Let’s be honest. We all know we should eat more veggies. The USDA guidelines recommend adults eat 4 to 5 servings of vegetables each day. I find growing a garden puts fresh veggies at my fingertips, which challenges me to find creative uses for fresh vegetables. If you’re looking for some innovative ways for using fresh vegetables, let me share some of my homemade favorites.
Great Uses for Fresh Vegetables
Here are my top 7 ways to use fresh veggies from the garden:
- Homemade Fresh Salsa: Amish paste tomatoes, Corno Di Toro peppers, onion, cilantro, and garlic are my go-to garden veggies for making my chunky style fresh salsa. I’m not big on heat, but a diced jalapeno can add a dash of spiciness.
- Country-Style Green Beans with New Potatoes and Ham: This one-pan family favorite is a must-have meal when the young green beans and new potatoes are ready for harvest. I prefer pan frying the diced new potatoes with onions and ham for added flavor. During the last few minutes of cooking, I add the green beans and stir until they are bright green and tender.
- Tomato Salad: The rich flavor of homegrown tomatoes makes this seasonal salad a hit with the family. My recipe calls for bite-sized pieces of tomato, bell pepper, onion and cucumber. A dash of seasoned salt, a splash of olive oil and a touch of water mixes with the juice of the tomatoes to create this salad’s tasty dressing.
- Roasted Root Vegetable Medley: When the final fall harvest yields an abundance of root vegetables, I find this delectable side dish to be a quick and easy way to utilize the overload. Simply dice whatever is available, from radishes and turnips to kohlrabi and sweet potatoes. Coat lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of seasoned salt and roast until tender. This dish freezes well and retains its fresh cooked flavor when microwaved.
- Zucchini Bread: This hearty dessert bread has saved many oversized zucchinis from the compost pile. The loaves freeze well and if I’m really feeling ambitious, I use my bread recipe to make a zucchini layered cake complete with homemade cream cheese frosting.
- Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Panini: This lightly toasted sandwich is perfect for those hot summer nights when standing over a hot stove is unbearable. Serve with homemade refrigerator pickles or freshly made three bean salad.
- Soups and Stews: Vegetable-based soups and stews are one of my favorite ways to use fresh veggies from the garden. These delicious comfort foods can be made when garden veggies are plentiful and frozen for quick and easy wintertime meals. For me, the best part of choosing soup and stew recipes is knowing I’ll be using fresh vegetables which are most abundant in the garden.