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Stay home, Plant a Garden

 

Back during WWII, people grew something called “victory gardens,” as a way to supplement their food rations, eat healthily, and boost morale. For those of you who know me personally, gardening is one of my biggest passions. Everything I have learned, I learned from watching my mom garden when I was growing up. Her green thumb and the love she poured into her garden inspired me to try it myself. What started off as having some plants in pots has turned into two big box gardens and a green house! Having my own garden is one of my greatest joys and now is a way to help my family and friends have access to fresh vegetables during a time where food scarcity is very much a reality for many people. 

Let’s be real- life is upside down right now. We are wearing masks to public places, working from home or not working at all, waiting in lines to get into grocery stores. We are all doing the best we can during this unprecedented time. Having a victory garden- whether it is in the ground, in a box, or in pots, is a great way to provide healthy foods for you and your family. I purchase my plants from an amazing local business called Liberty Plants. This year I have several different types of cucumbers (including one called Dragon’s Egg!) and tomatoes for salsa (recipe included at the bottom of this post!). I love that I can combine my love of gardening as a way to support a beloved locally run business. 

There are so many amazing benefits that come from having a backyard (or deck, patio, front porch, etc) garden. Aside from saving money from the grocery store, gardening is a great way to get outside exercise and is a natural stress reliever! Who doesn’t need a natural stress reliever right now?!

 

I encourage you to check out Liberty Plants at http://www.libertyplants.com/ and also at our storefront on May 26th through Mary 30th from 12pm-3pm, where they will have a table with herbs and vegetable plants to start you on your very own victory garden. Whether your garden is big or small, you’ll find growing your own food rewarding in so many ways! 

 

Send us pictures of those gardens, Piccolo Babes by using the hashtag #piccoloplants !

Baccio,

-Meghan

The Mexican Keto Cookbook by Torie Borrelli

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Cook Time: 20
Serves: 3.5 cups

Tomatillo means “little tomato” in Spanish and that’s essentially what it is. Small, firm and green with a lantern-type paper covering, most people miss them in the produce aisle. When roasted, the firm acidic meat of the tomatillo transforms into a sticky-sweet tomato caramel you'll want to serve with everything. That being said, the naturally occurring sugars in the salsa are better absorbed in our bodies by adding a healthy fat such as MCT or avocado oil.

Tomatillos are packed with many vitamins specifically vitamin C and manganese. They also contain 14 types of phytochemical compounds called withanolides that are antibacterial and cancer-fighting.

Ingredients: 

  • 10-12 tomatillos, husk removed and rinsed

  • 2-3 serrano chilies, depending on your heat tolerance

  • ½ small white onion, peeled

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled

  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons MCT oil or avocado oil

  • ¼ cup lime juice

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro (including stems)

 Instructions for the salsa:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Arrange whole tomatillos, jalapenos, half onion and garlic on a baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Flip halfway through.

  2. Remove the baking sheet from oven and allow to cool slightly. Carefully remove stems from jalapenos and tomatillos. Transfer roasted tomatillos, jalapenos, onion and garlic to a blender with sea salt and oil. Blend until the mixture is well combined. Add lime juice and cilantro and blend again. Serve salsa at room temperature.

    TIP: Try adding an avocado to this recipe for a creamier texture or serve it with chopped avocado.

     

    Note: Baja Boiled Version

    I commonly see the boiled version of this recipe in Baja. It’s just as easy and yields a completely different flavor. Boil tomatillos, jalapenos, onion and garlic in a saucepan for 8 -10 minutes or until soft. Strain and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth.