For the Herb of it- Rosemary!

By now it should be pretty obvious that fresh herbs taste better than dried herbs. Sure, when in a pinch dried herbs can still do the trick. The challenge is many store bought herbs even when just purchased; have already lost the intense flavor that you get from fresh herbs. Of course, if you are drying your own fresh herbs at home, than you probably already know how long they have sat on the shelf in your pantry… Which brings me to growing your own fresh herbs- starting with Rosemary.

DSC_1148 Rosemary is a fast grower and tolerant to most climates. In fact Rosemary can generally tolerate most soil conditions as well. Hence, why rosemary can be found in many landscapes as a shrub or ornamental feature. Rosemary can easily be planted by seed. However, beware Rosemary unattended can grow rapidly if not properly and regularly pruned. Rest assured though, Rosemary can be used in so many ways: you will never grow tired of this fragrant beauty.

Try these luxurious and tasty ways to use Rosemary in your home!

  • Skip expensive hand soaps. Add a snip of Rosemary to any inexpensive liquid hand soap. Smells amazing!
  • Flavored Olive Oils can get pricey. Add Rosemary, Garlic, Basil and a few capers to your Extra Virgin Olive oil. Be careful to keep your oil in a cool, dry location. Then enjoy the benefits of flavored oil in any of your dishes.
  • Rosemary Bread. Rosemary bread is timeless for its aromatic qualities and diversity for use. Coming soon visit our recipe for Rosemary bread to see how this herb can transform flour into a delectable treat.
  • Add fresh Rosemary to any Poultry or Fish recipe. Rosemary is a traditional flavor with roasted chicken and fish. Yet, Rosemary can make roasted potatoes or carrots a centerpiece at your table!
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Quick, Easy, Delicious Ramen

For those of you the term “Ramen” may bring up memories of old college days; where prepackaged Ramen was the staple of the diet. However, I am sorry to say but Ramen did not originate from the square plastic wrappers us Westerners know so well. In fact, all over larger cities restaurants are springing up specializing in Ramen bowls. These tasty (low sodium) bowls can have just about anything your heart desires incorporated with those homemade Ramen noodles.

Here I have made a favorite: vegetable and chicken Ramen in an Oriental broth. As always, a vegetarian option is included within this recipe.

Ramen!

Ramen!

Ingredients:

1 cup ramen noodles (fresh is better but prepacked noodles can also be found in the international section of your grocer)

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1/4 cup fresh broccoli

1/4 cup Water chestnuts

1/4 cup snap peas

1/4 cub fresh cabbage

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 dried red chili pepper

1/4 cup cooked cubed chicken or Firm cubed Tofu (toss the tofu in sesame oil and toast)

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Directions: 

If using fresh Ramen Noodles place in a pot and cover with enough water to cover the noodles leaving about an inch of water above the noodles. If using packaged noodles, prepare according to package directions. Place tofu or Chicken in the noodles. Simmer for 3 minutes. Add seasonings and vegetables (reserving the cabbage). Warm for another minute. Divide the mixture between two serving bowls and season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with fresh cabbage and enjoy!

 

Flatbread Quesadillas

There is something comforting about cheese and bread and there’s nothing simpler to cook that brings these two ingredients together: Flatbread Quesadillas. Typically, traditional quesadillas are made with a flour tortilla. However, I have found Lebanese Flatbread to stand up better to all the goodness inside these quesadillas. Paired with a smooth sour cream based sauce: these quesadillas are more than an appetizer.

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Ingredients: 

1 Medium size fresh Bell Pepper

1 Piece of Lebanese Flatbread

3 Oz. Shredded or Cubed Chicken (Omit for Vegetarian and Substitute Cannellini Beans)

1/2 cup shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese

Sauce:

3 Tblsp Sour Cream

1 dash of Smoked Paprika

1 dash of Tobasco Sauce

Directions:

Preheat your skillet on a low setting. Dice the Bell Peppers and set aside. Combine in a small bowl ingredients for the sauce. If using chicken: toss the chicken in the skillet to warm through. Remove chicken from skillet once warm and place with bell peppers. Put all of the ingredients onto one side of the flatbread and fold over.

Place Quesadilla in the pre-heated skillet and put a heavy bottom pan on top of the quesadilla to weight it down. Check for a crispy texture every 30 seconds. Flip the Quesadilla to toast the other side. Once warmed through: serve this cheesy goodness with the prepared sauce and enjoy!