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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Eat Your Veggies!! A Recipe To Help

I love vegetables!  Not all, but most (sorry Brussels Sprouts).  Every year I start a vegetable garden~ I imagine myself with a bushel basket in my arms, overflowing with the fruits (& veggies) of my labor...sharing with my neighbors.... "why, YES! I did grow these have plenty...please enjoy!"

In reality, this is what I get:

Yes, it's true.....I have yet to eat a single berry, bean or melon from my own garden!  Every year the same optimism~ every year I am dealt a crushing blow from Mother Nature.  I guess that is what comes from a Big City gal trying to be Fanny Farmer.  I am hoping that some of you out there can help me by telling me what it is I can do to fend off rodents sweet little bunnies, swarms of locusts, the stealthy possum and grow food in drought combined with searing heat.  One thing you do learn early on in Texas gardening is when the tag on the plant says 'full sun' it hardly ever means 'full Texas sun'.  Is it any wonder I rely on the local markets for my produce? 

I do love to cook.  I love my kitchen! I love chopping, kneading, baking, grilling and most of all- eating!  So what if this was not my reality:

I can still enjoy veggies!  Luckily, my kids love them as well, and my poor husband who was raised by someone who's cooking skills shall we say....were lacking?....has come around to crave them as well. 

As our schedules fill up this fall with obligations, bunco parties, pot-lucks and family get-togethers it is nice to have a quick, go-to recipe that is a hit.  If you notice, there is always a lot of pasta, baked goods and worse yet, stuff brought directly from the deli counter.  I am not one to poo-poo convenience, but I will tell you, it totally rocks to bring an awesome, homemade dish for people to ooh and ahh over.  So- let me share one with you that is easy, delicious, and is actually better the next day, so making it ahead is absolutely the way to go.  Even kids love this one- making it easy to get them to eat their veggies!  Up front I will tell you that I omit the peas, and add a few extra peanuts.  If someone has a peanut allergy, or there is a peanut ban at your school, you can substitute chopped pecans just fine.  

Raw Vegetable Salad


6 slices bacon (I buy precooked slices)
3 cups chopped broccoli
3 cups cauliflower, chopped
3 cups chopped celery
1 (10 ounce) package frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup sweetened-dried cranberries (craisins)
1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons grated onion
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 cups Light Miracle Whip


Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
Note: If you use precooked- just microwave and crumble
In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, cauliflower, celery, peas and cranberries.

Wisk together the sugar, salt, vinegar, grated onion, cheese and mayonnaise. Pour dressing over the salad; add nuts and bacon and toss well.  Cover and refrigerate- serve cold.

So, easy is that??

And tomorrow......I announce the Great Giveaway!!  So, stay tuned!


  1. I always wanted to do a veggie garden. Well, not always. Ok, fine...this summer I thought it might be kinda cool. My problem is that I live in an area where it is a very common occurance to see IN MY YARD ALONE families of deer, rabbits, cats, dogs (don't neighbors care about their pets?), squirrels, BLUE HERON (I have a Koi pond), SKUNKS GALORE, ground hogs and my absolute favorite...FOX. So...needless to say, I am worried about pouring my heart into a garden only to feed the local pests. Sorry...wonderful wildlife. I can't even keep violas for crying out loud.


    My neighbors have veggie gardens and give me stuff all the time. They put chicken fencing around the garden and although it won't keep a rodent out, the bigger animals can't get in. There are also deterrants you can use in the form of sprinklers (animal gets sprayed when they set off the sensor), spray smells the animals don't like (unfortunately, people don't like the smell either), and sound emitters. That all sounds like too much work for me. I am looking into investing in a small greenhouse and having my plants in there. It can be built around a garden in the ground or I can use large pots.

  2. Hi there. I wish we had a veggie garden but in Vegas it is hard with the super hot heat we get here from about May-Oct.

    Following from Mom Reviews 4 U Wednesday blog hop!!!

    Feel free to follow back =)


  3. Hi! I am a new follower from the Mom Bloggers Club!

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    Have a great weekend!


  4. I'm a new follower, will you follow me?

  5. Oh man!! We are so lucky that there is a large brush fence behind our backyard that keeps the deer from crossing over. Otherwise we would have lost all our veggies too. Maybe some crazier fencing next year? And the local farmers market is definitely a good choice as well :)


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