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Growing Love…and Veggies!

Valentine’s Day was wonderful! After playing 2 hockey games yesterday, Mr. Prevention and I popped open some wonderful Italian wine and made hubby’s favorite meal: Biggest Loser “Fried” Chicken. Mmm mmm! 😉

Mr. Prevention is a wonderful gift-giver, unlike myself. He got Twizzlers and a card (LAME, I know!)

When I walked in the door from hockey game #1 I found: roses, chocolate and fruit for fondue, organic seedlings and soil, custom printed M&M’s, and a HUGE balloon! Aww 😉

There’s a strawberry under that chocolate…promise 😉

In addition to Valentine’s Day celebrations, I also planned my garden!!

Lily and I posing in the areas we’re turning INTO our garden — great sun exposure on the south side of our house.    (pardon the miss-matched scrubiness!)

Full shot of the garden-to-be (26 1/2 feet by 9 1/2 feet)

Lily and I are VERY excited about our organic seeds, soil, and seedling starters 🙂

Drawn to scale (1″ = 1 ft).

The different sized plots accommodate what each crop requires as for spacing between rows and plants. This was quite a task, but I’m all ready!

What will be in my garden?

jalapenos peppers
bell peppers

I am really excited! Next step: planting seedlings indoors to give them a jump start! Oh, and tilling and preparing the bed 🙂

And I’ll leave you with an amazing soup recipe I made for lunch yesterday!

Lentil and Tomato Soup adapted from Apple Crumbles

1-28 oz can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
1 onion, chopped small
1-15 oz can Organic Lentils, drained and rinsed (I used 2 cups fresh-cooked lentils)
1 2 fresh clove of garlic – pressed
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp all spice
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
2 cups reduced fat milk (I used 1/2 cup half-and-half and 1 1/2 cups skim mil
1 tsp basil
1 tsp dill
0% fat plain Greek yogurt to garnish

In a large pot set to medium low, add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and salt.  Bring to a slow boil and reduced to simmer for 10 minutes.

In another large pot, add the olive oil over medium heat.  When hot, add the flour and stir around to cook for 2 minutes.  Add the milk and keep stirring until smooth.  When the tomato mixture is done, add it to the pot and bring to a boil -keep stirring.  As soon as it boils, reduce heat to low and add the lentils, basil and dill.  Simmer for 10 minutes and stir occasionally.

Top with a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt.

Yield: 5 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 267 calories; 8 g. fat; 14 mg. cholesterol; 675 mg. sodium; 26 g. carbohydrate; 9 g. fiber; 14 g. protein

Don’t forget to enter into the Vitalicious Super Sampler Giveaway!

Question #1: Cheese or chocolate fondue? (cheese, please!)

Question #2: Do you like lentils?


  1. February 15, 2010 / 6:35 am

    I’m so jealous of your garden! It sounds like such a great activity! Good luck with it!
    I love lentils! I like how they cook so quickly! They’re a great source of protein when you want something relatively quick!

  2. lessonstolearn
    February 15, 2010 / 7:12 am

    Planning a garden is such a nice way to get through the winter!

    Yummy soup! I love lentils, but my husband doesn’t, so I haven’t had them in a long time.

  3. February 15, 2010 / 7:24 am

    Sounds like your Valentine’s day was terrific! The garden will be so much fun! And the soup looks totally delicious!

  4. applec
    February 15, 2010 / 7:28 am

    I love lentils. Great for nutritional benefits and they taste good too.
    Your garden is going to be perfect. It looks like a very manageable size. We took ours out 2 years ago and I miss it so much. But then, Ted did all the work so he probably doesn’t miss it at all.
    Looks like you got a lot of love for Valentines Day. Good for you πŸ™‚

    Glad you enjoyed the soup and super adaptations.

  5. February 15, 2010 / 8:26 am

    I can’t wait to see the progress on your garden! That is something Cory and I both want to do once we had a yard. I LOVE lentils. Cheese or chocolate?! That’s a hard one because they are both so good!

  6. February 15, 2010 / 8:48 am

    Sounds like a fun V-Day! The hubs is so cute…those custom M+M’s definitely put a smile on MY face.

    I am SO jealous of your garden! It looks like it is going to be fantastic. I hope to own a real house with a real space someday to plant one.

    (Cheese fondue – all the way. I just love cheese. And could go either way with chocolate. If it was WHITE chocolate fondue…I’d be hard-pressed to choose. ANd I love lentils.)

  7. February 15, 2010 / 10:11 am

    Fun!!!! I’ve ALWAYS wanted to grow a garden!

    What a sweet hub you have!

  8. February 15, 2010 / 10:12 am

    This is motivating me to get started on my garden! I need to get on my plan πŸ™‚

  9. February 15, 2010 / 10:17 am

    Glad you had a nice V Day!
    I love your plans for your garden. I love all the foods you are planting too..that is great! I don’t have that big of an area cause I live in a condo, but once I get a house, I want to do that as well.

  10. February 15, 2010 / 10:27 am

    Aw, your husband got some great gifts for you. The garden is so exciting! I like the selection of plants you chose. Out of all the veggies in our garden, we actually don’t grow artichokes! I’m really not sure why, and looking at your list really makes me realize I want to change that.

  11. February 15, 2010 / 10:37 am

    aawww that is awesome hon! Im so glad you had a rockin valentines day. Your garden sounds amazing btw! Thats the one thing that we miss about where i live. I cant have a garden. I love everything that you are planting! Im usually more of a chocolate fondue person. I would have said cheese but I think Im becoming a tad bit lactose. I eat greek yogurt and thats about the extent of it. I LOVE lentils. Im on such a lentils kick now. I make a huge pot of them on Sunday and just throw them in everything during the week. So good!

    Thanks for an awesome recipe! It looks fantastic. I hope you have a fabulous day!

  12. February 15, 2010 / 10:45 am

    I am so excited for you and your organic garden!! That project looks like so much fun and it fits in so well with your healthy lifestyle. You are gonna love the giveaway I have coming up….a cookbook right along these lines!

  13. February 15, 2010 / 10:46 am

    Mmm I love lentils! You’re going to have such an awesome garden!

  14. February 15, 2010 / 10:50 am

    Good luck with your garden! We’ve tried, but the deer and bunnies always end up with our stuff, so we finally gave up!

    CHEESE OF COURSE! I like lentils in things like soup, not by themselves though.

  15. February 15, 2010 / 10:51 am

    that soup sounds heavenly, combines my two fave types of soup! AHH i am really excited for your garden, you’re planting all the essentials and then some :). perfect area for a plot. aww lily, such a cutie. so are you! love that you call your hubs mr prevention! oh, and seriously thanks for pointing out that issue with my commenting the other day, since i fixed it the daily hits on my blog have doubled!!

    • Nicole
      February 15, 2010 / 10:55 am

      !! doubled!? I am SO glad I said something!!!! πŸ™‚

  16. February 15, 2010 / 10:51 am

    That was really a pleasant surprise for you…am sure u have a wonderful time together….and soup just looks so comforting and delicious…

  17. February 15, 2010 / 11:30 am

    I feel so lazy. I asked for (and received) a book on raised bed gardening for Hanukkah. And I haven’t even opened it yet! It was my goal to learn to garden this year. I need to get on that!

  18. February 15, 2010 / 11:57 am

    That looks like the perfect spot for a garden!

    1. Yes, please. πŸ˜‰

    2. Hmm….I should give lentils a chance, but I’ve tried them with 2 different recipes – the first (a soup) I hated, and the second (“Sloppy Joes”) were just okay. I wish I liked them!

  19. February 15, 2010 / 11:57 am

    I’m definitely jealous of the garden you’re planning! I hope it turns out wonderfully for you!

  20. February 15, 2010 / 12:06 pm

    Such gorgeous Valentine’s Day surprises! You and Lily are so cute in the garden – love the photos! πŸ™‚ Your garden sounds absolutely AWESOME!

    I adore lentils… Fiber, lean protein, and scrumptiousness all in one! πŸ™‚ Your soup sounds soooo delicious…

  21. February 15, 2010 / 1:14 pm

    Your garden is going to be so awesome!!!

    I have to go with chocolate…fruit dipped in chocolate is one of my favorite things in the world! And I love lentils, but hardly ever cook with them…I’ll definitely have to give this soup a try! πŸ™‚

  22. February 15, 2010 / 1:48 pm

    Well done!
    I have my garden graphed out, and add to it and change it yearly – but would not have a clue what was rearing its head some years without my notes… Well, I would probably recognize it once it reared its head… but when doing new planting or just spring cleaning, it is really helpful to know if something is already there!
    So gratifying.

  23. February 15, 2010 / 1:56 pm

    Great post!! I know most people don’t get their veggies everyday. I know spinach is one of the best….I try to have that for my salad at lunch time. Thanks for sharing!

    Jen πŸ™‚

  24. February 15, 2010 / 2:00 pm

    first of all, your house is gorgeous! You should post a tour of your house on the blog!

    I’m dying to plant a veggie garden as well, but I don’t know that I’ll get around to it this year. I’ll live vicariously through yours πŸ™‚

  25. February 15, 2010 / 2:09 pm

    I like the size of your garden. 2 years ago I planted a 60′ x 100′ garden of tomatoes and cucumbers. Thought I’d try making some money at it and my parents had a ton of tomato plants going to waste in their greenhouse. Well foolish me wasn’t prepared for that much work! I should have started small like you.

  26. February 15, 2010 / 2:50 pm

    your garden sounds wonderful, send some fresh veggies my way once everything is planted and ready!

  27. February 15, 2010 / 2:51 pm

    Can’t wait to see the garden from start to finish!
    Your pup is adorable πŸ™‚

  28. Rebecca
    February 15, 2010 / 3:43 pm

    I randomly stumbled on your blog not too long ago and I have to say- thanks for the great recipes! Everything you put on here is deelish. (I just made the lentil soup tonight, it was excellent! I made mine with soy milk, though, because I’m lactose intolerant. Even with the change I think it turned out well!)

    And when I could eat “regular” cheese, I *loved* fondue savoyarde (cheese fondue). I live in France and I enjoy a piece or two whenever my mother-in-law makes it for the family. πŸ™‚

    Looking forward to the upcoming recipes (and other info)! Bisous.

    • Nicole
      February 15, 2010 / 4:41 pm

      Merci beaucoup! Je parle un peu de Francaise. J’ai etudie le Francais depuis 11 ans dans l’ecole. (I think that’s right???) The recipe pressure is on! I try to post honest reviews of recipes, so look for those! If something isn’t a recipe I’d recommend, I try to give a heads up…even if I post the recipe! My taste isn’t always the same as others…but I’m glad we’re enjoying some of the same recipes! Thanks again for stumbling by and hope to “see” you around πŸ™‚

  29. February 15, 2010 / 6:45 pm

    I’d say Cupid found you…oh, happy days!

  30. February 15, 2010 / 7:15 pm

    Oh WOW!! You lucky girl!! πŸ™‚ So glad your man is treatin you RIGHT!! Custom M&M’s too?! Oh, swoon! πŸ™‚

    Definitely chocolate fondue! πŸ˜‰ And I love lentils!!

  31. February 15, 2010 / 7:26 pm

    oh my gosh youre going to have WONDERFUL veggie filled dishes!!! what a great vday! you are so pretty!

  32. February 15, 2010 / 7:42 pm

    Wow, Mr. Prevention IS a great gift-giver … what a spread!

    I can’t wait to see how your garden turns out!

  33. February 15, 2010 / 9:03 pm

    Yum! Chocolate fondue is where it’s at!

    Good luck with your garden. I would love to start one, but my dog tends to interfere.

  34. February 15, 2010 / 9:21 pm

    A fondue? Wow, what an appropriate Valentines’ meal…but yup, I’ve got to agree that cheese is the way to go! Chocolate can be soo cloying.
    I think I like lentils, but they don’t exactly wow me.

  35. February 15, 2010 / 10:53 pm

    Oh my gosh! I wish I had a yard so that I could have my own garden. I love all that stuff that you’re going to plant!

  36. February 15, 2010 / 11:01 pm

    Planting a garden is sooo exciting. I love what you have chosen to plant!

    1. Cheese for sure!!!!
    2. Love, love, love lentils.

  37. February 15, 2010 / 11:09 pm

    Cheese indubitably!

    And I love lentils. Love em, love em, love em

  38. February 16, 2010 / 8:20 am

    What amazing gifts! Those seeds are great and the custom printed M&Ms are so funny!
    I’ve never had chocolate fondue before so I can’t really tell.. I love moitiΓ©-moitiΓ© fondue though. And lentils. πŸ™‚

  39. February 16, 2010 / 8:26 am

    What an amazing hubbyy–yummy goodies! I got a deep fryer from my Mr. He knows I have been wanting one forever πŸ™‚ I love garden fresh produce–you can come plant me a garden anytime! haha

  40. February 16, 2010 / 10:23 am

    I am a chocolate fondue type of girl =) …dude the hubs gets extra brownie points! he is so thoughtful!

    HEY LILY!!!!!

    I can’t wait to see how your garden turns out…I am slightly jealous…okay I am lying…I am VERY jealous! lol

  41. February 16, 2010 / 3:44 pm

    Your garden will be so great! I wish I had a green thumb, I kill everything. Can’t wait to see it bloom in the spring and summer.

  42. February 17, 2010 / 12:47 am

    Yay for a garden, so exciting! I would love to have one some day. Looks like a great V day celebration, yum!

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