The New Kitchen Garden reviewed by fran lewis

Cooking Well: The New Kitchen Garden



Eating healthy is paramount to many others and me. Going to the supermarket and making wise purchases requires more consumer awareness and diligence about what chemicals and additives are placed in your fruits, vegetable and meats. Living in an apartment complex and having no space to grow my own garden makes it difficult to buy foods with these chemicals. Organic is the way to go if you are in a store and want to eat foods that have no chemical added. But, if you are lucky enough to live in a house with a big garden or backyard you will want to understand how to create your own kitchen garden, an outdoor garden which will provide you and your family the fresh fruits and vegetables that so many of us enjoy eating at every meal.


Before you can begin planting you need to understand the basics of what goes into creating you garden, where it should be located and the necessary tools needed to begin your journey to improving your health and more. Author Jo Brielyn shares not only her secrets creating your own garden but some delicious, affordable and easy to make recipes that will make your mouth water and encourage you to race into your backyard and get started.


As a total non-cook who never uses the stove except to store pots and pans or make tea, even I can follow these great recipes and definitely will reintroduce myself to the stove and attempt at least two of them before completing my review of this great recipe book, “The New Kitchen Garden.”


Let’s get started with the basics and go from there. Why should you have your own kitchen garden? The authors state three very important reasons: cost, taste and quality and have course health. Fresh grown vegetables, fruits and herbs in your own private kitchen garden not only is cost effect saving on the wear and tear of your car, lowering your gas bill and providing a better quality of foods to eat, but are healthier. Think about this: many commercial gardeners spray pesticides and other chemicals on the fruits and vegetables placed on the shelves of fruit and supermarkets. Many consumers do not even realize that and how effective washing these foods before eating them is not really known. So, why not find a natural and safe way to protect your family, get some fresh air and much needed exercise and make your own kitchen garden. How cool is it to get up in the morning, go into your garden and see the most beautiful tomatoes, melons, cucumbers, and more in your own garden or backyard.


Learning how to make the garden, where tips for starting the garden you need to read for yourself as only you will know and understand whether your home is equipped with the right irrigation systems, ground with good drainage, area that provides proper sunlight and in an accessible location. The types of gardens and the areas that can accommodate them are described the authors in Chapter 2 of great book titled: Tips for Starting A Kitchen Garden. Chapter 3 contains Tips for Canning and Preserving that will help you store, preserve and lower your grocery bills. Your family will eat fresher, healthier and storing these foods will allow you to have them for longer periods of time. So, read Chapters 2 and 3 first and then get started on your way to a healthier you.


I bet you did not know that kitchen gardens are not a new concept. Believe it or not they started way back in the Middle Ages in the 18th and 19th centuries. Colonial American families also planted their own kitchen gardens. Even our President has a vegetable garden on the grounds of the White House. Why not make one yourself? Added in Chapter Two the authors included the various fruits, vegetables and herbs that would comprise a great kitchen garden.


Now, for the delicious and healthy recipes in this book. This non-cook will tell you about some of them but you will have to get a copy of the book for yourself, to gain access to the recipes and make them for yourself. This reviewer will not reveal too much. But, I hope by the time you finish reading this review you will want to learn more about kitchen gardens, try and make one whether indoors or outside, and try out the recipes in this book when you wisely purchase one.


All of the recipes in this book are explained in simple terms that even I can understand as someone who never cooks. That, the recipes are healthy, the descriptions are so vivid and the instructions so clear you can smell the delicious ingredients making your mouth water and want to go out and try many of them all at once. So, I did try the ones I knew would not create problem for anyone that I hoped would try it after I made it.


My first attempt at cooking in 10 years I decided to play it safe and attempt the Berry Blast Smoothie. (No stove required just a blender) but so what. The end result was so delicious, tasty and healthy that I am definitely going to keep the blender handy. Blueberries, strawberries and more go into this great drink and it is healthy. Next, since I am a health nut and have to make sure I keep my weight down, I attempted the cantaloupe and Blueberry Parfait. Absolutely DELECTABLE AND TOO DELICIOUS FOR WORDS. You need to try it for yourself!


There are fantastic recipes to make soups such as Mushroom Soup and Vegetable Broth, which are my favorites. Salads that will make you want to go out and plant that garden right now, especially the Turkey Waldorf Salad that is another of my favorites.



Seafood and fish lovers can try out the Asparagus with Sole, or the Spinach Stuffed Sole along with many other fish and seafood delights. Meat and poultry recipes are like Chicken Tortas, and Cosmic Cucumber Wraps will whet your appetite at dinnertime. My favorite recipes are the vegetarian entrees like page 89 the recipe with Couscous, Caribbean Bean Salad, and Fresh Vegetable Pita Pizza, which I might actually try myself. I can smell the ingredients and practically taste the pizza reading the directions.


Finally, do not forget the dips, and desserts that the authors share with the reader. Applesauce and Cantaloupe Salsa are two simple dips to make and the best part of all the desserts such as Fruit Slush and Orange Marmalade to tempt you with two that I might even try on my diet.


Plant your garden, grow those vegetables, create your own recipes and you are on your way to good health and more.


Just a tiny secret: I did try those recipes that I stated and I am going to let my husband try one of the poultry and soups. I promise to stand by the stove and read the recipe to him to make sure he gets it right. Well written, and a great resource for everyone that wants to start a kitchen garden and eat healthy.


Fran Lewis: Reviewer