Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Herbs - I'm thinking mojitos

Today I planted my first herb garden! It was part of Jeremy's B-Day gift to me :) I am so excited. I realize it is a little late in the year, but don't think that will deter me. The heavenly scents of goodness I chose with Salmon, Parsley....not sure yet...ideas? spearmint...mojitos...duh and cut up in fruit salads. I really have a lot to learn about how and when to cook with herbs, but that is why I got I have to. This lovely line up will hopefully make some tastefully, healthy meals (herbs are a great way to make dishes taste good with out the added fat and salt)

look...already have a visitor

Because it is so late in the year I have found some good tips on how to freeze herbs:

Freezing Herbs BRRRR
Several books and articles on herbs recommend freezing as an easy way to preserve herbs.
Recommendations vary on the best way to freeze herbs, how long frozen herbs will maintain a satisfactory flavor and which herbs will freeze well. Be aware that when herbs are frozen, they become limp, lose their color and are best used in cooked foods. The most conservative guidelines for how long herbs will maintain their quality frozen range from two to six months. Here are three possible ways to freeze herbs:
The easiest method and one recommended on the National Center for Home Food Preservation Web site <> states: "Wash, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Wrap a few sprigs or leaves in freezer wrap and place in a freezer bag. Seal and freeze. These can be chopped and used in cooked dishes. These usually are not suitable for garnish, as the frozen product becomes limp when it thaws."

Another method recommends washing herbs, cutting them into tiny pieces and then filling the sections of an ice cube tray about half full with herbs. Cover herbs with cold water and freeze until solid. Transfer frozen cubes to a freezer bag and squish out as much air as possible. Drop them into soups, stews and sauces as needed. Be aware herbs may stain plastic ice cube trays.

To save time chopping herbs into tiny pieces, you might try making a "slurry." Simply puree your washed herbs in a blender with a small amount of water. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Transfer to a freezer bag and add to foods, as desired.
Regardless of how you freeze herbs, label them as to type (they tend to look the same frozen) and the date frozen. If you freeze quite a few herbs, it may be easier to find them in your freezer if you store the individual packages together in one large container.

Simple uses of herbs:

Herb/Food Combinations
Here are some ideas to help you start combining fresh herbs with your foods.
BASIL - a natural snipped in with tomatoes; terrific in fresh pesto; other possibilities include pasta sauce, peas, zucchini
CHIVES - dips, potatoes, tomatoes
CILANTRO - Mexican, Asian and Caribbean cooking; salsas, tomatoes
DILL - carrots, cottage cheese, fish, green beans, potatoes, tomatoes
MINT - carrots, fruit salads, parsley, peas, tabouli, tea
OREGANO - peppers, tomatoes
PARSLEY - The curly leaf is the most common, but the flat-leaf or Italian parsley is more strongly flavored and often preferred for cooking. Naturals for parsley include potato salad, tabouli
ROSEMARY - chicken, fish, lamb, pork, roasted potatoes, soups, stews, tomatoes
SAGE - poultry seasoning, stuffings
TARRAGON - chicken, eggs, fish
THYME - eggs, lima beans, potatoes, poultry, summer squash, tomatoes
WINTER SAVORY - dried bean dishes, stews


of course I had to find a "healthier" option. I plan to try these this weekend for a BBQ at our place. Have not decided on which recipe yet. Maybe you can help me decide?

Mojito #1


1⁄2 lime, cut into 6 wedges,1 1⁄2 tablespoons lime juice, 2 tablespoons torn mint leaves,1⁄2 teaspoon honey, warmed, 2 ounces rum4 ounces club soda, Fresh mint sprig (optional)Lime wedge (optional)

1. Fill a martini shaker with 1 cup ice. Add lime wedges, lime juice, and mint. Muddle lime and mint with a pestle or a long spoon until well-bruised and fragrant.
2. Combine honey, rum, and club soda; stir gently to dissolve honey. Add to muddled mixture; stir until mixture is well-chilled. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice; garnish with mint and lime, if desired. (Serving size: 1 mojito)
Nutrition:Calories 153; Fat 0g (Sat 0g, Mono 0g, Poly 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Protein 0g; Carbohydrate 7g; Sugars 4g; Fiber 0g; Iron 0mg; Sodium 25mg; Calcium 12mg


Weight Watcher Mojito Recipe aka M0jito #2

1.5 oz Bacardi Rum- 12 fresh spearmint leaves- 1/2 lime- 7 oz sprite zero or club soda- 2 tbsp. Splenda -I WOULD USE STEVIA

In a cool tall glass, muddle the mint, Splenda and lime juice. Add crushed ice. Add rum, soda and stir well. Garnish with a lime wedge and a few sprigs of mint. Serve and enjoy!

I usually do not like to post a recipe before I have tried it, but I was looking for ways to use parsley and found this simple one from that has parsley, rosemary and thyme!

Grilled Fish Dish

INGREDIENTS 1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 tablespoons dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
1 clove garlic, minced
4 (6 ounce) fillets salmon
1 lemon, juiced

Preheat grill for medium heat.
In a shallow glass dish, mix the olive oil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, and garlic. Place the salmon in the dish, turning coat. Squeeze lemon juice over each fillet. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Lightly oil grill grate. Transfer salmon to the grill, and discard any remaining marinade. Cook salmon on preheated grill over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Fish is done when it flakes easily with a fork.

Grilled Fish Dish
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 406
Total Fat: 30.1g
Cholesterol: 83mg
Sodium: 84mg
Total Carbs: 5.2g
Dietary Fiber: 2.5g
Protein: 29.7g

Until next time

look good, feel good, do good

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