Here are 5 great recipes from a chef that is healthy, delicious, vegetarian, and best of all – filled with fresh ingredients that can easily be grown in your own urban garden! After all, great recipes taste even better with added fresh, organic ingredients lovingly sourced from home.
1. Garden Salad of Baby Butter, Frisee, Wasabi, and Red Lettuce
All of these salad vegetables can definitely be easily grown in your own home. Alternatively, we recommend adding or switching in some microgreens to really get up that nutrition content!
Prep time 15 mins | Serves 4
- ¼ cup each baby butter, frisee, wasabi, and red lettuces, washed, dried
- 100g carrots, washed
- 1 small red onion peeled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Make the salad. Add the washed and dried salad leaves to a serving bowl or plate. Slice the carrots into matchsticks (julienne) using a sharp knife. To julienne, slice the carrots lengthways into 1mm-thick strips, then cut the strips into 1mm pieces. Slice the onion in half, then slice it into 1mm pieces. Add the onion and carrots to the salad bowl.
Make the dressing. Combine the oil, vinegar, and herbs in a small screw-top jar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then close the jar and shake until oil and vinegar emulsify. Dress the salad and serve.
2. Kale Chips with Chilli, Coriander (Cilantro), and Cumin Salt
Although the chef uses powdered herbs, you can easily make your own. Kale, chili, and coriander (cilantro) are both really quick and easy to grow at home!
Prep time 10 mins | Cooking time 12-15 mins | Serves 4
- 250g kale leaves, washed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- sea salt flakes
- black pepper
Make the chips. Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan forced (or 180ºC). Line two baking trays with baking paper. Remove the leaves from the kale stem and tear them into 5cm pieces. They might seem large but the kale leaves will shrink quite a bit when baked.
Season the chips. Place the leaves in a bowl along with the olive oil and spices. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Using clean hands, massage the leaves gently to incorporate the flavors.
Bake the chips. Spread the kale leaves in a single layer on each oven tray. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, swapping the trays halfway, until the chips are crunchy and slightly golden. Serve.
3. Spring Beans and Greens Salad
Of course, we highly recommend switching out everything frozen and otherwise for your own homegrown deliciousness (i.e. Pease, beans, and parsley)!
Prep Time 10 mins | Cooking Time 5 minutes | Serves 2-4
- 200g Frozen Peas
- 200g Green Beans
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1/2 Lemon, juiced
- 4 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
Spring is the best season to enjoy the freshest ‘green’ veg. Here’s a healthy and tasty salad that is a good enough meal on its own, or can be served with beef, lamb, or chicken. Cook 200gfrozen peas and 200g green beans in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes or until bright green. Drain and combine with drained425g can cannellini beans, 2 tbsp olive oil, the juice of ½ lemon and 4 tbsp chopped parsley.
4. Easy Vegetable Tian
What a delicious combination of vegetables – definitely growable in your own home garden. Not sure how? The Urban Gardening Gurus can help you figure it all out!
Prep Time 20 mins | Cooking Time 40 mins | Serves 2
- 250g Roma tomatoes
- 200g Lebanese eggplant
- 200g zucchini
- 200g yellow squash
- olive oil
- 100g red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp thyme leaves, washed
- ½ cup tomato pasta sauce
- ½ cup water
Slice the veggies. Thinly slice the tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and squash into rounds with a sharp knife. Alternatively, you can get a more precise disc using a mandolin slicer, or the attachment on your food processor.
Fry the base. Heat the oil in a cast iron frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring for 5-10 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
Layer it up. Spread the pasta sauce in the base of a round ceramic baking dish. Spread the onion mixture over the sauce. Starting from the edge of the dish, carefully layer your vegetables starting with a piece of tomato, then eggplant, then zucchini, then squash. It’s better if the veggies are packed tightly – they will shrink a little during the cooking process and this ensures that their shape is held. When you have formed a ring around the outside of the dish, continue this pattern to fill in the center.
Bake. Pour the water over the vegetables and cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake in an oven at 180ºC for 20-30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Serve hot or warm.
5. The Watermelon Pizza
So maybe a watermelon is not so easy to grow yourself – but this recipe was too cute not to pass up! Strawberry and mint though, that you can definitely have in your home.
PREP TIME 15 MINS | COOKING TIME 0 MINS | MAKES 2 PIZZAS
FOR THE ‘PIZZA’ BASE
- 1 whole ripe watermelon
FOR THE TOPPINGS
- 1 punnet of strawberries, washed
- 100g reduced-fat ricotta cheese, crumbled
- 1 bunch of fresh mint, washed
- 50g white chocolate
Make the base. Place the whole watermelon onto a chopping board. Use a long serrated knife or breadknife to carefully slice two discs from the watermelon. Save the remaining watermelon for another time.
Prepare the toppings. Slice the strawberries through the middle stopping just before the green stem. This will allow you to ‘fan’ them open on the pizza. Pick a handful of mint leaves and set aside. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the white chocolate to form ‘parmesan’ shavings and set aside.
Assemble the pizza. Now for the fun part. Place the sliced watermelon onto a serving platter and then have fun topping it with strawberries, ricotta, mint, and white chocolate.
Slice into wedges then serve.
I’ll be honest, my mouth is watering just writing up this post. What do you think of these delicious and easy vegetarian recipes that you can grow yourself? I also invite you to get inspired and see how other people have managed to incorporate gardens into their own city homes!