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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Some products I'm digging right now

Thought I'd write a bit about some products I'm enjoying these days:

1. Dorot Garlic and Herbs, Frozen herbs, from Israel.
These frozen herbs come conveniently packaged in little squares, that pop out when you need some fresh herbs, but don't have any on hand. I have only tried the basil, but Dorot manufactures cilantro, dill, parsley as well as garlic and ginger. Trader Joe's carries them. So, yeah, while fresh herbs are ideal, sometimes I just need a little kick to a soup or a sauce and if I don't have the herb I need on hand, frozen is the next best thing. Plus, it's an extra added incentive to support Dorot, which, unbeknownst to me until yesterday, is a Kibbutz. A kibbutz is a co-op of sorts where people live communally and work, usually having a signature product. For Kibbutz Dorot, the signature product is the frozen herbs. I worked on a kibbutz when I was 15. I went to Israel with a tour group, and we stayed on Kibbutz Gadot, in the Golan Heights for 3 weeks. There, I worked in a plastics plant, making milk crates. Anyways, back to the frozen herbs. The basil tasted fresh and basily. Good stuff. I just bought the cilantro the other day. I usually keep a bunch of cilantro on hand, as I do "southwestern/mexican" quite a bit, but in those rare instances where I don't have it, I'm sure I'll be glad I have the frozen stuff....

2. Veggie Patch vegetarian products:
Now, I'm not a vegetarian, but I'm trying to improve my diet by eating more fruits and veggies and whole grains. I have also decided to cut down on my meat consumption, so I've been trying vegetarian products. VeggiePatch offers a variety of veggie products such as chickenless chicken patties, veggie burgers, meatballs, "riblets" and these really yummy "nugget produts", broccoli and spinach. The products are pretty good. The Veggie burgers are packed with whole veggies that you can see, like corn and peas. The chicken patties have good mouth feel, and taste like chicken. Even my 3.5 year old son Max ate it, so, it's got to be good, right?? The broccoli nuggets are a great snack. I put them in the toaster and let them crisp up. I haven't tried the spinach nuggets, but I can't believe that they'd be bad. I tried the riblets as well. In all honesty, they weren't too bad. They come with a BBQ sauce to heat them up with, and together with some rice and beans, it's not a bad dinner.

3. Gourmet Garden, Herbs and Spices:
Another convenience food, herbs and spices in a tube that come refrigerated. Basically, they are pastes, that you squeeze out when you need to. I have tried both the lemongrass and ginger, and have found them to be bright and fresh tasting, and ultra easy. So, for me, lemongrass seems to never be available where I shop. Even if it was available, I might still opt to use the tube version. It comes in paste form already! That is real fast, considering that lemongrass takes some effort to prep. The company is based in Australia. I found their products at Hannafords market, a place I don't normally shop at, but will go to if I need a few things and can get away from work to go there during the day. They do have an organic section, but do not offer enough organic produce for me to shop there on a regular basis.


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