Growing up in Brooklyn and always living in an apartment I never thought I would be able to have my own garden. When my wife and I finally bought a house in the suburbs I thought that was finally my opportunity to have one. However, whenever it came down to talking about actually having a garden in our backyard, it just seemed like way too much work, and not feasible with our NY seasons and the limited time that I’d actually be able to grow produce. Not to mention, with all the time I spend working and wanting to make sure I spend as much quality time with my family as I can, I learned very quickly I was probably not going to get that garden that I’ve always wanted.
I thought about just growing herbs and putting them by the window but my wife was not thrilled with that idea either. Not to mention, we don’t get a ton of natural sunlight in our house and also don’t have the greenest thumbs around…even though we are such plant lovers in my house!
So…when I finally got the chance to get a Miracle–Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System I was super excited! Right out of the box the system was pretty simple to set up. I just downloaded the app and followed the step by step instructions. It really was just a couple of screws to get it together. I immediately started growing garden lettuce as a seedling, which again I learned by just following the instructions on the app and it showed me how to put the seedling in the system. After all of your seedlings are planted, that’s pretty much it! The app told me when the water got low and when I needed to add food. Besides that, there was nothing left to do until it was time to harvest! How do you know when it’s time? You guessed it…the app will tell you! It was so cool watching the seedling start out small and over time get fuller and quicker than I expected. Nate and I loved taking a peek together to check on our growing lettuce as the days went by.
Once it was time to harvest, it really was so cool and fun being able to just pick my lettuce right from my living room! Nate helped me out and he got a kick out of it too. Right now, Nate’s not a huge veggie eater, but I’m hoping with our new system, and him being able to grow his own, it will make it a little more fun and make Nate more likely to want to eat them! Since I try to stick to the clean-eating during the week, I decided to make buffalo shrimp lettuce tacos with my newly grown lettuce. I’m always on the hunt for healthy new recipes so I can’t believe I’ve never tried this one before. They were sooooo good! Recipe down below!
After I harvested all of my lettuce, I decided to try mint and sage next…you know, for those weekend mojitos. 🙂 I’m thinking I will probably use the system more for herbs because I use them more frequently when cooking. I love eating healthy and always use different herbs in my meals. But honestly, there is nothing worse than when you get to the supermarket and find that the mint and cilantro or other herbs just don’t look fresh or they’re out of stock completely! Happens to me more so than not. So, I just went to the app, changed what I was growing and it gave me step by step instructions on how to clean the system to prep for my new growing period. Whenever you change plants, it tells you to clean the system and start fresh. This only took me about 15 minutes and again was super easy.
This time around, I started with a young starter plant that’s already been growing in soil, and again, the app gives you the steps you need to do so. Once you plant the herbs you are pretty much on autopilot until it’s time to harvest. Besides having fresh herbs right at my fingertips, to be able to use in all of my recipes, there’s nothing better than walking past the system and getting the scent of that fresh mint! We put the system in our living room right next to our favorite chair and love hearing the running water in the background. The LED light also works as a great night light. It just sets a whole new vibe in our house amongst all of our other plant decor and we love it!
Since I’ve had the system, I’ve grown lettuce, kale, mint and sage and my entire family absolutely loves it! My grandfather, who has an outdoor garden in Arizona was so intrigued when I was telling him about it, he was asking how he could get one for his house LOL Now I officially have my fridge, my stove, and my Miracle–Gro® Twelve™ Indoor Growing System all synced up to my phone…so crazy & convenient that it is now all connected!
BUFFALO SHRIMP LETTUCE WRAPS
Ingredients (Makes 6 tacos)
• 1 lb raw peeled + cleaned frozen shrimp (thawed)
• 1/3 cup Buffalo Sauce
• 2 tsp oil or butter for sautéing
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/8 tsp black pepper
• 6-12 leaves of lettuce leaves
• shredded carrots
• chopped red bell pepper
• chopped or sliced jalapeño pepper
• pickled carrots or pickled jalapeños
• shredded cabbage or slaw
• chopped red onion
• chopped green onion
• fresh cilantro
• crushed red pepper flakes
• extra red hot sauce for drizzling
1. Set defrosted shrimp in fridge, covered, while you prep your tacos
2. Wash lettuce & chop your choice of veggies from the topping list
3. Heat a large pan or skillet to medium-high heat with 2 tsp of butter or oil and sauté your shrimp. Season with paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook on each side for about 2 minutes until shrimp curl and become opaque. The cook time will depend on the heat setting you choose and the size of your shrimp
4. Add buffalo sauce to pan and mix to coat while the pan is still hot
5. Add shrimp to the tacos whole or chopped
6. Pile the shrimp on your lettuce and top with your choice of taco toppings