften.
  3. Remove from microwave. Careful the bowl may be hot.
  4. Add say, water ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, scallions, and chili oil.
  5. Stir until well combined.

Dress salad just before eating, Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Apr 112015

Grow Your Own Vegetable Soup

There’s nothing like a bowl of hearty vegetable soup and it’s especially satisfying made from garden-fresh vegetables that you grew. If you want to be able to enjoy a comforting pot of vegetable goodness that you grew yourself, you’ve to got plan for it. When you plan your garden be sure to make space for all your favorite ingredients along with these popular soup veggies which are easy to grown in most zones:

Vegetable soup is rich with vitamins and minerals while low in fat and calories. If you plant these vegetables this spring, when the nights start to cool you’ll have all most of the ingredients ready to harvest in your garden. Use your favorite recipe or try this one from Alton Brown, to make the best vegetable soup you ever grew!

Level: Intermediate
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: Chopping, measuring, simmering
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

Garden Fresh Vegetable Soup


4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks, white part only (from approximately 3 medium leeks)
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
Kosher salt
2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds (approximately 2 medium)
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
2 cups fresh green beans, broken or cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 quarts chicken or vegetable broth
4 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
2 ears corn, kernels removed
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup packed, chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 to 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed stockpot over medium-low heat.
  2. Once hot, add the leeks, garlic, and a pinch of salt and sweat until they begin to soften, approximately 7 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add the carrots, potatoes, and green beans and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Once simmering, add the tomatoes, corn kernels, and pepper.
  6. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are fork tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and add the parsley and lemon juice.
  8. Season, to taste, with kosher salt. Serve immediately.

Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2004

Apr 072015

Broccoli Munch

The snappy crunch, the sweetness of the honey and raisins, the tang of the red onion. You’re going to love the flavors in this simple dish.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: chopping, mixing, measuring
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • 2 large broccoli crowns cut into florets
  • ½ medium-sized red onion (about ½ cup)
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • a pinch of salt


  1.  Cut the broccoli into small to medium size florets – not tiny, but a good bite size.
  2. Put the cut broccoli into a large bowl.
  3. Dice the red onion.
  4. Put the red onion into the bowl with the broccoli.
  5. Sprinkle the raisins and sunflower seeds over the broccoli mixture.
  6. In a separate small bowl, mix together well the vinegar, mayonnaise, honey and salt.
  7. Pour that mixture into the large bowl with the broccoli and stir together until blended.
  8. This can be eaten right away, but the flavors mix together well if left in the refrigerator for an hour or two or even overnight.

Serves 4

Apr 102014

Hard Boiled Eggs

Which came first the chicken or the egg? We’ll leave that to the philosophers. Around here the bigger debate is the best way to cook them. Today we’re hard boiling. And it’s easier than you might have thought.

There are almost as many reasons why you should include eggs in your cooking bag of tricks as there are eggs in a carton.

Skill: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: boiling,
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!


  • are inexpensive
  • are good for you
  • are easy to work with
  • cook quickly
  • are filled with protein
  • can be served for all three meals
  • can be found everywhere
  • are able to turn a few basic ingredients into a cake
  • can make 12 servings for around two dollars
  • AND eggs even come in their own carrying case.

Best of all, if you make a mistake, (and who hasn’t?), there are 11 more in the carton so you can try again.

So what are you waiting for? Get your egg carton out and let’s get crackin’. In less than ten minutes you can have your eggs poached, scrambled or in a delicious breakfast sandwich. But the easiest egg to make is the hard boiled one.

To hard boil eggs:

  1. Place eggs in a pan, cover them with water and bring to a boil.
  2. When the water is at a full boil, turn off the burner, cover the pan and set the timer for 20 minutes.
  3. When the timer goes off, rinse the eggs with cold water and – poof – hard boiled eggs.

You now have the perfect snack, sandwich filler or topping for a salad.

Now you’re cookin’.

Apr 052014

Brocc-aroni and Cheese

How easy it this! Give your box mac and cheese a little more nutritional punch by cooking some broccoli florets right in the boiling pasta water!

Level: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥♥
Skills: Cutting, paying attention to cooking times
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

1 box macaroni and cheese dinner mix
1 cup of broccoli florets
Milk and butter as directed on the box
Up to ¼ cup additional milk


  1. Cut 1 broccoli crown into small florets, about the same size.
  2. Begin to prepare the box macaroni and cheese dinner as directed on the box but when there’s only about 4 minutes remaining for the pasta to cook, add the broccoli florets to the pot.
  3. Boil pasta and broccoli together for the remaining four minutes.
  4. Drain pasta and broccoli.
  5. Add the cheese sauce mix, butter and milk as directed on the box.
  6. Add additional milk if necessary to make more sauce.
Apr 032014

Beets and Sweets

Nothing’s more delicious than a well roasted sweet potato! And people who say they don’t like beets are often people who’ve never tasted a beet! Try this easy, hearty recipe with your family and let us know how it goes!

Level: Easy
Cost: $$$$
Nutrition: ♥♥♥
Skills: Cutting into cubes, measuring, two-step roasting
Garden Candy Basics - fundamental vegucation for everybody!

6 medium beets, peeled and cut into chunks
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
a pinch of cayenne pepper
3 medium sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 large sweet onion, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the beets with ½ tablespoon of the olive oil to coat.
  3. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet.
  4. Bake beets for fifteen minutes.
  5. While the beets are cooking, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, garlic powder, salt, pepper, brown sugar and cayenne pepper in another bowl.
  6. Add the sweet potatoes and onion to the mixture and mix well until everything is combined and the potatoes are well coated.
  7. After baking the beets for fifteen minutes, remove beets from oven and mix sweet potato mixture with the beets on the baking sheet.
  8. Return pan to the oven and continue baking about 45 minutes, stirring the vegetables after 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven when all vegetables are tender.
  10. Serve warm.
  11. Serves 6
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