Sunday, July 7, 2013

You Too Can Have an Herb Garden

Every summer we have a garden, and every year we add in new vegetables to the mix of old favorites. This year we took our garden off site and are utilizing a community garden space.  We are curious to see if the results will yield better vegetables as we feel the soil may be better quality than what we have in our own back yard.  However, we did keep the herb portion of our garden at home, and have decided to try the "urban deck" method.  We have pots and pots of herbs right at our fingertips, ready for snipping and cooking.
This also makes it very convenient and an appropriate chore for a 4 and 6 year old. They take great pride in watering the herbs with their fancy watering cans and are fascinated by the changes they see in the herbs each day.  Furthermore, they love to 'run out to the garden' to collect whatever I need for the day's meals.

My personal favorites are the basil, dill, rosemary, and parsley, although the options are unlimited.  (mental note:  need to plant mint next year).

Lemon Quinoa with Fresh Herbs and Onion:

Today for lunch we made lemon quinoa and dressed it up with fresh herbs from the garden.  Quinoa is not a grain, rather, a seed that ancient people of Peru and surrounding areas have been eating for 3,000 - 4,000 years. Yet, somehow, it has only managed to hit my family's table in the last 5.  It's delicious and so versatile! Quinoa contains essential amino acids, flavanoids, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, and iron.  It's also a complete protein source.  Who knew??

- 2 cups quinoa
- Juice of 2 lemons
- Half a Vidalia onion
- 3/4 cup of packed basil
- 1/4 cup of parsley
- A few sprigs of dill
- Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Cook the quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside and let cool.  Dice 1/2 onion and mix with quinoa.  Transfer to a serving bowl.  Add lemon juice.  Chop 1/2 of the basil into thin strips and toss with quinoa. Add the remainder as whole leaves.  Add in parsley, salt, pepper, and mix well.  Add dill sprigs as garnish.  We chose to make this dish vegetarian, but you could easily add shrimp, scallops, chicken, or fish of your choice for a hearty meal.

What have you made with your fresh herbs this summer?

Be well,


If you like this recipe and are interested in others, check out my Seasonal Nourishing Menu.

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1 comment:

  1. I've got mint (3 varieties!), basil, rosemary and thyme in. This will be the first year of herbs in the ground, and I'm a little nervous how the Phoenix summer will treat them. Fingers crossed!
    I've been using a ton of mint every day in my "spa water." Basil goes in just about everything - my favorite summer dish is a sautee of cherry tomatoes, zucchini, red onion and fresh corn with basil. Thyme - I've been doing a lot of stir fry, and it adds just the right touch of flavor. Rosemary ... it's been a long time since I've cooked with it, but I love the smell!