NZ Kitchen Garden

Home grown goodness for the kitchen and pantry


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New growth spurs on Autumn enthusiasm

My vege garden has taken a backseat to raising our new baby over the last few months. However, a couple of hours clearing out the overgrowth and preparing my beds for autumn has renewed my interest and provided much needed motivation to make time again for my green thumb. Continue reading


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The proof is in the produce

What a month or so it has been for harvesting, now that we are well into summer! I have really enjoyed watching other people’s successes as they reap the benefits from their gardening passion. The vibrant colours of ripe tomatoes, colourful beans and rainbow silver beet, shiny courgettes, leafy greens and more, mean that I have been more “green eyed” than “green thumbed” during this plentiful period. Continue reading


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Two ways with Spinach, Silver Beet and Kale

An abundance of leafy greens in my garden has prompted an hour of preserving in my kitchen. Now is a good time to bring in the last of my autumn spinach, silver beet and kale to make way for the next crop, which is branching out in all directions already. Continue reading


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Greek salad and lamb burgers

My go-to cuisine when I feel like detoxing or loading up on fresh vege is Mediterranean. Last night it was Greek style salad with lamb burgers – yum! Quick and easy to rustle up with most of the making in the preparation – or chopping, to be more precise. Continue reading


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Risotto Bianco with spinach and peas

The harvesting is ramping up around here, with spinach and peas for dinner last night. The inspiration for these gorgeous greens was Jamie Oliver’s Risotto Bianco; a basic risotto recipe, which is yummy on its own or great as a base for other flavours.

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Planting Out: Time to harden up

It’s time to plant these little seedlings out in the big garden. So, they are spending a couple of nights out of the hot house cabinet and on top of the work bench before they join the rest of the vegetable patch. Continue reading


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There’s been a … harvest!

It’s time for a confession: I would rather look on lovingly at my well-stocked, heaving vegetable garden and never harvest anything. There, I’ve said it. Yes, it is a curse and this line of thinking may possibly contravene some unwritten law for vege gardeners. However, the only thing that eventually motivates me to harvest is the thought of losing my fleshy beauties to time, where they can be taken out by some stealthy suspect like rot or going to seed.

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It’s getting hot in here

It feels great to grow your own seedlings, if you can. You need a little time and space, a little gear (like a hot house/cabinet), a little warmth, and then you need to remember to keep the tender stems moist as they grow over the coming weeks. Carefully selecting and packing seeds into seedling trays has become a day that I look forward to on my gardening calender. You reap the rewards every time you see the new growth and, of course, when you eventually plant them out and count the savings! Continue reading


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It’s Alive!

I guess that’s a bit dramatic, however I am so excited that my garden is still going through its first autumn and winter! Yes, growing has been slow – but there is growing, and that is the main thing.

The one year anniversary of my all-year-round vege patch occurs at the end of September, as that is usually when I plant my seedlings in preparation for harvesting over summer. This time last year, I wasn’t even thinking about my garden. The first day of spring would usually bring the first inklings of excitement and planning of what would take root come “planting weekend”. Continue reading


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Thai-inspired chicken soup

Well, I looked at my garden this morning and thought, “what exotic lunch could I make with you?” The answer that I came up with as Thai-inspired soup.

Thai-Inspired Chicken Soup

From the garden:  Lemon grass, capsicum, chili, spinach, spring onion, young celery, chives and coriander. Other ingredients:  cooked chicken, noodles, white onion, water, mystery-Asian stock cube, palm sugar, shrimp paste, fish sauce and mushrooms.

The time (all 5 minutes of it) was in the chopping of the vege and bringing the pot to boil. If you are like me and a bit unsure of how to prepare fresh lemon grass, watch this great vid. Continue reading


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Green Smoothie Base

I have my hairdresser to thank for this addictive and fibrous smoothie. Making it is simple, drinking it is enjoyable and the end result is a filling, good-feeling act of kindness to yourself. It must be, surely, since it is jam-packed with goodies like iron, niacin, folic acid, vitamins a, c, e, k and a few b vitamins – and several handy minerals.

Use it as a base recipe and experiment with complementary flavours, and other fruits and vegetables that will give you a boost in one mineral or vitamin department or another. Continue reading