Healthy Eating: Always a Good Thing

BASIL TOMATO PASTA SALAD WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND PEPPERS AND CHIBATTA BREAD STICKS

Summer time and Vanity

Vanity – ya gotta love it!!! Well ,unless that is, you believe it is a deadly sin. Personally I do not, people always want to look their best it is just part of our nature. Now is the time of year that billions will be spent on getting into shape. Now that swimsuit season has barreled down upon us, should you be one of the people that feel you are not presentable for the public to view, here is a recipe that will help you on your way to the healthy eating habits that everyone talks about..

Healthy eating, all the experts talk about this. Look: I’m no doctor, fitness guru, dietitian, or anything of the nature. I am realistic though. Realistic enough to understand that if I put good stuff in my body good things will happen. So here is a salad that will surely start things moving in the right direction for you. In addition placing this on any table at a BBQ or neighborhood potluck gathering will surely make an impression.

This is one of my favorite recipes I wrote for a site under the pen name Herbs4u2use. This is a fresh and creative way use herbs and fresh vegetables from your garden. Remember there are several varieties of basil’s that can be used in combinations for a micro mix with you salads.

 

BASIL TOMATO PASTA SALAD WITH ROASTED GARLIC AND PEPPERS AND CHIBATTA BREAD STICKS 

INGREDIENTS

Pasta of your choice. DO NOT use salt when cooking and use olive oil.

3 Large Cloves Garlic peel and slice aprx 1/16, inch thick, paper thin if you can, (The thinner the better) and sauté in olive oil until golden brown
6 Roma Tomatoes
1 Medium Red Onion
1 Bunch Green Onions
Peppers Of your Choice, can be sweet or hot, or a combination of both ( the use of yellows and reds will provide an extremely aesthetically pleasing presentation)
1 can (16oz) Garbanzo Beans Drained and washed
1 can (16oz) Kidney Beans Drained and Washed
1 lb Fresh Genovese Basil use whole leaves  IMPORTANT, do not chop, use leaves only. If you make your own Pesto you can use the stems for that.

(Celery and Olives optional) 

Chibatta Breads Sliced into 3/4 inch wide strips
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil

Grated Parmesan

Cut all ingredients into chunks that is appropriate for the occasion, remember this is a salad not a salsa. Drain your pasta well wash with cold water. Cook al dente.

Add  whole Basil leaf. Now this is very important, you want to add the leaf as close to serving time as possible as  this will provide for a gorgeous presentation.

Toss and add Parmesan, serve with a splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and your freshly sliced bread sticks.

You will find this to be a very creative way to use basil and combined with the other colors from the peppers and other ingredients, you will create a festive array of colors the will make your salad a hit at any BBQ or summer pot luck gathering, for that matter… any time of year.
Until next time,
Eat Healthy

Herbs4u2use

DSCF5913 [640x480]

Photos; Aaron Aveiro

Recipe: Aaron Aveiro

Produce from: Aladay Organic Farms

The Earwig: Garden Friend or Foe

                                                                            The Earwig: Garden Friend or Foe

 

  

Recently while collecting rose petals in Laci’s Rose garden I noticed earwigs on some of the blossoms. Immediately upon seeing the horrendous creatures I panicked thinking I had serious problem and began researching these obnoxious looking creatures. Well naturally the first stop was Wikipedia, I was flabbergasted to learn that there are about 2,000 species of these funny looking critters. And they are found throughout the Americas, Africa, Eurasia, and New Zealand. Around 2,000???? For those of you whom may not have an understanding of entomology…That is a small insect order, which is called Dermaptera. However, upon further research what I found not only surprised me but I’m not so sure that having earwigs in the garden is necessarily a bad thing.

You see earwigs, are omnivorous and while having carnivore tendencies, don’t actually burrow into your ears and lay their eggs in your brain. (If you’re like me you’re probably still waiting for the science fiction movie about this old wives tale!!)

You’re probably wondering how I can say that these ghastly looking creatures are not such a bad thing to have in your garden. Well since they do have carnivore tendencies and their favorite meal is Aphids, and since we all are aware of the damage Aphids will do to our Roses and succulents in your gardens, this makes the Earwig a protective predator, along with Lady Bugs and the very interesting looking Praying Mantis. So if you see an Earwig on your roses perhaps a closer inspection of your plants is in order. Since they also have vegetarian tendencies my concern quickly turned to damage to the roses. Turns out they actually prefer to forage in the decaying matter in the garden.

Will they damage crops? Well they do like the silk on corn, Can you blame them? We all love the taste of sweet corn that Monsanto has not gotten their hands on. In addition they have also been known to feast on beets, ornamental and vegetable plants, dahlias, zinnias, butterfly bush, hollyhocks, lettuce, strawberries, potatoes, roses, and seedling beans. Usually the damage will be minor.

Like most insects their primary function after staying alive is to propagate their species. What do we do to control them should they become a serious threat to our gardens. First we need to understand a little about their preferred living conditions. They prefer damp moist areas, hence the decaying matter such as your composting pile. Understanding this and the fact they are primarily a nocturnal critter it becomes pretty easy to control with organic philosophies especially if you develop a problem around your food producing plants, you really do not want to spray with chemicals that will have adverse affects when consumed.

There is one natural enemy of the Earwig. The Tachnid Fly. You can attract this particular Fly by planting alyssum, fennel, calendula, or dill. Other methods you may use are rolled up newspapers (do we still have newspapers???) or cardboard as a trap by rolling either product into a cylinder with some straw or oatmeal inside and taping one end closed. In addition you can also use diatomaceous earth. However, keep in mind the use of diatomaceous earth will also have an adverse effect on earthworms. But if you have a serious earwig problem you can sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the base of a plant. Most insects won’t return to someplace where death has occurred for a while, so should you chose this route just keep an eye out for their return. Another method of controlling the creatures is by using vegetable or fish oils in dishes placed around the garden.  Should you find them inside your home perhaps a call to your local pest control guy would be needed. Many people do have flower beds near and around their homes. You can help keep them at bay by using gravel type mulches and making sure that you gardening areas are far enough from the foundation so you can keep it dry.

So can you be bitten??? Not really, but these critters can use their pincher to inflict a nasty pinch!! Not to worry they are not poisonous, which makes the primary concern from a pinch infection. Be sure to examine the area for any broken parts of the pincher under your skin, especially if you have stepped on one. The pinch can be quiet painful and may even cause a little bleeding. Clean the infected area with a disinfectant and you should be OK. If you have symptoms after a day or two you may be experiencing an allergic reaction and may want to contact your physician. And for obvious reasons…personal protective gear of gloves and shoes will help prevent a pinch from these most misunderstood garden critters.

So the next time you see Earwigs in your garden don’t panic. Say thanks to the misunderstood obnoxious looking creature as the little critter is more than likely telling you that you have a bigger problem to deal with…his dinner.

.

Sources…..

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earwig

http://www.organicgardening.com/learn-and-grow/how-to-control-earwigs

http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74102.html

http://voices.yahoo.com/

 

earwig-bites-if-earwig-bite-4907754.html

 

Organics to You At a Price You'll Love

%d bloggers like this: