Fresh herbs bring fantastic flavor and heart benefits

Add parsley for texture, flavor and nutrition

herbs blogAs part of our ongoing series about how fresh herbs bring fantastic flavor and heart benefits, today we take a look at parsley. Yes, there are other uses for parsley besides that little garnish sprig on the side of your plate!

Last summer, my parsley plants blessed me with an endless supply of delicious, flavorful leaves. I tried new recipes, tried different ways to save it for later and gave it away to friends and neighbors. In return, my friends and neighbors shared their plans for making chicken soup, tomato sauce and roasted chicken.

The flat leaf varieties of parsley have a peppery taste that is a little stronger than the curly variety. While tabbouleh often comes to mind when I think of parsley, this herb is used in soups, egg dishes, salads and marinades or sauces. Parsley combined with other herbs enhances the flavors of the entire dish. Continue reading

What’s Cinco de Mayo without Cilantro?

Add this distinct herb for extra flavor and health benefits

cinco de may blog

Pico de Gallo is a traditional Mexican dish featuring fresh cilantro.

We’re taking a look at herbs and their ability to add great flavor to your recipes, often eliminating the need for salt. We started with basil in March and this month we’re featuring cilantro.

Be sure to check back often to learn more about herbs and how to incorporate them into a delicious, healthy eating plan.

Celebrate with cilantro

With Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, it’s time to celebrate Mexican food and culture. Pico de Gallo, with its fresh tomato, onion, chile, lime juice and cilantro, is a classic component of Mexican festivities.  It’s also popular in Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisines.

Of cilantro’s two components used in cooking (seeds and leaves), our focus is on the leaves. The seeds are known as coriander and the leaves are known as cilantro (or coriander leaves). Look for bright green leaves without yellow spots if you purchase cut cilantro. If you’re harvesting from your own garden, cut up to 1/3 of the plant at a time, leaving enough leaves for continued growth. To clean cilantro leaves, move them gently around a bowl of cold water until all dirt/sand is removed. When chopping the cilantro, include some of the tender stems for additional flavor. Continue reading