Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tomato-Basil Salad

Here's a recent favorite dish of mine, Tomato-Basil salad. It's a very simple recipe, but there's just something about the combination of flavors that's absolutely divine!

Vine-ripe tomatoes - chopped
Fresh basil leaves - chopped
Extra-virgin olive oil
Ume plum vinegar or balsamic vinegar

Measurements are up to you, depending on how many you are serving and your personal taste. Make it ahead and marinate for several hours.

This salad is perfect on it's own, in a pita with hummus, or mixed with quinoa, pasta or rice.

Hope you try it.

Wishing you blessings and excellent health!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Modest Herb Garden

To make your food and drinks more flavorful, I'd like to recommend investing a small amount of time and money to start a small Herb garden inside or outside your home.

It takes just a little bit of space, and the plants are available for just a few dollars in places like Home Depot, Whole Foods, Supermarkets and nurseries. All you really need are a few pots, some earth and a space to put them.

Our herb garden is right outside the front door which is very convenient every time I want to add parsely to the hummus, mint and lemon balm to my drinks, shakes and salads, oregano and basil to the tomato sauce or salads, and thyme for some tea.

There are hundreds of dishes to add these herbs to, and it is not only convenient to have them available at all times instead of buying them every time you need them, it is such a great feeling to water, nurture and enjoy the sights and scents.

These herbs work wonders in the kitchen, but they also enhance our health in unexpected ways. They stimulate the immune system, have anti-inflamatory effects, anti-bacterial properties, help treat respiratory illnesses, are used as diuretics, and so much more!

Here are a few great reasons to start your garden today:

  • Fresh herbs always available
  • More flavorful meals
  • A great way to boost your vitamin intake
  • Save money
  • Education for you and your family
  • Curb Appeal
  • Share with friends, family, and neighbors
  • Easy and fun to create and maintain

Start small, even with one plant, and you'll see that you'll be adding to your collection in no time.

* Tip : Put a few buckets outside to collect the rain to water your plants and save on your water bills!

Wishing you excellent health!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Flavored Ice Cubes

This may sound like a simple idea, but I recently discovered that freezing lemon and lime juice in ice cube trays saves time and energy when it comes to making certain recipes, plus it's great to have for your next cup of tea or hot water!

Freezing the juice from an orange is also a good idea, especially to add to a shake or smoothie, or to put in a glass of red wine for a sangria-like taste!

Freezing herbs like mint can be done as well and is quite practical. I recently planted mint in our garden and began using it in all kinds of drinks and recipes. If you buy mint in a package and don't use it for a while it's very likely to go bad, so to preserve it you can put some leaves in an ice cube tray with water and freeze it. It will be ready for your next cup of tea, hot or cold water, and will make it flavorful and cooler at the same time!

Hope you enjoy!