Sunday, July 21, 2013

From the Garden to the Table

by Kathy Freeze, Guest Blogger

My husband and I have been gardening for a few years, but as we age, the ability to crawl around on  our knees and keep it weeded and keep pests from taking more than their share has become quite challenging.

So this year we decided to try “raised bed gardening”. With the plants just below waist height, the weeding and harvesting of the zucchini, green beans and cucumbers has proven to be less work this year! It is not only easier to see the vegetables on the plants, but you can have a more focused watering plan that does not waste as much water as if you were watering a larger garden area.

Zucchini is one of those vegetables that will grow prolifically in your garden and in the last couple of weeks, it has really started producing. I’m trying to find many different recipes in which I can use it.

This is my typical daily bounty from just three plants. I’m beginning to understand why they wrote in the local newspaper, “this is the time of year when it is unsafe to leave your car unlocked as someone will fill it with their excess zucchini”.

Since my husband and I cut out a lot of the simple carbs in our diet, we have found many uses for lots of vegetables, but zucchini has been one of the more flexible. For the meal I had planned, I was going to add it to a tasty spaghetti sauce. During the summer I prefer using my own fresh-grown herbs as well. So, I picked the thyme, oregano and basil from my containers that I keep on my deck.

After combining my fresh herbs with onions, garlic, tomato sauce, hamburger and Italian sausage, I allowed it to cook down for an hour. I then added 4 sliced zucchini.

And cheese, of course. The cheese helps bind the ingredients together into a nice casserole-style dish.

After stirring the cheese thoroughly into the mix, I poured the mix into my favorite glass casserole dish that my father-in-law gave me a few years ago. I have no idea how old it is, but it is so easy to clean after cooking a cheesy, saucy dish that I use it frequently.

The final dish looks so pretty, and Bob confirmed that it was very tasty by eating half of it. Now I need to start on my other recipes as my refrigerator is filling up with more zucchini!


  1. The recipe looks really good, Kathy! If someone put a bit of fresh zucchini on my door step, I would not object :).

  2. Thank you - I would love to put a bucket full on your step right now! I really love zucchini, but I'm afraid if I try to eat all this, I'll be sick of it by the end of summer. :)

  3. I love zucchini and have grown it in the past. My 2 dogs also love zucchini and it's hard to keep them from eating it in the garden so sadly I no longer plant it. Your recipe looks delicious!

  4. Thank you, Susan! I would love it if my dog would eat vegetables!