Gardener ‘Shape Up’, Yummy Recipes That Take Advantage of The Garden

Courtesy of Mr. Andrea, the doodler,

Courtesy of Mr. Andre, the doodler,

The 30 day ‘Gardener Shape Up, Being Mindful of Health’ is about to end.  I hope these posts have inspired you in some small way as you prepare to return to the garden in the next few weeks.

To wrap up this series, I’ve decided to post several good nutrition recipes I’ve been enjoying over the last weeks.  These recipes were sourced from blogs, magazines and websites and all include a crop or two or three you can grow in your YARDEN!

First up, is a delicious entrée from Karen at Backroads Journal.  (Click the link to see full recipe.) I’ve made these stuffed peppers twice now, once with lamb and once with beef.  I went very light on the cinnamon and all-spice flavors as I thought it may be too sophisticated for my children. I used Sriracha instead of Harissa and my husband and I enjoyed the bit of heat. Any color of bell pepper can be used, I chose green.


As for the meats, my family preferred beef.  However, if new to eating lamb, I think this is a great recipe to try for a representation of its flavor.  Easy to find in grocery stores as well.

Although many herbs and spices are incorporated, the stuffing is mild, comforting and very flavorful.  I love how the peppers turned out by blanching them just barely 1 minute instead of microwaving them before filling. The texture of the stuffing and the soft, yet firm (if that makes any sense) texture of the pepper go together nicely.

Another plus…my kids were eating an entire green pepper for dinner!  How often do you get an entire bell pepper worked into an individual portion?!  Thanks for sharing this recipe Karen!

Bell Peppers in the Garden

Keep this recipe in mind because bell peppers could be a part of your garden this season! They like a lot of sun and soil temperatures of at least 55+ degrees consistently. Similar to tomatoes.


I usually purchase starter pepper plants in May (USDA Hardiness Zone 6) and then directly plant them in raised beds as the soil is a bit warmer than the ground.  My 150 day growing season is adequate to get good color and ripening when purchasing starter pepper plants.  However, if you want to grow peppers from seed, and have a 150-180 day growing season, start the seeds indoors around 8 weeks before conditions are right for planting outside.  (Last frost has passed and soil has warmed above 55°)

There are several other ingredients in this recipe you can grow in the garden.  Onions, garlic, mint, oregano, and parsley are all easy to grow.  If you are fortunate enough to garden in zone 8-11 you can grow lemons too!  Sadly, my lemon tree succumbed to the cold of my garage last winter, so only if my CA friends ship me some, will I have homegrown lemons. Hint, hint! 🙂

How about you?  Have you been preparing physically to re-enter the garden?  Do you ever consider specific, favorite recipes when deciding what to grow in the garden?