A New Found Passion


Gardening has been a tradition at our house for as long as I can remember. My parents have tended a family garden every summer, and each year we have an abundance of fresh produce. As a kid it seemed like no big deal, but now I am realizing how fortunate¬†I am to be surrounded by homegrown veggies. Of course my dad does all the hard work, and I take credit by taking pictures and cooking amazing meals. ūüôā

There is so much beauty in growing your own food. Taking care of a plant or watching something grow from a seedling is more rewarding than I have ever imagined. It takes hard work, patience and dedication. Watering, weeding, harvesting – and chasing away bunnies takes a lot of energy.

I love being able to wake up every morning and¬†pick out veggies for my breakfast, or get home from work and pick out my dinner for the evening. It’s an amazing feeling to have so much variety at my fingertips.

This year, I started paying attention to all the labor that goes into having a garden. I became passionate about growing my own vegetables and using them different recipes. I definitely want to carry on the tradition and have a garden of my own one day to share with those I love. My boyfriend and I even planted a couple of potted vegetables to experiment with.

This summer my family planted a plethora of vegetables, as usual. We have more cucumbers than we know what to do with and our tomatoes have just started ripening. I am amazed at how much everything has grown in just a few short months.

Beautiful heirloom and cherry tomatoes. According to my dad, we had 34 tomato plants this year!

3 types of kale: Russian, curly and lacianto (or dinosaur) kale

Zucchini, squash, eggplant

So many herbs! I consider myself to be the herb queen because I always find an excuse to use them in recipes. Mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, sweet basil, Thai basil and chives.

More beauties

My boyfriend and I planted basil, rosemary, cherry tomatoes and jalapenos.

Me and my baby

I love sharing my passion with him and I love watching him get excited about plants. We ran into some trouble with the bunnies and squirrels (it turns out we weren’t the only ones who were waiting for our veggies to grow) but we still have so much amazing produce! Pesto and salsa are definitely on the menu this summer. It’s a learning experience for the both of us and I can’t wait to do it again next summer.

Kale, Avocado and Basil Pesto 

We had an abundance of kale and basil in our garden this year so I made this delicious, super simple pesto! It was absolutely amazing and so versatile. You can put it on anything: pasta, zucchini noodles, sweet potato, eggs – the possibilities are endless! I am so excited to share this recipe with you. Here are the ingredients you will need:

  • 1 stalk of kale
  • 1/2 an avocado
  • 1/3 cup of basil
  • 1/4 cup of walnuts (or any nut)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 a lemon, squeezed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

1.First, I spiralized one zucchini to make “zoodles”

2. I put all the ingredients in a food processor and combined until smooth. I added a couple tablespoons of water to thin it out. Feel free to adjust accordingly!

3. I tossed the pesto sauce with the noodles! This recipe make two servings
4. I took this with me to work! I topped it with tomatoes from our garden and more walnuts. Enjoy!

Smoothie of the day #3

Post run pick-me-up! Smoothies are great for a breakfast as well as a snack. I had this before my internship at Spoonriver Restaurant!

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 2 stalks of kale
  • 1 tbsp. Almond butter
  • 1 tbsp. Chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk

Health benefits of Kale:

  • vitamin C
  • anti-inflammatory
  • healthy vision
  • vitamin K
  • potassium
  • antioxidants
  • cardiovascular support
  • lowers cholesterol
  • fiber = detox

Health Benefits of Blueberries:

  • lowers blood pressure
  • Antioxidants
  • lowers risk of heart disease
  • aids in digestion
  • prevents cancer
  • anti-aging
  • boosts memory
  • improves eyesight