My dad gave me a huge bunch of his home grown basil along with another two bagfuls of fresh, aromatic herbs (rosemary, sage, mint, dill and parsley), lollo rosso lettuces, spinach, spring onions and aubergines.
Had to come up with a quick plan to use some of it up and quick. Our fridge is already packed and trying to fit anything else in it is like playing a really challenging game of Tetris.
Plan A :
Made the Chilli Marinated Aubergines. That helped me use up the aubergines and the good thing is that you don't have to keep them in the fridge ! Changed the recipe slightly and added a lot more fresh herbs than was recommended. I ended up adding parsley, garlic, chilli, basil, rosemary and sage. Friends, they smell really good. Hope to have a first taste of them in a week when they are ready... hmmm .... wonder if we will stick out the week before we try them.
Super Quick and Easy Pesto: I used up the big bunch of basil to make this and some of the parsley. All I did was take the leaves off the basil stalks, threw them in a blender. Added about a quarter bunch of parsley, 2 cloves garlic, juice of two lemons, 1/2 cup olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1/2 cup sunflower seeds. You may add some grated parmesan cheese (1/4 cup) to this for a non vegan version. Blend and store in a jar. I love pesto and eat it with anything. I pour it over my vegetables for flavour, add it in salad dressings, use it as a spread with sandwiches, or with pasta. Use your imagination and you can use it with anything ! Yummy !By the way you can't get Pesto in Zambia. Tried to find it in a couple of the local supermarkets from Kitwe to Ndola right the way to Lusaka.... nope - was no where to be found !
The health benefits of basil are many.... it has anti-inflammatory properties making it ideal for people suffering from arthritis, it is a powerful antioxidant that can protect the body from premmature aging, anti-bacterial properties. It is high in beta-carotene, protects the eyes from age related macular disease especially in the elderly, protects against oral and lung cancers, and is high in minerals such as potassium, manganese, copper, magnesium and iron.
The rest of the herbs I washed and placed in a large tray to dry them out. Again they can be stored in jars to be used while cooking.
If you are aware of any health problem which may compromise your general health, it is important to seek treatment. A Health and Wellness Counselor may help you, to bring you back in balance and to good health through, detoxing, healthy eating and living, create a proper diet suited for your condition, advise natural remedies, herbs, wholefood supplements and organic cosmetics.
Barbara is a qualified nutritionist offering Health, Nutrition & Lifestyle Counseling. She gives Healthy weight loss advice and promotes the Mediterranean diet. She is the author of the Med Life Diet - creating healthy lifestyle habits and attitudes for life !