Garden-to-Table Lunch at My Internship

Hello friends! It’s been a crazy busy past week. On Friday, my co-intern and I had our last day at the Alamance County location of our dietetic internship! We’ve been between two of the Cooperative Extension offices all summer; we have our last day on Wednesday at the other office.

Around 10:30 a.m., we were surprised to see staff coming in and out from the garden at work with all sorts of fresh produce. Then, they started cooking.


Fresh swiss chard sautéed with bacon? Garden potatoes and green beans being roasted with rosemary and olive oil? What’s going on here?!


“Wait… is this all for us?” :)


“Yes, silly! Of course it’s for you!”


The office planned a special garden-to-table lunch for us as a goodbye and thanks for working there this summer. How sweet is that?! Best internship ever :)


We had quite the spread:


Roasted potatoes and green beans, fresh sliced tomatoes, swiss chard, homemade salsa and chips, blueberries, and bread for sandwiches. Plus bacon! Not from the garden. I wish my garden grew bacon ;)

I made myself half a bacon and tomato sandwich, toasted of course. SO good. Summer tomatoes are so amazing, especially when they are straight from the garden.


I also enjoyed a big plate of veggies.


Plus some blueberries and an unpictured homemade chocolate chip cookie :) Such a delicious, fresh lunch.

The rest of the day was spent teaching a class for adults about how to can green beans!


First, select your beans… we used about 1.5 pounds for each quart-sized jar.


Wash and cut them into about 2-inch pieces, getting rid of any bad spots:


Blanch for a few minutes in boiling water:


Pop into your cans:


And into the pressure canner they go!


Process for 25 minutes (or however long your recipe says) and voila! Canned green beans.


Are you a canned vegetable fan? I really like things like salsa, tomatoes (even though they are a fruit, haha), tomato sauce, beets, and pureed pumpkin/squash canned, but I’ve never been a big fan of canned green beans. We’ll see if I like these any better since we didn’t add any salt :) The saltiness is usually what I don’t like — that and the fact that they can be kind of mushy.

Also — does anyone have any recommendations for good mushy/super soft meals? I’m taking Matt to get his wisdom teeth out right now :( There are a lot of smoothies in his future unless you guys have any other good ideas!


  1. 1

    wow! quite a spread! ahh wisdom teeth…I remember that….mashed potatos, oatmeal, pudding, ice cream, smoothie, cold soups. That is what I lived off for 2 weeks when I got them removed :)

  2. 2
    Katherine says:

    That sandwich looks so good!
    Jello was a favourite of mine when I had my wisdom teeth out, along with mashed banana, cold stewed apple and banana smoothies. I don’t remember eating too much that was savoury that week, it was all pretty sweet!

  3. 3

    I’m not a fan either of canned green beans. But am a fan of that sandwich!

    I love when my preceptors had meals to send me off! :) Always so sweet and so touching. I always felt like I should be throwing them a meal for all of their help and patience!

  4. 4

    I love canned green beans, they are wonderful if they are canned at home. Don’t like store bought canned green beans though. That was a really nice gesture from the staff to cook you lunch. Tomatoes are my all time favorites. I wish I didn’t like salt, but I do. I don’t use much salt cooking so everyone at the table can salt to their own taste.
    Poor Matt. I would suggest soups, such as butternut squash soup, broccoli soup, etc.
    I am 61 years old and have never had my wisdom teeth extracted. I only have one wisdom tooth. Runs in the family.

  5. 5

    Don’t give him a straw for the smoothie bc it causes dry sockets and those are the worse. I ate ice cream, popsicles, soup and drinkable yogurts for 2 days then I was able to eat oatmeal, regular yogurt and pasta after 3 days.

  6. 7

    Mashed cauliflower – just run cooked cauliflower, plain greek yogurt, and some salt and pepper through a food processor. A lot like mashed potatoes but a bit tastier and a lot healthier.

    And chocolate mousse.

  7. 9

    Hopefully Matt will be lucky like I was and have limited bruising and pain. I actually ate a cut up hot dog and mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner the first night. I contemplated other options but it was summer and that’s what my family was eating so I went for it.

  8. 10

    That looks like a great lunch! Bacon is awesome :)

  9. 11

    Ahhhh I just got my wisdom teeth out a month or so ago!!

    I’d say that my best food-friends, other than smoothies, included mashed potatoes, soup (the selection at Trader Joes is awesome and diverse), and (when things got a little better) mac and cheese with steamed broccoli (which I threw in the food processor) for extra veggie intake. Mmmm.

  10. 12
    Katherine says:

    Yuck, wisdom teeth surgery is no fun. My fiance lived off of soup and farina when he got his wisdom teeth taken out. The soup is a good way to get in some nutrients because you can add anything and just puree it. Make sure that Matt doesn’t use a straw for his smoothies- it can cause big problems with dry sockets!

  11. 13

    I lived on Easy Mac for a few days. Now Annie’s makes an awesome, natural version that takes like 2 minutes in the microwave. Good luck to Matt! Hope they heal nice and fast!

  12. 14

    Poor Matt :-( I’m so afraid of having to get mine out some day. He could have mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes I’m guessing. Or hummus, although with nothing to dip into it that might be kind of disgusting.

  13. 16

    I have never had my wisdom teeth out – it scares me it might still happen :( What a fun internship!

  14. 17

    Love that you canned green beans! I just got a TON from my CSA and I don’t know what to do with them! I’m a little worried about canning them, because I don’t typically like canned vegetables, but I guess it’s worth a shot, and they won’t go to waste!! Very helpful post! Thanks!

  15. 18

    That lunch looks SO GOOD!! And I love canned green beans but ussually the store bought ones have so much sodium! this is a great way to have a healthier version of this delicious side dish!

  16. 19

    That sammie looks amazing! I was able to eat crab cakes when I got my wisdom teeth out—MD girl here! Also as others have mentioned, mashed potatoes and mac and cheese are good options.

  17. 20

    Congratulations on finishing up your internship! I remember my last day of my internship, it was such a relief to be finished!!

  18. 21

    I remember letting Ritz crackers dissolve on my tongue after having my wisdom teeth out. I couldn’t close my jaw and was craving salt. Meh, good luck to him!

    I like to pickle spicy green beans every year. Don’t need a pressure canner for that since it’s vinegar based!

  19. 22

    Ellie Kreiger has a really good macaroni and cheese recipe that is easy to eat…and nice and soft. She also has a great mashed potato recipe, too. (I had my wisdom teeth out the day before Thanksgiving and that’s all I ate!)

  20. 23

    polenta is nice a mushy and you can do so much with it.

  21. 24

    canned green beans are my favorites! i love canned beans & red beets, too (:

  22. 25

    I love canned green beans. I can eat a whole can (straight from the can) all by myself. I’ve never tried making them, though.

    That whole spread looks amazing. What a great goodbye lunch!

  23. 26
    Jen Robinson says:

    1) I ate A LOT of chocolate and tapioca pudding when I had my wisdom teeth out
    2) I heart canned green beans but I get the “no salt added” kind from my grocery store, and i can eat them cold they’re so yummy!
    3) You should make a shirt that says “I wish my garden grew bacon”. That was an awesome quote.

  24. 28

    All of that fresh produce looks terrific! I think I can stand the summer heat a little longer if it means I keep getting produce that looks like that :)

  25. 29

    I lived off chocolate milkshakes (with added protein supplement), mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, Pad Thai (no peanuts), peanut butter on soft bread and soups for both my wisdom teeth extraction (at 18) and my tonsilectomy (at 25). The issue with straws (and actually popsicles) is that the sucking action can actually dislodge clots and cause bleeding-no straws and eat popsicles by biting or using a spoon. Be careful with anything too acidic (like orange/lemon juices or flavors), can burn and be quite painful. My sis had trouble with tomato based things as well. I avoided anything too “grainy” (grits, quinoa, etc) and of course nothing super crunchy to prevent irritating the incisions.

    I kept bags of frozen peas (or ice) on my cheeks for the first few hours to reduce swelling (which worked quite well). Hopefully he got some good pain medication, I was so knocked out that I didn’t realize my 23 pound dog was sleeping on my head until my grandmother fussed for her to move! Good luck!

  26. 30

    What a great spread! :) I can’t remember the last time I had a BLT but that sure sounds good with all of the amazing summer tomatoes creeping out! I’m not much of a fan of canned foods at all. I will use tomatoes in recipes but that is about it. I remember my step dad and I used to go rounds about if we were going to have frozen peas or canned peas because I loved canned back in my childhood but man I must have been crazy! lol.

  27. 31

    I have just recently survived a very difficult surgical extraction (not my wisdom teeth…those are to come :(), and this is what I lived off of: oatmeal, protein smoothies, lots of scrambled eggs, tons of cottage cheese and lots of cooked, mashed veggies (especially sweet potatoes and cauliflower). I found it difficult to consume enough calories and lost weight at a super alarming rate, so I also ate a lot of mashed avocado for the fat/calorie punch. My favorite meal ended up being a bowl of refried beans mixed with a bit of salsa, topped with half a mashed avocado, a big dollop of greek yogurt and a sprinkle of hot sauce. A mushy-food Mexican bowl! I hope Matt feels better soon…I’m sure he’s happy to have you nursing him back to health. :)

  28. 33

    Hi Anne,

    just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying your blog. I just recently started reading and it’s so nice to read a blog written by a foodie who is also concerned about eating healthy. I’m so tired of food bloggers that advocate cooking everything in duck fat or whose every other post is some sort of frosting-covered sugar extravaganza! And, while I’m not what you might call an athlete, I do exercise most days and I enjoy reading about your exercise adventures, too.

    All the best and thank you (oh, and I’m planning on trying the banana oatmeal tomorrow for breakfast!)

  29. 35

    Hope Matt feels better… :/

  30. 36

    I got all four of my wisdom teekth pulled out a month ago (just days after my HS graduation thank goodness!). These are some foods that really worked well for me:
    1. WINTER SQUASH- cut into cubes and steamed or microwaved (you could also bake) they are delicious on their own. I love Kobacha squash, but any squash works great, plus you don’t need to chew them and that is KEY
    2. EGGS, french omelette style, scrambled, poached, any style really, just don’t add lots of ingredients to them. I like my eggs plain so this wasn’t an issue
    3. Greek Yogurt-works amazingly well, and the creaminess feels great on a healing face (I didn’t take the pain medication that they send home…I know I know)
    4. Peaches, plums, banana, watermelon really any soft fruit
    5. grilled potobello mushrooms, steamed carrots (completely soft), green beans, beans,
    6. Pancakes-this was actually something my dentist recommended. Soft fluffy pancakes. IN FACT, he said anything chewier than a pancake or omelette would be too much at first. I didn’t end up making pancakes, but I did make whole wheat strawberry muffins, and those were fine, but I recommend saving anything that could get caught in braces (ie streamed broccoli) until week 2 or 3…it gets caught and it’s a wierd feeling ;)

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