By Jenny Stauffer

How many of you all are growing your own gardens, visiting the local markets, or lucky enough for a co-worker to share the fruits of their labor?  Each summer, as the mounds of vegetables come in, it’s easy to wonder what to do with the bounty of goodness that sits on counter or in the garden!  Here are some recipes I have used that help to use up some of that lovely produce!   Although sometimes I think nothing is better than a salted, sliced home-grown tomato, vinegar-soaked cucumbers, or a squash casserole, I hope you all try these and find them just as delicious!

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

16 oz fresh black-eyed peas, cooked and drained, or 2 cans, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 small bottle Italian dressing
Chopped cilantro
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients and chill.  Serve with Frito or Tostito Scoops.


*My dad grew up in Louisville, KY, and met my mom there, where this dip/spread is very popular.  I grew up eating Benadictine sandwiches, just like we eat pimiento cheese sandwiches.  It is so versatile and crisp.  This is a great summer spread best on wheat bread or a wrap with turkey and sprouts and tomatoes, as a dip, or as an appetizer sandwich.  It’s also a great beach standby!

This is mom’s recipe.  You may need to adjust amount of mayonnaise or salt, depending.  The texture should be a spread-like texture, not too thick, not too thin!

2 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature (light is fine)
1 large seedless cucumber, minced (or scrape seeds, salt and let drain on paper towels, making sure the cucumber is very dry)
½ onion (Vidalia), diced
1 T mayo
¾ tsp salt

Mix all ingredients until well combined.  Chill for several hours to let the flavors meld.

Basil Shrimp with Feta and Orzo

1 regular sized foil oven bag (or make your own foil bag)
Cooking spray
2 Tsp olive oil, divided
1 cup diced tomato
¾ cup sliced green onion
2 oz (1/2 cup) crumbled feta cheese
½ tsp grated lemon rind
1 T fresh lemon juice
¼ tsp salt and pepper
¾ pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350
Coat inside of oven bag or foil with spray.  Place in a large baking pan.
Cook orzo and drain.  Place orzo in a large bowl.  Stir in 1 tsp. oil and next seven ingredients.
Place orzo mixture in oven bag.  Combine shrimp and basil and arrange on top of orzo.
Seal bag.  Bake 450 25 minutes.
Cut bag open with knife.
Drizzle with remaining oil and serve.

Turkey Cheeseburgers

These are very moist and quick to make on the stovetop!
Serve with raw or crispy zucchini spears as a side!

1 T regular, light, or fat free mayonnaise
1 T honey mustard
1 pkg ground turkey breast
1/3 cup shredded zucchini
1 T fresh cilantro (optional)
2 tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp pepper, salt to taste
2 slices cheddar cheese
4 large English muffins, split and toasted
Lettuce, tomato

Combine mayo and mustard in a small bowl.
Combine turkey, zucchini, cilantro, soy, and pepper and salt.  Divide into four equal portions and shape into a ¼ inch patty.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over med/high heat.  Add patties, cook four minutes.  Turn.  Cook 3 minutes more or until done.  Top each patty with cheese.  Let melt.
Spread mayo/mustard mixture on toasted muffin.  Serve turkey burgers as desired.

Tomato Spinach Pasta

Simply yummy.
Add cooked shrimp or chicken, if desired.  Also can add kalamata olives.

 ¼ cup olive oil
1 T fresh chopped garlic
S and p to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
4 T oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 fresh tomatoes, diced
¼ cup pine nuts
1 cup fresh spinach, finely chopped
12 oz. angel hair pasta, cooked as directed.
Fresh Parmesean cheese

Saute olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh tomatoes until tomatoes begin to wilt.  Add spinach and pine nuts and cook until spinach wilts.  Add feta and cooked pasta.  Toss to coat.  Top with grated fresh Parmesean cheese.

Baked Fruit Crumble

I grew up with this!  You can alter the fruit from season to season.  Here is the original recipe, but for the summer, I would substitute more peaches or more berries for the nectarines!  Use what is in season, and this becomes a versatile seasonal dessert.

4 peaches, sliced
4 nectarines, sliced
1 pint blueberries or raspberries
Juice of one lemon
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon

Mix above and place in a buttered baking dish.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the following:
¼ cup flour
½ cup dark brown sugar (I don’t think light or dark brown matters)
¼ cup quick cooking oats
1 stick unsalted butter, softened

 Bake 375 for 40 minutes.  Top with fresh whipped cream.