Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bloggy Carnival Giveaway

I'm hosting a giveway on my other blog Thyme for Herbs and I thought why not do two at the same time? Now, An Herbal Bedfellow can get some attention, too. So here it is:

I'm giving two embroidered tea towels with crocheted lace edging, 100% cotton. You can't get much more homey and earthy than that!

All you have to do is leave a comment about your cooking skills!

Make sure to include your email address like this: pianananna(at)gmail(dot)com. I need to find you, if you win. Bloggers, I will check your profile.

Subscribe to An Herbal Bedfellow for a second entry, be sure to respond to verify the subscription. Only active subscribers are included. If you're already a subscriber, your entry will be counted.

That's it. The contest starts today and will end at 11:59 a.m. Friday, August 1st. Winners are chosen by Randomizer. I will contact the winner via email and you will have three days to claim your prize, otherwise I move on to the next best answer.
Good Luck!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Creole Seasoning

Make your own Creole seasoning with dried herbs supplemented with some prepackaged herbs from the store. Be sure to purchase quality herbs from your health food store or in the organic section at the grocer.

Creole Seasoning

3 T. plus 1 t. dried parsley flakes
1 T. plus 1 t. garlic powder
1 T. plus 1 t. dried whole basil
1 T. onion powder
2 t. dry mustard
2 t. sweet paprika
1 t. ground red pepper
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, stirring well. Store in an airtight container. Use to coat fish, chicken, or beef before cooking. Yield 1/2 cup

Cooking Light Cookbook 1989

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bee Balm Fruit Salad

This pretty flower is a favorite of hummingbirds. But did you know that bee balm, also known as monarda, or bergamot, is edible?

This pretty salad is so sweet, you'll want to use it as a dessert.

6 T. superfine sugar
4-6 bee balm leaves
3/4 c. water
juice of 2 oranges
1 c. black currants, stripped from their stalk (or blackberries)
2 c. strawberries, hulled
2 c. raspberries, hulled
2-3 bee balm flowers, to decorate
scented geranium leaves, to decorate

1. Put the sugar, water, orange juice, and bee balm leaves in a pan over low heat.
Stir occasionally until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to a boil for five minutes to reduce the syrup.

2. Discard the bee balm leaves, add the black currants, and return to a boil.
Simmer for 5 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

4. Stir in the strawberries and raspberries, pour into a decorative glass dish, and decorate with the bee balm flowers and scented geranium leaves.

Serves 4-6

The Herb Bible, 1995

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pork Chops and Gravy

I'll bet there are times when you are saying enough of this healthy food, let's have meat -- pork chops and gravy. Well, here it is. And you can have it, guilt free.

Diabetic Cooking, March/April 2003

4 boneless pork loin chops (6 -8 oz. each)
1/4 t. dried sage leaves
1/3 t. dried marjoram leaves
1/8 t. black pepper
1/8 t. salt
Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
1/2 c. coarsely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. sliced mushrooms
1/4 c. beef broth
2 T. nonfat sour cream
1 1/2 t. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
1 c. hot cooked noodles
snipped parsley (opt.)

1. Trim fat from chops. Stir together sage, marjoram, pepper, and salt. Rub on both sides. Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Place chops in skillet. Cook 5 minutes, turning once, or until chops are just barely pink. Remove chops from skillet; keep warm.

2. Add onion and garlic to skillet; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 3 to 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender.

3. Whisk together sour cream, flour, and mustard in medium bowl. Whisk in about 1 T. broth from skillet. Stir sour cream mixture into skillet. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Serve over pork chops and noodles, Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sesame Basil Chicken Tidbits

Diabetic Meals in 30 Minutes or Less - 1996

Make these ahead of time and reheat at the last minute.

Chicken :
3/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 T. lite soy sauce
2 t. sesame oil
2 T. dry sherry
2 T. fresh orange juice
2 T. minced basil
1 T. toasted sesame seeds
2 dried red chilies
Red leaf lettuce to line platter

1. Cut the chicken breasts into 2-inch cubes.

2. Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well. Add the cubed chicken and marinate at least 2 hours.

3. Remove the chicken cubes from the marinade and place on a broiler rack. Broil 2-3 minutes per side until the chicken is cooked through.

4. Serve on a lettuce-lined platter with fancy frill toothpicks.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lemon Avocado Salad Dressing

Taste of Home -- date unknown

This dressing along with the salad is a great companion to any fish course.
See yesterday's recipe for a grilled fish suggestion.

1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
1/4 c. water
2 T. sour cream
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. minced fresh dill or 1 t. dill weed
2 t. olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t. seasoned salt
1/2 t. honey

In a blender, combine all ingredients; cover and process until smooth. Serve with a salad made with a variety of greens, cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, and sweet red and yellow pepper strips.
Yield: 1 cup

Friday, July 18, 2008

Grilled Fish with Lemon Herb Butter

Diabetic Cooking July/ August 2003

6 T. margarine
3 T. finely chopped parsley
1/2 t. dried rosemary leaves
1 t. grated lemon zest
1/2 t. salt
6 (6 oz. each) fish fillets, such as grouper, snapper, or any lean white fish
3 medium lemons, halved

1. Preheat grill to medium high heat.

2. Coat cold grill rack with cooking spray and place rack over heat.

3. Combine in a bowl the margarine, parsley, rosemary, lemon zest, and salt and set aside.

4. Coat fish with cooking spray and place on the grill. Cook, uncovered, 3 minutes, turn and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until opaque in center.

5. Remove from heat, place one fillet on each dinner plate. Squeeze the juice from 1 lemon half evenly over each fillet and spoon equal amounts of the parsley mixture on top of each.

Makes 6 servings

Thursday, July 17, 2008

A Great Giveaway

I just came across a great giveaway that I had to tell you about.
Lori at My Wooden Spoon is giving away two WONDERFUL knives (one for each of two winners) from New West Knifeworks. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first went into the website for New West Knifeworks. I truly have never seen anything like this before. I know I want to win, and I'm sure you will too. Check it out before it's too late. The contest ends on July 31st!

Good Morning Frittata

Diabetic Cooking July/August 2003

4 eggs, beaten
2 eggs whites, beaten
1/4 c. shredded fresh basil
2 T. low-fat milk
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. black pepper
2 t. olive oil
2 c. halved and sliced zucchini
1 c. diced sweet onion
1 can (6 oz.) California Ripe Olives, drained and halved
1/2 c. roasted red bell peppers, sliced into 1/4 in. strips
1/4 c. grated fontina or Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, basil, milk, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a 10-in. oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and onions and cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. Mix in 1 c. olives and red bell peppers. Remove from heat and stir into egg mixture.

3. Pour egg and vegetable mixture back into pan. Turn heat to medium-high and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until eggs are set on the bottom. Sprinkle the top of the frittata with grated cheese and remaining olives. Place frittata in oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until cooked through.

4. Cool slightly and cut into 6 wedges. Serve with crusty country bread.

Makes 6 servings

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tomato Sage Pasta

Better Homes and Gardens Easy Diabetic Meals 2002

For 4 servings:

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. oilive oil or cooking oil
1 1/2 lb. roma tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 small green or yellow sweet pepper, cut inot thin strips
1 T. snipped fresh sage or
1 t. dried sage, crushed
4 oz. uncooked linguine or fettucine

1. For sauce, in a medium saucepan, cook the garlic in hot oil for 30 seconds. Stir in the tomatoes, salt, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 12 minutes. Stir in sweet pepper and sage. Simmer, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until desired consistency.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, except omit any oil or salt. Drain. Retrun pasta to saucepan. Add sauce to cooked pasta; toss gently to coat.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is There Really a Difference in Salts?

I recently read an article on dkMommy Spot about the differences on salt. You know, I never thought about it until a little over a year ago when we started using sea salt. There is really a different flavor there that is difficult to describe. If you haven't experimented with sea salts you owe it to yourselves to give it a go.

Over at dkMommy Spot there is a giveaway going on for HimalaSalt. Now that's one I have never heard of before, and I'm anxious to give it a try. HimalaSalt is a pink sea salt from the Himalayas. It gets its color by it's natural mineral content.

If I were you, I'd pop on over to dkMommy Spot right now and enter to win this great giveaway. A whole new world could open up to you.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Creamy Garlic Dressing

Here's a fast and easy dressing; great for summer salads and a way to use some of the dillweed you dried last year.
(Light & Easy Diabetic Cuisine 1990)

1/2 c. evaporated skim milk
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 t. salt
1 t. dried dill weed
1 t. frozen apple juice concentrate
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. white pepper
2 dashes sesame oil
Dash red (cayenne) pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
Chill before serving. Makes about 3/4 cup.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Herb Garden

I suddenly realized that if you're new to my blog, you don't know anything about me. I did this blog as a spinoff of my gardening blog called Thyme for Herbs. There I have often talked about how to dry herbs, cook with herbs , folklore and many other things. I've also shown many pictures of my herb garden.

Of course, if you came here at random and not through my other blog, you don't know any of these things.

Here's a few pictures of my herb garden.

Lemon Balm



Sage with chives in the background.

There's plenty more, but that will give you an idea of what I'm growing. Stop by again for more recipes.

Grilled Cornish Game Hens

(Taste of Home July 2002)

I'm always looking for something different to do on the grill. We do a lot of outdoor cooking here. I came across this recipe and we tried it tonight. I wish you could have smelled it cooking; I think we were the envy of the neighborhood.

1/4c. butter or margarine, softened
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 T. minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 t. ground ginger or 2 T. grated fresh gingerroot
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t. salt, divided
1/2 t. pepper, divided
4 Cornish game hens (20 0z. each)

Coat grill rack with non stick cooking spray well before starting the grill. In a small bowl, combine the butter, onions, parsley, ginger, garlic, 1/2 t salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Rub mixture under the skin and over the top of each game hen. Sprinkle remaining salt and pepper inside the hen cavities.
Grill hens, uncovered, breast side up over medium heat for 25 minutes. Turn breast side down. Cover and grill 25-35 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180 degrees. and the meat juices run clear. Yield: 4 servings.
Suggestion: Serve with grilled vegetables.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Watermelon Cream Pie

Taste of Home July 2002

I know this recipe does not include any herbs from my garden other than the garnish, but it just looked so darned good!
Oh my, I can't wait to eat this. Perfect for a hot summer day!

1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. lime juice
1- 2/3 c. whipped topping
2 c. cubed watermelon, seeded
1 graham cracker crust (9 inches)
Watermelon Balls and fresh mint (opt.)

In a bowl, combine milk and lime juice. Fold in whipped topping and cubed watermelon. Pour into crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before slicing. Garnish with watermelon balls and mint if desired. Yield: 6-8 servings

Monday, July 7, 2008

Oven Baked Cajun Catfish

Fast and easy, Cajun Catfish, baked in foil, is healthy and tasty.

4 (4oz each) catfish fillets
2 c. shredded carrots
6 oz. green beans, ends trimmed (about 15 beans per serving)
8 baby red potatoes, skin on, quartered
4 t. lemon juice
1 t. black pepper or to taste
2 t. cajun seasoning or to taste
2 t. dried parsley
Nonstick cooking spray
Olive oil (opt)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 4 sheets of aluminum foil, about 12x12 inches.
Place one fillet on each sheet of foil; skin side down. Top each fillet with 1/2 c. carrots, 15 green beans, and 2 sliced potatoes.

2. Spray ingredients in each packet with vegetable oil spray or drizzle olive oil liberally over fillets (my favorite way)

3. Sprinkle each fillet with 1 t. lemon juice, 1/4 t. pepper, 1/2 t. cajun seasoning,and 1/2 t. dried parsley.

4. Close packets for cooking by gathering both ends, folding down lightly, then folding in each end. Place 4 foil packets on baking pan and bake 30 minutes.

5. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes before opening (steam may escape). Place contents onto 4 dinner plates and serve immediately. Garnish with a lemon wedge, if desired.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Herbed Zucchini

(Better Home and Gardens Diabetic Cookbook 1992)

3 c. sliced zucchini or yellow summer squash (1/4 in. thick slices)
1/2 c. sweet red pepper strips
1/3 c. thinly sliced onion
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 t. snipped fresh basil or 1/2 t. dried basil, crushed
1/8 t. garlic salt

Ina medium saucepan combine zucchini or summer squash, red pepper, onion, and water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes. Drain. Sprinkle with basil and garlic salt; toss to mix. Makes 4 (3/4 cup) servings.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

Looking for something different for the family party? Here's a tasty, healthy recipe to put on your 4th of July grill.

Bedfellow #6

Grilled Chicken Kabobs

1/3 c. olive oil
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. chopped oregano
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t black pepper
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 in. pieces
1 fennel bulb, wedged and blanched in boiling water
12 oz. Yukon Gold potatoes (1 1/2 c.), quartered and blanched in boiling water
1 red onion, cut into 1 in. chunks
1 1/3 California Ripe Olives, whole, drained
1 c. nonfat, plain, yogurt
1 t. chopped lemon zest
1 T. chopped chives

1. Whisk in large bowl oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and 1/4 t. pepper. Add chicken, fennel, potatoes, and onion. Toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour.

2. Place 36 olives in a small bowl and set aside. Place remaining olives in the bowl of a food processor. Add yogurt, lemon zest, and remaining black pepper, and pulse until combined. Stir in chives, cover, and refrigerate.

3. Make kabobs by threading on 12 bamboo skewers, that have been soaked in water for 15 minutes. Alternate ripe olives, chicken, fennel, onion, and potato, ending with chicken or olive.

4. Grill over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side. Serve with yogurt and olive dipping sauce.

Makes 6 servings (2 skewers per serving)

Have a wonderful 4th!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Vegetable Ragout

Bedfellow #5

Vegetable Ragout

This wonderful spring/summer dish uses several different herbs, one of which is tarragon. The word tarragon comes from the French word estragon which means "little dragon." The long thin leaves resemble dragon's tongues, and the twisted roots are said to look like a snake's body.

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 leeks, white and green leaves, washed and thinly sliced
1 T. olive oil
1 c. vegetable stock
1 pkg. (10 oz.) frozen corn
1 small bag (6 oz) frozen edamame (soybeans) pods removed
1 small bag (4 oz.) shredded carrots
1/2 lb. yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2 in. pieces (about 1 1/4 c.)
3 c. small cherry tomatoes, halved
1 t. dried tarragon
1 t. dried basil
1 t. dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
fresh parsley for garnish. minced

1. In a 12- inch heavy skillet, cook garlic and leeks in oil over medium heat, stirring just until fragrant. Add stock, corn, edamame, carrots, and squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender.

2. Add tomatoes and dried herbs; stir well. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 2 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.

3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley.
Makes 6 (1 1/2 cup) servings

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Vegetable Garden Pasta

Bedfellow #4

Vegetable Garden Pasta

Use this as a side dish to any meat course or as a stand alone main course.

1 small zucchini, cut into julienne strips
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 c. sliced pitted olives
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. dried basil
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. coarsely ground pepper
1/2 c. plain low-fat yogurt
1 T. plus 1 1/2 t. olive oil
6 ounces corkscrew past, uncooked

Combine all ingredients except pasta in a large bowl, tossing well.
Cover and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, drain. Combine pasta and vegetable mixture in a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately. Yield: 12 servings. (86 calories per 1 cup serving)