Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Author: helga

Blueberry Quinoa Salad

Made with parsley and mint, this salad is  similar to a tabbouleh. The quinoa base makes it gluten free and the blueberries add  more summer freshness.

2 cups cooked quinoa**, cooled
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ diced chives or green onion
2 cups fresh blueberries

**To cook quinoa: rinse ½ cup quinoa and add to 1 cup of boiling water. Bring to boil, cover and cook on low heat 15-20 minutes until water is absorbed.

2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon orange zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Combine ingredients and leave at room temperature for an hour before serving.

Yield: 4 portions about 1 cup each.

Chickweed Tincture

Author: helga

Chickweed Tincture

So much chickweed growing in my garden! So much information on the internet! I knew chickweed was edible and when I looked up information on it’s nutritional content, I found more than I expected. Apparently it has a myriad of medicinal effects as well and is sold as a herbal remedy.  I decided to put the excess chickweed to use.

I gathered a big zip lock bag full of chickweed from my garden and sorted out any dry bits and washed it. Washed a jelly jar and rinsed it with boiling water to make sure it’s sterile. Chopped the chickweed and filled the jar to about half inch from the top. Filled the jar with Everclear covering all the plant material.

Instructions recommend using a consumable alcohol as close to 100 proof as you can find. The stronger the alcohol, the less likely any contaminant can grow. Everclear is listed as 190 Proof and consists of 95% alcohol. Everclear is available for sale in Alberta but depending on where you live it may be unavailable or illegal.

The chemicals and nutrients in the plant are drawn into the alcohol. Remember this tincture is   consumed a few drops at a time, not even a teaspoonful.

The mixture is now left to steep for six weeks and then will be strained and bottled.


A video showing the creation of chickweed tincture with apple cider vinegar:


Chickweed and Watermelon

Author: helga


This is chickweed from my garden.  With recent rains, it has been growing faster than my vegetables. Surprisingly it is also tastier than some vegetables. Like we’ve done with dandelions,  for years we have been throwing this plant in the garbage along with it’s great taste and vitamins.  Chickweed  contains  calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium, silica, sodium, phosphorus potassium and zinc, It also contains some Vitamin A, some B vitamins  and a little vitamin C.  It tastes  like a fresher, crisper version of watercress.

A super fresh dish to serve on a hot day is a salad of watermelon with chopped chickweed. So good!



Chickweed can be added as an extra to green to most salads, to smoothies and to stir fries. They are a delicate plant and don’t stand up well to much heat, so add just shortly before serving if putting them into a cooked dish.

Chickweed has been used for its medicinal properties in herbal medicine. It can be used in tinctures and creams.


Rosemary is a Mediterranean evergreen. it’s leaves are shaped like needles and it has a pine like scent. In our northern climate  we need to plant it every spring.   I wanted rosemary for roasted potatoes, so why not get a head start on spring with a fresh plant.  I stripped the bottom branches and the rest will keep growing.

Rosemary roasted potatoes are so easy to make. All you need is some potatoes, olive oil, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of finely chopped rosemary.  They taste so much better than boiled or microwaved potatoes!

Preheat your oven to 400° and get a metal, glass or ceramic pan. Any pan you have available will likely be adequate, but flat is best so they can spread out in a single layer.  Cut potatoes into approximately equal size pieces, coat with a couple spoonfuls of oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the chopped rosemary.  Cook for 45-60 minutes. Stir a couple of times while cooking  to brown  them more evenly.

This is a very flexible recipe. The potatoes can be cooked at a lower temperature if another dish is in the oven at the same time. They will taste good, if all you have is oil and some salt and pepper. If you prefer,  garlic can be added as well, or a  couple tablespoons of lemon juice. Grated parmesan can be added for extra crispiness.