Raised garden beds

Photo Credit: Kate Kutnick

Sadly, I’m a basil killer. And zucchini. And tomatoes. And nearly every other plant that people are apt to say, “Oh, but they’re so easy to grow.” My friend, Kate Kutnick, has a gift when it comes to greens. She’s always making fresh meals after picking through her luscious garden for inspiration.

For ideas about how to use your extra garden greens:

A few years ago, I installed 6 raised garden beds in my backyard. To this day, the smörgåsbord of fruits and veggies just feet from my kitchen never ceases to amaze me! I will also admit that the blessing of such a leafy buffet is also a double-edged sword. Sometimes I feel inundated by radicchio leaves and pole beans. Just the thought of yet another salad or plate of steamed beans can be nauseating!


This year, however, I have finally figured out how to keep the same ingredient fresh and palatable day after day. Per the Beastie Boys advice, I got crafty. Here are some ideas of how I’ve been successful at using all my homegrown produce and enjoying every bite.


Soups and smoothies- ‘nuff said! I’ve tapped into Organic Gardening’s recipe collection for this amazing soup. I was intrigued by the thought of salad in liquid form, but hey, I was pretty desperate.

As for the smoothies, I really wanted a way to get the tougher leafy greens into my diet in a raw format, and this method came through! Viewer discretion advised: this will be a very green in color drink, but uber delish and nutrish!

  • 1.5 cups plain, non-fat yogurt

  • a few large ice cubes

  • handful of hemp seeds

  • 5-8 whole, seedless dates

  • 4-6 tablespoons honey

  • 2 large carrots

  • dash of vanilla

  • 4 large leafy green leaves of your choice (kale, collard greens, etc)

Dump all these ingredients in your blender and blend until pureed.


Sauces: Sauces can make such a huge difference at any meal. I’ve been really into making flavored butters lately. Last week I made a bowl of garlic, chive, & lemon butter to drizzle over some grilled veggies (from the garden, of course). I’m thinking my next butter adventures will involve lavender and other earthy herbs from the yard. These are super easy to mix together before any meal.

The Gardener and The Grill also has an amazing section of heavenly sauces for your garden bounty.


Preparing your crops in these ways admittedly takes a bit of time planning & researching, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll start thinking about and more importantly, enjoying your food in a totally new way.

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