Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy New Herbs, Plants, Veggies, and Flowers

It's a brand shiny new year, and apparently lots of people are on diets. If you're someone just getting started on the South Beach Diet who's found Kalyn's Kitchen through Google, you might not even know about Weekend Herb Blogging. I'll be back soon with more South Beach Diet friendly recipes, meanwhile, this is a recap of interesting things other bloggers were writing about last week. I was completely amazed at the number of unique ingredients people featured, so grab a snack and something to drink because you'll want to read them all. There were quite a few things I'd never heard of, and I've been reading the WHB posts for more than two years!

Asparagus
Sharona from Bird Food created a lovely menu for New Year's Eve. The main course was a tasty Lemon and Herb Crusted Swordfish, but Sharona wants to feature the dish she served on the side, Cold Asparagus with Lemon, Garlic, and Parmesan Cheese, which she says was light and refreshing. It does sound great!

Assorted Herbs
From The CookMobile comes a recipe featuring one of my favorite pairings, mustard and herbs. Lalaine has combined them in Herb and Mustard Cornish Hen, marinated overnight and then roasted until it's golden brown, just delish.

The next recipe that featured assorted herbs sounded like something I would absolutely love, a type of sauce featuring eggs, mustard, shallots, capers, olive oil, vinegar, and herbs. Not only does it sound like a quick recipe, but Y from LemonPi gives some great ideas for using 4 Minute Egg Gribiche as well.

Assorted Vegetables
I love seeing what good cooks are making all over the world, and Ivy from Kopiaste, to Greek Hospitality has sent us a recipe for a vegetarian dish from Greece called Briam. You can vary the vegetables you use, but her version uses zucchini, potatoes, onions, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, and a lot of delicious herbs. I'm sure this is delicious!

Avocado
When she traveled to Bali last year Anna from Morsels and Musings wanted to try a type of sweet avocado smoothie she'd heard about, but it was not avocado season. Now Anna has made her own version of Sinh To Bo, the creamy avocado drink with sweetened condensed milk.

Blood Oranges
Another very uncommon ingredient used in an interesting way comes from Helene from News From My Kitchen. Although it's not summer, Helene says her kids like ice cream every day, so to please them and provide a lot of vitamin C as well, she's created a delightful sounding Blood Orange Ice Cream. You can also read about the different types of blood orange in this post.

Brussels Sprouts
Katie at Thyme for Cooking is not having a good day with her computer, in a scenario that involved smelling smoke, vacuuming the computer and attempted back-ups and finally two yummy sounding recipes for Brussels Sprouts when it became clear the computer was not going to cooperate and cooking therapy was called for. The resulting recipes for Sautéed Sliced Brussels Sprouts and Shallots and Fried Rice with Brussels Sprouts sound great, but I do hope the computer is okay.

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
Ulrike from Kuchenlatein is having fun cooking in her shiny new kitchen! For this week she has made a delicious sounding dish, Spiced Chickpeas with Halloumi, with some roasted peppers and spinach for even more flavor. Halloumi is something I've looked everywhere for in Salt Lake, and still haven't found!

Chili Peppers
What we call salsa in America is simply called hot sauce in France, and Jennifer from Like to Cook has grown her own peppers and created a Simple and Versatile Hot Sauce that really sounds great. There's also lots of good information here about the health benefits associated with hot peppers and a guide to which types of peppers are hottest.

Chives
Jerry from Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants made a special dish for Christmas Breakfast. Although it featured chives, another unique thing about his Eggs Benedict on Savory Waffles was how he made the waffles. I'm going to let you go read about it yourself, but it does sound delicious.

Cranberries
I learned a lot about how cranberries are grown in this post from Cyndi of Ruminations, who's returning to WHB this week. Cyndi has used her cranberries to make Cranberry Bread Pudding; so delicious sounding, it's worth making an extra one for the freezer.

Cruciferous Vegetables
My own WHB post this week was about cruciferous vegetables, more specifically Crunchy Cruciferous Chopped Salad, one of my favorite side dishes and something I eat all year. I was completely surprised by the number of people who liked this idea, so if you're open to the thought that salad doesn't have to have lettuce, check it out.

Dill
At Blog From Our Kitchen, Elizabeth and husband got a late start on New Year's Eve dinner and then had a few mishaps, but still managed to produce an amazing sounding Mushroom Ravioli with Dill. Besides that recipe, there's a lot of good information about growing dill and how to use it in this informative post.

Edamame
Rachel at Cooking and Booking has used a new treatment on Edamame or green soybeans, one of my very favorite snack foods. I'm sure there's not a bad way to eat these, but Rachel's Roasted Salt and Pepper Edamame sound like they would definitely be outstanding; definitely something I'd love to try.

Fennel
Next is a two-for-the-price-of-one, something everybody likes. The Expatriate's Kitchen explores the versatility of fennel, and then gives us two great sounding recipes for using fennel: Leek, Fennel and Potato Soup and Clementine and Fennel Salad. Both sound great!

Ginger
I'm a huge fan of ginger, and I think pork with ginger is a perfect blend of tastes, so my eyes lit up when I saw the Stir-Fried Pork with Ginger dish created by Tigerfish from Teczcape - An Escape to Food. Tigerfish says everyone in the family will love this dish, and I believe it.

Kencur
Kencur is a very interesting sounding Indonesian rhizome, and I hadn't heard of it before so if you know me at all, you know I was excited by this entry! Pepy from The Art And Science of Food has used it to make Kencur Sambal (and if you don't know what sambal is, this post will make that clear too!)

Lavender
Kelly from Is There No Way Out of the Mind has become a fan of lavender-laced food and she's tried lots of dishes featuring this fragrant herb. From a cookbook specializing in lavender she found a recipe for Garlicky Lavender Curry Hummus, and is sending it as her first entry for Weekend Herb Blogging.

Leeks
The Allium family of plants is going to be the topic of the month at One Hot Stove, and Nupur is starting the fun out with leeks. Her recipe for Spaghetti in a Creamy Leek Sauce looks delicious; I can't wait to see what is next.

Olives
Peter from Kalofagas - Pursuit of Delicious Foods says he's never met an olive he didn't like, and I'm completely with him on that. Now Peter has taken delicious olives and made them even better by turning them into Marinated Olives; can't you just imagine how delicious?

Oranges
Chris from MeleCotte was trying to gear up for going back to work when she sent this post, but she must be back in the groove by now. Chris was getting food cooked in advance for her busy week coming up, and her contribution of Orange-Date Pumpkin Bread sounds perfect to eat any day of the week!

Potatoes
Johanna from Green Gourmet Giraffe has received some wonderful books that focus on vegetables, and she's finding some lovely stories to accompany the vegetable dishes she's creating. This week she's made a lovely looking Eastern European Potato Salad, with a bit of a story to go with every ingredient.

Purple Yam
One thing I love about Weekend Herb Blogging is how it gives me a chance to learn about new foods, and Gay from A Scientist in the Kitchen has taught me about purple yams this week. These yams are the most delightful color, and Gay has used them to make Haleyang Ube, or ube ice cream, a favorite Filipino dessert.

Quinoa
If your clothes have shrunk a bit over the holidays, and you're looking for a remedy, Gretchen from Canela and Comino offers her version of Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad as a healthy choice that's light but delicious. Everything about this sounded good, but the fresh lime juice was what really made it sound special.

Sage
Minti from A Suitable Spice has added a new ingredient to the classic dish of gnocchi with sage and brown butter, and I think it's a brilliant addition. Check her photos and see if you don't agree that Potato Gnocchi with Sage, Preserved Lemon, and Brown Butter is just inspired.

Another great sounding pasta dish with sage comes from Pam at Sidewalk Shoes, who has temporarily abandoned cilantro and is enjoying a new flavor. I love the combination of flavors in Pam's Pasta with Pumpkin and Sage Brown Butter; sounds fantastic.

Sage was popular this week, and another person cooking with it was The Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan. When she had lots of leftover cooked squash (what my mother would have called "a good problem to have") she made Twice Baked Squash Squash with Sage, a dish that sounds absolutely perfect to me.

Tasmanian Mountain Pepper Berry
A fascinating post from Haalo at Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, who has introduced me to the Tasmanian Mountain Pepper Berry. This is a plant where the leaves and berries are both used for unique flavor; go read Haalo's post to learn more about this interesting plant.

Tatsoi
While shopping at her farmers market, Anna from Anna's Cool Finds happened upon an unusual type of Asian mustard green called Tatsoi. Anna created her own dish of Tatsoi Sauteed with Mushrooms and Garlic over Homemade Zaru Tofu. If you haven't heard of this type of greens, check it out, and be sure to read how Anna makes her own tofu too.

Tomatoes
While you're checking out the recipe for Stuffed Tomatoes with Sombreroni Hats at My French Kitchen, don't miss the beautiful artwork. You can tell that Ronell is an artist in the kitchen too, the way she took this simple but delicious dish of tomatoes stuffed with a variety of yummy flavors and dressed it up with a unique ingredient. If you don't know what Sombreroni is, you must see it for yourself.

Another blogger using tomatoes this week was Sarah from the beautifully re-designed Sarah's Cucina Bella. In Sarah's house they're working on weight loss (a popular idea!) and the recipe for Baked Tilapia with Warm Tomato Relish that Sarah made sounds wonderfully healthy and delicious as well.

Vietnamese Coriander
I was excited to see that Nora from Life's Smorgasbord was featuring Vietnamese Coriander (Daun Kesom) in her post this week because I'd tasted this interesting herb once, but never knew much about it. She's used it as part of the flavorings for Sour Spicy Fish, and there is another very interesting twist to this fish dish, so be sure to go read about it.

Wild Betel Leaf
Wandering Chopsticks has written a fascinating post this week about wild betel leaf or la lot, not to be confused with the betel leaf which is sometimes chewed, and which makes your teeth red. You must read all about how this flavorful leaf is wrapped around meat and then grilled for a dish called Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Wild Betel Leaf.

Zucchini
It may be winter in half the world, but Pam from The Backyard Pizzeria reminds us that the other half is enjoying summer. Pam is having that perennial zucchini problem of rapidly multiplying zucchinis, but she's managed to use a good bit of them in a very tasty sounding casserole dish called Zucchini Slice. (Pam, I have saved the recipe!)

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18 comments:

Peter M said...

It's good to see WHB hasn't missed a beat with the holiday break. Kudos to all and happy cookin'!

katiez said...

Glad to see you're back in the blogosphere ;-) I agree with your comment - I've been reading about so many things that I have never heard of. Admittedly, I've led a sheltered life.....

Gretchen Noelle said...

So glad to see you worked out all those technical problems, thanks for get this up quickly. I am looking forward to checking all these fine foods out later today.

Nupur said...

Mmm...what a tasty round-up- thank you, Kalyn! As usual, I have found several easy and healthful weeknight dishes to try out.

Nora B. said...

Wonderful round-up, Kalyn - like the way you organised it. And I'm glad that you are now back on-line.

2Sammi said...

Wow... I am so excited to find your blog...a local lady!!! Im just north of you in West Haven.....love, love, your blog.
Renee

Mayme said...

Hi! I have a question unrelated to this post. If you're following a South Beach food plan, can you have Coffee-Mate powdered creamer in coffee or is it better to go with a higher-fat dairy choice?

Kalyn said...

Mayme I'm guessing the powdered creamer would have carbs and sugar, but you would need to check the label. In general I avoid things with more than 2 grams of sugar per serving, and for a product like this, the less carbs the better. I would probably use half and half or milk. I'll check my South Beach Guide when I get home and see what it says.

Maria said...

I love WHB! I am glad you are doing it!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

Wow, I can't believe there's so many great recipes. Gives me more incentive to eat healthier this year.

Helene said...

Happy, you´re back and thanks for this tremendous round up.
Have to look around all these delicacies!!

Wandering Chopsticks said...

PS Glad Blogger is finally working for you!

ejm said...

Mmmmm, once again, what a terrific resource this is. These dishes sound fantastic.

-Elizabeth

The Expatriate Chef said...

Thanks for posting! I love the easy way this is organized!

Johanna said...

good to see you up and running again - great list of recipes to start the new year - thanks

Andaliman said...

So many interesting posts that I want to see. Thank you Kalyn.

Anna said...

great job, as always. glad to see that blogger's spam filters couldn't keep you down :)

Kalyn said...

Thanks everyone for the nice comments. It's great to see the enthusiasm for learning about new herbs and plants has not waned.

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