Sunday, 24 November 2013

The Healing Herbs Cookbook

The Healing Herbs Cookbook
By Pat Crocker
Forword by James A. Duke, Author of The Green Pharmacy

Paperback, 208 pages

Hurray for Herbs! Not only do they deliver great flavour in the kitchen, but many pack a nutritional punch that bolsters the diet and immune system.

We all have our favourites, I grow different kinds of thyme and rosemary, mint, oregano and basils, parsley and chives. I am pretty savvy with this bunch of herbs but would love to expand my repertoire and also learn more about what benefits they provide.

The Healing Herbs Cookbook gives entire profiles on each of the herbs showcased. You'll find Description, Flavour, Parts Used, How to Grow, Healing Properties, Availability, How to Use in Cooking, and Folklore. Everything from Alfalfa to Turmeric and 115 vegetarian recipes that feature healing herbs.

Contents Include:
Foreword by James A. Duke
Herbs: The Helping Plants 
Herb Profiles
Cooking with Medicinal Herbs
About the Recipes
Main Dishes
Side Dishes
Pasta & Grains
Condiments, Sauces and Dressings 
Herb Sources
Recipes Index
Herb Index

With a list of herbal organizations, mail-order sources, a glossary and an herb-specific recipe index, this is the ideal book for people who want to bring the benefits of healing herbs into the kitchen.

Chilled Calendula-Strawberry Gazpacho + Calendula Pesto, page 72

2 cups    chopped peeled tomatoes    500 mL
4 cups    sliced strawberries    1 L
3/4 cup    diced peeled seeded cucumber    175 mL
1/4 cup     shredded fresh basil    50 mL
3 tbsp    chopped fresh chives    45 mL
1 cup    apple juice    50 mL
1 cup    stock    50 mL
1/4 cup    raspberry vinegar    50 mL
3 tbsp    CALENDULA PESTO     45 mL
    (see recipe below)

1.    In a large bowl or soup tureen, combine all ingredients and mix well. In a food processor or blender, purée 3 cups (750 mL) of mixture. Combine with remaining mixture in bowl.
2.    Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to chill and blend flavors. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3.    Serve cold, garnished with whole strawberries or calendula flowers.

Serves 4 to 6


This is meant to be a chunky soup but may be completely puréed, if desired.
With its large, thin leaves, basil is easy to shred:  remove stem and stack 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves; roll up from the wide end and slice into thin ribbons for garnish, salads, omelets or soups.

Calendula Pesto
2    garlic cloves    2
2    ginger squares in syrup    2
1/2 cup    unblanched almonds    125 mL
1 cup    fresh calendula petals    250 mL
1/2 cup    fresh basil leaves    125 mL
1/2 cup    fresh thyme leaves    125 mL
3/4 cup    freshly grated Parmesan cheese    175 mL
3/4 cup    olive oil    175 mL

1.    In a food processor or blender, mince garlic and ginger for 1 minute. Add nuts; process until coarsely chopped. Add calendula, basil, thyme and cheese; process until minced. With motor running, add olive oil in a steady stream. Process or blend until well mixed. Season to taste with salt and pepper if desired.
2.    Transfer mixture to a jar or storage container. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.

Makes 1 1/2 cups (375 mL)

Excerpted from The Healing Herbs Cookbook by Pat Crocker © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with publisher permission.

Fall Vegetable Paella, page 106

3 tbsp    olive oil    45 mL
3    cloves garlic, chopped    3
1 cup    chopped onions    250 mL
1 1/2 cups    brown rice    375 mL
2 tbsp    tumeric spice paste     25 mL
2 cups    stock     500 mL
1 cup    apple juice    250 mL
2 cups    eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) cubes 500 mL
1/2 cup    chopped green peppers    125 mL
1/2 cup    chopped red bell peppers    125 mL
1 cup    sliced shiitake mushrooms    250 mL
1/2 cup    cauliflower florets    125 mL
1/2 cup    broccoli florets    125 mL
1/2 cup    sliced carrots    125 mL

1.    In a large wok or pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onions; cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until soft. Stir in rice and spice paste; cook for 2 minutes.
2.    Stir in stock and apple juice. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 35 minutes.
3.    Stir in eggplant, green peppers, red peppers, mushrooms, cauliflower, broccoli and carrots. Cover and bring to just under a boil. Simmer gently for 10 minutes or until rice is tender and vegetables are cooked. If desired, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 6


For a non-vegetarian dish, add 4 skinless chicken legs or breasts

Excerpted from The Healing Herbs Cookbook by Pat Crocker © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with publisher permission.

Fall Fruit en Papillotte, page 156

•    Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C)
•    4 sheets parchment paper, 12 by 18 inches (30 by 40 cm)
•    Baking sheet

1/4 cup    raisins    50mL
1/4 cup    chopped pecans    50mL
1/4 cup    chopped candied ginger    50mL
4    1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces cinnamon stick    4
4    1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces licorice root    4
4    1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces vanilla bean    4
4    whole cloves    4
1    pear, cored and cut into eighths    1
1    apple, cored and cut into eighths    1
4    dried or fresh apricots, halved    4
1    peach, cored and quartered    1
1    plum, cored and quartered    1
1/2 cup    apple cider    125 mL
1 tsp    butter    5 mL

1.    Fold each sheet of parchment paper in half. Trim to make 4 heart-shaped pieces.
2.    Open each heart of parchment paper. On one side of fold line add 1 tbsp (15 mL) each raisins, pecans and ginger; 1 each cinnamon stick, licorice root, vanilla bean and clove; 2 each pear, apple and apricot pieces; 1 each peach and plum quarters. Sprinkle 2 tbsp (25 mL) cider over each; top with 1/4 tsp (1 mL) butter.
3.    Fold other half of parchment heart over fruit. Beginning at curve of heart, roll cut ends together to seal.
4.    Place fruit packages on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until apples and pears are tender. Slide each package onto a serving plate; cut an “X” on top of each package with a knife. Pull back tips of “X” to make an opening. Serve warm in parchment.

Serves 4

Parchment paper (not the same as waxed paper) is used to line baking sheets, cake tins and to oven-steam fruit, vegetables, meat and fish. It seals in cooking liquids and keeps food moist as it bakes in the oven.

Excerpted from The Healing Herbs Cookbook by Pat Crocker © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with publisher permission.