Preserve herbs with an ice cube tray

Do you have an abundance of fresh herbs and want a fast, easy way to preserve them? While some people choose to dry herbs, there’s another preservation method that’s fast and makes storage simple — all you need is olive oil and an ice cube tray.

The Pioneer Women recommends using herbs like rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano. Soft herbs such as mint, basil and dill don’t stand up as well to frozen methods, but feel free to experiment.

Step 1: Remove stalks and roughly chop herbs into large pieces.

Step 2: Fill each ice cube section halfway with chopped herbs.

Step 3: Top with with extra virgin olive oil.

Step 4: Cover with plastic wrap and freeze overnight.

Step 5: Lift out frozen herb blocks and transfer to a freezer-safe bag or container for storage.

The next time you cook and want some extra flavor, all you have to do is grab a cube or two.


Bring summer greens to this vitamin-rich veggie bowl

For your next Meatless Monday dinner, this colorful, fuss-free entree puts your garden greens in the spotlight, thanks to this recipe featured in the cookbook “Conveniently Vegan,” spotlighted by The Vegetarian Resource Group.

Bulgur, Corn and Greens

1 cup bulgur

2 cups water

One 10-ounce box frozen corn kernels (or, kernels scraped from one ear of fresh corn)

1/2 pound greens (kale or collards), rinsed and torn into bite-size pieces

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Following the package instructions, cook the bulgur in a large pot of boiling water. Add the remaining ingredients and heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm.

Served with crusty bread, this meatless dinner is a good source of iron and protein, and best of all, it comes together in less than 30 minutes!


Other ways to make your herbs last longer

Fresh herbs such as basil, dill, parsley and thyme can add a boost of flavor to your favorite foods. If you find yourself with more fresh herbs than you can use at one time, the experts at Food Network have a couple tips to make your herbs stay fresh for longer.

First, wash them before they go in the fridge, dry them well, cut off the ends and put them in a glass of water like a bunch of flowers. Then, cover the tops with a plastic bag or damp paper towel, as that will help trap moisture. Finally, store the washed and dried herbs in a plastic bag along with a paper towel, which will absorb any extra moisture.


Meat: Is it done yet?

In May, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made changes in their recommended cooking temperatures for meats. Here’s what you need to know:

Cooking whole cuts of pork: The USDA lowered the recommended safe cooking temperature for whole cuts of pork from 160 degrees Fahrenheit to 145 degrees Fahrenheit with the addition of a 3-minute rest time. Cook pork, roasts and chops to 145 degrees Fahrenheit as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source, with a 3-minute rest time before carving or consuming.

Cooking whole cuts of other meats: For beef, veal and lamb cuts, the safe temperature remains unchanged at 145 degrees Fahrenheit, but the department added a 3-minute rest time as part of its cooking recommendations.

— Brandpoint