Thursday, 9 July 2009

Time for some recipes!

With only a very small garden sometimes one has nothing to do! Well other than water and weed! But at this time of the year most plants are at their most abundant and it is useful to have ways of using the surplus they produce. I don’t know where I found these recipes but I’ve had them for some time and use them regularly. Particularly the chicken and zucchini one which is delicious. And it could be that I may have a glut of courgettes as we call them as the plants are producing really well after their dodgy start.

Lemon balm is a herb that will take over the garden if allowed.DSCF0052 Not only does it grow very vigorously but also creeps along the ground sending up new shoots. And to add insult to injury it shoots its seeds wide and far. It is true to say that once one has Lemon Balm one has it for life. However it is a herb that I like even though it isn’t the most attractive being bushy and straggly!   


Melissa Healing Potion
Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is an energizing and stress-
relieving herb. It can also help with head-aches and depression. If you are going through a period of stress, grief, or anxiety, you might like to try the following potion:
1 cup boiling water
3 tsp dried lemon balm leaves or small handful fresh leaves
Infuse the lemon balm leaves  in the boiling water for
ten minutes, and say:
Bring me rest and bring me peace.
Harmony come and pain release.
Take a cup each evening for three weeks.

Note: I find it works wonderfully well even without the chant! Honey or Agave Nectar can be used to sweeten it.

Yield: 6 servings

1 (18 ounces) can tomatoes
1 cup  chicken stock (this can be stock cubes)

1 small green pepper, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped(more can be added if you have a lot to use up!)
Fresh ground pepper and salt to taste
2 teaspoon minced fresh basil
1-1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts,
cooked and cubed into 2-inch pieces
Drain the liquid from the tomatoes into a saucepan. Chop the tomatoes and set aside. Add the stock, green pepper and garlic to the tomato liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for 10 minutes.

Add reserved tomatoes, zucchini, pepper, salt, and basil. Simmer until zucchini is tender, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes.

It is very good with cream, crème fraiche or cheese stirred into it!

And to end on a note of horror I found this on my walk round the garden this evening!DSCF0047 It is on my spearmint mint which is just about to burst into flower! It is so like the plant that I almost missed it. It is now a squashed thing!


  1. Wonderful recipes Val! :)

    The last time I attempted to keep mint it was always full of caterpillars - I haven't tried since!

  2. Liz my normal mint doesn't get caterpillars at all. Strange that! Val

  3. The stew sounds most tasty. I picked my first couple of courgettes from the allotment yesterday and think that there will be more to come home with me at the weekend. My mum used to cook the flowers in batter - most delicious :)

  4. Thanks for the recipes Val. Very useful if my courgette plant ever produces any fruit.

  5. Yes I would agree with you once you have lemon balm it is with you for ever.