Scrap bean, cabagge and celery salad. Busy gardener’s lazy lunch.

The spring came and with textbook accuracy I started spring cleaning and gardening like crazy. Well. Not quite. Spring is officially still dormant, but not quite. I did clean and garden, but not quite because of spring but because of all the dust and stuff you don’t want to know but am sure you also have in your corners. And that gardening thing. Yes, that hits me hard every spring. The fact that we don’t have a garden doesn’t get in the way at all. So I planted and replanted and soiled and watered and whatevered so now my food-photo-table is now plant table.

The whole shabang started when my friend Natalie (you want to check her beautiful happy and healthy blog!) shared a video with replanting kitchen vegetable scraps. You know, carrot and parsley caps growing new leaves, lettuce and cabbage also, mint, basil and stuff. So I said like, what, what?! I need to do that! Gimme some carrot leftovers, quickly! So I just did that. Not because I really need that and not because we’ll actually fill our tummies with all that stuff that will grow like crazy because we/it won’t. But the actual idea of growing stuff is great. The fascinating fact that there is so much life in this little scrap that will continue to grow just by being given a little puddle of water. Fascinating, right?

So I dipped carrots and parsley into the puddles and green salad and cabbage caps. And even parsnip and that fellow grew new leaves like crazy but PLEASE BEWARE. Parsnip leaves are poisonous so don’t be tempted to pick some and garnish around or you’ll get yourself speaking in tongues. Swollen. In ER.

And then, house plants. I have those around. Not much trouble with them, if it was otherwise, those wouldn’t survive because our place is pretty warm but with light either bad or too strong. So those are water-me-when-you-remember fellows that have my utmost respect. Because they grow, and boy do they! I don’t know their names in English and it really doesn’t matter but those of you who know will recognise, I think. Mainly those plants… well, please excuse my non-first-english. You know, those plants that have one or more „hands“ and grow long, long, and climb up or wherever they find support. And have nice trianglish green leaves, sometimes brushed with a bit of yellow.

So there’s Rudy. Short for Rudolph, I guess. My friend gave him to me because she couldn’t cope with his long arms anymore. The stem (I hope I used the right word, please feel free to correct me) was, OMG, like 4 m long. That’s the length, or better, height of my dad twice, and some more. And she said, either you take him, or I’ll just… well, she wouldn’t be just doing anything, if you think she would throw him away or something, but she was relieved to put him in good hands. And say goodbye.



So Rudy was going around our house like crazy with his one long stem and started giving me the creeps to be honest, because he would somehow hold himself against the wall, with no lumps or anything to hold on to, and went around like some kind of python or something. Which I could go with because he wasn’t gonna eat anyone but his stem and leaves were slowly going soft and wilted. And I thought, Rudy, you’re not feeling right, right? And he just nodded tiredly. Well, he probably didn’t, but it’s my plant and their leaves move sometimes so…

So what are we gonna do, Rudy? I’ll have to take some scissors and… No! Screamed he. Well, he probably didn’t, but I surely felt like that when grabbing a pair of scissors. So I took the nicest wine glasses and filled them with beautiful, filtered and staled water and cak cak cak! (Croatian sound for cutting with scissors). And soon Rudy felt relieved like I cut tons of hair off of his head and we both stood and looked at bright pearly glasses with stems and leaves soaking feet in them, waiting to be planted again. That’s you, Rudy, said I, you’ll go in so much more. I had no heart to throw some leaves, so I soaked them all. You’ll have tons of little Rudy’s, said my friend, to whom I told what I did. Well, if they all behave nicely like Rudy, said I, we’ll be happy to have them. Wanna few pups?

So with all of that going on, and some garlic also planted along with some arugula seeds, one gets hungry, right? Not to mention that you have room mates who get hungry also. So if you are vegan, you cannot just go and grab a piece of cheese from your fridge and put in on a slice of bread, right? And slice of bread itself is something I try to avoid and not to fall into high carb story. So one has to cook. And so I did. And again, the lunch came to life from scraps: cooked beans from the day before, handfull of cabagge that waited to be put in some good use and some leftover celery roots. So I planted them all into my pot and soon this busy gardener was having the best lazy scrap veggie salad my fridge could yearn.

Scrap bean, cabagge and celery salad
serves 4

1 c diced onion
1 c diced celery roots
2 – 3 c cabagge, finely cut
2 – 3 c cooked beans
some oil, salt, pepper, other seasonings to taste

Recipe is very flexible. Ammounts you can adjust to your taste and mostly, to what you have in your pantry.

Sauté onions and celery till tender. Add cabagge and sauté more, stirring constantly, till you get your cabagge tender as you wish. I like it crispier but you can almost melt it with onions. Just remember that cabagge shrinks when sautéed. You can add finely diced garlic too. In the end, add beans and stir gently, not to break them into a mush. Season to your taste and serve with whatever you have in hand.

I served it with rice. I spoke of it in my last blog post but will say it again here, just in case.

Rice with seeds
serves 4

1 cup rice
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
handfull of seeds – sunflower, pumpkin, etc.
some oil

Sauté rice and seeds on some oil till it gets a bit whiteish, stirring constantly on medium heat.  Watch it doesn’t burn, if it does, sadly, throw it away. So after 3 mins add salt and water, lower the heat to the lowest and cook covered with a lid. After 10 mins check the rice. If needed, fold it over gently so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Even if it does a little, that’s fine. Cover and cook for 5 mins more or until all the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked. Serve immediately. Or whenever you feel like some rice.


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  1. What a lovely story about Rudy! I wish you’d taken a photo of giant Rudy though – I’d have loved to see him in all his glory!

    I must admit that I’m feeling a little envious of your plant table. Back in the ’90s (gosh, how’s this for context – during the time you were going through all those horrors), I was about 85% self-sufficient, and grew all of our fruit, veg, and herbs in my garden. I’m so Slavic! LOL! In later years, I co-ran a 5-acre permaculture farm, and I built and maintained a reproduction 17th century cottager’s garden within the grounds of a local stately home (like a small castle). I miss having the opportunity to grow my own food now I travel so much. I love growing things! I did have balcony boxes full of herbs when I lived in Belgrade last year though, and it was so lovely to pick herbs each day for our meals!

    I love your recipe – making something from leftovers is great, isn’t it? Did you know that in Britain, it’s #GiveUpBinning month? In Britain, people waste so much food, so Love Food, Hate Waste has a campaign to stop people doing that. It’s shocking how much people throw out. I felt bad the other day when I had to bin some parsley… but it went on my friend’s compost heap, not in the trash!

    1. Don’t worry, Nico, there were also plenty of good 90’s to remember, not only bad! 🙂

      And Rudy… no, I didn’t take a pic, although it accured to me… but I didn’t. Because, and now call me crazy, he wasn’t too happy to have me cut him like that. And all that he was was a tired old man with wilted long hair. And I cut it. And he feels better. Or I like to think that way.

      I envy your green hands, Nico! (Is that a proper expression? When someone’s plant grow nicely? Or are those sleaves? I hope I don’t sound much like Balki, hehe, and so much about ’90’s again. Self-sufficient fruit, veggies and herbs? Wow! I’ve never undertaken something like that. And if we ever get in luck of having our own garden, now I know whom to ask good advice!

      And that #GiveUpBinning month, I had no idea… but such a great idea to do every day! My heart aches when I think of the amounts of food that go to waste every day and amount of people in shortage of it every day. But composting is, apart for our conscious, good for the nature too 😉

      We think of that often. Sometimes I think I’m nuts or what. But every single piece of throwaway if not recycled has to go somewhere. Where? Why? To what consequence. We all really need such great calls to actions. Thank you for pointing at it! To really think globaly from our backyard, from our fridge, from our pockets. It all counts.

    1. We all love spring 🙂 would love to hear more about your garden too! And surely many great recipes are inspired by it! Thank you for stopping by, Julie, happy spring! 🙂

  2. I have just finished cleaning myself but didn’t quite manage a full spring clean, still need to the windows 🙁 You have inspired me to go buy some plants this weekend. Nice quick salad too!

    1. I wouldn’t be worried about the windows, Pretty. Imagine you washed them squeeky clean and then spring rain splashed all over them? 😉 So I guess it’s a good thing to postpone window washing for awhile 😉
      Plants are great little friends, aren’t they? Life itself in a little pot. Always seem to amuse me 🙂 I hope to see your garden green and happy soon!
      Thank you for stopping by and saying hello, Pretty, it’s good to know you!

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