Garden, Plant, Cook!

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Using Nurse Plants, New Squash and a "Pizza" Recipe

Crispy Greens Tortilla "Pizza"
Dear Folks,

Yesterday was the first day in a week with no restrictions on bending and lifting - yahoo!!  Of course it is only good for a couple of days until my next and final cataract surgery next Monday, but I took advantage of the freedom to bend in the garden - and make this Crispy Greens "Pizza"  - if you like Kale chips you will love this recipe.  More on that below.

As fellow gardeners you can image what "no bending or lifting" means.  I must bend over a couple of hundred times a day and it is totally automatic - I just bend over to do things.

So, the guideline is you cannot bend at the waist, your head (eyes) cannot be lower than your waist and you are supposed to stoop to get things.  Right - I am unable to do the "Playboy Benny Dip" because of my knees!  So it kind of sidelined me - all for the good, just frustrating.

Before the first surgery I did get some seeds in the ground in my "chicken wire hat cones" (to keep the critters off them) and I used the existing Crook Neck Squash bed (about 6 feet wide) as a "nursery."   These plants are in their final days although some newer growth is trying to put out and set fruit.

So I set up two seedling areas on the east side of the existing bed, which shelters them until they get going good.  The existing plants provide both western and a bit of overhead shade, while the east exposure gives the seedlings most of the morning sun.  And, the existing plants and debris keep the soil cooler and slow evaporation.  The middle portion of the picture is the crook neck squash seedlings (not the usual time to sow these, but I figured I would try) and the bottom is the Candy Roaster Seedling.

Initially I sprinkle every day (this bed is watered once a week) and now that they are going strong I will start backing off the sprinkling to encourage the deep roots - which is why the bed did so well through the spring and into this heat - deep roots.

I am excited to try a new-to-me winter squash "Candy Roaster Squash" - also called North Georgia Candy Roaster and similar.  This heirloom is possible to grow because of the preservation and culture of the Cherokee people who treasure it.  Click here to read up on the history and culture.  I purchased the seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.  These seeds are unique looking, fat and plump compared to usual squash seeds. [the picture is from the SESE catalog.]  I'm looking forward to how this squash does.

I will be posting the monthly planting tips for August around July 16th or so, at which time I hope to have recovered more from the surgeries and moving forward to see what I can "see". :-)


I was interested in a "crispy greens" pizza recipe I saw recently in one of the newsletters.  It used shredded zucchini or summer squash, salted, mixed with cheese and baked on a typical pizza or flatbread dough.

Unfortunately I STILL have not really tried to make dough - something I keep promising myself each winter. One of these years.  In the meantime, I like to use Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas to make "pizzas" - as they work really, really well in my toaster oven - on the toast setting.

A tortilla pizza is the perfect size for us, good for two snacks or a light meal.

The original recipe called for only shredded zucchini, but I am trying to do more things with a variety of greens, not just salad and soups (both of which I love greens in) but other things and now I have this great option.  For this recipe I used curly kale and zucchini, but next I am going to use my sweet potato and Egyptian leaves along with anything else green growing in the garden.

My Crispy Greens Tortilla "Pizza"

1 whole wheat tortilla                                                                                                                               
1 ounce Monterey Jack Cheese (or cheese of choice)                                                                                                                               
1/2  ounce Parmesan cheese
2 cups of kale
1 cup of zucchini  (half of 8 inch fruit)                                                                                                                             
2 tablespoons of red onion                                                                                                                                                               

--Set oven to 500 or arrange toaster oven on Toast at highest degree                                                           
--Shred cheeses separately set aside                                                           
--Shred zucchini and toss in bowl with some salt to wilt - let sit for 20 minutes.                                                           
--Thinly slice onion.                                                           
--Shred kale set aside.                                                           
--Using a glass pie plate, place tortilla in plate.                                                           
--Squeeze zucchini to get moisture out. Toss with kale, add the monterey jack cheese and toss.
--Top tortilla - spread to cover entire surface. sprinkle with a bit of salt and parmesan cheese and spread sliced onion over top.
--Toast/bake for approximately 15 minutes, WATCH - you want some charring on greens and top, but not burnt.                                                           
--Makes 4 wedges each 14 grams protein, 2 grams fiber and 228 calories.

I hope you have a fabulous and safe 4th of July.


-- Catherine, The Herb Lady

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