30-Day homegrown challenge begins...

So we kicked off our month of dining from our surroundings and primarily our garden - it's been an odd couple days. Not so much from what we have to eat from from our schedules. One of the most difficult parts of doing this is dining out or being away from home.

Our first full day of the challenge, on Monday, we took cabbages we grew this spring, along with onions, a bit of parsley, and carrots from the garden and made a slaw. We sauteed garden greens (chard, Malabar spinach and kale) as another side. Finally we used organic farmers market red potatoes and combined them with garden peppers (green bell, banana & mandarin), onions and garlic for a hash. Dinner was nibbling and snacking from that and leftovers from the dinner at the house / garden the night before. This counts as one of the "odd" or more difficult nights and happend to be one of the first. It's World Cup Soccer time, and lots of NoDa neighbors were gathering at a local bar to watch at 6pm. We'd been planning it for a while, so while it was a lot of fun, it showed me how hard going out to eat, or being normally social, would impact this dining plan! But it wasn't that hard!

One item consistently on this menu for the next month (and since last summer really), is the tea you can see in this photo with this post - I like to call it "teavia"! Regular tea bags for sweet tea, steeped along with homegrown stevia and mint. It's as sweet as any southern tea you'll find, but without a grain of sugar in it, lots of anti-oxidants, and mostly homegrown!

Day 3, Tuesday the 16th, we had what is pictured with this post for lunch - and I couldn't be more EXCITED about it. This is going to pop up often this month and it's been a favorite since I was a kid. Fresh homegrown summer tomato sandwiches! We used local sourdough from a local baker that sells at the Atherton Farmers Market, homegrown tomatoes, three basils chopped with a side of our homegrown peaches. Dinner was farmers market black beans served stuffed in homegrown green bell peppers and baked. Those were put over rice then topped with homemade salsa - also from the Linwell Farms garden - mandarin peppers, onions, garlic, cilantro and tomatoes.

Today, Wednesday, I just finished lunch. We made a rice cassarole with chard, malabar spinach, peppers (ancho or poblano, jalepeno, green bell and mandarin), onions, garlic, squash, zucchini and mustard greens from the garden. Flavored all of this with Joey's homemade kimchi butter.

For dinner we are venturing out - but doing it farm-to-fork style at Heirloom Restaurant, the guys who did the dinner in our gardens on Sunday night. Though not homegrown, EVERYTHING there is local, foraged and fantastic!

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