Home & gardening With Talent Gore
WHEN you picture a garden, you may see row after row of corn, dozens of tomato plants and probably a tonne of back-breaking work.
And, while that is a garden, that’s not really representative of a kitchen garden.
Not the rows and rows, not the digging and endless work. That’s more of what I call a vegetable garden, a veggie patch, or a row garden.
Those types of gardens are great, but for many of us, they’re just too much.
Too much work. Too much land required.
Too much of one food to even think of eating!
So, if that’s what you’re picturing when you hear the word garden, it could be what’s holding you back from taking the first step to call yourself “gardener.”
You’ve been misled to believe you’re either a farmer, clad in overalls with a hoe permanently in hand, or you’re a plant killer.
The good news is, there is a garden set-up for people in between who want to grow some (but not all) of their own food.
Enter the kitchen garden.
The kitchen garden is a small-scale version of the vegetable garden that enables you to experience the magic of growing and enjoying some of your own home grown herbs, greens, and vegetables, but that gives you the convenience of requiring just a few minutes or hours of your time each week.
It’s more than possible to fit a kitchen garden into an already busy lifestyle and make gardening an ordinary part of your daily or weekly routine.
The kitchen garden exists to feed you, to help you relax, and to give you a constant source of discovery. Think of it as an extension of your living room, your gym, or your yoga mat.
It’s a place to unwind from the day and awaken all your senses. You’ll hear bees buzzing and birds flying overhead; you’ll feel the wind, the soft leaves, and the tender flowers; you’ll smell the sweet marigolds and peppery arugula and summery basil.
And, of course, you’ll taste the incomparable flavour of just-harvested greens and tomatoes and all things vegetable, and you’ll never be able to look at produce from the grocery store, the same again.
A kitchen garden is a space to grow herbs, leafy greens, vegetables, and fruit for everyday use inside the kitchen, plus some beautiful (and oftentimes edible flowers for the pollinators).
Rather than grow a lot of one thing, I like to grow many different types of leaves and veggies in my raised bed kitchen garden so that there’s always something to harvest, to take inside and enjoy right away. Because a kitchen garden doesn’t have to be huge, or require intensive tending, I’m convinced there’s a way for just about everyone to have some form of a kitchen garden – growing a little of their own food for the experience and joy of adding small harvests to their everyday meals.
A kitchen garden makes cooking so much more fun and gives me a spot to “get away” in my own backyard. I can get everything I need to cook in my kitchen garden and it gives me great pleasure knowing that I do not have to buy most of my cooking ingredients.
This quick and easy Quinoa Chickpea Salad is loaded with veggie goodness and tossed in a flavourful homemade Cilantro Lime Dressing.
Salads like the totally scrumptious Quinoa Chickpea Salad are truly my go to and they’re recipes I keep coming back to time and time again. –Gardenary.com.
INGREDIENTS FOR THE RECIPE
◆ 1 cup dry quinoa
◆ 1.5 cups water
◆ salt and pepper to taste
◆ 1 can chickpeas 15 oz (drained and rinsed)
◆ 2 cups chopped bell pepper (any colour)
◆ 1-2 cups chopped tomatoes
◆ 1 avocado
◆ ¼-½ cup finely chopped red onion
◆ chopped fresh cilantro for topping, to taste
l CILANTRO LIME DRESSING
◆ 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
◆ 3-4 TBSP avocado oil or light olive oil
◆ 1 TBSP red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar
◆ 1 clove garlic (peeled, smashed, and minced)
◆ 3-4 TBSP chopped cilantro leaves
◆ 1/2 tsp sea salt
◆ 1/4 tsp black pepper
◆ 1/4 tsp ground cumin
First rinse and drain your quinoa using a mesh strainer or sieve. Bring a small pot to medium heat and lightly toast the quinoa to remove any excess water, stirring often. This step is totally optional but adds to the nuttiness and fluff factor of the quinoa! Next add your water, set burner to high, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid slightly ajar, for 12-13 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy and the liquid has been absorbed.
While the quinoa cooks, use this time to prep remaining ingredients.
For the dressing, add all the ingredients to a lidded mason jar and shake well.
Finely chop red onion and peppers. Dice tomatoes. Chop a little extra fresh cilantro to add to your salad as well, to taste. Save chopping avocado just before serving.
Once your quinoa is ready, fluff with a fork and season with salt and pepper, to taste. For a chilled salad, chill your quinoa in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before tossing with veggies. For a room temperature or slightly warm salad, you can toss it all together right then and there.
Add chickpeas, peppers, tomato, onion and fresh cilantro to the quinoa in a large bowl. Whisk/shake dressing once more then pour over salad. Mix well.
Garnish with extra cilantro and any additional salt and pepper desired. Dig in right away or chill before serving. I love it both ways! Before serving, chop your avocado and gently fold into the salad. Enjoy!
◆ NB: For feedback and comments contact me on [email protected] or WhatsApp on 0777230124