Cooking With Herbs

24 May 2013

In the past 6 months I have become completely obsessed with herbs. My mother always grew different batches in her garden and would add them to meals but I never seemed to pick up on really how amazing they are for all types of cooking until recently. Go figure, mother knew best! 😉

I have to say of everything out there, my favorite herbs are definitely cilantro (coriander), basil, and rosemary. All three of these smell absolutely amazing and add so much flavor and aroma to any dish you cook.

  • Rosemary for meats and pork, roasted vegetables (if you don’t chop it up & roast it whole, be sure to take out; otherwise chop finely and eat with the meal), and baking into breads
  • Cilantro for fresh guacamole (cilantro goes great with lemon/lime), fish, lamb, salads, yogurts/dips
  • Basil for chicken, to make pesto, and even ice cream

I don’t follow those rules exactly and really just put any type of herb into any meal that I see fit, but overall those seem to be the rules for the herbs to bring out the flavors of the food you are cooking.

For this quick lunch I made, I decided to use basil and cilantro along with my chicken, quinoa, and asian veggies (pre-packaged bean sprouts, carrots, onion and a few other randomness veggies).

This was a super quick lunch as I already had made the quinoa the night before so I just reheated 1/2 a cup in the microwave. I cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces to cook quicker and put it in a pan with some olive oil spray. Once it was nearly done I added the veggies, 1TBSP of water, 2TBSP of cider vinegar, and chopped up basil and cilantro and put a lid on top. I let these all simmer for around 2 minutes which allowed the chicken to cook fully and the veggies to steam. 

Voila! Done. Quick and easy, took about 5 minutes for everything to cook. I plated it then added cayenne pepper, a dash of balsamic vinegar and fresh cracked pepper. Nom Nom Nom!

I’ve also found that the best way to store fresh herbs is to take a paper towel, get it quite damp with cold water (not dripping wet though), place it in a ziplock bag then add the herbs. Close and put in the fridge. Having the water from the paper towel will make them keep for about a week to a week and a half where as just keeping them in a bag without will only allow them to last a few days before starting to brown.

Herbs are also super good for you! Don’t believe me?

Why, Basil has vitamin A (which helps lower cholesterol), it has magnesium (which promotes cardiovascular health and allows blood vessels to relax in term decreasing inflammation and increases blood flow); it’s also very high in calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

Cilantro is a powerful anti-inflamatory and will help detox your body, it reduces the risk of salmonella poisoning, reduces menstrual cramping, fights anemia, and helps fight off urinary infections.

Rosemary is high in folic acid, vitamin A and C, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. All of these vitamins help protect existing collagen and also help to create new collagen to keep our skin firm (and cellulite free).

Try using one (or all 3) in your next meal! 🙂



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