12 more simple dishes to cook at home (with products from your own garden)

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

Growing your own food is a lot easier than you might think. Once you learn some basic gardening skills, it’s not hard to have fresh produce on hand. Then instead of buying vegetables at the store, why not focus on what’s already available in your garden? You can easily cook with ingredients that are harvested from plants that you grow yourself. It takes some of the financial burdens off of the family budget, and provides some healthy food for your dinner table as well!


A woman preparing a meal
There's nothing healthier than to cook your own food!

Here are some easy recipes to get you started! Also, we have a treat for you in the end!


#1: Grilled bell peppers with parmesan cheese and black pepper


When the weather is still sunny and warm, this is a simple, healthy dish. All you need are bell peppers from your garden! Just slice them in half and spray lightly with cooking oil, then sprinkle grated parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, or other seasonings for taste. Place on a pan or grill over medium heat for 15 minutes on each side.



#2: Simple garden pasta


Spaghetti and meatballs, a favorite dish for many families. This dish is typically made using store-bought spaghetti and meatballs. When you have your own homegrown garden, though, you can just as easily make your own spaghetti — and it only takes 1 hour to prepare! The ingredients include spaghetti, ground beef or turkey, parsley for decoration, a baking dish with cheese on the bottom, and tomato sauce on top.


Here's how to make it — in 30 minutes or less! First, boil the pasta until soft. Next, fry the ground meat until brown, then set aside. Once that is done, you can prepare the meatballs. Roll out a ball of dough (made by mixing flour and eggs together), flatten it slightly, place the meat on top, sprinkle with parsley, and then roll up a bit to create your meatball. Place in a baking dish where you've added tomato sauce, made of tomatoes from your own garden, and plenty of cheese on the bottom. Cover with aluminum foil to bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Once your pasta is done, arrange it in a separate baking dish, then pour on some tomato sauce and sprinkle on the meatballs with the cheese. Your garden pasta is ready!


#3 Vegetable soup with green onions and leek


This soup takes some time to make, but when you have your own vegetables it's even more delicious and totally worth it. You'll need onions, leek, cooked potatoes, pepper flakes, cooking oil, green onions (optional), and salt for taste.


First, you will need to prepare the onions and leeks. To do this cut off the tops of both of these items then slice thinly. Afterward, use a pan to sauté them along with the potatoes in some olive oil that you have prepared yourself. Once all are done add salt to taste as well as some pepper flakes. Then stir in the green onions (if using) and add approximately half a cup of chicken broth with some cream cheese for taste.


A bowl of vegetable soup with green onions and leek
Your health will thank you with this dish

#4: Casserole


This casserole is also made from garden-fresh ingredients that you grow yourself. The ingredients include mushrooms, onions, green peppers, fresh basil, and olive oil.


Here's how to make it. First, wash the vegetables and then sauté the onions (adding some olive oil) for five minutes. Next, add green peppers and mushrooms to the sauté pan along with basil and continue sautéing for another five minutes. If you're adding meat, do this next: add one pound of ground meat once the vegetables are done and continue stirring together until the meat is cooked through. Then pour the mixture into a casserole dish and cover with olive oil. Sprinkle with plenty of basil, then bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.


#5: Root vegetable soup

Here's a simple, robust, cold-weather soup that you can make with almost any mixture of root vegetables you have to hand: carrots, parsnips, celery root, turnips, rutabaga, sweet or regular potato.


  1. Melt butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, rosemary, and bay leaves; cook 1 minute more. Add root vegetables, 8 cups water, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.

  2. Remove and discard rosemary branches and bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, purée soup until smooth. (Alternatively, you can purée the soup in batches in a blender or food processor.) If the soup is too thick, add a little water. Season with lemon juice and more salt to taste.

  3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top with a drizzle of olive oil, a few drops of lemon juice, flaky salt, and crushed chile or grated cheese if desired.



#6. Vine-Ripened Tomatoes


When tomatoes burst open at the end of summer, you know it's time to make some delicious sauces or dishes. There are many recipes for vine-ripened tomatoes and they're all delicious!


This recipe for Vine-Ripened Tomato Sauce will take you just about an hour to make from start to finish, and you don't need to be a master cook either; this is a simple, easy recipe that anyone can make. The ingredients include:


Vine-ripened tomatoes (50 of them)

Olive oil (4 tbsp)

Butter (4 tbsp)

Dried basil, oregano, and salt for taste.


In order to make this great sauce, you'll need to dice the vine-ripened tomatoes by hand. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan, then add the tomatoes, basil, salt, and oregano. Mix thoroughly and cook for 20 minutes. Let this cool down before putting it in jars or a bottle for storage.


#7. Asparagus Casserole


While all of your friends are making spaghetti or macaroni and cheese, you're cooking up a delicious healthy casserole from asparagus, onion, and cheese. Nothing compares to the taste of freshly grown food! Simply saute some onions in olive oil, and add some fresh asparagus into the pan. When the asparagus is soft, add in any other vegetables like peas or carrots that you'd like to use. Combine the asparagus, onion, and vegetables in a casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake at 350°F for about 10 to 15 minutes.


A delicious meal with green veggies
Make this green veggie as delicious as possible!

#8. Cabbage-Apple Slaw


If you don't have enough space to grow salad greens, there's always cabbage slaw! This is a great side dish or topping for barbecue and it's easy to make. Simply toss some shredded cabbage with an apple and some mayonnaise. This will give your slaw a great crunchy texture and sweet flavor. The Apple Cabbage Slaw recipe below makes about 1 1/2 cups of tasty topping:


Ingredients:


1/2 cup shredded cabbage

1/4 cup sliced green apple

2 tablespoons mayonnaise.

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.


Directions: In a medium bowl, mix together the cabbage, apple, mayonnaise, sugar, and cinnamon. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to provide the flavors time to blend.



#9. Green Beans with Dried Fruit (a great side dish)


This is a delicious side dish that will bring out the best in your vegetables by adding some sweetness to them. Try this on your next barbecue, and remember to bring plenty of extras with you.


Ingredients:


Green Beans (1 pound)

Sugar (3 tablespoons)

Dried Cranberries (4 ounces)


Directions: Cover fresh green beans with water and bring to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until tender-crisp tender. Place sugar in a small bowl and add dried cranberries. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Drain green beans. Arrange green beans on a serving platter. Drizzle cranberry mixture over vegetables and serve.


#10. Corn On The Cob


Whether you're enjoying corn during the summer months or in the winter, it's one of the most popular vegetable choices for your salads. There are many different ways to enjoy fresh corn, for example, you can add some butter and salt to it and eat it right away.


However, if you have some time on your hands you could make this easy Corn On The Cob recipe:


Ingredients:


Corn or Sweet Corn (4 corn on the cobs)

Butter (4 tablespoons)

Salt (to taste)


Directions: Boil water in a medium saucepan. When boiling, place corn in water. Cook for a few minutes until corn becomes tender. Drain water from corn. Add butter and salt to corn. Serve warm.


#11. Raspberry-Rhubarb Pie


Raspberries and rhubarb always taste delicious together. This pie will be similar to the strawberry rhubarb pie recipe that you might already know. You will need rhubarbs, raspberries, sugar, and cinnamon. Rhubarbs make a tart-sweet taste that is perfect for pies and other desserts like jellies. To make this pie you will need to beat together some softened butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 4 spoonfuls of cornstarch. Add 2 cups of rhubarbs and 2 cups of raspberries into this mixture. Mix well then place the crust (a homemade crust is best for this recipe) on top and bake for 45 minutes at 350°F.


A delicious pie
My favorite pie of them all!

#12. Spinach Salad


A great way to use some of your fresh spinach is to simply toss it with some feta cheese and dressing for a tasty spinach salad. This salad is light and can be served as a side dish or as a topping for other salads. In fact, this recipe will make about 2 cups of delicious toppings:


Ingredients:


1/2 cup fresh spinach leaves, torn into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese (or more)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper


Dressing:


Dressing: 1/4 cup sour cream (or plain yogurt), 1 teaspoon lemon juice, salt to taste. Combine spinach, feta cheese, and pepper. Mix well and adjust seasoning accordingly before serving. Enjoy!



#13. Carrot Cake


You won't believe how delicious carrot cake is when you make it yourself. This is a simple recipe that even beginner cooks can follow:


Process:


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until frothy. Add the oil and whisk until dissolved.

4. Mix the flour mixture and sugar mixture alternately into the egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour.


Filling:


5. In a medium bowl, combine the carrots and butter. Pour into three prepared pans. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

6. Cool for five minutes; remove cakes from pans and cool completely before frosting.


Frosting:


7. In a large bowl, cream the butter until smooth. Stir in the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla. Add milk, only a little at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.

8. To assemble: level off tops of cooled cakes with knife or cake leveler; place one cake layer on serving plate; spread with 1/2 of frosting. Repeat layers twice more; the top layer of the cake should be flat side up (the side that was flat on the baking pan). Frost sides and top of the cake with remaining frosting.



#9. Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes


Strawberries are a great addition to cheesecake because of their sweetness and flavor.


  1. The strawberry sauce: Cook a mixture of fresh strawberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, and sugar on the stove until the juice is thick and syrupy. You can break up the chunks of strawberry as small as you like.

  2. The base: A simple mix of graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix it all together and press into cupcake liners or cups. You can use just a regular 12 hole muffin tin if using the paper style.

  3. The filling: Beat together cream cheese and sugar, then add in a couple of eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and sour cream. It takes all of 5 minutes to make.

  4. Assemble: Bake the bases for 8 minutes, then top with filling. Add a little strawberry sauce on top and swirl it in a little, then bake for another 30 minutes.

  5. Let them cool & set: Now you need to be a little patient while they chill and set – 2-3 hours is enough but overnight is even better.


Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes
They taste even better than they look!



#10. Eggplant-Zucchini Spaghetti


This recipe is a great way to get your kids to eat more veggies. They will love the taste of spaghetti but without the wheat or calories! This is a great recipe for the whole family to try:


Ingredients for the Pasta: (serves 4) 1 eggplant, 2 zucchinis, salt, 3/4 cup of flour.


Instructions: Cut the ends off of each zucchini and cut each lengthwise into 4 pieces. Slice eggplant lengthwise in half. Place eggplant pieces on a baking tray and salt generously. Place pan in the oven on broil for about 20 minutes, until the skin starts to split open. Fold back skin and place eggplant in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Slice zucchini the same way as you did with the eggplant and add in a bowl along with salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. Remove plastic wrap from eggplant and remove seeds from zucchini. Stir flour into the eggplant and zucchini mixture, then set aside for 15 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick pan and add a quarter of the mixture. Place a lid on top and turn heat to medium for about 2-3 minutes, or until you see the bottoms start to brown. Repeat with the remaining mixture and serve with your favorite sauce!


#11. Grilled Potato Skewers


Potatoes are delicious and nutritious. There are hundreds of potato recipes online, but if you fancy barbequing, try this simple recipe:


Ingredients:


4 potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons butter (optional)


Directions: Start by heating your grill to medium-high heat. Cut potatoes into 1/2 inch cubes and place them in a large bowl, coating them with olive oil and salt. Thread the potatoes on skewers. Cook for 20 minutes or until they are tender. Remove from heat and serve immediately.


And, as we promised, here is a little treat for you!


#12. Fruit Sangria


Sangria is a popular Spanish drink that needs fresh fruit and ice to make it special. This recipe is very easy to make, especially if you use a blender.


Ingredients:


Juice of one lemon

1 liter of white wine (3 cups)

5 cups crushed ice

50 centiliters of sugar

2.5 jugs of red wine (2 and a half bottles)

Seeds of one nutmeg

1 tablespoon of rose petals


Directions: First, combine the lemon juice with 2.5 liters of red wine in a blender. Add the rose petals and mix until well combined. Then, pour the mixture into a pitcher or bowl. Put the ice and sugar in the blender and blend for a few seconds to obtain crushed ice. Add this crushed ice to the juice mixture with red wine in a large pitcher. Pour 2 cups of white wine into 3 glasses, then place 1/3 glass of sangria into each glass. Enjoy!



Why is it a good idea to use your own produce to cook these dishes?


There are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to use your own produce to cook these dishes. If you buy your produce from the supermarket, it’s likely that you won’t actually know where it comes from and how fresh it is. To make sure your veggies are as fresh as possible, it’s best to grow your own!


Growing your own vegetables gives you the opportunity to grow different types of vegetables that supermarkets don't usually offer or don't carry in large quantities. Growing your own vegetables is a great experience and gives you the chance to feed your family farm-fresh food. Not only will you save money, but your vegetables won't be covered in pesticides used by commercial farms.


A woman picking vegetables from her own garden
Why not choose the healthiest lifestyle option?

Conclusion


If you are interested in applying these principles to your own life and improving your family’s health, it’s never too late to start. It’s never too late to give your family a healthier life. You don’t have to be a doctor or nutritionist in order to make this change, nor do you need any special equipment. The most important thing that you need is the desire to make your family’s health better.


If you're just starting out with growing your own produce, keep in mind that using organic potting soil in your produce is very important for them to grow well. And, if you're wondering which plants to grow especially for the purpose of cooking with them, here are some ideas! There is also a new innovative way to grow produce in your own home - a hydroponic home garden. Read our article that covers all you need to know about this new way of gardening, We've also got you covered in the products you need to use! The Smart Hydroponic Growing System is an automated gardening system that can grow plants in the most effective way possible. With its smart water circulation system, automatic timing adjustment and full spectrum LED lights, it will create the best environment for up to 9 seperate plants to grow. Check it out!






A happy child cooking with her mother
Healthy means Happy!

Using the recipes you have learned in this article, you can take a step towards a healthier life for your family. You can teach your children to have a better understanding of their bodies and what they can do to be healthy and happy.


Learn how to grow your own products in a home garden and develop a healthy eating habit. Start with these 17 foods in the following article and discover the pleasure and benefits of cooking at home with products from your own garden.


Growing Your Own Organic Produce: Start With These 17 Foods