Another version of Hummus with pine nuts Image via Wikipedia
From Denny: Folks from Lebanon moved to Louisiana a good 150 years ago, with some additions in the past few decades. Locals here love their Lebanese food as much as the Cajun cuisine and there are plenty of small family restuarants to prove it true!
Heidi Chustz, a local nutritionist recently featured in our local newspaper had this to say about the health benefits of cooking with fresh herbs:
• Mint — Soothes digestive tract and reduces the severity and length of stomach aches. The antifungal properties of mint are thought to play a role in the treatment of asthma and other allergy conditions. It may prevent some cancers such as colon, skin and lung cancer.
• Lemon grass — Studies have shown that lemon grass has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Mixed with pepper, it’s a home therapy for menstrual troubles and nausea. When drinking it as a tea, it can be an effective diuretic.
• Oregano — Known to have strong antibacterial properties.
• Parsley — Excellent source of some nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid and iron, that are important in preventing many diseases.
• Basil — Oil in basil has been shown to inhibit growth of several types of bacteria, many of which have become resistant to antibiotics. It is a good source of vitamin A and magnesium.
She does caution the following for those with compromised immune systems and old age:
"Anyone who is taking cardiac medications, diuretics, calcium channel blockers, blood pressure medications, psychotherapeutic medications, diabetes medications and certain over-the-counter medications to talk to their doctors, pharmacists and dietitians regarding possible drug-herb interactions."
Aside from that herbs are fabulous for your health and a tasty joy to add to your every day cooking!
Mambo Italiano Hummus
From: Rebecca Mason
2 cans cannellini beans
Juice of 1 large lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbls. chopped fresh oregano
1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomato
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Sprig of fresh oregano
1. Purée beans in food processor until smooth; add lemon juice while processing beans.
2. Remove from processor and put in bowl and set aside.
3. Purée herbs and sun-dried tomato in processor. Slowly add oil until it makes a loose paste.