Tag Archives: herbs

How to eat more vegetables? Grow your own!

Spring has arrived. Garden centers and plant stands are opening everywhere. While buying fresh, seasonal produce at the grocery store or farmer’s market is great, growing your own can be very rewarding. If you don’t have space for a traditional garden, try a container garden. Here are some tips on getting started with a traditional or container garden.

– Starting from seeds can be more cost effective than buying plants but definitely takes more time, planning, and work. If you haven’t already started your seeds, you may be too late for the year. Just go for plants this time around.

– Pick a few starter plants. You don’t need to try and replace the entire produce section at the grocery store. Think of what you use the most or what you find the most cumbersome to buy. Herbs are a great place to start. I hate how much it costs to buy fresh basil, so I made sure to include that in my plants this year. I buy a lot of tomatoes and especially enjoy the special varieties of cherry tomatoes, although they can be a bit pricey. So I planted my own, as well as a traditional plant.

– Read up! There are a lot of gardening resources out there, in print or online. Find a good reference source to help you know timing, feeding, watering, etc. for each of your plants.

– Get everyone involved. If you have kids, let them help you plant, water, or harvest as is age appropriate. If they feel some ownership in the vegetables, they might be more willing to eat them.

– Don’t give up. If one type of plant fails, keep trying with other plants. Gardening is a trial and error process. My dad had a garden when I was a kid. He wasn’t very good at growing peas or tomatoes, but squash he could grow really well.

Happy eating!

Have any nutrition questions? Need help with meal planning or a special dietary need? Send your questions to me at kimberlykmarsh(at)gmail(dot)com, and I will answer them in upcoming posts!

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Greek Rice

You know those packaged rice and pasta side dishes, like Rice-a-Roni or the RiceSides? My family ate a fair amount of those growing up, and I remember loving them.  My favorite was a rice pilaf that my mom would always serve with fish. It was very simple, but still seasoned and flavorful. I’ve always wanted to recreate it on my own, but never found a recipe that I loved.

Enter this Greek rice. It is the perfect cross between that packaged rice pilaf and the rice side they serve at my favorite Greek restaurant. It is the perfect side dish for fish (like tilapia with tomatoes), gyros, or even just some grilled chicken or veggies. Enjoy!

Greek Rice (Serves 4)

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1 teaspoon olive oil (omit if using rice cooker)
½ cup thinly sliced or chopped onions
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water (you may need more)
1 tablespoon mixed fresh herbs, such as thyme, rosemary, oregano, or dill
half of a lemon

Stovetop directions:
1. Heat olive oil in medium to large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté for 2-3 minutes, until beginning to soften. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Add rice, water, herbs, juice of the lemon. Toss the lemon rind into the pot as well.

2. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30-40 minutes, until rice is done and water is evaporated. Stir occasionally to make sure rice isn’t burning. You may need to add more water to prevent burning. Add it ¼ cup at a time. Remove lemon rind before serving.

Rice cooker directions:

1. Add all ingredients to rice cooker (omit olive oil). Set to cook. Cook for 30-40 minutes, until rice is done and water is evaporated. Stir occasionally to make sure rice isn’t burning. You may need to add more water to prevent burning. Add it ¼ cup at a time. Remove lemon rind before serving.

Nutritional Information (Amount per serving):

Calories: 193
Protein: 4 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated Fat: less than 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Carbohydrates: 39 g
Fiber: 2 g
Sodium: 4 mg

Recipe Notes: I have used both sliced and chopped onions. I preferred the chopped since they blended into the rice better. Sliced are more visually apparent, if you have people who want to know there are onions in the rice. My favorite combo was thyme and rosemary. But you can adapt this with any herbs you like or have on hand. If you are using dried herbs – which is fine – decrease it to 1 to 1 ½ teaspoons total herbs.

Source: adapted from online

Low iodine adjustment: No adjustment needed. Enjoy!

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