Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Happy Harvest

Today I will start a Wednesday session of ways to extend or use those wonderful harvests that are coming from the garden and farm stands.
Some may be recipes for meals, some for canning and other ideas about freezing.
I hope that these are helpful to someone.  Each week will be something different!

Zucchini are plentiful this time of the year.  I will probably touch on them a bit each week!!

ZUCCHINI AND PEPPER STEW (easy and inexpensive)
1 can tomato paste
1 C water
1 stalk celery - sliced
1 carrot - sliced
1/2 C oil
4 large bell peppers - sliced
2 medium zucchini, diced
4 small potatoes - peeled and diced
1 onion - chopped
1 garlic clove - minced (or equivalent)
salt & pepper
Place first 4 ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a boil and then simmer, covered - till tender.  Heat oil in a skillet and add next 3 ingredients.  Cook until slightly browned.  Add the first mixture and simmer for about 10 minutes or until all veggies are tender.  Season with salt & pepper and serve with a bit of grated parmesan cheese on top.  Great for vegetarians or for no meat night.  Makes about 6 servings.
Old time family recipe!  YUM

I love to slice zucchini lengthwise and about 1/4" or so thick and place on the grill when cooking other foods.  Brush them with a bit of oil and dust with a light seasoning salt.  Grill a few minutes on each side.  These are so good and super easy.  Gives you a bit of variety on using this prolific veggie!
They are super yummy sprinkled with a touch of parmesan cheese.
Tomatoes are the most versatile (next to zucchini) veggie there is.  There are just so many uses.
Salsa, spaghetti sauce, pizza sauce, plain tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, sauce, ketchup, juice, etc.  Over the next few weeks I will give a few recipes to can.
If you are busy canning tomato products now - DON'T FORGET to save those skins!!!!!!  Like most veggies and fruits the skin has a lot of nutrients.
Dehydrate those skins and then grind into a powder (I use a coffee grinder).  Keep in a tightly sealed jar.  This powder adds not only nutrition into your diet - but flavor!  Something that is thrown away or composted as a rule - is a useful cooking ingredient.
Lay the skins on parchment paper and place in oven on lowest temp until completely dry and crisp or place in a dehydrator.
Waste not - want not.
May not be everyone's favorite - but it is great fried and I love to use it in gumbos and soups.
Today I will tell you how to freeze for frying.  Simply slice your okra into bite size pieces - and bread.  I dip in egg wash and then in a combo of flour/cornmeal/panko - you can use whatever you like.
Place those breaded pieces on a cookie sheet and flash freeze.  Once frozen - place them in a freezer bag and put away until you are ready for a yummy fried feast!
DO NOT THAW when getting ready to fry.  Take them out and place in hot oil (stay safe from splatters) and fry until golden brown on all sides.  Oh my goodness - these are so good!!!!!
Bread - freeze on flat sheet - bag and place in freezer.  Nothing sticks together and you can remove as many or as few as you wish.
**This method works great for about anything you like breaded and fried.  Stuffed jalapenos, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.

Hopefully this gives a couple new ideas to add to the menu.  Next week we will address more fresh goodies and have more ideas.



  1. This reminds me to go check the plants I am sure they are full!

    1. YIPPEE!!!!! I hope they are for your sake. Free goodies from the garden are the best!

  2. Cheryl, for those dieting wanted to suggest they shred zucchini and cook it without any oil as it gives off enough liquid to allow cooking with just spices. Once it is done, I add some shredded cheese and it makes a wonderful side dish.

    1. Thank you! Thank sounds so good!!! I will definitely be trying that.

  3. We eat lots of grilled zucchini in the summer. We ate the last of our snap peas sauted for dinner tonight. Can't wait for the tomatoes. I will be making bruschetta when I have enough.

    1. Grilled zucchini is so good. Sorry the peas are done. I love bruschetta - that sounds yummy!

  4. The grilled zucchini looks delicious.

  5. They are so good fixed that way. You need to try it!

  6. I love the idea of saving the tomato skins and drying them. I will definitely be trying that! I add okra to our vegetable stews and soups. I can usually sneak them in without anyone noticing too much.

    1. Why throw the skins away when they can be used? I used to do that too - then I learned!
      I love okra. Never thought I would - but I do.