Keeping The Salad Bowl Garden Growing

The Salad Bowl GardenKeeping The Salad Bowl Garden Growing so we have a never ending Supply Of greens is the goal. You have put in a lot of time and effort to get it up and growing so now you need to maintain it. It’s really not hard to do because you want to harvest the great tasting lettuce and salad fixings anyway.

We’ve talked a lot about growing lettuce in shallow bowls on your kitchen counter or on the patio out back. Now let’s focus on what you can do to create a never ending supply of greens from your indoor or container gardening efforts.

If you eat a lot of lettuce, you’ll need more than one salad bowl. To make sure you don’t end up with everything all at once, start your first bowl, plant it and let it grow for about two weeks. Then set up your next bowl. This way you have new growth and fresh lettuce ready for eating about two weeks apart. If needed add a third bowl a few weeks later.

Plant your lettuce from seed, or start with small plants from your local nursery. If you’re The Salad Bowl Gardenusing seedlings, go ahead and get seeds as well. The idea is to continually have more lettuce plants coming up as you’re harvesting. I suggest using heirloom seeds because I am never sure of what is in the soil of plants at the local nursery. Keep in mind that their job is to keep everything looking fresh and bright until sold. Sometimes the plants are brought in from another state or country. When they are imported they might not grow as well in the area where you live.

Loose leaf lettuce also has the advantage of putting out more growth if you carefully harvest the leaves. To harvest the leaves, wait until the outer leaves reach a length of two to three inches. Use scissors to carefully cut the leaves, then rinse them in cool water and spin them dry. They will keep in the fridge for several days. Wait 2 to 3 days before you cut the same plant again.

Work your way around the lettuce bowl, harvesting every couple of days, then move on to the second bowl and give the first a little extra time to recover. Make sure your plants thrive with plenty of sunshine, just the right amount of watering, and the occasional bit of organic fertilizer if needed to keep the plants growing strong.

The Salad Bowl GardenAs your plants start to grow bigger and crowd each other out, it may be advantageous to thin them. Harvest entire loose leaf lettuce plants to give the remaining plants in your bowls room to spread out. As you do this, take the time to throw in some seeds, or start fresh lettuce seedlings in a new container. Your main plants will continue to grow and produce more greens for you and your family.

Eventually the lettuce will start to bolt. You’ll notice that the middle part will grow taller and it starts to form flowering stalks. At this point your lettuce leaves will start to get tough and bitter. It’s time to harvest and remove these plants. If you’ve planted seeds in the bowl previously, you should have plenty of little lettuce plants coming up to take the place of the old ones. If you’ve been growing seedlings in the different container, now is the time to plant them in your main salad bowls provided they are large enough.

If you want heirloom lettuce seeds sent right to your mail box click on the picture for more information:

With a little bit of experience, you’ll get the timing down perfectly for your particular types of lettuce, the rate they grow, and how much you’re harvesting for the kitchen. It won’t take you long to figure out a rhythm that allows you to have a never ending supply of greens to enjoy. I hope you have enjoyed this 5 article series and have already started building The Salad Bowl Garden of your choice in the space you have available..I promise it will be a lot of fun.

We welcome your comments in the space below this article and will replay to each one . To receive our new Whole Foods recipes and articles just Sign up on the right side of this page for our News letter and we will keep you up to date, or like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ChefWilliamOnline where you can view the articles as we post them.

bon provecho

Maria and Bill


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Let’s Add Microgreens

microgreensLets add Microgreens to our Salad Bowl garden to kick it up a tad and add loads of flavor as well as health benefits. One of those benefits when it comes to growing your own greens is that you can pick and eat them right away. This preserves the most nutrients, no matter when you harvest your greens but is particularly beneficial when it comes to microgreens. You’ve probably heard about these power houses of the vegetable family and may even grab them on occasion at your local health food store or grocer.

When you get into growing your own greens in salad bowls, harvesting microgreens is another option. They make a great addition to all your salads. But what exactly are microgreens?

What Are Microgreens

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Salad Fixings You Can Grow Indoors

Salad FixingsSalad Fixings You Can Grow Indoors to add to that home-grown lettuce might just surprise you. There is a lot and it all depends on the size of the growing area and the time you have to tend it. Once you get everything up and growing, it can be as little as 15 to 30 minutes a day. That is a garden fresh salad that you grew, on your table in less time than it would take you to drive to a grocery store and buy the lettuce and commercial salad fixings.

Growing your lettuce in shallow bowls or similar planting containers is a lot of fun and a great way to get more healthy greens into your diet. While some of us are perfectly happy with a side of salad greens with dinner most nights, it’s nice to have a little variety in our salads. Of course adding other home-grown salad fixing to your salads adds to the overall nutritional value as well.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at various other “salad fixings” that you can grow Salad Fixingsindoors or on your patio. They make great additions to your salads, but also come in handy in the kitchen in a multitude of other recipes.

Herbs

You can spent a small fortune on fresh herbs at the grocery store. Why not grow your own instead. You can keep them in small pots or even old tea or coffee pots. Actual little planters are preferable since they have drainage holes, but use what you’ve got and just think of how pretty these little pots of herbs will look all lined up in your kitchen window.

Salad FixingsPopular herbs to grow and use in your salads include:
Basil
Mint – remember,there is more than one kind
Parsley
Cilantro
Chives
Rosemary is a ever green and will grow all year long
Oregano
Thyme

… and more. Like lettuce you can either grow them from seed, or pick up small plant seedling at your local garden center. Organic potting soil is best for growing your Salad fixings.

Sprouts

Often overlooked, Sprouts also make a great addition to your salad. They provide a little Salad Fixingscrunch and a lot of extra nutrients. But like herbs, they can be pricey if you pick them up at the store each week. Instead, order some seeds online, then sprout your own in a shallow container lined with moist paper towel. Sprouting is surprisingly quick and easy. The biggest secret is that you have to keep the seeds moist and warm.

Common things to sprout include alfalfa, lentil, mung, rye, soy, and wheat. Start with the sprouts you like to eat, then expand your growing horizon and your sprouting knowledge from there.

Tomatoes And Peppers

Salad FixingsTomatoes and peppers may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about growing plants indoors, but there are small varieties that do surprisingly well in a sunny window. Of course growing them outside on a patio or balcony in larger containers is also an option.

In either case look for varieties that don’t grow very large and provide a nice little harvest. You should be able to find varieties of tomatoes (mostly red and yellow cherry tomatoes) and various peppers from hot to sweet that you can grow in a small space and add to your salad.

Not only do they add a nice burst of flavor and visual appeal to your salad, they also make surprisingly beautiful houseplants. And isn’t it more satisfying to grow a plant that also provides you with food?

Onion and Garlic

If you’re feeling a little adventurous, try growing your own onion and garlic alongside yourSalad Fixings lettuce bowl. While regular onions don’t lend themselves to indoor growing you can plant green onion and garlic bulbs and grow both of those in fairly small containers on your counter. Use the green onion, and you can even use the green stalks of the garlic plants in a similar way. It has a mellow bit of garlic flavor that’s not quite as strong as the garlic bulbs that will be growing all along in the soil.

Ready to give it a try? Head to your local garden center and start growing your own salad fixings. Before long you might just start making a salad the main entree of your mid-day meal. Here in Mexico the afternoon heat makes salads a matter of choice. Then, once you get started it becomes a very healthy habit that you will love.

What the seeds sent right to your door? Here is a nice heirloom collection you might want to look at. Just click on the picture for more information.

We welcome your comments in the space below this article and will replay to each one . To receive our new Whole Foods recipes and articles just Sign up on the right side of this page for our News letter and we will keep you up to date, or like my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ChefWilliamOnline where you can view the articles as we post them.

bon provecho

Maria and Bill


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What To Grow In Your Salad Bowl Garden

Your Salas Bowl GardenWhat Can You Grow In Your Salad Bowl Garden is one of the first questions I am asked. There really is so much available that you are only limited by desire and space. If you make it a fun project, you will soon wonder why you ever bought produce from a grocery store that had been harvested and shipped from other states and in a lot of cases from other countries.  Soon you will be able to get it fresh right on your windowsill. Until your salad bowl garden is ready to harvest, shop at your local farmers markets. There you can get fresh produce, grown fresh in your area.

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Growing Your Own Salads

Growing Your Own SaladsGrowing Your Own Salads

We really enjoy growing and harvesting our own Salads. Green salads that are made fresh daily always seem to taste special.  Other salads such as potato or a pasta salad is usually better if left overnight in the refrigerator to allow all the flavors to meld together. Here we are talking about green salads, fresh lettuces, ripe tomatoes, herbs and various vegetables. I want to see them at the Chefs Kitchen Table daily. We like to make them a complete healthy meal. Here in Mexico, the mid-day meal is eaten around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. It is larger that the evening meal and for good reasons, which we will cover in another article

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Cooking with herbs doesn’t need to be confusing

Herbs To Help You Use Less SaltCooking with herbs doesn’t need to be confusing

Herbs are some of the most nutritious and important parts of a healthy diet. It is a known fact that eating a plant heavy diet benefits your health, waistline and helps you to enjoy delicious flavor in all your recipes. We talk a lot about eating a plant heavy diet on this website because they are Whole Foods at their best.

There are many herbs to choose from, all of which offer very low calorie ways to add flavor to you cooking. Cooking with herbs can seem overwhelming at first. Learning how to buy, prepare, store and cook with fresh herbs seems like a lot of work, not to mention figuring out what herbs go with which dish. However, cooking with fresh herbs is not reserved for gourmet chefs.
The following tips and tricks are going to have you elevating your dishes to the next level in no time.

Which Is Better Fresh Or Dried?

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Greek Salad with Dressing Recipe

Greek SaladGreek Salad is one of those salads that are so loaded with flavors that they can easily be a complete meal, which is often the case in our house. Perhaps a glass of your favorite red wine and a piece of sourdough baguette with some seasoned dipping oil and that’s it. Lunch or dinner is served. If you are like me and have removed bread from your diet, just a little more of the Greek Salad and you won’t even miss it.

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Grilled Herb-Rubbed, Bone-In Pork Chops

Grilled Herb-Rubbed, Bone-In Pork ChopsGrilled Herb-Rubbed, Bone-In Pork Chops is a natural here in Mexico. This is a country that loves pork. While I eat very little pork myself I do serve it when I have guests that eat and enjoy it. When I do grill pork chops I will also have a beef or chicken entrée for anyone to choose if they desire

Grilling pork chops is an entirely different experience than grilling red meat. While steaks can be charred on the outside and a delicious shade of pink inside, pork needs to be more uniformly cooked throughout. Therefore, use a medium direct heat while grilling pork so the inside cooks evenly with the outside.

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Grilled Summer Vegetable Medley

Grilled Summer Vegetable MedleyGrilled Summer Vegetable Medley with Herb Butter is a great side with grilled pork chops, chicken or beef. Actually they can be diced and added to a toss salad for a complete meal on Meatless Mondays or any other day that you just want a salad and not much more. At the Chefs Kitchen table our goal is to stay with whole foods as much as possible and a grilled summer vegetable medley is about as good as it gets. Note that while this recipe includes a herb butter, you might like to replace it with a simple Balsamic reduction.

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Herbs To Help You Use Less Salt

Herbs To Help You Use Less Salt

Herbs can replace almost all the salt in many dishes

Herbs To Help You Use Less Salt is an important part of a cooks training at the Chefs Kitchen Table. I cook with herbs a lot and would not be without them in my kitchen. However many people do not know that with the proper use of herbs they can cut back on the amount of salt in a recipe without losing the flavor. In fact, herbs will add to a dish and often improve it. While our bodies do need salt, we overdo it and use way more than we should. It has become such a habit to use salt that you often see people salting their food even before they taste it….bad habit. Too much salt (yes, it’s possible!) can lead to several diseases, with high blood pressure being the most common

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