Summer Vegetable Garden Recipes + The Vegetable Garden has been planted

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Happy Spring! It’s been a few weeks and all of the sudden, Spring has Sprung! We had the best weekend and spent almost all of our time outside tackling fun projects, household chores, and enjoying the sunshine. It was amazing!

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was planting my Summer Vegetable Garden. If you were reading last Spring, you know how much I love planting a vegetable garden. This year is no different and I can’t wait to see what grows. For the first time ever, I also joined a CSA and an organic free range egg share. We’re going to need some great summer recipes to use all of our produce…errr, what will hopefully be our produce. Fingers crossed.

So, here’s what we planted and some fun summer recipes that we’ll be making.

Vegetable Garden 9 | Bites of Bri

Arugula-

We love planting arugula, which is easily one of my favorite salad greens. Here are some amazing arugula salads to use fresh arugula:

Cherry Couscous Arugula Salad in Balsamic Vinaigrette

Triple Berry Summer Salad

Vegetable Garden 8 | Bites of Bri

Mixed Greens-

It is amazing to go out and pick fresh mixed greens for a salad. The best part is that they’ll keep growing as you keep harvesting. I just use a pair of scissors to cut what I need. We love salads for dinner when it’s warm outside, and here are some of our favorites:

BLT Chopped Salad with Corn, Feta, and Avocado

BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad with Avocado Ranch

Vegetable Garden 6 | Bites of Bri

Kale-

I keep hearing that kale is such a fad and that makes me so sad! We absolutely love kale in any form: raw, in salads, sautéed, or as kale chips.

Italian Kale Chips

Warm Kale Salad with Bacon, Dates, Almonds, Crispy Shallots, and Parmesan

Kale, Barley, Feta Salad with Honey Vinaigrette

Vegetable Garden 5 | Bites of Bri

Rainbow Chard-

Rainbow Chard is often overlooked in my opinion, but it’s great as a sautéed green. In fact, we often substitute it for spinach or kale. It’s delicious and it’s stems are so gorgeous!

Garlicky Swiss Chard and Chickpeas

Shakshuka with Swiss Chard

Green Chile and Swiss Chard Enchiladas

Vegetable Garden 10 | Bites of Bri

Tomatoes-

The best part, or at least my favorite part of the vegetable (fruit) garden.

Summer Panzanella Basil Vinaigrette

Crusted Goat Cheese Caprese Stacks

Vegetable Garden 12 | Bites of Bri-2

Brussels Sprouts-

Brussels Sprouts have a bad reputation, but we absolutely love them! We like to eat them roasted, raw, sliced thin, in salads, any way they’re served…except boiled or steamed!

Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Goat Cheese and Honey 

Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Feta, Walnuts, Apples, and Citrus Vinaigrette

Now for the Herbs…

Vegetable Garden | Bites of Bri

Mint-

I keep the mint closeby, because we like to use it for everything from iced coffees, mojitos, and other delicious goodies.

Watermelon Feta Mint Skewers

Blackberry Mojitos

Vegetable Garden 2 | Bites of Bri

Cilantro-

We love using cilantro for pesto and for topping some of our favorite Tex-Mex dishes.

Seared Tuna Tostadas

Tex-Mex Chicken and Quinoa Casserole with Lime Crema and Pico de Gallo

Basil-

We all know basil is delicious in caprese salads, but it’s also delicious in salad dressings and as a topper for other dishes.

Charred Corn with Basil Vinaigrette with Crumbled Feta

Strawberry Caprese Salad with Brown Butter Balsamic Vinaigrette

Parsley-

Vegetable Garden 7 | Bites of Bri

Flat Leaf Italian Parsley adds fresh flavor to just about everything. I love in meatballs, on roasted veggies, or in pestos.

Easy Italian Salsa Verde Shrimp

Mozzarella Stuffed Chicken Meatballs

Check back in a few weeks for some garden updates once things have had a chance to grow!  In the meantime, we’ll return to recipes that get us in the mood for warmer weather.

Garden Update

Let me start off by saying I wish I had more to report. It’s been slow going in the Bites of Bri Vegetable Garden this season. Unfortunately, the garden has been planted for over two months and we are just starting to see some growth. I haven’t caught the culprit yet, but we’ve had some rabbits in the garden that seem to enjoy the endless dinner buffet. As you can imagine, this has seriously stunted the garden’s growth. Not to fear! For the past few weeks, I’ve been sprinkling the veggies with cayenne and this trick seems to be working.

For those of you that know of my deer struggles of years past, I’ve had some great luck this year with two new products. The first product is a deer tape (<–affiliate link) that protects the perimeter of the yard. Our hydrangea are huge and prior to this year, I didn’t even know it because they were constantly getting mowed down by deer. We’ve seen deer around the perimeter of the yard, but we’ve only seen them enter it once! This is huge news considering that they’re usually hanging out in our garden chewing away. The other product is a deer spray (<–affiliate link) that you can spray on plants and to refresh the repellant on the deer tape. Unlike most other sprays I’ve tried in the past, this spray is not offensive to use. It smells slightly herby and is pleasant instead of pungent. It lasts about 30 days before you need to reapply.

And now, on to the garden vegetables! The lettuces are looking great and I see caesar salad in our future.

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The tomato plants are really growing and they even have a few small flowers and green tomatoes. I’m thinking they should explode soon with all of this rain we’ve had.

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The lacinato kale is doing well too, even though it was really popular with the bunnies and they basically decimated it a few weeks back.

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The herbs are doing really well too, minus the parsley that seems to be having a hard time recovering from the attack of the ravenous rabbits.

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This is the tactic for rabbit defense…seems to be working so far.

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Next time I check in, I hope to have some vegetables to harvest…:)

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has Sprung and the Bites of Bri Vegetable Garden has been planted!

Spring Veggies 12 | Bites of Bri

I referenced our nice Spring-like weather in Monday’s post and I also promised some more details on the vegetable garden, so here goes!

The beginning of April is always super exciting for me because it means that the weather is turning and I get to plant my vegetable garden…something I absolutely love doing!

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