Spinach Salad Recipe Ideas For Your Table

Spinach Salad Recipe Ideas For Your Table

June in Indiana brings us fresh spinach if we planted it and if not we can find some nice fresh leaves at the local farmers markets. I love fresh spinach to eat in salads or to cook with!  A nice spinach salad is often my choice at lunch time. As a kid, I had to eat a lot of spinach because I was anemic and it was a great natural source of iron. My Mom (bless her heart) was not so great with her cooking creativity and usually gave me canned spinach which was pretty awful. As I began to mature and started creating my own meals, I found that fresh spinach was awesome in a salad. I actually prefer it over lettuce most of the time.

So, with that in mind and it being ready to harvest, I thought I would share some ideas for having a spinach salad on your table. The following is one of my new favorite ways to serve it:

Spinach Salad with Mushrooms And Avocado

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2 1/2 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cups sliced button mushrooms
  • 8 cups baby spinach leave
  • 1 cup corn kernels (frozen works best) be sure to thaw them
  • 1 cup avocado (peeled and diced)
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup green onions thinly sliced
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Putting it together:

  1. With a whisk mix together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and oil in a bowl. Add the mushrooms and toss them to coat them with the liquid. Let them marinate at room temperature for 2 hours.  Toss it a few times while it is marinating.
  2. Drain the mushrooms and save the marinade. Toss the spinach, corn, avocado, carrot and onions in a bowl. Now add the marinade and toss it again to coat everything.
  3. Serve the spinach in individual bowls .  Top with extra mushrooms and sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds.

A Spinach Tip

Place your fresh spinach in a plastic bag and store in the refrigerator. You should plan to eat it within three days. Fresh spinach is usually kind of gritty so rinse it thoroughly before you use it. Do not rinse it before you place it in the bag, though.

Spinach Salad With Strawberries …. YUM

spinach salad Another thing that is or will be soon ready to harvest in our Indiana Gardens is strawberries. Have you ever had a Spinach salad with strawberries? Oh my goodness it is so good!  The recipe that I like the most right now is the one that Rachael Ray has on the Food Network. Rather than trying to recreate the recipe, I am just giving you the link to their page because I can’t improve on her recipe. I just know that I really like it. The image to the left is her picture of her recipe, too.

Grow your own or buy from the local Farmers Market

June is the beginning of being able to harvest some of our garden plants and I think it is so exciting every single year. There is just something so rewarding from being able to cook with the items that you have grown yourself. Also, we know for sure what was used or not used on those plants and do not have to worry so much about harmful chemicals and agents that someone else might have used. If you do not have a large garden or use containers for your gardening and there are plants that you just couldn’t grow because of limited space, do not fret. Visit those local farmers markets that are usually open on Fridays and Saturdays. They will begin to have produce that has been locally grown and ready for you to take home to enjoy with your family. Never be afraid to ask where the food was grown and if they know whether it was grown organically or not. My rule of thumb is that if they say they don’t know or they hesitate in giving me the information, I can decide to go to the next stall and purchase from someone who is willing to tell me.

So much of what we grow can be used in a salad like the spinach that I have talked about here in this post. Since our harvesting is just beginning you might like to get yourself a good cookbook that has salad recipes in it. I recommend the Super Salads: More Than 250 Super-Easy Recipes for Super Nutrition and Super Flavor. It has so many wonderful recipes to try and covers virtually every kind of plant that is grown in a garden.

Mothers Day Gift Ideas For The Gardening Mom

Mothers Day Gift Ideas For The Gardening Mom

Are you looking for some gift ideas for Mothers Day to give to your Mom who loves to garden? When my girls were little, they would give me little plants that they bought at a fundraiser at their schools. They were some of my most favored gifts. It was fun to see what plant they picked and the love that came with each one just touched my heart so much! They knew how much Mommy loved her flowers and my husband said they really took their time picking out just the right one to give me. Sweet, sweet memories!

mothers day gifts

I am here to tell you that it does not matter whether you have no money for a gift or you can spend $50 or more for her gift, she is going to love whatever you give her. So let’s address the no money, first. You can take some simple paper and crayons or markers and make a card for her. Draw some flowers or plants on it and she will treasure it forever! Another inexpensive gift idea is to give her a packet of seeds that she can plant.

If you have less than $50 to spend, consider a hanging basket that you can find at a local garden store. An even better idea is to let Mom go with you to pick it out. She will love the time spent with you along with the basket!

bird bath

A fun idea for a gift for Mom on Mothers Day is a Birdbath. She can place it in her garden and enjoy watching the birds visit her yard and appreciate the plants that she has provided them to dine on and perch on. There are so many styles to choose from so you should be able to find something that you know that your Mom will love to place in her garden. Each time she sees a bird land in the bath, she will think of you. There are birdbaths available for as little as $25 or you can spend more if your budget allows.

If Mom has a smartphone or tablet that she uses regularly, give her a gift card to purchase an app. There are some really cool garden apps available. She might also be able to use the card to purchase an e-book to download, also. Speaking of books, spring is a time that many new books on gardening are published so you could buy her a hard copy of a new book for her to read.

One of the best gifts to give Mom is one of your time. I’m serious! Maybe you do not have much money to spend for a gift this year. So, give Mom some time in her garden for her Mothers Day gift this year. You will be personal assistant by doing some tasks for her. I’m sure that she will have some ideas on how you can help. Be prepared to get your hands a little dirty and help Mom in her garden. She will love the time spent with you and she will really appreciate the help. She will get some chores done but the best gift of all is the memory that you have created of the time you spent together. I am a firm believer that the memories that we create with each other are the best gifts of all.

Horseradish And Its Benefits

Horseradish And Its Benefits

Horseradish has been found to be a great source to aid in digestive disorders. It gives a nice boost to the immune system by giving the liver more power to filter out substances that might be harmful. It is also low in fat and a good choice to include in your diet when you are trying to loose weight. This spicy little root also has some medicinal uses that you might not know about. So, lets look at why you should think about growing some horseradish in your Indiana garden and include it in your diet. Besides having benefits to our health, it is also just down right tasty when used with vegetables and meats.

Some Facts About This Spicy Root

Horseradish is a perennial plant in the same family as mustard, wasabi, broccoli, and cabbage. The root of the plant is what is commonly used.

It ranks well in nutritional value as it contains potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. The mustard oil in horseradish has antibacterial properties that actually can help in food preservation.

A favorite addition to many recipes around the world and as a condiment on sandwiches, particularly roast beef.

There are some diuretic properties in horseradish and the roots have been used to treat various minor health problems, including urinary tract infections, bronchitis, sinus congestion, ingrowing toenails and coughs. Compounds found in horseradish have been found to kill some bacterial strains. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends using this root when you are trying to lose weight due to it’s low fat and high flavor content.

Why Is It Called Horseradish?

If you are like me, you sometimes wonder why things are named what they are. In the case of our spicy little plant known to us as horseradish it is a little odd. Apparently the Germans called (and still do) this plant meerrettich. When the British discovered this plant they pronounced it “mare radish”. I am only going to assume that once it was brought across the big pond to America our reasoning was that a mare was a horse and somehow we decided we liked it referred to as horseradish. Who knows for sure, I’m just glad it was brought over and introduced to our gardens and our diets!

How do I grow this in my garden?

Actually it is a really easy plant to grow in an Indiana Garden. In fact, you have to be careful because if not watched this plant can take over a spot. Here is a video that tells you how to grow it:

Add horseradish to scrambled eggs, omelets, and hash browns to perk up your breakfast meals. It does not just have to be on a good steak.

horseradish plant
Horseradish Plant

 

You can actually get a plant now and start to grow it indoors during the winter months and then transplant it outdoors when the temperatures are warm enough for the plant to begin to thrive in a new environment. Just think, fresh horseradish to use now instead of later.

In a later post, I’ll give you some recipes to enjoy using horseradish that you have grown in your garden. How much fun is that?