Kick up Flavor with Fresh Herbs

Wed, 04/22/2015 - 6:59 PM | by mitch

By Heather Tallmann, author of Basilmomma

For the March Door to Wellness cooking class, we learned how to use fresh herbs to boost our recipes. In conjunction, the LRD Garden Club met last week and talked about growing herbs for kitchen use so what better time to talk about incorporating those herbs into recipes?

What I like best about these classes is we all have a chance to collaborate and work together. Everyone has a station and we all work preparing our meal together. A few clients shared how they incorporate some of these ingredients into their own diets on a daily basis. Some use a teaspoon of garlic to treat symptoms of diabetes while others add spinach, greens and herbs for more cancer-fighting folic acid. They’re all looking for easy ways to get the most out of their food.

Adding fresh herbs like mint and thyme provide a nutrient-packed punch of vitamins and flavors. One portion of grilled chicken provides roughly 25 grams of protein while thyme and rosemary add flavor.
Rosemary, rich in folic acid and vitamins A and C, has been shown to ease muscle pain and indigestion. One tablespoon of this fragrant herb also delivers five percent of an adult’s recommended daily amount of iron.
Thyme is rich in B-complex vitamins (particularly B-6), and vitamins A, C, E and K and may help relieve gas, reduce fevers and lower cholesterol. By using citrus juice and zest and fresh herbs, you can kick up the flavor without adding excess salt.
Our featured recipe this month could not be simpler. But don’t confuse simple with boring. Fresh herbs, citrus, tomatoes and feta cheese give flavor to a meal that is both healthy and satisfying!
Greek Chicken Bake
Serves 4
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 lb total), cut into strips
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives, drained
  • 4 diced Roma or small tomatoes, or- canned diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup crumbled low-fat feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Black pepper
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients except the feta in a large bowl
  2. Pour into a baking dish.
  3. Cover with foil.
  4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Remove from heat and sprinkle with feta.
  6. Serve with roasted veggies or a whole grain.
Recipe totals: Purchased at Kroger
  • 1 pound of chicken breasts- $4.99 sale
  • Small can of black olives- $.80 sale
  • 4 Roma tomatoes- $1.25 sale
  • Feta, 4 oz package- $1.49 sale
  • 1 lemon- $.75
  • One clove garlic- $.20 (portion of whole bulb)
  • Assorted herbs- $1.49 sale
  • Black pepper/olive oil are pantry items and not included in this cost
  • Recipe total: $10.97
  • Having pantry items like garlic, black pepper and olive oil and growing your own herbs would cut down on the cost of this dish.