Growing and Using Herbs: Parsley

This week we are eating spinach, radishes, chives and parsley out of the garden!  Look for the recipes below using them all!  Parsley is more than just a garnish for your plate!  It may surprise you all the benefits you can get from this wonderful herb!  Here are just a few!
  • Parsley is rich in many vital vitamins, including Vitamin C,  B 12, K and A. This means parsley keeps your immune system strong, tones your bones and heals the nervous system.  It is high in chlorophyll and helps to freshen breath from the inside out.
  • It helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. However, the herb contains oxalates, which can cause problems for those with existing kidney and gall bladder problems.
  • Regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure. The folic acid in this herb is like a tonic for your heart.
  • Parsley essential oil, when massaged into the scalp, may reduce hair loss.
  • Use parsley daily, and you’ll feel relief from joint pain. That’s because the herb has anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Parsley tea relaxes stiff muscles and encourages digestion.
  • Studies indicate that parsley—especially its essential oil—may have a role in inhibiting cancerous tumors. In fact, scientists have billed it a ‘chemoprotective’ food.

Good Morning Green Smoothie!

This smoothie recipe is so refreshing and packed full of vitamins and minerals!  even my kids will drink it!  In a blender, mix together the following ingredients in this order:
1 cup water
1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 banana
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 lime
1-inch piece of fresh ginger
1 cucumber
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup applesauce or 1 apple
1 bunch parsley (about 1/2 cup)
2 cups packed fresh spinach
1 cup frozen pineapple

Roasted Spring Vegetables with Curried Chicken and Brown Rice on a Bed of Fresh Spinach

The roasted spring veggies recipe is delicious!  It comes from Cooking Light “Way to Cook Vegetarian” Cookbook!  The chicken curry is just something I put together quickly and let cook in the crock pot.

Spring Roasted Veggies:
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped shallots or red onion
1 lb. carrot, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 pound radishes chopped in half
2 cups asparagus, sliced into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 500`.  Combine vinegar and shallots in a small bowl and set aside.
Combine carrots and the next 5 ingredients  in the bottom of a roasting pan (I used a 2-inch rimmed jelly roll pan), toss gently to combine.
Bake at 500` for 20 minutes or until they begin to brown, stirring occasionally.
Remove pan from the oven; add the shallot mixture and asparagus, tossing to combine.
Return pan to oven and bake for 5 minutes.  Stir in parsley and chives and serve hot!

Curry Chicken and Rice

The Chicken Curry is so simple!  I add Maya Kaimal Coconut Curry Sauce from Costco to 4 organic chicken breasts and 2 cups brown rice and 2 cups water in a large crock pot (adding more water if needed, throughout the cooking process).  Cook on low all day or on high for a half a day.  Simple as that!  Serve on a bed of fresh spinach!