Cooking with herbs - a recipe for health

I love to encourage everyone to grow their own herbs and use them in cooking at every meal. Cooking with fresh herbs is a form of every day medicine.

Every herb contains nutrients and phytonutrients which can act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Each herb has a different health giving combination of phytochemicals. So please eat as many herbs as often as you can.

Here is a selection of recipes that will expand over time. Please keep checking back as I add more and more healthy herbal recipes.

Herbs and Vegetables
Chermoula 

Chermoula is a spicy sauce which is delicious served with fish, chicken, lamb or baked vegetables.

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small chilli, finely chopped

1 large handful of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 smaller handful of flat leafed parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 tspn smoked paprika

1 tspn freshly ground cumin seeds

1/2 lemon

olive oil

Mix garlic, chilli and herbs in a bowl with the juice and zest of the lemon. Stir in enough olive oil to make a thick paste.

Chimichurri sauce

This is an incredibly healthy sauce and it's also delicious. It can be used to marinate beef, lamb or chicken or as a sauce after cooking. This sauce could also be used as a dressing on a salad - it's very versatile!

4 cloves of garlic, minced

2 small chillies, chopped (or more if you prefer a hotter sauce)

2 large handfuls of coriander, finely chopped

2 large handfuls of parsley, finely chopped

1/2 tspn freshly ground cumin seeds

150ml apple cider vinegar

200ml olive oil or coconut oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Best eaten fresh.

Cooking with basil

Basil pesto

Pesto is quick and easy to make because it all goes into the food processor. Add it to sour dough, chicken, lamb, fish or salads for a health boost. This is a dairy free version.

1 cup of toasted pine nuts

1 cup of fresh basil leaves

1 - 2 cloves of garlic, minced

zest and juice of 1 lemon

4 tblspns extra virgin olive oil

Blend all ingredients together using a food processor.

More: basil information sheet

Homemade Pesto

Basil and garlic dressing
 

200ml greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tblpsn of chives roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
a large handful of basil leaves
sea salt

Process all ingredients together in a food process. Keep refrigerated until serving.

Pour over salad, potatoes or other vegetables before serving. I used this dressing on a chicken burger.

Cooking with dill

Dill mayonnaise

This mayonnaise is delicious with BBQ fish or on a fish burger.

1 egg

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

1 tspn apple cider vinegar

approximately 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 handful of fresh dill, finely chopped

In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, mustard and vinegar. While still whisking, gradually add olive oil until the mixture resembles the consistency of mayonnaise. Stir through dill and store in the fridge for up to a week.

Cooking with sage

Sage is a wonderful herb for midlife and beyond.

Sage is delicious with potatoes, butter, bacon, olives, pumpkin, carrots, garlic, chicken and lamb.

 

Read more about the benefits of sage for perimenopause and healthy ageing.

Image by Paulina H.

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