American Grown: Gardening for Everyone

We’ve been looking for a good reason to start gardening, despite our lack of a green thumb, and found one with new inspiration from the First Lady herself. First-time author Michelle Obama has put together a photo-rich book, American Grown, on how her efforts to start a garden at the White House. It’s an inspiring book that shows us how to grow our own patch of green, no matter how big or how small. The book is part of Michelle Obama’s initiative in fighting childhood obesity with easy suggestions on incorporating more exercise and more vegetables into our lives.

The book is filled with the First Lady’s famous friends, including Jay Leno, Olympians Dominique Dawes and Michelle Kwan, and basketball legend Grant Hill as well as top chefs like Tom Colicchio, Alton Brown, and Rachael Ray. Although Michelle Obama admits her own daughters aren’t so interested in gardening, typical mother-daughter rebellion, the book is filled with recipes that would make even the most vegetable-shy child get their daily serving of fruits and vegetables. Find an exclusive recipe from the book for Minted Spring Pea Salad below.

The First Lady’s proceeds from the book go toward the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s National Park Foundation.

“Minted Spring Pea Salad

2 1/2 Cups shelled fresh green peas

1 small shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 small leek, cleaned, white part only, thinly sliced

1/2 Cup shredded fresh mint leaves

1/4 Cup extra-virgin olive oil

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Pour the peas into the water and cook for no more than 2 minutes. Drain and immediately plunge the peas into a bowl of ice water. Drain and pat dry with a towel. Puree ½ cup of the peas in a blender.

2. Place the peas, pea puree, shallot and leek in a medium, nonreactive bowl and toss gently to combine.

3. Add the lemon zest and juice, olive oil and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper and toss gently until the vegetables are coated.

Serve immediately. Serves 6-8, depending on portion size.”

Recipe via Obama Foodorama