Friday, June 6, 2014

"Powerhouse" Parsley

I think I wrote a post in the past making the case for the nutritional value of parsley which is so often used--and then discarded--as garnish. A new list of  "powerhouse" veggies lists parsley in the Top 10! It's the only herb to make the list. That's a rather prestigious honor to just be used as a pretty face atop an entree!

If you're looking for a tasty way to incorporate substantial amounts of parsley into meals, try out this simple salad creation that uses parsley as an equal-contender ingredient, not as an afterthought. I'm not good with providing amounts, so personalize it to fit your needs. =)

Cooked cranberry beans (these beans are lovely, and they cook up big, tender, and meaty.)
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
Parsley sprigs (don't chop, just use the whole leaves)
Feta or goat cheese, crumbled
Lemon juice
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

Put all ingredients on a bed of the romaine lettuce. Use the parsley like you mean it! Eat and enjoy!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Moving Outdoors

Wow, many moons have passed since my last post. Bet you thought I was gone for good. But I'm back! And as I'm convalescing from what took me away, herb-related activities have been helping me heal, the most exciting of which is starting an actual, outdoor herb garden with my mom (along with growing veggies too). We've planted some starter plants of flat-leaf parsley, peppermint, sweet basil, purple basil, dill, and cilantro, and have some seeds baking for more parsley. We used the raised-bed, square-foot gardening method, and it really was quite easy to set up. Not a total breeze, but it was light, gentle work, good for a weakened body and an indented mind.

For indoor herb fun yesterday, I played with fresh ginger. First, I sliced up a bunch of (peeled) ginger and boiled it in water to make a batch of tummy-soothing ginger tea. I then challenged myself to come up with a good use for the boiled ginger byproduct, and came up with, together with my mom, the blueprint for what could be a tasty, yet healthy treat: Ginger Pecan Drops. Melted dark chocolate mixed with the boiled ginger (minced) and toasted pecans (chopped), plopped into drops, chilled, then lightly dusted with some powdered sugar. The powder sugar was an attempt to sweeten up the only chocolate we had on hand: 100%, unsweetened cocao. So yeah. If a dark chocolate bar is used, the powdered sugar might not be needed. Experiment to be continued...

I started the day today with another cup of the fresh ginger tea, heated, and with a couple teaspoons of fresh lemon juice. For those who are looking to cut caffeine intake, it was definitely an invigorating way to start the day, the warm spiciness of the infused ginger a light, yet assertive slap in the face. And supposedly ginger itself does have stimulant properties, so there ya go. It's going to be hot in the Burgh today, so later on I'm going to try the ginger tea on ice, perhaps mixed with some fresh peppermint leaves and maybe just a hint of honey for a soft kiss-sweetness.

Well, it's good to be back, and I think I'll stick around for awhile. =)