We are finally able to check “plant garden” off of our “to do” list! I’ve been waiting for this day for a while now! I’ve been so excited to let Noah pick out veggies and share in the experience of growing a garden.
Gardening with kids is so important for many reasons. In today’s fast-paced world, we forget to teach our kids where food comes from. Unfortunately, most children think food comes from the grocery store in pre-packed, ready-to-eat forms. It is so important that we teach our kids that Mother Earth provides REAL FOOD that will nourish our bodies. Gardening will help our kids connect with nature and it’s fun…what kid doesn’t love getting dirty!
We decided to grow hearty plants that don’t require much care such as kale (surprise, surprise!), spinach, swiss chard, sugar snap peas, lettuce (two types) and herbs. Noah had so much fun showing off his “baby plants” and helping Dad. Granted, his attention span lasted all of 5 minutes and then we were off to the next thing while Shaye was left to finish “our” project on his own!
If you’re not up for planting a whole garden or don’t have the time or space, start with a potted plants. Greens and herbs all grow well in pots as well! And, if you’re just not the gardening type, take your kids to a local farm or farmers market. Wellfleet Farmer’s Market will be starting May 15th!!! Get out and support your local farmers and show your kids that REAL FOOD is grown, not processed!
Once those greens start growing try out this recipe!
Springtime Greens with Beets and Herb Vinaigrette
For the salad
4 small red and/or golden beets
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 cups greens (arugula, bibb, swiss chard, kale, green leaf, dandelion greens…anything available!)
½ red onion, thinly sliced
1 ripe avocado, cut into small chunks
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
For the vinaigrette
1/2 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup packed fresh dill
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 large clove garlic
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon sea salt, or more as needed
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
For the salad: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Combine the beets, oil and sea salt to taste in a glass baking dish; toss to coat evenly. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Cool completely, then trim the beet ends; use a paper towel to slip off the skins. Cut the beets into thin rounds and place in a stain-proof bowl.
Combine the greens and red onion in a mixing bowl.
For the vinaigrette: Combine the honey or agave nectar, lemon juice, dill, chives and garlic in a blender or mini food processor. Pulse to combine. Slowly add olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.
Add about 3 tablespoons of vinaigrette to the bowl of greens; toss to coat evenly. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Put greens on a plate and top with beets, avocado, goat cheese and pine nuts.
Drizzle with the remaining vinaigrette just before serving and enjoy!