Affordable Gardening

Affordable Garden Update: Garden Basil and Pesto Pasta

Have the desire to grow a garden, but don’t have the space or a large budget? Follow along with Captain Create this Summer to learn money saving gardening tips. At the end of the harvest, we will learn to cook healthy meals with what grew!

Fresh Basil

Have you ever tried basil before? It’s a fragrant spice used in many dishes and is featured in today’s garden recipe!

In some grocery stores you may have seen potted plants in the produce isle. Often those are potted basil plants that can be used in dishes, and is a convenient way to have fresh basil on hand.

Often these basil plants are thrown away after 1-3 uses, but there is a much more affordable and sustainable solution. What I like doing is planting these grocery store basil plants in my home garden. In years past when I’ve done this it was an easy process. I love that it’s affordable and one of the easiest ways to have a constant fresh basil supply!

This year I planted basil from seed and I got to choose the variety of basil I planted. In this pesto pasta recipe I used several varieties of basil including a purple variety (don’t worry about needing purple basil, any normal basil variety will result in a flavorful and delicious pesto).

Money Saving Tip: Plant potted grocery store basil! It’s an affordable and convenient way to have a constant supply of fresh basil.

This dish includes basil picked from the garden!

Time Saving Cooking Methods

In this recipe the pasta and vegetables are cooked at the same time, despite there being different cooking times for each of the ingredients.

To overcome the time difference, I waited for the frozen vegetables and water to boil together. After the vegetables were warmed through I added the pasta. Pasta cooks quickly and turns mushy if cooked for too long, so adding ingredients in a specific order is important for maintaining good texture in this dish.

This recipe is mostly cooked in one pot (with the exception of making the pesto in a blender). This saves on time and clean up work, which in the long run makes eating healthy less work intensive.

While cooking for yourself and others, making one-pot/one-pan/one-skillet recipes and cleaning up as you cook can be great ways to save on time. I’ve found that the more I save on time in the kitchen, the easier it is make and keep healthy eating habits.

One-pot recipes are a time saver for making healthy meals!

Garden Update

In the Summer heat the garden has fought hard to thrive. After several weeks of consistent rain in my area, and then a couple weeks of intense heat, the garden has started to wilt and the leaves of plants have started to curl in towards themselves.

My plan of action is to water the garden every day early in the morning before the extreme temperatures during the day. I hope that this helps the tomatoes, peppers, herbs and leafy greens continue to grow.

Pesto Pasta Recipe

This pesto pasta recipe is so easy to make and is delicious! Feel free to make this recipe if you find fresh basil at the grocery store, or if you planted some in your garden this year that’s ready to harvest.

-Captain Create

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