fresh mint

A Cooking Garden & Herbed Meatball Recipe

Fresh Herb and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs

This spring I have made a new commitment to my backyard garden. In years past when I was busy with my baking businesses I had not allowed as much time in the garden as I would have liked. However, now I am making it a daily and weekly priority and it has brought so much joy to my life. I love how spring has brought with it so many beautiful gifts from the earth and so many delicious things to eat! 

I am so amazed at the variety of things I am growing in my garden this year and how some extra care and attention has brought forth more wonderful produce that I can bring into the kitchen. In this post I will share with you what I am currently growing as well as a meatball recipe that includes many of the herbs I am growing in my garden this year. This season I am going all out and growing all of the herbs that I have wanted to grow for a long time to add freshness and vitality to my dishes. What are you growing in your garden today? What has you most excited? I would love to know! 

Very soon I will be featured on the wonderful Organic Gardening Podcast & I wanted to make sure you learned about it. Here is the podcast website. I hope that you enjoy listening to it as much as I do and learn lots about growing a sustainable and wonderful garden this year! 

http://organicgardenerpodcast.com/

Here is a run-down on the current state of my garden. I would love to hear what you are growing and what your favorite plants are to cook in the kitchen. Feel free to comment below or send me an email about your garden! :)

Strawberries, Huckleberries, Mint, Blueberries and Tea in the Garden

Things that I currently grow in my garden: 

Herbs: 

Mint, Sage, Tarragon, Lemon Balm, Lavender, Rosemary,Thyme, Pineapple Sage, Sage, Parsely

Berries: 

Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries and Huckleberries

Vegetables: 

Lettuce, Artichokes, Tomatoes, Peppers, Spinach, Peas

Other Edible Plants: 

Roses (I use the petals in desserts), Tea plants to make green tea from, Rhubarb

Now on to a delicious and simple recipe to put to use some of the variety of herbs in the garden: 

Fresh Herb and Garbanzo Bean Meatballs: 

Makes 15-20 meatballs depending on the size you make them. 

I like to serve this with oven roasted potatoes and oven roasted asparagus

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/4 cup fresh chopped herbs (rosemary, oregano, basil, parsley)

1 egg

1/2 cup chopped canned garbanzo beans

1 pound organic grass fed beef

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

olive oil for frying meatballs

1. Mix all of the ingredients except for the olive oil in a medium bowl. Mix together well with your hands. Form into small meatballs. 

2. Heat up olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, or in an electric skillet set to about 350F. 

3. Add the meatballs and fry them on all sides until golden brown. 

4. Serve with oven roasted potato wedges and oven roasted asparagus or your favorite veggies from the garden. 

Enjoy and happy gardening & cooking!! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whole Wheat Mint Chip Zucchini Bread

    

 

 

Delicious Whole Wheat Mint Chip Zucchini Bread! 

Ah! The days of summer are winding down, but there is still a lot of delicious produce left in the garden to share and to use in delicious breads like this one. I was thinking one day about making some zucchini bread and at the same time was listening to a food podcast and mint-chip ice cream was mentioned. I began to wonder if I could make zucchini bread taste just like mint-chip ice cream in bread form. That is when this bread was born. 

This bread does have quite a bit of fresh mint flavor between the fresh mint and organic mint extract. I think that the fresh flavor compliments the chocolate chips in a great way. 

This bread is excellent if you heat it up slightly and slather it with soft butter and enjoy it with a fresh cup of tea. That is what late summer afternoons are all about. 

    Ingredients for the bread. 

 

Ingredients for the bread. 


I hope that you enjoy making this bread as much as I do, and take a moment to savor and breathe in the fresh mint. It is so relaxing and rejuvenating. Enjoy! 

    A fresh slice of mint chip zucchini bread with a lovely cup of tea. 

 

A fresh slice of mint chip zucchini bread with a lovely cup of tea. 

This recipe makes 2 large 9x5 loaves of bread: 

Whole Wheat Mint Chip Zucchini Bread: 

3 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup organic cane sugar

1 cup coconut nectar or maple syrup

4 eggs

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup olive oil

2 cups grated zucchini

2 teaspoons organic mint extract

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two 9x5 loaf pans with nonstick spray. 

2. In a large bowl, using a wire whisk, whisk together the whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, brown sugar and organic cane sugar. 

3. In another bowl, whisk together the four eggs, Greek yogurt, coconut nectar (or maple syrup), olive oil, mint extract and fresh mint. Whisk together until smooth. 

4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in with a rubber spatula until just combined. Add in the chocolate chips and gently fold in. Do not overmix. 

5. Divide batter between the two prepared bread pans. 

6.  Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick or a knife comes out of the center of the bread clean. 

7. Once the bread is removed from the oven, cool in a pan for 15 minutes, then invert the loaves gently onto a wire rack to cool. 

Enjoy your delicious bread! Take a break with a slice, a cup of tea or coffee and have a special break today. 

Trista

Fresh Mint Shortbread

freshmintshortbreadcookies

My first loves are cooking and baking but a close second is gardening. I love to be out in the garden tending to my flowers, veggies, fruit & herbs. Because I grew up in the country it comes as second nature to me. I grew up with a huge vegetable garden and a large fruit orchard so I love to make use of the bounty that a garden provides for us! 

I know many of you have a mint patch or mint plant growing in a garden pot. It can really take over, but this recipe will help you use some of it & share and enjoy it with friends and family. I love to have afternoon tea & this cookie pairs perfectly with a cup of hot tea. I hope you enjoy these elegantly simple cookies. Very soon I will also have a gluten free version of this cookie. 

Fresh Mint Shortbread: 

3/4 cup sugar (I like to use evaporated cane juice/organic sugar)

1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 cup cold, unsalted butter cut up into small chunks

2 cups all purpose flour 

1. Blend the sugar and the fresh mint in a food processor or a blender until the mint is in small pieces and is mixed in to the sugar. 

2. Cream butter and sugar mixture together in a stand mixer. You want the butter to combine with the sugar but don't beat it too long. You don't want the butter to be fluffy or aerated. 

3. Slowly add the flour and mix in. 

4. After the dough is formed, (it will still be a bit crumbly but will come together if you pinch it between your fingers) roll it out on a floured board to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters or cut into squares. 

5. Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet. 

6. Bake at 325F for 12 to 15 minutes or until the cookies are just slightly browned on top. 

 

Enjoy! 

Check out my live baking/cookies classes at: www.thecheerychef.com