Review: A White House Garden Cookbook

It’s no secret I love to cook and I love new cookbooks, so when I had the chance to review, “A White House Garden Cookbook” I jumped at the chance.

The cookbook focuses on fruits and veggies that are grown at the White House and the recipes come from either the White House or communities all across the United States. I’ve already made a handful of the recipes and I have recommended this book to pretty much anyone I talk to, it’s that great.

The book itself is broken down by when you would harvest a certain vegetable. I think this is fantastic because it teaches you to cook seasonally which, as we all know, is budget friendly. Plus, let’s be honest, it is pretty cool to be able to make a recipe that has roots in the Jefferson or Madison administrations.

Like I said before I’ve made a couple of the recipes already and I loved each one. The first recipe I made, that I’m going to share with everyone, is for the Turkey Lasagna with Spinach. I’ve made this recipe twice and my family cannot get enough of it. I’ll admit I was really nervous about making lasagna, something about it freaks me out, it seems so complicated. This recipe made it so simple, I can safely say I love making lasagna, just with no boil noodles.

Here’s what you need:

* 4 cloves garlic
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 cup chopped yellow onion (I actually used Vidalia, I love them)
* 1 pound fresh ground turkey
* 1 (28 oz) can plum tomatoes, crushed
* 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
* Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
* 15 oz low-fat ricotta or cottage cheese
* 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
* 1 large egg, beaten
* 2 pounds fresh spinach
* 16 cooked lasagna noodles
* 1 pound low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

What to do:

* Preheat oven to 400 degrees
* Peel and mince your garlic
* In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat your olive oil.
* Add onion and cook until translucent
* Add garlic and cook for 1 additional minute
* Add ground turkey and cook for about 10 minutes (until cooked through)
* Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to turkey mixture and stir to combine
* Season with salt and pepper
* Reduce the heat and let mixture simmer until thickened, about 20 minutes
* Stir in basil and parsley
* Remove from heat and set aside
* In a medium bowl combine ricotta or cottage cheese, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, and the egg
* Season to taste with salt and pepper
* Wash, but do not dry your spinach
* Place spinach in a large skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted
* Remove from heat and set aside
* In a 9-by-13 baking dish ladle 1/4 of the turkey mixture, spread it so it covers the bottom of the pan
* Lay four lasagna noodles on top, then add 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, 1/3 of the spinach and another 1/4 of the turkey mixture
* Repeat layers of noodles, mozzarella, spinach and turkey two more times
* Top with remaining four noodles
* Sprinkle remaining 1/4 of the parmesan cheese on top
* Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese is bubbling
* Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting and serving

It is sooooooo yummy and it makes for perfect leftovers.

I’ve also made the honey cupcakes:

These were delicious as well, I took them to a friends for a playdate and her one daughter asked for me to leave her one so she could have another later.

I also recently made the cauliflower gratin:

This was featured on Iron Chef when they did the White House Garden Challenge. Funnily enough Bobby Flay was one of the contributors on this recipe, for those of you that don’t know I craved Bobby Flay when I was pregnant. You read that right, I pretty much only watched all things Bobby Flay, it was out of control. This recipe was also really yummy and surprisingly heated up well the next day for leftovers.

All in all this book is just fantastic and it is so much more than just another cookbook. This book really encourages you to break out of your comfort zone with food and even to grow your own food. Scott and I planted a garden last year and got so many ideas for our garden this year simply by reading the book. You can find out more about the cookbook from the official site. Thank you again to my friends at Red Rock Press for supplying this delicious book!

What are some of your favorite seasonal dishes? Do you have a home garden? What are some of your favorite things to plant in it?

*And no, I didn’t forget….the winner of the Petunia Pickle Bottom Abundance Boxy Backpack is…………Kristin of Organized Chaos!!! Congratulations Kristin, email me at to claim your fabulous prize!*

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  1. This looks like a great book an I am so excited to try the ones that you gave on the blog.

    We do grow a garden and what we cannot grow in the garden we get from a fresh vegetable and fruit stand. Gardens are wonderful and the kids love helping with them as well.

  2. Oh my goodness that all looks so delicious! And I'm on a diet. Sigh. Maybe I'll eat carrots all day so I can enjoy that yummy lasagna. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Amy there really aren't that many calories in the lasagna because it's with turkey.

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