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Tomato Vegetable Salad

Posted on 29 April 2010 by noelskitchen

This recipe is an excellent side dish hot or cold.  On Sunday, we grilled the vegetables and the leftovers I turned into a great tasting salad.

Tomato Vegetable Salad


  • 4 Tomatoes, chopped(You don’t want the pieces too small if you’re putting on the grill. I have a Grill Basket that cooks the vegetables perfectly.)
  • 2-3 Zucchini, chopped
  • 2-3 Yellow Squash, chopped
  • 1 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped


  1. After grilling vegetables, store in a container and chill well. Overnight in the refrigerator works best. Remove from refrigerator and add1 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, 1/4 cup vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon spicy brown mustard.

Your family is sure to love this colorful Tomato Vegetable Salad with their hamburgers.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.

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Tags: Frugal Cooking

Make Your Own Salad Dressing: Quick Easy Salad Dressing

Posted on 04 September 2009 by noelskitchen

Quick Easy Salad Dressing

If your garden is showing an abundance of cucumbers and your wondering what else you could do with them besides putting in them in your salad, how about a quick, creamy dressing? You won’t believe how good it tastes too. Try this delicious summer salad dressing today!

Cucumbers     Creamy Cucumber Dressing


1 cup light mayonaise

1 cup skinned, seeded, chopped cucumbers

2 Tablespoons minced parsley

1 clove garlic

1 Tablespoon chopped chives or scallions

1 teaspoon pepper

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt


Process all ingredients in an electric blender or food processer until smooth. Chill.

Makes approximately 2 3/4 cups.

Why purchase your salad dressings from the store? Why not make your own? It’s very easy to do. Homemade salad dressings are always fresh and delicious.  Preparing your own dressing at home is not only easy, but very quick, and healthy. It’s also very cost-effective on your grocery budget. This dressing is very light and brings great flavor to a bed of greens.

ist1_678758-bowl-of-mixed-salad-against-a-white-background       Light Balsamic Dressing


1/4 cup imported balsamic venegar

1/4 cup tomato or tomato vegetable juice

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 Tablespoons water

1 garlic clove, mashed

Dried thyme and dried marjoram (optional)

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine ingredients in covered jar and shake before serving. Makes 3/4 cup of dressing.

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Tomatoes Casablanca:Make Your Picnics Memorable

Posted on 01 June 2009 by noelskitchen

The West Coast has always been blessed with all the elements of a great summer picnic. Since moving to the Sierra Foothills from the Bay Area, we don’t get over to the gorgeous beaches or the lake in the area as much as we would like. But that doesn’t stop me from creating a fantastic picnic recipe.  After three years of watching how our land would handle summers and winters, we decided on organic farming. We are not only cutting down our food costs, but we are eating healthier home grown foods. Tomatoes are great to grow in your garden. We’re trying our hand at four different kinds this year. 

Since childhood, I have always loved to picnic. Memories of the roar of the ocean calling, my family would carefully load our feast of picnic food and head into the California sunshine for a sunny-day beach picnic.

Here’s a recipe you can create with your fresh garden tomatoes and perfect for a picnic day. Whether it’s a picnic at the beach, lake or park, it’s definitely on our picnic menu! Time in the kitchen: About 20 minutes Cooking Time; About 20 minutes Prep time. Makes: 4 servings

Tomatoes Casablanca


4 large ripe tomatoes (2 1/2 pounds total)

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup minced onion

1 cup cooked long-grain rice

1/4 cup diced jicama

3 tablespoons coarsely chopped Italian parsley

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice




 1. Slice off tomato tops; set aside. Hollow centers with spoon, leaving a thin wall; reserve flesh. Generously sprinkle hollow tomatoes with salt, turn upside down, set aside.

2. In an 8- to 10-inch skillet pan over medium heat, stir oil, carrot, and onion until vegetables are golden, about 8 minutes.

3. Chop enough tomato flesh to make 1/4 cup (save remainder for other uses); add to vegetables with rice, jicama, parsley, lemon peel, and juice. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into tomatoes; cover with tops.

Tip: When packing your picnic, keep foods cold and hold at room temperature no more than two hours.

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A Family Garden:Creating Fresh Parsley and Herb Salad

Posted on 31 May 2009 by noelskitchen


As the temperature outside begins to warm up, families head to their local garden or hardware stores in search for gardening materials.  Many people are eager for bright color after a cold and dreary winter, others are very enthusiastic about growing their own produce.  These days, to reduce grocery costs, many families are growing their own food. Gardening with your family has other great benefits, too.


Yesterday my 8-year old son and I went crazy on picking out herbs and vegetables at the garden center. Of course we had to get a Jalapeno pepper plant. He loves them! We picked up basil, oregano, thyme, dill, a few tomato plants, pumpkin, squash and some different types of peppers to start.  Rosemary is an easy herb that requires little watering. Starting a garden with your children is not only a great way to connect with them but with nature too.  It also helps build an appreciation for the food we eat.  We decided on planting some herbs and vegetables in a couple of wine barrels to start so it can be easily manageable for the kids.


We deciding on trying pumpkins this year. You will need to dedicate an entire box to growing a few pumpkin plants, but the results are quite amazing. Your kids will love following the progress of these plants.

With herbs and vegetables comes fresh salads for any occassion. This salad will take you approximately 25 minutes to make. I came across it years ago and it’s very tasty and fresh.

Parsley and Herb Salad


1 1/2 cups tender 1-inch curly-leaf parsley sprigs

2/3 cup tender 1-inch Italian parsley sprigs, or more curly-leaf parsley

1 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons each minced fresh tarragon and majoram leaves

1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves

3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 small clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Salt and pepper


Mix parsleys, basil, tarragon, majoram, sage and parmesan. In a capped jar, shake garlic, oil, water, and juice to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

If making salad and dressing ahead, chill separately, airtight, up to 4 hours To serve, shake dressing; mix gently with herbs.

A great recipe to enjoy all the fresh herbs from your garden! More garden updates from our family to yours coming soon!

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Tags: Farmer's Market, Tips For Visiting Farmer's Market

Healthy Spring Selections: Try Your Farmer's Market

Posted on 07 May 2009 by noelskitchen


Have You Visited Your Local Farmer’s Market?

Spring is a great time to enjoy seasonal vegtables and fruits. After a long winter of heavier foods, the light and crisp fruits and vegtables of springs are just what our bodies need.

Try visiting your local community farmer’s market or a “self-pick” farm to enjoy the freshest fruits and vegtables. Stores have to wait for their produce shipments to arrive, which means that the produce they receive may be picked before it is ripe or may be picked before it is ripe or may become overripe during the journey from stem to store. Fresh produce has a higher nutrient content than frozen or canned food, and it tastes better too.  Choose fruits and vegtables that have a vibrant color and are free from bruises.

Here are some fruits and vegtables that ripen in the spring and provide you with health benefits:

Spring Vegtables

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Avoocados
  • Broccoli
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Fennel
  • Mushrooms
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb
  • Snap Beans
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard

Spring Fruits

  • Apricots
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cherries
  • Currants
  • Figs
  • Kiwi
  • Pineapples
  • Strawberries

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