Spring is fully underway here in Philadelphia, with lots of rainy days, lots of warm sunny days, and lots of weird in-between days when you have no idea what to wear. I love springtime, with the gorgeous flowers and trees in bloom, the birds happily singing their busy tunes, and children filling up the playgrounds again. Winter is drab around here, and by the time those temperatures begin to rise again, we are more than eager to get out and enjoy every moment! One of my favorite hallmarks of spring has come to be planting flowers with my kids, and of course preparing our little garden in our backyard. I like to let the kids pick some things that they want to plant, and have them help me with each step. They love getting their hands dirty, searching for worms, planting the plants, and munching on the herbs as we set them in the soil. It’s a beautiful thing to plant and grow your own food – even if it’s just a little – and to have your children be a part of the process, and appreciation.
Health Benefits of Fresh Herbs
Sun gold tomatoes are a staple for us each year, but this year we’re branching out a little and adding cucumbers and strawberries to the mix! Our herbs remain the star of the show though, with varieties of basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, chives and rosemary making an appearance year after year. And since we grow our own herbs, it’s given me an excuse to use them in our food more, and to play with new ways of incorporating them into our diets as much as possible. I love using them in cooking; they add so much flavor and really help any dish come alive. Herbs are packed with health benefits too! Here are some common culinary garden herbs and their health benefits:
- Sage: antioxidants, improves memory, prevents disease
- Mint: antimicrobial, anti-viral, antioxidants, aids and calms digestion, reduces inflammation
- Oregano: antioxidants, antimicrobial, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, boosts immune system, prevents disease
- Basil: antioxidants, anti-cancer properties, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, reduces blood pressure,
- Rosemary: antioxidants, anti-microbial, relieves pain, aids digestion
- Thyme: antioxidants, can speed recovery from illness, can treat foot and vaginal yeast, prevents disease
- Parsley: antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, dietary fibers, balances cholesterol
With all of this in mind, I encourage you to add in more herbs to your cooking this year! Even if you’re already an herb-guru, maybe try something new, or at least a new recipe. Starting with this one. This one right here. Combining my love for steak with my love for fresh herbs, I knew I couldn’t go wrong, but I can’t even tell you how ridiculously delicious this oh-so-simple recipe is. And feel free to cook this on the grill, if you’re savvy that way. I used a skillet because I was in a bit of a time-crunch. Also, I used sirloin steak because it’s one of my favorite cuts, and one that I happen to have in the freezer, but feel free to use the marinade on different cuts, just make sure they’re grass-fed.
Herb-Marinated Beef Sirloin
- 1 16oz. beef sirloin steak (or similar)
- Herb-marinade (see below)
- 1-2T bacon fat or other cooking fat of choice
- 1c. olive oil
- 4 minced garlic cloves
- 2-3T of each (or other herbs that you have in the garden)
- 2T red wine vinegar
- sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Chop herbs and combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl. Pour half of the marinade in a dish and add the steak, covering both sides with the marinade. Marinate for 20 minutes, and up to an hour in the fridge.
Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Cook steaks for 6-7 minutes each side (more or less depending on how you like your steak).
Once done, remove steak and place on a cutting board or a plate to rest for 5 minutes or so.
Serve topped with remaining marinade.