Fresh Herbs

A fresh and fun recipe catalog by a girl who likes to play in the kitchen the "from scratch" way.

|EAT MORE VEGGIES| 10/09/2011

Filed under: Apps,DILL,PARSLEY,Savory — |FreshHerbs| @ 12:23 pm

I’m trying to eat more veggies (EMV)…but I’ve never really been a fan of crudite. I think that is partially due to the fact that I’m an event planner for a living, and crudite for an event is, well, rather expected and boring (though typically one of the healthier options on the menu). So really, it’s an entertaining staple. I started to think to myself that maybe crudite isn’t just for parties anymore. Why not keep some dip on hand in the fridge to help aid my EMV goal? Hubs L-O-V-E-S raw carrots. Everytime we run out of cut carrots I get a {sad face} from him so having veggies on hand isn’t the problem (me washing, peeling, and chopping them is). I, on the other hand, always have plain nonfat greek yogurt in the fridge (can’t remember the last time I purchased sour cream at the market). Not only is it healthier, but it’s easier to digest too. So I set out to find a dip using my greek yogurt as a base and found this tasty dip that I modified to my taste.

Veggie Dip
Makes 1 cup; can be doubled for a party

1/4 cup mayonnaise
3/4 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon Old Bay ™ seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 tablespoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and let sit in fridge for 2 hours (better overnight). Serve with crudite, potato chips (not part of the EMV goal!), and other favorite party dippers.

This makes me think of my SIL- she’s a Maryland girl and loves Old Bay. As the weather turns colder and I find myself reaching into my spice cabinet for dried, as opposed to |FreshHerbs| I’m reminded just how handy dried herbs can be. This dip has no salt (outside of what’s already in the Old Bay) yet it still packs a flavor punch that fancies up bland raw vegge. So who’s going to EMV? I’m going to try! Cook often and eat well!

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|C’MON IRENE!| 08/27/2011

Filed under: CILANTRO,PARSLEY,Picnic,ROSEMARY,SAGE,Savory,Soups,THYME — |FreshHerbs| @ 3:26 pm

Well, so far it’s a beautiful sunny day here…hard to believe that we’ve spent the majority of the afternoon preparing for Hurricane Irene. Hubs has pulled all of our deck furniture into the basement where we’ve piled it high with the things that we don’t want to get wet should the sump pump fail. {banish the thought} While he was busy preparing outside, I felt the need to contribute to the prep in the kitchen…

Just because you may not be able to use the oven (micro, toaster, or otherwise) doesn’t mean that the impending possibility of lost power means that you have to eat PB&J (though I’m not knocking a good PB&J). The trick is to make use of the power while you do have it! So while the chicken breasts were baking and the french baguette dough was in the bread machine, I tackled the mound of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers (thanks Lisa & Ken!) and other assorted vege and turned it into the perfect storm food- gazpacho! Think about it. You eat it cold, or even room temp, so if the power goes out there’s nothing to heat up. Serve it with some bread or crackers and you have the most delicious, and nutritious, easy meal. So here’s my version of a great summertime dish…

garden fresh tomatoes

Fresh from the garden tomatoes!

Hurricane Gazpacho

3 large fresh tomatoes, rough dice
1 roasted red pepper (I used jarred.)
1/2 large red onion, rough dice
1.5 Tb herbed vinegar (see below)
1 Tb evoo
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
1 small jalepeno
1 large garden cucumber
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried cilantro (all I had!)
4 turns of my pepper mill

I put all of this together in one batch in my blender and found that blending it in stages helped me to fit it all in so the recipe is broken into parts. It honestly doesn’t matter which sections you blend together, as long as you start with the tomato base. I started with the tomatoes through the evoo and blended. Then I added the garlic, lime, jalepeno and cuke. Last I just stirred in the seasoning and put it in my fridge to chill for at least one hour (though my plan is to have it when the storm rolls in tomorrow so I’m not going to dig in for at least 24 hours).

Now for some notes…I used dried cilantro instead of fresh because I’ve used up all of my fresh. While I love the bright flavor of |fresh herbs| I always have a pantry stocked with a ready supply of dried herbs. For a soup like this, I’d probably opt for fresh if I had it, but dried always works in a pinch.

Mom's herbed vinegar with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme!

As for the vinegar I used, as I’ve posted before my mother is an herb enthusiast and she gave me this beautiful bottle of “Simon and Garfunkle” vinegar with |fresh herbs| floating in it…yup, parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. I’ve honestly been at a loss for how to use it (other than salad dressing of course) so added it to this recipe as I was creating it and it really does add some flavor. If you didn’t have an herbed vinegar on hand I’d opt for red wine vinegar.

The end result, dear readers, is a super easy, super nutritious, and super delicious summer recipe that works for storms, picnics, lunch at your desk, or a day at the beach. Gazpacho is a traditional Spanish dish which typically includes raw vegetables and bread. As you can see, I’ve omitted the bread in the recipe in favor of serving the soup with bread. It’s packed with vitamins and has an acidic bite that’s very refreshing in the summer. It’s also a great way to use up the pile of cukes and toms that your garden is spewing forth right about now. So while you still have electricity, plug in that blender! Cook often and eat well!

Hurricane Gazpacho!

 

 

|EASY CHICKPEA SALAD| 08/21/2011

Filed under: OREGANO,PARSLEY,Picnic,Savory,Sides — |FreshHerbs| @ 6:20 pm

I know, I know…it’s been way too long since my last post. I’ll simply say that this August has been rough and my focus has been elsewhere. I’ve not spent much time cooking, let alone eating, fresh and healthy meals. It has been a reminder that when you don’t feel well you tend not to eat well, and vice versa. I’ve also suddenly realized that it’s the middle of August and summer is winding down… but I have a week off coming up and I’m ready to nest and enjoy myself after weeks of running around and running myself into the ground.

With summer nearing its end, I’m obsessed with trying to grill outside as much as I can (until the propane tank runs dry anyway). No, this isn’t going to be a grill centric recipe, but rather a side dish that is a great compliment to a grilled piece of meat or burgers. I first found the recipe here when I was surfing TasteSpotting one day. I had all of the ingredients and was looking for something to do with my parsley that was abundant in my herb garden. I tweaked the recipe slightly to include fresh oregano and chickpeas instead of beans.

::Easy Chickpea Salad::

Mix the following in a bowl and enjoy. It is a bit tastier if you let it sit for a spell so that the flavors combine. It’s a great dish for a picnic because you don’t need to worry about refrigeration.

1 can of chickpeas (or white beans)
1 Tb evoo
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
small bunch fresh parsley
small bunch of fresh oregano (or 1/4 tsp dried)
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
s & p to taste

Cook often and eat well!