Have you always wanted to try growing your own food? It’s a great choice because you can grow organic produce, save money and know exactly where your food comes from. We are into the last week of National Nutrition Month and into the first week of SPRING! (Although it did SNOW on the very first day of Spring here in Texas!!) Even if you just have a tiny window area or a small deck, start by planting a few herbs or greens for salads in containers. Think about how much a bag of spinach is at your local grocery? $4/bag? Now, think about the small packet of seeds, and the huge flourishing plant as the result? Hello, money-saver, nice to meet you If you have a little more room, say a small backyard (or a big one!), go with creating a larger garden. Before you get started, consider a couple of important things. First, you’ll need a spot that has at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day to sustain your precious veggies. Second, you’ll need good-quality soil. You may want to consider amending your soil with compost to improve it. Third, check what USDA plant hardiness zone you live in to get a good idea of what kinds of crops grow best. You can get that information in most gardening books. And fourth, consider what you and your family like to eat. Try growing things that are harder to find at your markets, such as interesting hot peppers, heirloom tomatoes and obscure herbs, like licorice. Start with common vegetables and herbs-rosemary, cilantro, beans, squash, spinach, and my favorite, tomatoes! Then experiment and add them to any recipe, make a hearty vegetable sandwich, or serve them as a fabulous appetizer for an extra boost of flavor, and nutrients!
4 tomatoes, sliced into 4, horizontally (Total of 16 thick slices)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Blend cheeses
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 lemon pepper
1/4 garlic powder
extra-virgin olive oil cooking spray
Preheat oven to 450° F. Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix Italian seasoning, salt, garlic powder and lemon pepper together. Sprinkle over top of the tomatoes. Top with Parmesan Blend. Spray with olive oil cooking spray and bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
**Thanks to EatingWell.com for the great tips on starting a garden!