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Money Matters Blog

Monday, August 5, 2013

Save Money With Recipes From Your Backyard Garden

Cooking from your garden is valuable in many ways.  For one, it is convenient and less expensive.  

When the produce you need is right in your own backyard, you save time and money on the cost of gas and the cost of produce.  For example, the average cost of a bell pepper this summer has been about $.70.  Earlier this year, packs of bell pepper seeds could be purchased for as low as $.29 in some areas.  

Second is the benefit to your health.  Having your own vegetable garden gives you the ability to grow vegetables organically and free from pesticides and other harmful chemicals.  The simple peace of mind of knowing exactly what you are feeding yourself and others is an invaluable benefit.

In case you have more fresh produce than you know what to do with right about now, here are 2 recipes with common garden ingredients to help you make use of your harvest:

Classic Salsa: This simple recipe uses three late-summer garden favorites:  tomatoes, cilantro and onion, to create this signature dish.  


-2 cups chopped tomatoes
-1 small white onion, diced finely 
-3 tablespoons of cilantro, chopped
-Salt to taste 

Directions: Simply mix all of the ingredients together and serve with chips and guacamole (optional). 
Serves 4-6.


Herby Cucumber Salad: Harvest these items from your garden for this recipe:  dill, parsley, mint, garlic, red onion and cucumber. 

-2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh dill
-1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt 
-1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh parsley 
-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
-1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 
-1 1/2 tablespoon coarsely chopped mint 
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard 
-1/4 teaspoon sugar 
-1/4 teaspoon salt 
-1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
-1 garlic clove 
-5 1/2 cups thinly sliced cucumber (about 2 large) 
-2 1/2 cups thinly sliced red onion 

Directions:  Combine the first 11 ingredients in a food processor or a blender, and process until well blended. Combine the cucumber and onion in a large bowl.  Drizzle with yogurt mixture, and toss to coat. Serves 6.


Find more recipes using the ingredients you have on hand by visiting the site

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