UPDATED February 19, 2017, to include my latest recipes with fresh or dried herbs: absolutely worth looking over again, just click on the recipe titles that “speak” to you…they are as simple, honest and nutritious as they are delicious-YUM!
For those of you who want a shortcut….
If you want a quick recommendation and don’t have time to look over the myriad recipes I list here, then here are 2 go-to ridiculously simple recipes this week:
OK, now for a more leisurely perusing through the rest of my herb recipes on this easy Sunday morning….
I don’t know why it took me so long to have a post dedicated to fresh herbs and spices! I mean, really, just go through my recipe index; I use fresh herbs and spices routinely! I venture to guess I have at least fifty recipes that use them on this website alone, not to mention all the others I have created over the years that I haven’t even had a chance to publish yet. So why did it take me so long?
Well, I think I know why–it’s just overwhelming! There is such a multitude of diverse herbs and spices, each conferring its own health benefit and particular flavor, from sweet to savory to mild to hot, that the thought of discussing each one individually and attempting to characterize its contribution is just too daunting– I am having flashbacks to my days at Princeton writing my doctoral dissertation–and I just can’t bear the thought!
OK, so I will take a deep breath and just give you the highlights! I’ll direct you to other sources to look into each spice/herb further on your own (here is another one) and…“forgive” myself!
Let me just say that the common attributes of fresh herbs and spices that come up in the realm of health are their anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and anti-oxidant properties (more here). The interesting thing is that you don’t need to consume massive amounts to confer those health benefits. Adding spice and herbs (fresh or dried) to your dishes, here and there throughout your diet, is all it takes–a little goes a long way!
So let’s get started! I’ll direct you to a few recipes (I couldn’t possibly list them all without referring you to the whole website!) with some of the more salient spices and will link you to some articles about each:
Cinnamon: simply Cinnamon Apples, Apple Cinnamon Smoothie, Pumpkin Cinnamon Walnut Pancakes, Moroccan Lentil & Chickpea Soup, Confetti Orzo Pasta Salad, Creamy Red Lentil Squash Soup, Dark Chocolate Cake, Soft Wheat Zucchini Bread, Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust, Rustic Apple Cranberry Galette, Carrot Bread with honey Yogurt Dip….and so many more
Turmeric: Simply Quinoa, Baked Halibut in Wine Tomato Broth, Tuscan Shrimp with Beans over Polenta, Carrots à la Chermoula, Mini BBQ Turkey Burgers, Simply Chickpeas, Veggie Tuna Pasta Salad…and I am sure I am forgetting a bunch more!
I also just came across this lovely Ginger Turmeric tea recipe that is absolutely wonderful (The article also offers a nice description of the combined health benefits of Turmeric and Ginger together–click here to read).
Chili: Vegetarian Chili, Hearty Turkey Chili, BBQ Grilled Chicken, Mini BBQ Turkey Burgers.
Mint: Sweet Pea & Spinach Soup (it’s bright green- perfect for St Patty’s!), Grilled Corn Salad with Fresh Mint, Tabbouleh Salad
Rosemary: Turkey Bean Pot au Feu, Simply Cipollini Onions, Farro White Bean Risotto, Tuscan White Bean Soup, Chicken with Currant Wine Glaze, Grilled orange Herb chicken (OH MY GOODNESS, this uses HERBES DE PROVENCE–so any combination of rosemary, thyme, lavender, savory, marjoram, oregano will do– this will become your go-to recipe for grilled chicken…WOW!)
Basil: Fresh Tomato Olive and Basil Galette, Pesto Veggie Pasta Salad with Grilled Shrimp, Walnut Basil Pesto Halibut, Veggie Tuna Pasta Salad, Mediterranean Couscous salad (super easy, no cooking involved, not even boiling water for the couscous!! REALLY!…watch me make it in my kitchen!)
Thyme: Red Potato provençal, Bulgur wheat walnut Stuffing, Shrimp Arugula Provençal, Galette with Caramelized onions, Tomatoes and Goat Cheese, Simply Oven-Dried Tomatoes, Tian Provençal, Pasta Fagiole with Spinach Mushroom Marinara Sauce, French Lentil & Sweet Potato Salad, Mediterranean Barley Stew
Ginger: Carrot Miso Quinoa, Carrot Cider Baked Chicken
and again, I recommend this lovely Ginger Turmeric tea recipe here!
There are so many Cuisinicity recipes using other spices and herbs that I haven’t even listed here: chives, cilantro, parsley, dill, sage, laurel, tarragon, curry, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, paprika, cloves, oregano, saffron and many more–So many in fact that I am feeling the angst of my dissertation days coming back, just listing them-– so, let me stop right here and let you explore the rest on your own!
Just take notice of the particular herb(s) or spice(s) that I use in any of my recipes and just relish the fact that you are not only adding flavor to your dish, you are adding health to your diet.
So, by all means, spice up your life a little, and enjoy!
Admit to be fit says
It’s an awesome article in favor of all the internet viewers; they will take benefit from it I am sure
Julie Zimmer says
Oh my goodness Catherine, this post on herbs and spices is so well done with all your recipes that you’ve linked back to! Many thanks for this very useful information and for all those delicious and flavourful recipes that you’ve been making over the years! 🙂
Catherine Katz says
Thank YOU so much Julie!! I love everyone of your recipes too so the feeling is SO mutual!!! 🙂
Catherine, one of my greatest passions, when travelling to foreign countries is to explore the local spices. I can still breath, feel and see the colors and flavores of South East Asia… Burmese, Indian, Chinese, Thai markets, but also the South of France, Turkey or South America or Tex Mex and Cajun Spices. Spices are so much part of a culture, they are the flavors of regions… And then if you look into the biochemistry and medicine of them it is so amazing that some of the local health hazards are dealt with by local spices…. They are magic ( unfortunately murder too) and medicine…. Thank you for that lovely post!
I really need to find an Asian market here, so I can get hold of fresh tumeric. I think it is more flavorful then the dried one. And once I find it I can easily grow it myself. Stick it in a flower pot, take it outside after frost (shade or sun no matter) and enjoy the pretty plant. In Texas it is a beatiful plant for difficult shady corners in your garden. Since it (root survives) light frost I might try that here in the German wine growing area two….
bonsoir, en effet, nos amis les herbes! cela met du piment à nos aliments!!! ….un pharmacien-naturopathe me disait justement que si l’on voulait rester en bonne santé , nous devrions cuisiner avec plein d’épices, diverses et variées! alors , usons et abusons de nos chères herbes et épices! merci pour toutes ces explications détaillées et bon dimanche!! martine de France
Susan a. katz says
This is so great. I’m always a bit intimidated by fresh herbs – not wanting to overwhelm a dish with too many flavors. Thanks to you fresh herbs and spices are now on my grocery list!