Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 19, 2011


Before we get to this amazing dinner that we enjoyed last night, I thought I would update you on my vegetable garden progress!

Eric and I built the first of two raised beds for the veggie garden. Each bed is 4 feet by 8 feet.  We used this step-by-step tutorial for a raised bed.


Our growing season doesn’t officially begin until Victoria Day Weekend (around May 20th), which is when most gardeners deem the risk of frost to be over. Some gardeners will plant before this date and then use a frost cover if there is a warning though.

Things I still need to figure out:

  • Where to buy a 100% organic topsoil (do they exist?)
  • Read up on Lasagna gardening method
  • Build or buy a compost bin- research options/methods
  • Make a list of what I will grow
  • Read up on companion planting
  • Draw a plan/diagram of where I will plant everything in boxes
  • How to get rid of my black thumb!!!


Right now I am thinking about planting the following:

  • Onions
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Zucchini/Squash
  • Garlic
  • Peas
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Herbs!
  • Some type of berry (strawberries or blackberries probably)


What do you experienced gardeners think of this list? Is it too much for a 1st garden? Any tips?


In other news, my Mexican food kick rages on!

As does our cold and snowy weather…


When you can’t get warm, make spicy Mexican food, I say. :)



Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce

Chili adapted from Skinny Taste

Yield: 7 cups


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup dry kidney beans (or 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup dry black beans (or 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground chili powder
  • One 5.5 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 & 1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • One 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp homemade taco seasoning (or packaged seasoning, to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Cilantro
  • heaping 1/4 cup Nacho Cheeze Sauce (below)
  • To garnish: Nacho cheeze sauce, crushed tortilla chips, and non-dairy cheese



1. Cook the beans if necessary. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the onion and garlic in a very large skillet over low-medium heat until translucent,  about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the cumin, chili powder, followed by the tomato paste and frozen corn. Cook for a few minutes on low.

3. Add the canned tomatoes and Cilantro and stir well. When the beans are cooked, drain them, rinse, and stir into chili. Slowly add the homemade taco seasoning (or store bought) to taste until desired taste is achieved. Simmer on low-medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, make your cheeze sauce (below).

4. Stir in a heaping 1/4 cup of the Nacho Cheeze Sauce and serve with crumbled tortilla chips, non-dairy cheese (I used Daiya), and Cilantro garnish. Makes 7 cups.



I bought some frozen Cilantro cubes as a more economical way to buy herbs (I hope to grow some in the summer though). I wasn’t overly impressed when I added a couple Cilantro cubes into the skillet. The aroma was not the same! Maybe I didn’t use enough? I can’t wait until I can pluck some from the garden!


Cook your onion and garlic until translucent.


Add in your seasonings, frozen corn, and tomato paste.


Stir in the can of tomatoes and Cilantro.

IMG_4613 IMG_4614

When the beans are cooked, drain and rinse, and then stir into the chili.


Simmer on low for about 10-15 minutes to allow the flavours to develop.

Meanwhile, make your nacho cheeze sauce!



Nacho Cheeze Sauce

Adapted from Ashley.

Yield: 1 cup


  • 3/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp nutritional yeast 
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salsa (I used Medium heat)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder* see note
  • Shake red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt


Directions: In a food processor, add all ingredients and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Note: Next time, I would use fresh garlic (1 clove probably) instead of the powder.


Now stir in a heaping 1/4 cup of the cheeze sauce into the chili! It makes the Taco Chili sooo creamy and delicious.


I topped a bed of romaine greens with a huge scoop of the Taco chili and garnished it with a spoonful of cheeze sauce, crumbled tortilla chips, and Daiya cheese. I prefer the cheeze sauce a bit warm so I heated it in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. It doesn’t heat very well though and it got a bit hard on the sides. It was nothing a good stir couldn’t fix though!

The Taco Chili turned out fantastic! A little spicy, a little creamy, and a ton of amazing flavours.

It was husband approved too…Eric gave it two thumbs up. :)


I’m so COLD this morning…need more tea!

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{ 169 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara @ trulysimplebits April 19, 2011 at 8:54 am

I bought organic soil at Walmart (in the USA). Since the gardening season is still a month away why don’t you start the seeds in pots in the house. That way when it is planting season they will already have a head start. That’s what my family used to do when I was growing up (I grew up in atlantic Canada where it seems to take forever for spring/summer to come! like your weather too I’m sure)
I just planted seeds in pots Sunday actually. I live in California though so it’s warm enough to have them outside. This is my first time planting so I am not sure how it will go. It will be an experiment! :) We don’t have any land to have a real garden, so I am just using pots on our deck for this year. You are lucky to have a big backyard. Hopefully by next year we will too :)


Tara @ trulysimplebits April 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

Also, this post has a picture of the soil I bought. I don’t think it said “100%” but it was the only organic choice they had.
(not trying to promote my blog, just wanted to show you what I got for organic :)


Nikki T April 19, 2011 at 8:58 am

Awesome work on the garden boxes!
I’m just waiting for my 1st timer gardening in Alberta books come in the mail so I can start planning out my summer garden!
I never really thought about doing raised beds…what is the benefit??
What I will have to do is figure out how to keep our curious fur-baby out of the garden!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

From what I have read a raised garden usually produces a larger yield because the soil is less compacted and more air can travel through the soil. Plant roots need a lot of air down there I guess. They are also great because they are supposed to drain better.
We’re going to put a chicken wire fence around the beds to try to keep out the bunnies and other animals. :)


Nikki T April 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

Cool, thanks for the info!
I may have to get my handy husband to get started on building!


Jenny @ Fitness Health and Food April 19, 2011 at 9:00 am

mmm my favorite dish is a big mexican salad and this looks like it would hit all of the same flavor and texture notes!

can’t wait to try it! :)


Emily April 19, 2011 at 9:03 am

Hi Angela,
I made something similar on the weekend, as I was in need of some comfort food since it was rainy all day long. It turned out some yummy and the house smelled so good. I love using the crock pot for chilli and other meals. I am not sure if you have one? The crock pot works really well especially when you have a million things around the house that need attending too!

Happy Easter


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:43 am

I do have a crockpot and I debated using it for this dish, but I decided I didnt want to drag it out this time. :)


Natalie @ Will Jog For Food April 19, 2011 at 9:04 am

WOW, that looks so good! Can you save some for me? ;)


Courtney @ The Granola Chronicles April 19, 2011 at 9:05 am

This looks so comforting – especially compared to that frost on the ground. I don’t think I could ever get sick of Mexican food!


ellen April 19, 2011 at 9:08 am

I only have 5 years of vegetable gardening under my belt in New England. I’ve found it’s helpful to find a plot plan for the garden for your area. It will show you what can and can’t be planted next to each other. And you don’t plant everything at the same time. Lettuce likes cold (already planted ours). And kale likes the fall. Carrots have not been successful. They only get to be about an inch long. I don’t think the season is long enough in the northeast. Or maybe we just weren’t good at that..

Home grown strawberries are the best things ever!! but they only seem to do well after a few years when they really take root. Put them in an area outside of the raised beds because they like to spread and come back every year. You’ll have to be able to net them or the squirrels and birds will get them too!

Sorry for the novel. i love home grown veggies! One more thing – our favorite crop ever is edamame. You’ll have to order the seeds. Edamame likes warm weather so plant in july and you’ll have the best pods by late august. So much better than the frozen stuff!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

thanks ellen! Where do you think I could find a plot plan?


ellen April 19, 2011 at 11:45 am

We started with a book called the Vegetable Gardeners Bible(http://www.amazon.com/Vegetable-Gardeners-Bible-10th-Anniversary/dp/160342475X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303230593&sr=8-1). I think this book is for growers in northern new england. i’m not sure where you are in canada or if it’s applicable. We’ve also found some more localized plans at our local gardening store. If you have a local store they might have a newsletter that they email. Ours usually announces when to plant different seeds and whether they should be started indoors or outdoors which is really helpful. it can seem overwhelming to figure out when everything needs to be planted.

I found this online: http://www.almanac.com/content/plant-companions-list-ten-common-vegetables which tells you the vegetable friends and foes.

A lot of it is trial and error to see what works in your yard. we already killed the first brussel sprout crop this year because of heavy rains.. but try again we will !! we’ve learned not to plant the whole seed packet at once for this reason. good luck!!


ellen April 19, 2011 at 11:52 am

After I posted I found a really helpful thing on the farmers almanac web site – a chart that shows you by location when to plant! My life was just made easier.

I dont know if you have this in canada or if there is a US location close enough:


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help! :)


ellen April 19, 2011 at 9:13 am

One (ok two) more thing.. tomatoes do best in the upside down planters. It keeps them off the ground. I’ve heard you can do cukes like that too but we’ve never tried. We usually encourage them to grow up a trellis. And you can now get organic soil and seeds at home depot.. yea! Sorry for taking over your comments this morning!! Have a good day.


Nikki T April 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

Awesome info, Ellen! (Another first time gardener here!)


brandi April 19, 2011 at 9:14 am

i think that’s a great list for a first garden! but i’m not sure all of that will fit in just two raised beds – are you doing more or also doing just a tilled section of land for more plants?

you can’t plant certain things next to others, so I’d look up info about each item you want to plant to make sure you have them in the best place. Also, things like strawberries don’t produce very well the first year, but the next two years will be great! you’ll want those in a place that will be easy to rotate plants as they come through the 3 year rotation they naturally have.

i can’t wait for our stuff to start coming in! homegrown fruits and veggies are the best ;)


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:45 am

yea that is what I was wondering about whether I’d have enough room. I’m not sure how many plants to buy for each! ahhh


brandi April 19, 2011 at 10:53 am

you can definitely fit quite a bit in those beds – I guess it just depends on how much (of each) you want to grow this first year. I”m excited to see the progress! :)

We just planted our raspberry and blueberry bushes last weekend and we’ll be getting our raised beds built this week (weather permitting!) to plant our strawberries and asparagus.


Liz April 19, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Another space consideration, specifically for zucchini – these plants grow huge! I made the mistake last year of planting a whole row of zucchini seeds, and they grew to comically huge proportions and basically took over the whole garden, lol. I think you’re supposed to plant them a lot further apart than I did. Trial and error!

The herb garden is my absolute favourite – I love, love, love having my own fresh herbs straight from the garden. Most of them will come back year after year as well. But I would recommend not planting mint in the ground because it’s a spreader and will actually cross-polinate with your other herbs so that everything starts to taste minty! I keep my mint in a pot now.


Felicia (a taste of health with balance) April 19, 2011 at 9:14 am

i really, realllly love sauces made with nutritional yeast! love the flavor and nutritional boost


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat April 19, 2011 at 9:15 am

Oh my gosh…. I just made a very very similar chili the other night and am posting it as my recipe of the week tomorrow. I swear, we are thinking very alike these days!! Mine however, did not have creamy nacho cheeze sauce – it looks so good!! Congrats on your vegetable garden progress! Sounds like you were busy over the weekend. I’m interested to hear more about the Lasagna gardening method! :)


Erica April 19, 2011 at 9:18 am

Hooray! I just started my first raised bed garden this year too! (Well, actually I put my husband to work building it) I can’t wait to transfer my seedlings this weekend. I also started my first compost bin last weekend! I got this one, but for half the price at a local big box store:

So far, I love it!


Holly @ The Runny Egg April 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

Angela when we finally have a house where we can garden (we’re in a townhome and digging in the yard is a no-no!) I am coming back to your posts because I so want a big garden one day!

I love the looks of this chili. It is cold here too, so warm foods sound delicious!


Lauren at Keep It Sweet April 19, 2011 at 9:19 am

That chili looks delicious and perfect for this weird back-and-forth spring weather!


BrightBakes April 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

Angela! I’m an avid gardener and have been ever since I was small. (my mom started me young…she has always gardened/grown veggies/canned everything)
Just a year ago I converted my huge kitchen and herb garden into raised beds. Believe me, LASAGNA GARDENING is the WAY to go! I tried a few beds with rich topsoil and a few beds lasagna-way, and trust me, the lasagna beds are Off. The. Hook.
Plus I find it to be very earthfriendly! ANY material that decomposes (except protein and fat) can be used! Newspaper, straw, moldy leaves, peat moss, chopped bark, pine needles, you name it.
I HIGHLY recommend Patricia’s Book (Lasagna Gardening) I ordered it from Amazon and it is worth every penny!
This year ALL my beds will be lasagna style… :)
If you have any questions I would be more than happy to help.
cathy b.


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:46 am

Wow that is great news!!! Thanks so much :)


amy April 19, 2011 at 9:20 am

If you plant any kind of berry plant this year, you probably won’t get results for a year or two. It takes a few years for the plant to mature to produce the berry. My family has strawberry patches, and when one patch is starting to “die” out, my dad will purchase new berry plants and plant them somewhere completely different. Strawberries really like rich organic composted soil, you’ll yield very large berries! Make sure they are covered well with straw in the winter to protect them. I’d definitely read up online/check out books at a library for more information. My family is in Michigan, so similar climate to what you have as well.


Lizzie April 19, 2011 at 9:21 am

Strawberries over blackberries – no prickly bits (though blackberrying is a very fond childhood memory for me) and plenty of frozen strawbs to make summery desserts in the middle of winter! :) I’m kind of limited with veggie planting because of apartment living, but I do a herb box in the summer, with basil, mint, and rosemary – and this year I will make it last through August! (sometimes I forget to water!)


Jennifer April 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

First, build your compost bin. It is much cheaper and there is no reason to spend a bunch of money on one.

I live in the southern US and we have gardens every year. Squash and tomatoes are pretty easy to grow. Kale is easy to grow as well. Peppers grow like weeds, we always have a TON. Another thing that grows pretty good is okra. My dad always says that strawberries are hard to grow and take a ton of water.

Since you live in a rural area I think your biggest problem will be the wildlife using your garden as a salad bar. You’ll have more deer and rabbits than you’ll know what to do with!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

haha yup…we’re going to put up a big chicken wire fence to keep the creatures out! Although my neighbour said she has never had one thing taken from her garden (that she knew of), so go figure!


Ashley April 19, 2011 at 9:22 am

Yay! So glad you liked the nacho cheeze sauce. 2 nights ago we had a verrrry similar meal. :) Delicious + comforting. The gardening bed looks FAB. Jealous!


Rachel April 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

Hey Angela!
I live in MN and have been gardening for about 5 years….I suggest planting a ton. Seeds are cheap, and its the best destressor! Lettuce is so fun to grow, so abundant. Same with herbs. We let our cilantro go to seed and evey year it spreads. We have a cilantro patch the size of my kitchen, it smells amazing. I would do strawberries for sure. They spread like mad, so if u want a lot, skip the raised beds and plant where they can spread. So excited for you! BTW, my first year garden was the most fruitful, good luck to you!!!


Rachel April 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

Hey Angela!
I live in MN and have been gardening for about 5 years….I suggest planting a ton. Seeds are cheap, and its the best destressor! Lettuce is so fun to grow, so abundant. Same with herbs. We let our cilantro go to seed and evey year it spreads. We have a cilantro patch the size of my kitchen, it smells amazing. I would do strawberries for sure. They spread like mad, so if u want a lot, skip the raised beds and plant where they can spread. So excited for you! BTW, my first year garden was the most fruitful, good luck to you!!!


janet April 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

Hey Ange, I will be planting my own garden for the first time, too, this year. I also live in Toronto, so I am looking forward to hear your own tips and progress!

I have a short-list of what I want to grow, and already ruled out garlic because that needed to be planted in the fall. Otherwise, you may also want to consider growing Swiss chard, since I hear that is easy to grow and tastes great! Kohlrabi and arugula are also on our list to try. I have been told to stay away from broccoli and cauliflower since they attract lots of bugs!

Rhubarb is also really easy to grow (it loves shade) but unless you get a plant, it can take a while to grow from seed.


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

Wow I didnt know that about garlic needing to be planted in the Fall…


Jenn April 19, 2011 at 11:54 am

You can plant garlic in the spring but you need to plant it early in the spring. Mine went in about 2 weeks ago. Garlic is a slow grower so it needs a lot of time. I also planted my onions at the same time.


Sarah April 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

Yum, this looks way good. The garden box looks like it is going to be great! If you can fit all those veggies in your box, I say go for it!


Faith @ lovelyascharged April 19, 2011 at 9:27 am

I’m super jealous that you have the yard room for that! Right now I’m trying to start a little garden on my balcony. I just started basil and cilantro, and if I can get those to succeed, I may venture out into some smaller, semi-easy veggies that I can do in a large pot.

BTW – once you find a completely organic soil, please do share with us!


radioactivegan April 19, 2011 at 9:31 am

I don’t have any experience with gardening, but I totally want to come raid yours! I’m hoping to have a yard that I can garden in by next year (2012, assuming the Mayans were wrong), so I’ll be watching your progress for tips and tricks :)


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 19, 2011 at 9:36 am

I was going to make “meat”balls tonight, but they may turn mexican after reading your recipe!

Those cilantro cubes are brilliant – I just bought the basil version at TJ’s.


Alaina Rose @ Sweetness of Life April 19, 2011 at 9:40 am

That sounds like a wonderful first garden! That’s so exciting. Growing your own food is the best feeling ever :-) Good luck and have fun!


Jen @ keepitsimplefoods.com April 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

Love the frozen cilantro cubes! Never seen them before- very clever! I cannot believe ya’ll still have snow. Boooo! :(


Shanna, Like Banana April 19, 2011 at 9:42 am

Swoooon! I love mexi food and this looks hearty, healthy, and fantastic.

Could you do a mexi cheese sauce starting with cashews???


Andrea @ sweetpondering April 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

Miracle Gro offers an organic garden soil that has 100% organic ingredients and all natural mirco-organisms. Strawberries are a good choice I think because they yield quite a bit of fruit once they get going, but like others have said I wouldn’t expect much out of your first year. Also, I wouldn’t plant them in the raised beds with your vegetables because they spread and multiply, but also because you shouldn’t plant them near tomatoes/peppers because of that verticillium rot. Anyways, that’s my 2 cents! :)


Jocelyn @ Peace Love Nutrition April 19, 2011 at 9:48 am

That’s awesome! I’m so jealous- I live in NYC and it’s impossible to have a garden like that. I can’t wait to see your plants grow :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:49 am

ahh pressure is on now! hahah


Lacia April 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

That looks really yummy! Gonna have to add that to my list (LONG list) of things to make.

I would love to plant a veggie garden, but just don’t have the room for one right now. I have had a small one for the last few years where I grew cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers and green/red peppers, and various herbs. The cherry tomatoes came out great (larger tomatoes I find get eaten by something before fully ripening). Same with the peppers. My neighbour gave me some raspberry plants a couple of years ago and they have since taken over what little garden space I had so it looks like no more veggie garden for me. I love me some raspberries, but I would like some other stuff too! I live in SW Ontario as well btw.

I have a question for you as well. Is Eric Vegan as well? I am starting to try and omit meat from my diet completely, but hubby (and 3 kids too) would not do the same so I’m having a hard time with meals and making things for them to eat as well as me. Any ideas?


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:51 am

Eric is not vegan, but I would say he reduced his meat consumption by about 80% after watching Food Inc. He also enjoys the vegan meals that I make, so that helps a ton. When he does want meat he usually fires up the BBQ!


MarmandeintheKitchen April 19, 2011 at 9:55 am

I love the idea of the cheeze sauce in the chili – looks delicious!


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty April 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

Looks tasty! I love the idea of salsa in the cheese sauce!


Amber K April 19, 2011 at 9:58 am

Wow, that looks delicious!


Holly April 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

Garden peas are one of my favourite things about summer! And my favourite tomatoes to plant are the Sungold variety – they are so delicious and make summer salads look exciting and fresh with their bright colour. Be cautious with zucchini! I only plant 2 or 3 seeds and still get way more than I need!


Nicole @ Fresh & Fit April 19, 2011 at 10:00 am

I’m lovin’ the Mexican food! Good luck with your garden. My father has a garden and I love getting fresh tomatoes, zucchinis and squash from him. (I would love my own garden but we are in a condo which = no yard)
I’m excited to see your garden progress!


Amanda April 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

I don’t think that list is too long at all! I went in full throttle and didn’t regret it a bit (and I didn’t have a green thumb when starting!). When you first plant you’ll have your doubts but by August you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start years ago!
I think we’re in the same zone (I’m in upstate NY). I’m not an expert, but just to give you an idea of how I would plant…

Plant your peas now. Mine went in ~1 week ago. They are hardy and can survive a frost. The summer heat will kill them, so put them in early to maximize production and then plant again in August for a fall crop. Plant the lettuce, kale and garlic together to help keep animals out of your greens. Most hate garlic! Plant more garlic in Oct/Nov and you will get spring garlic too (which is bigger). Consider adding leeks to your list and plant those with your carrots. They each repel the other plants pests. Start the leeks inside now to maximize your growing season. Plant basil in between the tomato plants, not only do they taste great together, but they love being planted near each other! Your squash will usually do well anywhere with a lot of sun. I stress a lot of sun because it helps prevent powdery mildew which is a common killer of the squash plants (consider throwing some pumpkins in too, they will climb all over but they are really easy and high producers). I’d plant the cucumbers and squashes apart from each other because if one get’s powdery mildew, it will spread to the other easily. Beets and onions will grow well in any well drained soil. They would be fine in a semi-shady place too. For your peppers, I recommend planting them all close together. I planted mine too far apart last year and they didn’t bear too much fruit. My father plants his so that the mature plants will touch and he has much better luck! I would put your herbs on the outer portions of the planters because some help to deter pests, if you run out of room; these will grow great in pots too. I almost prefer the pots because I bring them inside in the winter and eat fresh herbs all winter, some are even still around the next year to put back outside! Just be sure to pick the flowers off of the herbs to keep them growing, if not they will go to seed and stop producing leaves to eat!
I’m new to growing berries this year, but they are perennials and will come back each year. I’d plant them in a flower bed as opposed to your raised beds (fruitscaping ;) ) to prevent disturbing their roots when you turn your soil to plant again next year.

I hope that isn’t too confusing! Feel free to email me with any questions. I’d be happy to help. If I can’t answer the question, I come from a family of farmers so someone will be able to 


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

Thanks Amanda!!! This is so helpful…printing now :)
I feel a bit overwhelmed about where to place everything. Do you know if there is some sort of diagram I can find?


Amanda April 19, 2011 at 11:04 am

At my local library I got a copy of the book “Carrots Love Tomatoes” by Louise Riotte. I got the old version (it has a second edition now), but I LOVED the book. They give you a list of plants to plant together and plants to put far away from each other and also detail each plants like and dislikes. There are diagrams at the end of the book for all kinds of gardens (ex. postage stamp gardens, the herb lover’s garden…). It was a great book that I referenced while plotting my garden this year!


Cherie April 19, 2011 at 11:22 am

Here’s a link to a site that helps with garden layout. Square foot style, but you can design for rows or beds. http://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Gardeners-Site/default/Page-KitchenGardenDesigner


Katie @ Nourishing Flourishing April 19, 2011 at 10:01 am

It is way too early in the morning for me to be drooling over Mexican ;) But I must! I can’t wait to try your nacho cheeze sauce — hoping my Midwestern, cheese-lovin’ husband finds it a fitting substitute, because I would prefer it to even the organic types he eats… Fingers are crossed! :) Thanks for sharing!


Kim April 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

Hi, Angela – I’m a professional gardener in Idaho, and my favorite thing about raised beds is that you can really crowd a large amount of plants into your raised beds, as long as you are committed to watering regularly. Someone else commented on the upside down tomato planters, I’m not a fan and think that a tomato will do the best if you use a metal tomato cage when you plant it in the ground, available at any home and garden store. Tomatoes are good to put in the corners of your bed as they will get fairly tall. If you are interested in berries, I would designate an area in your yard outside of your raised beds. Both strawberries and blackberries will spread. If you have a nice summer, you will get a few strawberries the first year if you plant little starts, but you will not probably see any blackberries the first year.

Bed are also nice because once you get towards the fall and potential freezes overnight, it is easy to cover your entire bed at night with a piece of plastic or an old bedsheet and then remove it in the morning. Great to extend your gardening season!

You will have some failures in the first year while you figure out what will do best in your garden spot, don’t be discouraged, because nothing tastes better than your own veggies, picked and eaten within 24 hours! Good luck!


Natasha April 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

I agree with the upside down tomato plant. I tried it last year with tomatoes and baby peppers and didn’t like them at all. They didn’t grow well. My tomatoes did great with a large planter and bamboo to grow up!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:55 am

Thank you Kim!!


[email protected] Enjoying Healthy Foods April 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

Last summer I had my first garden. I just did it on a whim and did not really do a lot of research. This year I have learned a lot about companion garden and am eager to try it out! I suggest building trellis to grow your squash and cucumbers and peas and beans on. That way you can maximize your garden space! I am hoping for the weather to warm up a bit so I can make some trellis’s.

I would love to hear updates on your garden progress!!!


Heather @ Health, Happiness, and Hope April 19, 2011 at 10:10 am

AWESOME Mexican dish! I say Mexican is the best when it’s cold outside – have to warm up somehow! ;)


Caitlin April 19, 2011 at 10:19 am

i live in pennsylvania and am tired of this cold weather, too! where is spring?? the groundhog was a liar this year, for sure :P this chili looks so delicious, i must make this asap, and i am reeeally excited to try the nacho cheeze sauce! anything that is cashews+nooch=amazing.

regarding the gardening, zucchini and cucumbers grow together really well. we always built an upright wooden lattice for them to grow on. beware of strawberries, it’s nice to have homegrown berries, but you have to keep them tame. otherwise, they end up sprouting all over your yard and completely taking over. (at least, that was my family’s experience with them!) raspberries are much easier to keep a handle on.

good luck!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:56 am

those strawberries sound like they have quite the personality! ;) Maybe I will opt for rasp. for my first berry. I’ll have to see!


Clare @ Fitting It All IN April 19, 2011 at 10:21 am

Definitely using this recipe at my family next Chili Cookoff! The nacho cheeze sauce will impress the carnivores:)


Danielle April 19, 2011 at 10:30 am

That is great for your first garden! I have never grown kale before, I should grow that this year too! Can’t wait to see the progress!


Natasha April 19, 2011 at 10:32 am

Hi Angela! Great job on the raised boxes they look great! We did our own raised boxes for the first time last year and learned alot! My suggestions: zucchini grows like weeds and take over so don’t crowd them. We are giving them their own box this year! I’m in Alberta so I think our weather is fairly similar…we had great success with zucchini, lettuce (wish I had grown more and will be this time around), chard, I grew my tomatoes and pea’s in seperate large planters so I could protect during hail/thunderstorms but they grew well. My carrots were stubby even though our boxes where deep. Make sure your boxes are deep enough ;) Pattypan squash turned out amazing! We tried some small breed melons and a butternut squash. The squash worked the melons didn’t at all. Our baby potatoes did well too. I can’t wait to see how it turns out for you guys! We loved having our own and it’s fun watching it all come in! Yes, you can buy Organic soil!! We bought ours at Blue Grass Nursery (not sure if you have that?) Good luck & have fun!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:57 am

Thanks for your tips! I can imagine that growing in Alberta would be a challenge with all those crazy hail storms and whatnot.


Emily April 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

Strawberries are verrrry labor intensive (actually, all berries are kind of a pain in the A)- and as someone mentioned above, they don’t really get going the first year. I might concentrate on the veggies- fruit is tough!

Very intrigued by this “lasagna” method though…


JL goes Vegan April 19, 2011 at 10:33 am

Your planting list is impressive. I’m going to try my hand at “deck” (urban) gardening this summer. We’ll see how it works outs…

…I love the cheezy sauce recipe! I’m have some beans soaking today and plan to cook them up in the pressure cooker tonight. This might be a nice treat to drizzle over beans and quinoa!


Char April 19, 2011 at 10:35 am

Since spring isn’t in the air (as your fellow Canadian friend), I swear Mexican is though!! I made quesadillas last night and they were awesome!! I love the link to the homemade taco seasoning. I’ve made my own before (since I really try to avoid the store bought ones) and can’t wait to try this one next time!


Amy April 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

Your list for your garden sounds really good. We have really cut back on the squash because of squash bugs. They are nasty and the only way to get rid of them is to – squash them. It is yucky! You have to keep up on it daily bacuase they will take over your garden. So I would probably leave those out until lyou are comfortable with gardening. YOur raised bes look great!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 19, 2011 at 10:58 am

squash bugs!!! Noted :)


Lindsey April 20, 2011 at 9:44 am

Instead of trying to get rid of them once they come, the better way, I’ve found, is to use a floating row cover (which you totally could use with this garden bed) when the plants are really small and this keeps the bugs from ever laying their eggs! Which is the best preventative method.

I have been growing food organically for 3 years now, and I actually have lots of information on companion planting that I can email you if you’d like. but the BEST book ever is “Carrots love Tomatoes” that has become one of my garden bibles. I do lots of teaching on companion planting and 3 season gardening. Because many places summer season is so short, I like to teach people how to use the whole year, is possible. There are super yummy things grown in the colder months too!


Hannah April 19, 2011 at 10:38 am

This nacho cheeze sauce sounds divine-and most likely better than regular cheese sauce! I love me some cheese, but that yellow stuff people get at the grocery store is just plain nasty.

I’m looking forward to “seeing” your garden flourish this summer-you must be so excited!!!


Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather April 19, 2011 at 10:39 am

Your garden box looks so good! I get overly excited when I plant my garden and usually take on too much work. Looks like you’ve got a great plan though!

Dinner sounds warming and delicious. Husband approved is always a plus!


Tosha April 19, 2011 at 10:39 am

I saw you were curious about companion planting. Here is a quick snippet that I found on the earthday website: Basil will deter flies and mosquitoes. Feverfew attracts aphids away from roses, while garlic, coriander and nasturtiums deter them as well. Tomato worms don’t like borage or pot marigolds. By choosing the right companion herbs in your garden of flowers or vegetables, you can avoid the bad effects of spraying pesticides.


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 21, 2011 at 11:07 am



Mel April 19, 2011 at 10:48 am

Berries are exceptionally easy to grow you dont even need a raised bed, strawberrys spread like wild fire too. Its so odd, its been so sunny here that my strawberries already have their flowers heads on! I dont know if this early sun is a good omen or bad but then we’ve never had proper seasons in England.


Lauren (Diary of a Vegan Girl) April 19, 2011 at 10:50 am

This looks so yummy! Especially that nacho cheeze sauce :)


[email protected] April 19, 2011 at 10:54 am

I grew up watching my Father plant and started my own garden last year. Some things I learned are that Zucchini plants need ALOT of room since the plants grow very large. Also, Swisschard grows supper fast, I couldn’t keep up with the 7 plants I had planted :-)


Meghan April 19, 2011 at 10:57 am

i’m loving this mexican kick you’re on!


Heidi @ Food Doodles April 19, 2011 at 11:03 am

Your raised beds looks great :) My hubby made some for me one year when I had a smaller garden and then we moved the garden across the yard. I think your list of things to grow looks great! Just be careful – zucchini go crazy! You only need 2 plants at the most. And be careful deer don’t eat your peas. They love them and ate most of mine last year :( Also blackberries will be a lot more work. You need to build something to hold them up because they grow out in long vines. So if you want something to go in your garden, go with strawberries. And they come back the next year and produce way more the second year. Yummy :D
Your taco chili looks amaaaazing :)


Moni'sMeals April 19, 2011 at 11:05 am

WOW! This looks better than the vegan nachos I got last night at my favorite place! Not to mention they charge $11.00 bucks for them too. :) I really look forward to this Nacho sauce too.

Good work on all the progress you are making!



Fanta April 19, 2011 at 11:13 am

I strongly recommend raspberry bushes around the yard, not only are they super hardy, but if you start with a couple shrubs, after a few years you’ll have big raspberry blish bushes.



Kate (Bread & Chocolate) April 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

Your raised beds are beautiful! I’ll be interested to see your veggies flourish. I have a small space, so I’m gardening in wooden wine crates. I’ve got broccoli, baby lettuce, tomatoes, strawberries…and hopefully a green thumb!



Katie April 19, 2011 at 11:14 am

That’s a really really ambitious list for a first garden!!! You are going to be putting in hours everyday if it all works. I’ve never gardened in your zone, but you should check out what grows best in your zone. I know that I’ve had a really hard time with certain crops. Also, I think you’ll have a hard time fitting it all into just 2 beds. I have 2 raised beds, and I can get in a few things in each, but I only plant a couple of each. Squashes, especially, take up a TON of room! You have to plant them 12-18 inches from one another, otherwise their yield is drastically reduced.

I’d maybe narrow the list down, but hey, I’m all about go big or go home too. But with a black thumb, that’s a lot of money too.

Good luck adn I can’t wait to hear how it all goes!


Gloria April 19, 2011 at 11:20 am

Mmmm that chili looks delicious!


sonia April 19, 2011 at 11:34 am

Hi Angela,
This is looking Gorgeous…loved ur recipe !


[email protected] April 19, 2011 at 11:36 am

ahh sorry about your weather :( its finally warm here so im craving summer foods but as soon as it gets cold this is the first thing im making… good luck with your garden im doing one in pots so we will see how well that works haha cant wait to see tips and your finished product!


JenATX April 19, 2011 at 11:38 am

is lasagna gardening where you garden the veggies necessary to make lasagna. ha, JK!
You know who’s garden I’m so jealous of? Ina Garten. It’s beautiful!


chelsey @ clean eating chelsey April 19, 2011 at 11:44 am

That nacho cheese sauce looks really good. I know what I’m making the next time I have a taco salad!


Ashley April 19, 2011 at 11:50 am

I would love to begin gardening– but I currently live in an apartment and we travel all the time! Maybe next year:) And the taco chili looks delish– always looking for a good chili recipe since I’m not exactly a fan of the meat kind!


Cait @ Beyond Bananas April 19, 2011 at 11:52 am

Love veggie gardens! Cost efficient for sure..and great to just have such a supply of goodness at your fingertips!


Lisa D April 19, 2011 at 12:05 pm

Hi There! Once again you have made my stomach growl, this looks delicious!

I have another question, this time regarding nutritional yeast. I am really curious and would like to buy/try some but I am a little intimidated. I went to our local health food store and there was nothing on package about its “cheesy” flavor etc. Are all nutritional yeasts the same? What do you typically use them in? I’ve seen recipes where they are sprinkled on salads etc, and I LOVE adding yummy things to my salads, I just want to make sure I’m using this correctly.

Thank you so much!


Tricia April 19, 2011 at 12:13 pm

This looks great! I really want to make the cheeze sauce, but my boyfriend is allergic to cashews…any idea what I could use to substitute?


Carly April 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I cannot wait to make this!
Alas I will have to use real cheese as I am crazy allergic to cashews! :(


Beth April 19, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Sounds like your gardening plans are well under way.
May I recommend the following herbs: cilantro, rosemary (can be grown in container and taken indoors through winter) and sage. We have had tremendous success with all three here in Ottawa.
Enjoying your Mexican themed posts.


Andrea B. @ Vegvacious April 19, 2011 at 12:32 pm

I’ve been all foods Mexican lately too! This chili looks delish and I always love your cheeze sauces.

Can’t wait to see how your gardening goes :-)


Emily April 19, 2011 at 12:35 pm

That Chili looks deeeliiccciiioousss!


Stacie April 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm

This girl has a black thumb too and cannot give advice. Say, have you seen Mama Pea’s recipea page over at peasandthankyou.com? Not sure how much it costs or how much work is involved on your end, but thought I would mention it since I know that keeping your recipe page organized and updated is such a thorn in your side…plus how much time it must take you (and other bloggers) to share such wonderful information with your readers!


Penny April 19, 2011 at 1:02 pm

If your going to plant blackberries I wouldn’t put them anywhere near your garden. They tend to go crazy and take over. My husband is always trying to cut ours back.
You will love eating the food that you have grown. It is so much more fun to go out and see what you can pick instead of going to the grocery store.
Have fun!


Sabrina April 19, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Just be warned. If you grow black berries you will never stop growing them. Even if you want to. And they grow roots to china so they will soon grow out of any attempts to contain them to one area.



Sabrina April 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Just be warned. If you grow black berries you will never stop growing them. Even if you want to. And they grow roots to china so they will soon grow out of any attempts to contain them to one area.



hihorosie April 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Okay, let me just preface this by saying I’m not an expert gardener and don’t even claim to have a green thumb (it’s a dark brown…ha ha!) but will say yes, there is such a thing as organic topsoil but where you find it in your neck of the woods I have no clue. But it does exist! And blackberry bushes have the tendency to grow and grow and take over so my suggestion is to watch where you plant it. They grow wild here so no need to plant any for ourselves but strawberries on the other hand, oh yeah! Nothing like a fresh picked strawberry from your own garden. Good luck with it all! I think you’ve got a great list to get started with.

The chili and cheese sauce look incredible. I need to stock up on some cashews. No doubt I would enjoy this all by itself. :)


Jamie April 19, 2011 at 1:21 pm

I read your blog daily from Minneapolis! I so enjoy it and your energy to boot! ;)
I have never commented though and thought I would throw this in about your raised beds, just in case you have never heard of it before – http://www.squarefootgardening.com/
There is a book about it too, but after a lifetime of gardening in “row fashion” with my family, this new method has changed the way I garden forever! I think you might really really like it!


[email protected] April 19, 2011 at 1:22 pm

that’s awesome Angela! Unfortunately, I have no advice b/c I haven’t tried gardening. yet. :) This dish looks so yummy! anything with cumin and Mexican-ish is great in my book.


Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit April 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm

It looks delicious! I’m always amazed at how much stuff you get done on a daily basis. I can’t believe you’ve already gotten that far on your gardening! The chili looks unreal… I’m obsessed with nutritional yeast right now so I have to try that cheese sauce.


Chantal April 19, 2011 at 1:34 pm

I recognize that I’m blog plugging here, but I’m in your growing zone and we’re starting up a garden too! (I have a page dedicated exclusively for it on my blog tabs) Can’t wait to get started! I don’t know how “organic” it is, but we just saw that the Loblaws has Organic Top Soil (also ones specially for veggies, perennials, etc.). Having just moved from 8 hours South, I can’t believe how late the growing seasons are here! Ah, the little things to get used to again…

Two things about composting: 1) the lasagna method is awesome (that’s what we’re starting with to kill our grass) 2) direct composting is best! We did this at my parents place for the past two years: all we did was keep a couple rows of the garden on reserve, and dug them into trenches about 4-6 inches deep, stick our compost in there, and then cover it with soil once you’ve put the stuff in. The worms do all the work, it works really quickly, and your soil becomes amazing! And the deer/bunnies/animals won’t get at it, despite my parents’ fears. Once you’ve worked your way through the whole row, and with proper dirt piling, you get a whole new wonderfully soiled row ready for planting! (it’s a lot simpler than I may have made it sound)


Andrea April 19, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Chantal the link to your Blog is not working. Thanks so much for telling us about lasagna gardening, we are just putting our beds together and defining our garden area. This is the perfect way for us to garden, we have so much clay here in our part of BC. I have lots of nasty compost to use and I love your idea about keeping an area for just that. Andrea


Chantal April 19, 2011 at 6:03 pm

Weird, I had checked if it worked on mine, but let me give it another shot… thanks for noticing! It’s http://eatdancelive.blogspot.com/p/garden-2011.html (or you can link it from http://eatdancelive.blogspot.com)
And about the clay, I guarantee you that with the direct composting method and one year of growing and composting you’ll be good to go (my parents can’t BELIEVE how their clay soil has transformed. It progressively went from that orangey-red colour to a dark rich brown in a year.)


Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) April 19, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Wow, Angela…awesome taco chili! I love it…it looks awesome! And the nacho cheeze sauce…yum! The cheezy sauce I make as the kale chip coating I use for my cheezy kale chips starts out with cashews and nooch, red pepper, more seasonings..I love the looks of yours. The mexican flavored twist to it with the cumin and salsa. I want it!

The whole meal just looks glorious..yum!

And great work on the gardening. You two are pros already just getting it all set up is awesome! Between running your blog, cooking, photography, now gardening….you must sleep less than I do :)


Karla April 19, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Oooh, good luck with the veggie garden! I’ve always wanted to try the raised boxes but we just don’t have enough room yet. I’m not sure how you are planning on starting your veggies (from seeds or plants?) but I started my plants from seeds and watched them grow into seedlings (full of pride!) until one day my bad little kitty went and ate ALL of the seedlings. Just a word of caution since I know you have a kitty!


Stephanie April 19, 2011 at 2:57 pm

Mmm, that chili looks super yummy!
I was thinking about starting a garden too, and I want to do it similar to yours. Can you keep us updated as to your progress? I’d love to see a few posts on gardening. =)


kaila @ healthy helper! April 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm

I’ve seen organic top soil at my local home depot and at some local gardening stores…..my mom uses it! And let me just say…..recipes like this prove that eating vegan can be DELICIOUS! Can’t wait to try this out!


Baking 'n' Books April 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Oh my I want a garden! I should move to a small town…or wait, I don’t know. Grrr….

Yum. Every night no matter what I eat it’s topped with sauce and cheese…uh, not the healthy cheese though…darn ;)


bree marsh @ deliciously dense April 19, 2011 at 3:38 pm

a little off the subject, but saw this in this month’s whole living magazine and reminded me of your blog…
“The most beautiful glow isn’t applied, it’s cultivated from within.”


Jessie April 19, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Be warned . . . strawberries are hard to contain! They spread everywhere and you either need to pull shoots or till them up. I found them in my herb garden right next to the strawberry patch. Blueberries don’t spread and Raspberries do a little. Black raspberries arch funny, but don’t take up too much space.

Have fun planning and planting your garden!


Lisa (bakebikeblog) April 19, 2011 at 5:04 pm

I also cant wait to plant some herbs and veggies!


Stephanie April 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm

So I may have made this for dinner, and ate 1/3 of it!!!! Opps.


Sarah April 19, 2011 at 5:38 pm

I’m not sure about soil, but here’s a great place to get organic seeds:


I checked — they deliver to Canada.

The husband and I are planning to grow a whole lot of stuff this year, and we’re first time gardeners. I wonder if we’re planting too many things. I guess we’ll see!


Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 19, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I wish I had this recipe yesterday because I was in definite need of some comfort food! I can’t believe we’re getting SNOW in April!

Wow, that is going to be a huge garden! You put my little garden of tomatoes and herbs to shame. ;) I’m excited to follow along with its progress!


Jen April 19, 2011 at 6:08 pm

I’m so jealous of your soon-to-be garden! We’re apartment dwellers so a garden is definitely out of the question for us. We might be able to get away with one of those “grow tomatoes upside down” contraptions on the balcony, but that’s about it. Sounds like you’ve got a delicious summer ahead of you!


Paige @Running Around Normal April 19, 2011 at 6:34 pm

That nacho cheese sounds SO delicious!!


Jen (The Best Kitchen) April 19, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Your taco chili look so yummy. That’s one thing that I haven’t tried yet


Em April 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm

I don’t know if this has already been mentioned in the comments (didn’t read them all), but not everything can be planted at the same time, in the same spot, or together.

Also, watch out for planting 2 different types of squash, don’t plant them one next to the other, they cross-pollinate very easily, and you’ll end up with weird cross-squashes (which can turn either good or bad).

My recommendation would be to trim the list a little, pick about 4 or 5 veg and start with that, since some plants like sun, some don’t, some like a lot of water, some don’t, and herbs can easily overgrow a garden. I have my herbs in pots, so they don’t take the beds over. I think it’s easier to take some plants that grow well (like squashes, sweet potatoes, etc…) and try your hand with those, they’re more forgiving. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase your list easily.


[email protected] Caramel Cookie April 19, 2011 at 7:28 pm

This looks so delicious! I’m always looking for new vegan mexican recipes that my non-vegan husband this looks like a winner!


Halley (Blunder Construction) April 19, 2011 at 7:35 pm

I like frozen basil cubes, they definitely save $$ for almost the same flavor. Planning your garden must be very exciting, but I feel your worries about the black thumb. Just think positive thoughts, and hearty plants!


staceyhealthylife April 19, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I had something very similar for dinner tonight, yum.


[email protected] April 19, 2011 at 8:01 pm

This nacho cheeze looks so good!!! I can’t wait to try it! I would have never though of that


Karlee @olivewineandfood April 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm

frozen cilantro cubes?! sign me up. and sign me up for some of that nacho cheeze too!


[email protected] April 19, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Definitely got this bookmarked!!! Looks absolutely wonderful!!!


whitney April 19, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I’m starting my first herb garden this year, so excited! Maybe next year I’ll move on to the veggies. Can’t wait to see how yours turn out!



Dalai Lina April 19, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Watch out for those crazy cucumbers! They try to take over the world…


Lindsay April 19, 2011 at 9:37 pm

Tomatoes do well when their roots are warm, so I always plant mine in dark/black containers. I also have herbs in those long/skinny planters on my deck and find that they do really well.


Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food April 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

That nacho cheese looks so good and I would have never thought to make something like that with cashews! Yum!


Amanda (Tomboy That Wears Makeup) April 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Your garden will be fantastic. I was just chatting with my farm boy brother-in-law who is the gardening king- but I can’t really remember all he said.. so I’m no help. Something about when to switch fertilizers. CRAP! I need to ask him again….
I am going to get a patio garden going right away…


Starla April 19, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Are you still going to post daily glows? Not that don’t like you recipes ( I print like all of them!) I just miss the bits of life inspiring tidbits you gave x:)
Good luck with the veggie growing! Spring should be beautiful once the weather clears :)


Hannah April 19, 2011 at 11:05 pm

I’ve made Ani Phyo’s Nacho Cheeze in the past, but apart from the cashews, yours is so different! I’ll have to find a good quality salsa, as salsa is never something I have on hand!


Olya April 19, 2011 at 11:55 pm

Your bed looks awesome! We’re building this three compartment compost bin: http://www.ewswa.org/pages/resource/cmpstr1.html It make sense as you have 3 stages of compost: 1)ready to use; 2) half-way there; 3) one that you’re just filling in.


Lori April 20, 2011 at 12:25 am

I just thought I would let you know that I made this for dinner tonight, and it was DELICIOUS!! I made it as is, except I added extra salsa and water to thin the sauce out. My 7 and 4 year old boys couldn’t get enough of it!! Thanks for all of the great recipes!


Marit April 20, 2011 at 4:18 am

here is some of my area of intrest…
Finally i can give you some advice!!!

Firstly i’d build a compost heap/bin.
If any of your neighbours has one ask for a bucket of mulch from theirs to get it going (bacteria and all that need to be in balance and that is hard to do form scratch….)
put thin sticks in the bottom to start (for drainage and airflow), add leaf and garden waste then your neighbours mulch and top with more garden-waste and keep filling with left over food. potato peels are great, banana peals not so much but they will rot eventually… …
If you shred newspaper it can go in there too. but not whole newspapers ad they block airflow. and never glossy paper.
basically anything goes into it that can rot…
it won’t give you soil until next year but if you feed it pretty much like a pig and treat it well you will have wonderful nutritious earth for your garden. Plus… you will have full control of what goes into your garden.
If you build another then you can alternate which is maturing and which is being fed every second year.
but it’s a fantastic and economical way of gardening.

Look into three sisters gardening. tall plants (corn) supports climbers (beans, mangetout) and crawlers(cucumbers, squash et-c) shade the soil.
try some of your fave beans from your kitchen. They are organic and should sprout quite well if they are not pre-cooked or treated. seed-packets are generally too expensive and you will generally get a pretty good yeld off kitchen stuff…
I have grown broadbeans, haricots and black eyed peas from kitchen-cupboard packets and they tasted wonderful…
I have allready started this years beans, cucumbers, tomatoes and sweetcorn indoors and will transfer them to larger pots as they grow untill the outside soil is warm enough to plant in. that way they are sturdy and large enough to tolerate temperature drops and such when they go into the garden.
herbs… i find that Thyme and Lemon balm and Oregano are hardy plants that come back for years and years, surviving the minus 30 degree C winters we’ve been having latelly.

For a starter organic gardener i will also recommend inter-planting with callendula and tagetes flowers as they keep flies and moths and slugs off your veg reducing greatly your need for insecticides… Some swear to garlic but here in Norway i don’t think the slugs have discovered that garlic is bad for them…
Spraying with garlic water is however an effective remedy against greenfly if they do decide to ignore the tagetes…

Good luck!


Jennifer Drummond April 20, 2011 at 6:20 am

Hi Angela,

I just did my research and just planted my first vegetable garden. I highly recommend the book, “The Complete Vegetable & Herb Gardner” “A guide ti growing your garden organically” book by Burpee. It’s a really nice book, all color, hardcover, over 400 pages of great information from starting your garden, soil, sun, starting composting, to pests and diseases, companion planting, what grows in your area and all the different kinds of plants. Trust me you’ll love this book. I got it on Amazon, it was the cheapest there.

Oh and I planted a Blackberry bush last year, they tend to take over, and you don’t get blackberries the first year, hoping for some this year. Strawberries are easy and delish, I recommend them, there not picky and you can throw them anywhere in your garden!

Have fun and I’m glad you starting your vegetable garden, can’t wait to see the progress!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes April 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

This looks really tasty! Perfect for sitting outside with a glass of wine in the sun.


Pamela April 20, 2011 at 9:08 am

I just recently became an offical, fullfeldged vegan and am loving every minute of it, I am now wondering why the light bulb didn’t go off years ago! My 26 yr. old daughter turned me on to your blog and I love it so much! I find myself looking forward to checking it out everyday and not just once, but usually numerous times to check a recipe, print a recipe or just read about the happenings in your life. You certainly have a knack of keeping my interest (I seem to have a short attention span). I love it when you group together all the ingredients of a recipe and take a picture of them. This is really helpful if you are not familiar with a certain brand, this helps me find items faster in the store when I can see in my head the color of the label and brand name of the item I am looking for.
Thank you for all your hard work, you have done and awesome job with your blog! I wish you lots of luck with your gardening, however I have a feeling you don’t really need it as I am sure it will be a tremendous success!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 20, 2011 at 9:35 am

thanks Pamela and congrats!


Lindsay April 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

Hi Angela,
I am starting my second garden this year. A few things I’ve read and learned from my first attempt are below. I found helpful ideas in Mother Earth News magazine. They have a website as well!
Last year I’m afraid some sneaky bunnies ate a lot of my lettuce and spinach. This year I’ve read that if you plant spinach and lettuce beside things like onion and garlic they tend to stay away from it more. Your raised bed and chicken wire will help a lot!
Your list does look long but if you plot it out you should be able to squeeze it all in. I’ve grown zucchini before and they get huge so keep them near the edge. Tomatoes like the most sun light so you’ll want to place them on an edge. Try not to let anything shade them. Also keep a water schedule I noticed last year tomatoes and peppers split because I didnt keep a schedule! I live in the country near Brantford so I’ve dealt with similar temperatures and weather. I’ve also read putting down and pinning a tarp in between rows of veg will stop weeds from growing. Clearing weeds can be time consuming and I’m still not totally clear on what might be a weed and something I planted :S I didnt get a change to read too many of the ideas above so sorry if I’m repeating things! This is getting long but if you want more ideas I’ve got plenty.

All the best & great blog,


Paulina (One Smile Ahead) April 20, 2011 at 11:27 am

I’ve had gardening in mind for such a long time! I’ll get to this week, but I’ll start out slow :D Maybe carrots or tomatoes. I need to do some reading on this topic. I’m really clueless. Good luck to you though! Can’t wait to see your garden!


Corinne April 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm

Three sisters gardening is definitely something to look into if you want to get into companion gardening. The idea of building an ecosystem comes out of the idea that the output and success of the whole garden will be greater when the plants work together as opposed to just the sum of the outputs of the individual plants. This is something I’m getting more into.
We are also expanding our garden this year and are also doing raised plots. So exciting…
I have to admire your ambition with all those crops!

My last tidbit is that it is far more important to care for the soil than the plants. If you start with the highest quality soil (manure!!) than you will provide the nutrients necessary for the plants to grow strong, and this is actually was sets the foundation for a healthy and vibrant garden ecosystem.


[email protected] Dishes Daily April 20, 2011 at 8:51 pm

I’ve been on a mexican food kick my whole life. I can’t get enough of it.


Liz April 20, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Why on earth would you buy cilantro cubes when you can see in the ingredients that there’s dextrose, oil, cornstarch, etc.? Simply buy fresh cilantro, chop and freeze in a container. Then when you cook sprinkle a handful/as much as you need into the food, straight from the container. Pure cilantro whenever you want–cheap, delicious, healthy!


Angela (Oh She Glows) April 21, 2011 at 11:08 am

Good point :) I wont be buying them again…I wasn’t a fan


Diana @ frontyardfoodie April 22, 2011 at 8:37 am

I am BEYOND excited about your garden. I’m a super, hyper, crazy garden lover and any time anyone starts gardening I feel like i just got my wings!


Debbie April 22, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Holy yum! That cheese sauce is delicious!!!


Vicki May 1, 2011 at 4:30 am

I made this tonight & it is AMAZING!!! I want to eat that nacho cheese sauce on everything!


Chanelle May 1, 2011 at 12:38 pm

this is one of my favorite recipes! The sauce made it!! Thanks for sharing!


Andrea May 16, 2011 at 9:04 pm

Made this today, oh Yum! the sauce had an amazing taste that really surprised me.


shelly May 31, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Get a copy of Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholemew. His raised bed method is amazing. I’ve been really successful with the soil mix he reccommends and the method of planting. Keep the wonderful recipies coming!


Andrea June 9, 2012 at 2:25 pm

This has got to be the best veggie chili I have ever had! The whole family loved it. And the cheeze sauce just makes it perfect. Thanks!


Sarah January 4, 2013 at 11:40 am

You should try it once with hominy. I’ve fallen in love!


Rebecca January 19, 2014 at 9:44 pm

I make this chili almost every week and serve with tortilla chips and salad. I substitute ROTEL tomatoes and chilis for half the tomato for a little more heat. Even non-vegan teenagers love it.


Mandy February 3, 2014 at 2:03 am

Just out of curiousity. How would one turn a regularly cooked chili into a crockpot/slow cooker chili?
I’ve been craving comfort food like this.


Michelle August 31, 2014 at 11:03 am

I get my organic soil on amazon… you can find pretty much anything on amazon :)


Mychal January 6, 2015 at 11:22 am

This is possibly the best thing I have ever eaten. Yum yum yum! Making a big double batch tonight because it’s great as leftovers and makes a great balanced meal!
I use diced tomatoes in place of the tomato paste (I just never really use tomato paste – I find the flavour just takes over too much).


Samantha L June 29, 2015 at 9:58 am

Do you think you could freeze this dish?


Cindy January 28, 2016 at 2:25 pm

I was wondering if the cheeze sauce could be made with a different nut or seed? My daughter is allergic to cashews.


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