Monday Must Have: Home Grown Food

During the summer our family loves to eat most meals straight from the garden and right now the lettuce is plentiful and the zucchini is just coming into season. Because of this, we tend to eat many salads and it's always good to have different types to choose from, so we don't get sick of eating the same thing.

Last week we had some friends visit from out-of-town and because we were having such a great time, we had them stay for lunch and this was the perfect meal to make, as it is so quick and easy.

My Mom created this DELICIOUS summer salad, which I will call "Mamma-Jo's Summer Salad" (Mamma-Jo is a nick name that really has nothing to do with her real name, but years ago my sister and I started calling her that and it just stuck).

Mamma-Jo's Summer Salad
*Yields: 1 very large salad, enough to feed 7-10 people & enough for seconds too.

2-3 varieties of lettuce (we like Red Romaine, Green Romaine & Curly Leaf)
1 or 2 small zucchini's sliced
2-3 small tomatoes (Heirloom, Roma, or whatever kind you have in your garden)
1 can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can white kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
2 Tbsp. minced onion (dried)
1 small can sliced black or green olives
1 avocado
sunflower seeds
1 pkg. lean ground beef, cooked with your choice of spices (we like minced onion, salt, pepper and lemon seasoning)


1) Mix all four types of beans with minced onions, cut up tomatoes & zucchini.
2) Add cut up lettuce and toss with bean mixture.
3) Have ground beef, sliced avocado, sliced olives and sunflower seeds set aside in separate bowls (in case there is leftover salad, then these ingredients won't brown or make the salad soggy).
4) Build your salad and use your choice of dressing.
5) Eat, enjoy, repeat.

I wish I had a picture of the finished salad, but we started eating before I even thought about it. But you'll just have to trust me when I say that we all enjoyed this salad and went back for more. When you use fresh ingredients, especially produce from your own garden, you'll never be disappointed.