Trying to eat healthy and eat fresh is much easier for us in this northern climate in the summer months. Vegetable gardens are in full swing now and the great thing about having a vegetable garden is the progression of fresh produce throughout the summer. Every year there is a fairly predictable progression of vegetables, but always remember that crop maturity depends on how early vegetables are seeded or whether transplants have been used. If you are curious about fine tuning your garden produce, take a peek at our Vegetable Timing Chart.
So generally, the typical garden produce sequence looks something like this:
- Earliest crops by about early to mid July:
- herbs & leaf crops like lettuce varieties, kale & spinach
- Towards the middle & end of July:
- peas, carrots, new potatoes
- Near the beginning of August:
- beets, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, beans, zucchini
- Mid August:
- kohlrabi, onions, corn, peppers
- Late August & September:
- squash, turnips, Brussels sprouts (need a frost to make the flavour mild), pumpkins
We have some quick and simple meal ideas for you as your vegetables mature. Vegetables work wonderfully as the sole feature, in medleys with other vegetables, and make great garden vegetable soups. We have meal ideas listed with each vegetable. In our idea section following you will see a repeated theme of roasting vegetables. Roasting adds body and deep flavour to vegetables to be eaten alone or with herbs and / or cheese. Roasting vegetables before adding to soups also intensifies flavour.
Once you have an idea, hop onto the web for vegetable recipes. It is full of ideas for both raw and cooked. There are literally thousands of ideas. Happy prepping and happy dining!
Here is our list of ideas:
Herbs: Add life & zest to everything like salads, sandwiches, main dishes and soups. Add herbs to pasta with a little olive oil, basil & a cheese like Romano, asiago, or parmesan and voila, you will have a meal that will make your taste buds dance!
Leaf Crops: Various combinations of lettuces, spinach and kale to make super yummy salads.
Kale: Salads, steamed, and roasted to make kale chips
Peas: steamed & served plain or with mint, fresh pea soup
Carrots: served fresh & raw, carrot soup, roasted or carrot muffins or carrot cake – see our Carrot Cake recipe
Potatoes: new potatoes are so delicious steamed and served with butter and fresh herbs, or mashed, check out new recipes for ‘Smashed Potatoes’
Cauliflower: cauliflower soup, steamed, roasted served with fresh herbs
Cabbage: great in salads & soups, steamed, or the old-time favourite called ‘Bubble & Squeak’
Broccoli: wonderful raw and in salads either as an accompaniment or the feature, steamed, grilled, roasted, and cream of broccoli soup
Beets: Roasted alone and served with goat cheese, a little olive oil & herbs like oregano or thyme – super yummy! – steamed, or roasted with other vegetables; and beet soup
Tomatoes: So many options! Raw, served simply with bocconcini, a little olive oil & basil; Greek salad, roasted tomato soup
Green beans: Steamed, served alone or served drizzled with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar & feta
Kohlrabi: Roasted, steamed and served with a cheese sauce
Onions: Grilled or roasted or French Onion Soup!
Corn: Roasted, steamed, barbequed with or without husks, corn chowder
Squash: Roasted whole and mashed, or roasted in chunks with other veggies, served alone or with some cheese sprinkled over top, roasted squash soup
Brussels Sprouts: roasted & served with bacon & onions, steamed or sliced thinly and added to kale and broccoli salad
Pumpkins: Jack O Lanterns! (oh, that’s not a food) pumpkin soup, grilled or roasted, and pumpkin cake, pumpkin bread, pumpkin spice muffins made with pumpkin puree – see our blog on How to Make Pumpkin Puree
If you would like to share your ideas, please send them to us and we would love to test them! In the meantime, enjoy your veggies!