Big taste in half the space: Tips to garden great in small areas

Culture, Editor's Journal, Featured

When it comes to cooking and eating the freshest vegetables and herbs, we recommend growing your own. Make the most of your harvest this year by selecting plants that will thrive in your space. Container gardening is a great option, perfect for those who want to plant on patio or deck spaces. You can use containers to grow favorite herbs and vegetables, so you can harvest fresh flavors right outside your door.

Whether you have a condo patio, a high-rise rooftop, a quaint sunny corner of your yard or even a window box, the experts at Burpee Plants know anyone can be a successful gardener no matter their level of experience or space available. Here are top suggestions for plants perfect for small spaces that bring the performance and flavor:

Confetti Pepper: Petite peppers pack a lot of punch in a little 2-ounce size that can be eaten fresh at any stage, from green to ruby red. The eye-catching leaves are beautiful, too. Kids especially enjoy watching the fruit change colors over time and snacking on the bountiful harvest.

Atlas Tomato: If you want a big slicing tomato for sandwiches or a stacked caprese salad, the Atlas Tomato is for you. This container-friendly beefsteak tomato is disease resistant, which means healthy plants all season, and features impressive, extra-large tomatoes that are as fun to grow as they are to eat.

Jungle Parrot Pepper: Named for its adorable, beak-like shape, this pepper is perfect for patio containers. It ripens to a beautiful, rich red that adds a pop of color to your space. Enjoy this sweet and delicious pepper fresh from the vine, displayed as a table centerpiece, sliced for a sauté or as stuffed appetizers.

Merry Mint Fresh Flavors Herbs: Add healthy flavor to all types of cooking by planting your own herbs. Merry Mint and other favorite flavors can be snipped as needed for salads, marinades, garnishing and more. From parsley and basil to sage and thyme, herbs are easy to care for — both indoors and outdoors — and easily expand your recipe possibilities.

Discover more garden inspiration, DIY projects and new recipes, like this Fauxjito, by visiting burpeehomegardens.com:

The Fauxjito

Ingredients: Merry Mint from your herb garden, Still water, Sparkling water, Glass carafe

Directions: Chop and muddle a few sprigs of Merry Mint and add to the carafe. Next, fill carafe full with one-third still water and then two-thirds sparkling water. Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Simple ways to curb carbs when eating on the go

Culture, Featured

Whether you are trying to reduce carbs or eat more protein, eating well on the go can be a challenge.

Quality carbohydrates like whole-grain breads, milk, yogurt, fruits and legumes are an important part of a balanced diet, especially for children and teens. For adults, reducing the amount of empty carbs you eat can be a great way to meet your personal wellness goals. It’s important to replace those carbs with lean meats, healthy fats and nutrient-dense vegetables.

Here are a few simple suggestions to eat on the go while still following your current diet.

Keto-style

A ketogenic diet, also known as keto, is a popular diet that balances protein, fat and carbs roughly in the following breakdown:

* 10 percent or less of their calories from carbs

* 70 to 80 percent of their calories from fat

* 10 to 20 percent of their calories from protein

One good way to follow a ketogenic diet is with a salad starting with a lean meat such as rotisserie-style chicken, turkey breast, steak or roast beef. Add in some veggies like lettuce, spinach and onions. Then top it all off with a dressing that has less than 2 grams of carbs like ranch, savory Caesar, oil and vinegar or Chipotle Southwest.

Carb-conscious

If keto sounds too ambitious for you, there are other simple ways to reduce carbs in your diet, like asking for a lettuce wrap instead of a sandwich. You can make any Subway sandwich into a nutritious salad with five servings of veggies.

Visit subway.com and use the nutrition chart to see how your favorite salad stacks up, or try these favorites:

* “Spicy” Steak Salad: Order a steak salad with your favorite veggies plus jalapenos, shredded Monterey Cheddar and Chipotle Southwest sauce. This has 380 calories, 17 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein.

* “Cobb-style” Oven Roasted Chicken Salad: Try a salad with oven roasted chicken, guacamole, your favorite veggies and top it off with ranch dressing. This has 420 calories, 20 grams of carbs and 21 grams of protein. You could also add a strip of bacon for an additional 35 calories.

If you’re in the mood for a sub but would like to cut down on carbs, you can always ask to have your bread scooped out.

Quality carbs

Trying to improve the overall nutrition quality in your diet, but don’t want to cut carbs? Try these easy swaps:

* Swap white bread for wheat. Select whole grain-certified 9-Grain Wheat

* Swap sweet sauce for savory. Try mustard, oil and vinegar or mayo

* Swap sweet drinks for water. Choose bottled water or unsweetened fountain drinks